Susan Konig is a one-book author. She’s also an opinionated political columnist for the National Review Online. On Sirius satellite radio network’s Catholic Channel she can be heard with her comedian-writer-actor husband, Dave Konig, during their afternoon talk radio show. He works reminiscences of a Bronx childhood into his act. After one theater performance in Tarrytown, fellow comedian Kevin Meaney complimented him by saying, “Loved the Jew stuff.”
When the village election season heats up, she is known as the Vice Chairperson of the Croton Republican Committee.
By night, she makes orations at the microphone at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building during board meetings and rails against anyone or anything related to the property at 1A Croton Point Avenue (satellite map) that does not share her group’s contrarian position.
And of course, her group is that same infamous gang of hard-riding vigilantes led by Maria Cudequest. Formally, they call themselves the Concerned Citizens of Croton. For short, it’s the CCC1, as identified by their email distribution list. Besides the Misses Cudequest and Konig, main CCC1 heavies include Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt, Trustee Thomas Brennan, former unelected Trustee James M. Steinberg, “citizen advocate” Robert Wintermeier, loyalist Joann Minett, phantom resident William Rooney, faux actor Richard Pellicci, David Goldman, Don “Coach” Daubney, Eric Goldberg and occasional Gazette letter writer Maria Yurchek.
Struggling to find a way to attack the Democratic board majority, Ms. Konig, once again appeared before the board on Monday, October 16, 2006 (see video clip below). Ms. Konig, who has previously stated that she is someone who “knows a lot of people,” was alone in her concern.
And after politely disagreeing with “go-to guy” Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt over his inconsistent application of the five-minute speaking rule during “citizen participation,” (see: “Mayor Schmidt Don’t Get No Respect”) Ms. Konig suddenly switched personas and became a fiction writer.
She told an unsubstantiated and grossly flawed tale about thousands of trucks, garbage, bottles in the river, and reduced air quality since operations resumed at 1A Croton Point Avenue. Ms. Konig said this, “Now, I know that company is already in there. I have neighbors who are very, very aware of what is going on and they weren’t aware that there is a company operating down at Croton, 1A Croton Point Avenue now. Um, there’s trucks, there’s garbage trains. I don’t care what the nature of it is. There’s stuff in the air now. There’s stuff that’s going to be falling into the river and this company does not have a good reputation.”
Then Ms. Konig declared, “But, I just wanted to tell you as one person um, I’m very concerned about this and I don’t want it to be a one issue town but maybe if we could put this one issue to rest, we could pay attention to the everyday quality of life problems.”
Call it dramatic irony. According to the “way-back machine,” both former Croton Republican Committee Chairman Marcus Aarons and Ms. Susan Konig turned that “one issue” into a winning ticket that swept now-Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt and Trustee Thomas Brennan into power for a short-lived year of majority rule in 2005. Worse yet, their single issue has been a burden that has cost the taxpayers of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson more than $1.1 million in legal fees.
Why, Susan Konig even had Trustee Thomas Brennan completely fooled. He bought her whole tale lock, stock, and barrel.
Fortunately for the cause of truth-telling, Trustee Charlie Kane was on hand to expose the untruths and innuendos spouted by Ms. Konig. In one fell swoop, Kane, a two-term trustee, lifetime resident, and longtime Metro North employee, refuted Ms. Konig’s unfounded allegations and provided a true picture of conditions at the former Metro Enviro site to fellow officials and residents alike. Trustee Kane set the record straight by saying, “Tom, they haven’t pulled anything through there. There’s several railroad cars—gondolas that are there. They haven’t moved any materials through there. I’m there twice a day to inspect the property. They haven’t moved anything.”
Thanks, Charlie, for demonstrating that truth, when crushed to earth, shall rise again.
Susan Konig: “Ah, Susan Konig, 37 Elmore. First, I would like to move to do away with the five-minute limit because I feel like it is arbitrarily used. I mean, no offense to me, chopped liver but there were other people here tonight Michael but its OK. Its practically an empty room. But, I don’t like when its used against some residents but not for others. So, I’ve always thought that it was an arbitrary move of a previous administration and I don’t think we need it. But, I don’t think I’m going to take more than five minutes tonight.
Um, Michael brought up a lot of good points tonight. Um, but one of my problems of living in Croton and I am a relative newcomer to a native, um, is if people are concerned about bottles in the river, if people are concerned about diapers down in the park, if people are concerned about the noise of dogs barking, and this is not a personal attack on you, its a generalization. Because people are concerned and those are everyday problems that the board should help us with. Then we should not have a garbage concern in Croton with thousands of trucks rolling through and stuff being churned up down there and floating into the river and being in the air and all the problems that we had with the last company that was down there, um, our village is too small to handle it, nobody wants it as we saw at the last public hearing. We’re going through the whole thing again. The last company had a permit. We spent years trying to enforce the permit and it didn’t work out. We should not be negotiating with any company that is going to bring more trash. Yes a garbage dump is worse but the lesser of two evils—I don’t think that really works here. I think we have other, we’ve discussed it before, we have other things we could use that property for.
Now, I know that company is already in there. I have neighbors who are very, very aware of what is going on and they weren’t aware that there is a company operating down a t Croton, 1A Croton Point Avenue now. Um, there’s trucks, there’s garbage trains. I don’t care what the nature of it is. There’s stuff in the air now. There’s stuff that’s going to be falling into the river and this company does not have a good reputation. They stole water at another place to mist down the dust of their facility and they were fined for that and they got in big trouble for that and we’ve let them into our village.
So, I just want to make sure that people know about that. There’s important things that our residents, you didn’t talk about the tennis courts, I know Michael is very happy about tennis courts. There’s a lot of things we care about in Croton but everybody has to be aware what is going on with this. There’s only two people attending this meeting besides the Happy Tots people who are here for their particular topic tonight. And, Um, we’ll be showing up. They’ll be people showing up and they’ll be a lot of people showing up if there is a public hearing. But, I just wanted to tell you as one person um, I’m very concerned about this and I don’t want it to be a one issue town but maybe if we could put this one issue to rest, we could pay attention to the everyday quality of life problems. Thank you”.
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Thank you Sue. You know, I think its worth hearing, maybe Rick, you should tell the public what we know about what is going on down there now because maybe a lot of people don’t know what’s happening at the facility right now. Are you in a position to explain to the public what’s happening in that facility right now?”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I would rather ah, I don’t mind doing that. But I would rather do a little bit of research because I am not personally knowledgeable, unless, is Dan still here?”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Dan is outside”.
Trustee Charlie Kane: “He is outside.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I guess what is being referred to as the construction related materials that are coming in or are going out. Which they are allowed to do um, that is not something that can be controlled by the Board of Trustees. Ah, in accordance with a Federal Court order. So, that is not something that the village government has had any particular say but it is something that is being allowed in accordance with the Federal Court order. The trains are allowed to bring construction materials in or take them out. I’m not sure whether they are coming in or going out. And that is probably happening to a limited extent because they want to preserve—this is through Northeast Interchange Railway ah, and Regus Industries and Buffalo Southern Railroad. I mean, they are all involved in this particular operation. Um to probably more to preserve their rights from the standpoint of being a common carrier because the action is still proceeding before the Surface Transportation Board. That hasn’t ah, been put on an agenda yet but it is an active application and ah, whatever rights they have ah, whatever actions might be taken by the Surface Transportation Board will probably be building on the rights that they already have through ah, the Federal Court order of Judge McMahon. Is there anything more that—
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Well ah—”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Well they are restricted from handling any waste at this time.”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Correct.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: [inaudible]
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “I would like to add to with that just to clarify to the residents out there that its not C&D and its not solid waste but I believe, its my belief that what’s going through there is gypsum and—”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I don’t know whether the gypsum—”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Well that’s, that’s just what—”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “I don’t believe that Judge McMahon has ruled on the gypsum issue.”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “No, it hasn’t been decided.”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Well, I had heard, thought that that fell outside the perview of the restrictions of—”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Well, I think that she has yet to rule on that because that—”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Well, then what is that they’re pulling through there?”
Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Well, thats why I’m not—”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “Tom, they haven’t pulled anything through there. There’s several railroad cars—gondolas that are there. They haven’t moved any materials through there. I’m there twice a day to inspect the property. They haven’t moved anything.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And there are railroad cars that are out there that have the boxes on them but are not being processed through this facility. They are just normal trains that are going through Croton that are being handled by CSX.”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “CSX handles many different cars.”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “Those are on the main lines not on the railroad spur, the ah, 1A Croton Point facility. There are some empty cars lined up there but there is nothing coming or going there.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: [Crosstalk]
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “So, Charlie. They are not moving nothing there then?”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “Nothing.”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “No.”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “As of today.”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Well, OK. I mean just to let everybody know what’s happening there with, with what’s happening.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And again, there are many levels that we’re fighting this on er, so you know. The STB, we’re all over the place on this one. So, if there is any—”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “That’s not to say as I understand it. I mean gypsum seems to be a question that they’ve asked. We have asked Judge McMahon to opine on. Ah, but, um… But they could if they chose as Rick said move other materials that did not qualify as solid waste ah, without any permission from us, um because that’s what Judge McMahon said they could do.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “They could move gravel—”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Right.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And sand.”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “Anything other than solid waste.”
Trustee Ann Gallelli: “Right.”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “And C&D.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “And the question before Judge McMahon are the two issues on the gypsum. One is the so-called unprocessed gypsum and one is the tailings.”
Trustee Charlie Kane: “Tailings, right.”
Trustee Thomas Brennan: “We know a little more now than we did a few minutes ago. Thank you Rick.”
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Okay.”