On November 20, 2006, during the village board meeting, Republican Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt shifted the topic from an update of the Harmon water main replacement project from Village Engineer Dan O’Connor into a report on 1A Croton Point Avenue (see: “Earnest Testimonies of Faith at Croton Village Board Session – A Satirical Report”).
At such time Mayor Dr. Schmidt asked, “And one other question on 1A Croton Point Avenue, are we keeping an eye on that? We haven’t seen much activity except for some gypsum going through?” Shortly thereafter he continued with, “What kind of trucks are you seeing?”
Two weeks later, at the next village board meeting, Buffalo Southern Railroad Vice President of Operations Burt Feasley wrote a letter, that was read aloud by Village Manager Rick Herbek that provided answers to all questions raised at the previous meeting.
The mayor responded to the letter by saying, “This has me a little concerned um, because I believe this was in executive meeting and the only question we had asked was who was the contact person in case of emergency.”
Democratic Trustee Ann Gallelli quickly corrected the mayor and reminded him without further objection that he, “asked this at the last meeting.”
Ending the meeting during the board “go ‘round,” Schmidt restated that he “remains committed to the fight” and reassured residents that he “thinks we stand a very good chance of winning that battle” because “the STB [Surface Transportation Board] has gotten the message loud and clear that this is an operation that has nothing to do with railroad operations.”
However, the “fight” has cost Croton taxpayers more than 1.3 million since 1998 and over $350,000 from January to September 2006 in legal fees alone.
Download this video clip of “Croton’s Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt Vows to Stay the Course in BSOR ‘Fight’” to your video iPod (how to guide).