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Desperate Campaign to "Pack" Monday Night's Croton Village Board Meeting

February 2, 2007

“Packing the house” is a theatrical expression used to describe a show that has become a runaway success and fills all seats at every performance. It also describes the shady theatrical practice in which unscrupulous theatrical producers selectively give out tickets for opening-night performances to friends or hired audiences to create false enthusiasm and applause, thus swaying newspaper critics when they write their reviews. The latter underhanded maneuver is what is apparently going on in Croton to promote the Republican candidates and attack the Democratic incumbents.

While down at Croton Bay taking photographs of the omnipresent railroad ties for a future news story, Crotonblog came upon a small bottle floating in the water at high tide. Inside the bottle we found a most interesting letter and attachment. At this very moment, these are being circulated by e-mail to selected Croton residents. They reveal a plot to use an upcoming Village Board meeting as the setting for an organized protest to sway voters in a political campaign under the protective coloration of indignation over the Village’s attempt to explore negotiations with a property owner. This is electioneering, pure and simple, although on analysis, its purpose is not pure, nor simple. It deserves to be unmasked for what it is—an attempt to “pack the house” with a raucous and tiresome crowd that will repeat the same doleful message over and over again: Croton is going to hell in a handbasket because of the Democratic majority on the Village Board. Elect us Republicans.

The writer of the letter was Joann Minett, perennial village discontent, and the creator of the attached flyer was Susan Schmidt, wife of the present Mayor. Crotonblog is publishing both privately circulated documents here as a public service to the people of Croton who might otherwise see this demonstration next Monday evening as a spontaneous upwelling of popular sentiment. Instead, it quite obviously will be a blatant attempt at manipulation and electioneering. As Bette Davis, playing fading actress Margot Channing in the movie “All About Eve,” tells her party guests, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Friday, February 2, 2007

“We won. We got rid of Metro Enviro and now we need to get rid of Regus. Never before has it been so important for you to attend a meeting as it is now. This will affect us all so greatly in so many different ways it is scary. We need to band together now! Please come to the Village board meeting, listen and let your voice be heard. Do we really want this environmentally hazardous entity in our village? Do we really want to see our home values plummet? Do we really want thousands of trucks rumbling through our village? Weigman. Kane and Gallelli do! The people in this village must not let it happen. So many mistakes have been made in the past and we must not let it continue. They claim to be environmentalists yet this operation is against everything environmental. From our river and land to our health and safety.

Please see the attached flyer (illustrated below) and send it to your friends. Print it and hand them out. We need the grassroots spirit!


Joann Minett

On February 6, 2007 12:04 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

I just watched part of last night’s board meeting, and can only say that I am totally disgusted. Between Cudaquest’s boring, repetitive monologue and her attempt to fool tv watchers that there was quite a crowd there! (approximately 12 of the same people who regularly show up with one or two new faces), to Trendell’s outrageous accusations of bribery, to Brennan’s blatant electioneering, it was disgraceful.

Don’t I remember reading that the Republican’s closed their caucus by pledging to uphold the highest possible ethical standards? If that is the high, I hate to think what the low would be. The same bitter-tongued people show up week after week and spew forth the same venomous personal attacks, then suggest that since no-one else shows up, the whole village agrees with them.

Just ask the few brave people who have ever dared to disagree with them how they were treated and it is no surprise that people will not subject themselves to this character assassination.

It is so sad and so unnecessary when the bottom line is that everyone should have the health and safety of Croton residents at the top of their agenda - not politics.

On February 2, 2007 6:39 PM, weewill said:

In view of Ms. Minett’’s email referenced above, it’s important that accurate information be distributed and I ask readers to consider the following facts:

• It would be nice if Croton really had won the battle when MetroEnviro was closed. However, the closure led to the current application before the Board for a completely new and clearly more damaging operation.

• The Village definitely needs to “band together now” in the fight to protect our village. There are possibilities other than litigation that must be considered.

• “Environmentally hazardous entity in our village; home values plummeting; thousands of trucks filled with all kinds of unregulated garbage.”? That’s exactly what Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman are working so feverishly to prevent. Their plan does a heck of a lot more than “just say no.” They are using reason, mediations and deliberations first and litigation only if all else fails.

• The attached “garbage flyer” was particularly troubling.

• MetroEnviro was closed because the 4 democrats on the board and the lone republican (Schmidt) agreed that an appropriate “paper trail” had been laid, as well as enough ground work, legal investigation and exploration to make a win in court possible.

• To credit Schmidt and Brennan with closing MetroEnviro is an extreme stretch. In fact, Brennan had nothing to do with it at all. Schmidt’s stubborn refusal to even participate in discussions made success much more difficult to achieve.

• Metro Enviro was closed because the then village board UNANIMOUSLY (Elliott, Kane, Grant, Schmidt and Wiegman) agreed that adequate discussion, negotiation and paper trials had been put in place to make a win in the courts possible.

• The expected litigation went to the highest court in the state of New York, and the Village did, indeed win!

• We were successful because of deliberate planning and maneuvering to develop an airtight defense of the village right to close them down.

• We can be successful again BECAUSE Ann, Leo and Charlie are covering all the basis and preparing for the future of the village.

• I sincerely hope that the whole board, Republicans and Democrats alike, will “join together” and protect the health, safety and welfare of all residents.

• And finally, I suggest that by dividing residents with accusatory and one-sided propaganda is to jeopardize a possible resolution to a problem that is of concern to all of us.

Thanks for listening. While recognizing some may not agree, I at least ask that you consider both sides of the argument. Myopic and tunnel vision can get us into deep trouble


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