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Mardi Gras—A Night of Surprises at Croton's Village Board Meeting

February 23, 2007

The day before Ash Wednesday is celebrated in New Orleans and elsewhere as Mardi Gras—Fat Tuesday—a day of celebration and gluttony before the forty-day Lenten season sets in. Croton’s Village Board meeting was held last Tuesday, Feb. 20, a day late, displaced by the almost meaningless Presidents Day. The latter is a holiday not given over to celebration of this nation’s presidential heritage but devoted to the promotion of white sales by suburban department stores.

Croton’s Mardi Gras board meeting turned out to be a succession of surprises. Surprise No. 1 was the welcome absence of any phony William Rooney letter on the agenda intended to serve as a laughably obvious excuse for comment by so-called “concerned citizens” too lazy to wait for the period given over to citizen participation. Apparently Crotonblog’s harsh light of exposure nipped in the bud plans cooked up by this noisy group of tiresome rabble-rousers for packing future board meetings (see: “Croton Republicans Conspired to Hijack Village Board Meeting”).

Surprise No. 2 was the revelation that the Village had concluded an agreement to purchase the so-called “Katz property,” thus dooming any likelihood that it might be developed commercially. Although the resolution to buy this property was unanimous, taxpayers may wonder at the precipitousness of the decision to purchase and remove from the tax rolls a sizable parcel for which the Village has no plans for present or future use.

Surely Croton is not going to acquire every piece of real estate that comes on the market. To help pay for the 2.5 newly acquired acres, why doesn’t Croton sell the site of the former skate park? That property, close to the Route 129 exit ramp of the Route 9 Expressway, would make an excellent site for a professional building.

Surprise No. 3 was another threat by Richard Pellicci (see: “An Out-of-Control Richard Pellicci Rages Over ‘Listening Session’”), perennial foe of any development of the property known as 1A Croton Point Avenue, made against Democratic members of the Board. Mr. Pellicci intoned ominously, “If my property decreases in value [as a result of Board actions in negotiating and striking a deal similar to the Katz agreement], I’m going to come after you.”

Such foolish attempts at bravado and bogeyman intimidation are ludicrous in a volatile and inflated real estate market subject to many outside forces. For years the County’s dump on Croton Point had no effect on Croton’s real estate values, nor did the village’s proximity to the New York Central’s rail yards and shops make it any less attractive to home seekers—but then Mr. Pellicci has lived here for only a comparatively short time.

Mr. Pellicci’s house on Radnor Avenue, formerly owned by the gentle and well-liked dentist Dr. Charles E. Jurka, is nowhere near 1A Croton Point Avenue. Complainant Pellicci would have a difficult time convincing a court that Board actions were in any way responsible for his not achieving his desired selling price. Crotonblog’s advice to the perpetually unhappy Mr. Pellicci is to sell now near the top of the market and get out of town. We’ll even help you pack.

Video clip:

Download this video clip of “Richard Pellicci and the Lawsuit Against Croton He’ll Call His Own” to your video iPod (how to guide).

Video transcript:

Richard Pellicci: “Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Avenue. Ah, just to bring to your attention, the ongoing reality of dealing with Regus/NIR. Sorry to do this again. This has really become an extreme bore.”

Fast-forward the reading of Mr. Pellicci’s prepared statement.

“So, we all know that you are negotiating with Regus. Nineteen executive sessions so far. You may try and spin it around the community calling it fact finding etc. But no of us are buying. You are not telling the truth. So, are you going to prevent this from happening in the Village of Croton? How can you possibly think you can control this entity? That’s a question. Anybody want to answer it? No. A question for the village attorney. Are these, I wanna know if these executive sessions are legal because could you call an executive session on the basis of fact finding? Do you know?”

Village Attorney Joanna C. Feldman: “On the basis—”

Richard Pellicci: “On the basis of fact finding.”

Village Attorney Joanna C. Feldman: “”I, I haven’t—”

Richard Pellicci: “On the basis of fact finding. They are calling it fact finding. Could you call an executive session on that basis?”

Village Attorney Joanna C. Feldman: “I, it depends on how fact finding is, and this is going to sound like a very legal answer, but fact finding, there’s more than I think fact finding going on in these executive sessions. Um—”

Richard Pellicci: “They are negotiating although their not, they won’t say it.”

Village Attorney Joanna C. Feldman: “Well I can’t, I can’t comment on that.”

Richard Pellicci: “We all know. You don’t have to—”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “I’m sorry, there are negotiations taking place and that has been made perfectly clear.

Richard Pellicci: “Right. Right.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Absolutely. There was an offer made and a counter-offer made back. That is a negotiation, not just fact finding.”

Richard Pellicci: “Maybe Mr. Drexler with the geese, maybe you know if they get, the majority gets their way, the trucks may take care of the problem. And I may also add, that I am also looking in, personally, to a lawsuit of my own. Because if my property value goes down if this entity comes into the village, I’m going to come after you. Thank you.”


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