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Top Ten Lies Croton Republicans are Telling

March 10, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Dear Neighbors:

The Schmidt-Brennan-Konig election flyer being distributed at various sites in Croton claims the following as “ACCOMPLISHMENTS.” This list of Republican claims is so replete with deception, I cannot allow them to stand unchallenged. My clarification follows each statement. I (Leo Wiegman) address #10 first as it is the “elephant in the village” and deserves priority.

Schmidt–Brennan–Konig
“Our Accomplishments”

“10. Continue the fight to keep Croton free of waste facilities”

LW: Actually, Schmidt-Brennan-Konig think that if we “win” in Washington, the waste transfer station will go away forever. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THIS BELIEF. For these 5 reasons, it may be impossible to prevent a waste transfer operation at the site: (1) The federal government and Congress both want more truck-to-rail transfer sites; (2) New York State has already issued a permit for waste transfer at the site; (3) Governor Spitzer wants more rail freight; (4) The County has already issued a license for hauling waste to the site and also favors rail freight; (5) Even a ruling favorable to the Village by the federal agency still leaves the door wide open for any other railroad to load waste there 24/7.

Schmidt and Brennan’s Plan A is to fight everything in court and “Never Negotiate.” Their Plan B is to make their Plan A work. But that leaves any environmental controls for the site in the hands of a federal judge or agency. We feel very strongly that a better Plan B is to have as much control in the hands of the Village.

While the legal issues are complex, our approach is not. We believe that if we don’t resolve this matter through negotiation, the courts are likely to resolve it for us in ways which will be disastrous. We certainly should litigate hard until we reach a settlement, but our goal should be a settlement which gives Croton full control over the facility. We believe our opponents’ “no negotiation” strategy makes no sense. It has already cost us $1.4 million in tax dollars. If we keep following it, we’ll be throwing our taxes down a black hole for years to come with no clear outcome.

“9. CLOSED DOWN Metro-Enviro and…”

LW: Actually, the closure of Metro Enviro at 1A Croton Point Avenue was due to legal work that long predated the Schmidt administration and even predated Schmidt’s 3 years as Trustee. The morning of the site’s closure in September 2005, Schmidt held a TV press conference at the site with GOP candidates for County office, blatantly politicizing this issue.

“8. Worked with Verizon and Nextel to improve cell phone service in the Village”

LW: Actually, BRENNAN ACTIVELY OPPOSES THE CELL TOWER. Cell phone service has not yet improved. The cell tower plans long predate the Schmidt-Brennan administration and are the initiative of key Village staff (Police, DPW, Engineer, Treasurer) who have long recognized the need for improved cellular coverage. The cell antennas do NOT yet have needed approvals.

“7. Implemented traffic calming devices in high need areas”

LW: Actually, one stop sign was installed on Old Post Road at Hunter upon a resident’s initiative. Other traffic calming measures such pedestrian crossing signs on center stripes long predate the Schmidt-Brennan administration. In 2005, SCHMIDT AND BRENNAN CANCELLED THE TRAFFIC CALMING IMPROVEMENTS for the highly congested train station commuter lot for which work the Village previously obtained a $500,000 federal grant.

“6. Committed to additional affordable housing for our senior citizens”

LW: Actually, in the 2005 mayoral run, the SCHMIDT-BRENNAN CAMPAIGN SMEARED ANN GALLELLI for her approval of affordable housing with inflammatory flyers delivered to neighbors on N. Highland Place and Ackerman Court of a non-existent proposal. See the “Low Income Housing Coming to Our Neighborhood” flyer they used. The Symphony Knoll project for 11 new senior apartments advanced through purchase and rezoning in 2004 prior to the Schmidt administration. This project moves us toward Croton’s target of adding 32 new such dwellings. Other units already completed include Bank Street (4 units), Westwind (2), Mt. Airy Woods (12), Brook Street (2), Half Moon Bay/Discovery Cove (4).

“5. Finalized plans with Westchester County for major improvements to Croton’s waterfront”

LW: Actually, the Village-County Riverwalk plans at Croton Landing predate Schmidt-Brennan administration by 5 years. In 2005, SCHMIDT AND BRENNAN ACTIVELY OPPOSED the Village’s contributing toward the County’s construction of the Riverwalk. Schmidt and Brennan were unaware the Village had already been actively working with the County to produce a high quality new walking path. Charlie Kane and I were able to insist the Village continue talking to the County. The forthcoming agreement between the Village and County for the 2,300 foot Riverwalk is a testament to the skill and diplomacy of Croton’s Village Manager, Rick Herbek.

“4. Moved forward with a Community center by formulating a Committee that is investigating all possibilities”

LW: Actually, a whole year went by before Schmidt and Brennan did anything and then they formulated a committee.

“3. Solved the Brown Water problem in the Harmon area”

LW: Actually, the water main replacement project in part of Harmon was planned, designed, and contracted long before Schmidt–Brennan administration. The fact that the project has gone so smoothly is a testament to the hard work and professional insights of Village Engineer Dan O’Connor, Water Foreman Tom Brann, and Special Project Consultant Jan Wines. This initial project only fixed the water mains in part of Harmon. The whole problem will take longer to solve.

“2. Implemented fiscally responsible measure resulting in an $800,000 surplus in our second year”

LW: Actually, SCHMIDT–BRENNAN VOTED AGAINST the final 2006-2007 budget that achieved this “surplus,” but are now trying to claim credit. The Village’s 2006-2007 fund balance (“surplus”) benefitted greatly from higher than expected real estate transfer tax and state sales tax sharing for which Schmidt and Brennan can claim no credit. Village Manager Herbek deserves credit for lobbying the state to share the sales tax income with municipalities. The ‘surplus’ would have been much bigger, if we were not so over budget by $100,000 in our legal expenses for second year in a row.

“1. Reduced the projected tax increase of 18% to below 10% in our first year”

LW: Actually, every year the board produces a final budget with a much smaller tax increase than staff’s initial proposal. In 2005, the NYS Comptroller lowered our tax increase by c. 6% by reducing the mandated contributions to employee benefits. Sewer tax “swap” reduced it another 1%. Schmidt and Brennan canceled badly needed commuter parking lot improvements as well to further reduce the budget that year. Kane and Wiegman voted against Schmidt’s first year budget, precisely because it canceled urgently needed work at the commuter parking lot.

— Leo Wiegman, Trustee, Village of Croton and Candidate for re-election as Trustee on March 20th.

On March 17, 2007 11:18 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Georgianna

You just don’t get it, do you? You defend an absurdity -

I must say, as someone who ALWAYS voted for you in the past and who ALWAYS voted for Leo, I am sorely disappointed.

I had a good laugh over LW’s comments about “civil discourse” in the debate, while writing a diatribe about “The Top Ten Lies the Republicans are Telling”

Of course I never paid that much attention to local issues in the past, so that’s my bad.

On March 13, 2007 5:52 PM, weewill said:

Tom,

I’m surprised you view my comments as a low blow. I know you to be an honest, sincere, up-front kind of guy. I don’t agree with all your positions but have respect for your steadfast support of what you believe to be right.

Susan Konig seems to have a very different view of both the truth and humor. I’ve heard her too often confuse fact with fiction and seen her “stretch the truth” about what went on at the MetroEnviro transfer station. She’s now trying to make us believe these trumped up and exaggerated activities will start up again. I’ve listened to her claim with a straight face that present and former democrats have violated the trust placed in them. She and only she has the truth. She claims she has “documented proof” and the “evidence is clear”, our safety, health and welfare have been compromised by bad people. One day she says 20,000 trucks will come rumbling through the village; another day it’s 30,000. She suggests that good, honest and hardworking village board members are willing to trade “cash for trash.”

These unfounded accusations and finger pointing are certainly the worst of low discourse. These insinuations and statements have a way of being contagious whether they are true or not.

I see no truth in them whatsoever and I certainly don’t find them humorous. Ms. Konig appears to think this is one of the times “..it’s better to just flat out lie.”

I don’t agree. Georgianna

On March 13, 2007 5:27 PM, Seth Davis said:

Affordable housing near the train station?

Where?!?

The only place to put it is 1A Croton Point Avenue. What’s worse—affordable housing or a transfer station? Only the Alliance Party knows for sure!

On March 13, 2007 4:34 PM, KWilly said:

Unfortunately the affordable housing scare is taking place again. On my way back from the soup supper i ran into Tom Brennan and he said that “the democrats want affordable housing at the train station” and “our schools recently received a bond what will happen with all the kids from this development”. I think some of this isn’t deliberate lying because i think they believe alot of their crap. I have been involved deeply in this campaign and have yet to hear a thing about this until someone from the other side of fence informed me. - Kevin W. Davis

On March 13, 2007 4:02 PM, waffels said:

Tom……..Georgianna is just making a point….Susan Konig and her “team” do lie, and slander, and manipulate truths and basically beat up the opposition all so they can gain their seats on the board. It’s disgusting and has no place in a small village…..I’m a believer in Karma and if all goes as it should, they will lose this election and go away……

On March 13, 2007 2:11 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Georgianna

I must say, your comment about Konig is really a low blow. The woman writes a humorous book about suburban life (I read it and gave loads of copies as Christmas gifts) and says she “lies” to her young kids when they ask about road kill. “Why animals sleep so close to the road…”

This is a big deal? I’m surprised you’d stoop to such a remark.

The low level of discourse on crotonblog must be contagious.

Tom Faranda

On March 11, 2007 1:15 PM, weewill said:

And herein lies the problem.

Outright lies, stretching the truth, fabrications, story telling and deliberate manipulation and deceit are in Republican campaign literature. Their flyers and Letters in the Gazette are cheap attempts to claim credit for the work of others. Greg Schmidt,Tom Brennan and perhaps Susan Konig know (and if they don’t, they should) the true facts surrounding all these issues yet they remain silent and endorse it as fact with their complacency. Do they believe the residents of Croton are stupid? Do they think we don’t recognize transparent political manipulation when we see it?

Or worse yet, are they like Ms. Konig sees herself?

“I lie to my kids. Not just sometimes — all the time. I’m a big, stinky liar. Sure, sure, it’s important to tell your kids the truth. Except when it’s better to just flat out lie.” Source: “Parenting Humorist Susan Konig on Being a City Mom in the Suburbs, Lying to the Kids, Baby Number Four and More” from PR Newswire.

— Georgianna

On March 11, 2007 9:09 AM, waffels said:

I hope this information gets out to all the people and not just the blog readers……this is important stuff….



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