Fellow residents, would you believe that—at taxpayer expense—the village of Croton-on-Hudson is policing the parking of automobiles on private property? That’s right. Violate one of the rules established by the owners of the Van Wyck shopping center, and the village will ticket your car so fast your head will spin. Balance such unusual special treatment against the following:
At the July 2nd village board meeting a visibly distraught woman, a Radnor Avenue resident for 32 years, reported that neighbors were maliciously parking their cars so as to block egress from her driveway. The only comfort Mayor Schmidt could offer this complainant making her first-ever appearance before the board was to suggest that perhaps the village should have “a conversation” with its seldom-seen police chief about “what can be done,” and then the village might have a little chin-wag with the offenders. That was neither reassuring nor a magisterial resolution of her problem, Mr. Mayor.
He reminded the woman and viewers that many Croton streets are narrow, making passage difficult. One obvious solution he did not mention would be to allow parking on only one side of Radnor Avenue, a thoroughfare frequently used by knowledgeable drivers to avoid the congestion of Maple Street.
It is no exaggeration to say that our village is so busy tending to affairs it shouldn’t be messing with that it neglects keeping its own house in order. For example, the election that unseated Leo A.W. Wiegman as a village trustee took place on March 20. One might think that by now, more than three months later, this village would have corrected its records and its web site to reflect his departure from office. Yes, one might think that. And one would be embarrassed to discover that one was very wrong.
Readers who care about how efficiently our village operates will be interested to learn that Crotonblog has found Leo Wiegman’s name still listed in July as a sitting trustee in at least five different places on the village’s web site.
Our mayor is fond of reminding us that “the buck stops here,” usually said while making a fist and gesturing with his thumb at his chest, Yet he has never answered, or even acknowledged, some twenty-odd questions Crotonblog has specifically addressed to him over the past 15 months. Under the circumstances, we are not about to make his job easier by providing him with any clues about the buck we just dropped in his lap. Go find the errant names on your own, Mr. Mayor. When you’ve finished your scavenger hunt, we’ll let you know how well you did.
And while you’re at that long-delayed task, Mayor Schmidt, how about doing something to get village departments and boards to pull up their socks, especially those involved with important—sometimes crucial—decision making?
For example, what have you to say about this little tidbit, Mr. Mayor? Chaired by Kathleen Reidy, the dilatory Zoning Board of Appeals hasn’t posted a copy of the minutes of its meetings (i.e., its decisions) since October 11, 2006. What’s your explanation for why the Zoning Board of Appeals is so notoriously and persistently delinquent? Imagine that! It’s a big, fat nine months behind in its postings—long enough to make a baby. In Crotonblog’s book the Zoning Board of Appeals is just plain irresponsible in its inattention to diligent record keeping.
By contrast, let’s look at the Planning Board, chaired by Chris Kehoe. Its minutes are reasonably up-to-date, thanks to its efficient secretary, Sylvia Mills, who must wait for their approval by the board at subsequent meetings before they can be posted. The latest Planning Board posting of minutes is for the meeting of April 24, 2007.
The Visual Environment Board, chaired by Douglas Wehrle, is merely an advisory body, yet its latest posted minutes are commendably up to the minute. Their latest posting covers the June 27, 2007, meeting. On the other hand, another advisory body, the Waterfront Advisory Committee, chaired by Fran Allen, has not posted minutes since August 30, 2005.
And then, Mr. Mayor, there’s the significant hiatus in the posting of minutes for the village board of trustees, the body over which you preside. No minutes have been posted on the village’s web site for village board meetings in the five months last year between January 6, 2006, and June 5, 2006. What is the village hiding?
That’s already a pretty long list of infractions. Crotonblog could go on, but you get the idea. How come there are so many glaring inconsistencies in the village’s public records on your watch, Mr. Mayor? Who’s minding the store?