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'By Their Works Shall Ye Know the Schmidt Administration'

December 2, 2007

Almost three years ago, the Republicans sent the following letter to village residents. In it, they enunciated the principles under which they intended to govern, if elected. Let us now put their letter under the microscope and shine the hard light of truth on what they promised to do and compare it with what they accomplished. Here are their campaign promises and what they actually did. Crotonblog calls the comparison myth versus reality:

Dear Village Resident:

On March 15, 2005, you will be voting for a new mayor and two trustees. Over the course of the next seven weeks, you will hear and read many things about all of the candidates. Understanding that the dissemination of accurate information is vital to the process, we provide for you, our Statement of Principles and ask for your support.

We are committed to:

THEIR LIE: Establishing a non-partisan committee of residents, including seniors and teenagers, to make the long recognized need for a community center a reality. THE TRUTH: Nonpartisan, our foot. There was only one Democrat in the group. And a community center is no nearer reality than it was more than two years ago.

THEIR LIE: Creating new permanent ball fields for our youth’s sport programs. THE TRUTH: Not true. No new permanent fields were created. And they voted “NO” to an agreement with Westchester County under which Croton would maintain the ball fields at Croton Point for exclusive use by Croton kids.

THEIR LIE: Continuing the fight to keep the Millennium Pipeline out of our village. THE TRUTH: It was NY State’s Coastal Zone Management guidelines and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Committee with the participation of Bob Elliott, Fran Allen, Ann Gallelli, Leo Wiegman, Charlie Kane that had already won this battle.

THEIR LIE: Implementing an ongoing program to cleanup and beautify our villages entrances such as those off of Route 9. THE TRUTH: There is no evidence that anything has been done.

THEIR LIE: Retaining a business consultant to look into ways we can enhance the shopping experience in our village. THE TRUTH: No business consultant was retained. It was Ann Gallelli on her own initiative who formed and created the Business Development Committee chaired by Kiernan Murray and made up of property owners in Harmon.

THEIR LIE: Improving the accessibility of our local government. THE TRUTH: What a laugh! They refuse to use e-mail. They failed to hold special Saturday office hours as promised. They are never out and about and are seldom seen in the village.

THEIR LIE: Prioritizing the needs of our village over regional concerns. THE TRUTH: Without regional cooperation we get nothing done—and the Schmidt administration, even with regional cooperation, gets nothing done because they have no network.

THEIR LIE: Being an environmentally conscious administration. THE TRUTH: This is total lip service. They cannot point to a single concrete environmental action initiated by them.

THEIR LIE: Emphasizing fiscal responsibility. THE TRUTH: What a joke! They continue to ignore the budget and break the bank with needless expenditures. For example: (1) a foolish community center survey, (2) wasteful costs of a possibly unnecessary exploration of Eminent Domain, and (3) continuously wasteful legal expenditures.

And we will NOT negotiate with Metro Enviro. THE TRUTH: Not true. Metro Enviro is long gone, and the Republicans have spent over $150,000.00 in “discussions” and “negotiations” with Greentree over possible purchase or seizure of the property by eminent domain.

THEIR LIE: Finally, as the 2005 campaign season begins, we pledge to stay focused on the concerns of our fellow residents and the issues before us. Please feel free to contact any and all of us with your questions, concerns and issues. THE TRUTH: Left unsaid in this statement is that the door is only open if the residents are fawning supporters. A deaf ear is turned to residents who are independents or non-supporters!

You be the judge. Has the Schmidt administration delivered what it promised in 2005? Crotonblog’s answer is a resounding NO!

On December 9, 2007 1:02 AM, Just The Facts said:

Oh, and Harley, better get another dictionary,

Verbal has had the meaning “spoken” since the late 16th century and is thus synonymous with oral: He wrote a memorandum to confirm the verbal agreement. Slightly earlier, verbal had developed the meaning “expressed in words, whether spoken or written (as opposed to actions)”

Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

On December 9, 2007 12:55 AM, Just The Facts said:

Thank you Harley, you just proved my point. You post on this site lamenting that people are attacked, berated and intimidated for sharing their thoughts on this site and then you demonstrate that you are the worst offender of all. I think the thousands (actually, it is probably hundreds) of readers will see you for what you are. You ought to just chill out and stop attacking people. As for BP, he is an narrow minded person who can’t deal with the fact that others may not see it the way (s)he does. The best way to deal with such people is to ignore them.

Have a nice night.

On December 8, 2007 5:51 PM, weewill said:

OK ladies and gentlemen …. you want cold hard facts .. no sugar-coating and hand-wringing?

Read Leo Wiegman’s croton blog post today - The Steep Slope - Part 2 - Ways to Keep Croton Taxes Down -

Here’s a guy who tells it like it is …. Not a pretty picture, no bs, and facts and figures to back up his statements.

On December 7, 2007 11:10 PM, TeaDrinker said:

A pathetic individual with a peculiar reaction to the give-and-take of blogging commentary insists on putting words in my mouth, ascribing to me the statement that the Italian restaurant Tutti Bene was forced to close by the 2004 amendment to the Zoning Law.

For the record, what I said was that despite the unusual protections afforded to restaurateurs by that amendment’s ill-defined but broad-scale exclusion of certain types of restaurants, the restaurant in question and others have not been able to thrive in Croton. I suggested that the reason might be Croton’s notorious lack of loyalty to local eating establishments.

Recently, this individual attempted to scare readers with the prospect of strip clubs and pawnshops everywhere in Croton until his errors were demolished with facts. He has no knowledge of the Village Code or the functions and responsibilities of the various boards. Calling himself “Just the Facts,” he practices what can best be called hit-and-run commentary. He makes specious charges and then announces to the world that he has no intention of reading whatever response his false statements generate. Thank Heaven for anonymity. Who knows what antisocial behavior such unstable types are capable of?

On December 7, 2007 9:26 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Someone or something named “Just the Facts” has taken me to task for saying “Businessperson was attacked verbally by an ignoramus named Just the Facts”. The response of Just the Facts was to say, “This forum is written word, not spoken word, so I don’t think ‘verbally’ is quite the right word”.

I may be blue-collar and self-educated, but I do know something about the English language and grammar. Stamping his little foot, Just the Facts threw down his challenge to me, but then announced petulantly that he’s going to close his eyes tightly and will not read what I say as a response. That’s all right, girlie man; thousands of others will read what I now have to say in rebuttal.

The alternative to saying that Businessperson was attacked physically with a club in an alley would have been to say that he was attacked verbally by Just the Facts on Crotonblog, which is exactly what I said. It doesn’t matter whether it was said to his face or written on this blog, it was a verbal attack. Poor Just the Facts. He is confusing the words oral (which refers exclusively to speech), and verbal (which can mean anything communicated by linguistic means, including writing and speech).

The adverb verbally does not only refer to speech but to anything associated with words, as in a detailed verbal description. It can be concerned with words only rather than with content or ideas, as a merely verbal distinction. It can mean corresponding word for word, literal, as a verbal translation. These examples come from The American Heritage Dictionary, a book I treasure.

Messages sent via telegraph, Teletype, fax machine or computer are examples of verbal communication. Yes, Businessperson was verbally attacked on this blog by Just the Facts. End of the lesson for today. Too bad Just the Facts will not see it—but everybody else will and know him for what he is, an ignoramus.

By the way, guts has nothing to do with Georgianna Grant’s use of her own name. She was Weewill until she outed herself accidentally.

On December 7, 2007 10:03 AM, weewill said:

True Harley Davidson …. I continue to wish for the good old days. Do I think we can get them back? Not on your life. As in Washington, Croton is governed by a whole new breed of politicians who think anything goes as long as you win. As evidenced by the Schmidt/Konig/Brennan mailing reprinted here, promise and say whatever you think will get votes and then do little and blame the democrats. You can lie, cheat, exaggerate, spin facts until we get dizzy and attack, attack, attack. Some get their jollies by character assassinations. I don’t! But hey, we have to play the cards we’re dealt so here we are.

People are afraid to speak out at meetings for fear of reprisals, neighbor is pitted against neighbor, vile and nasty accusations are hurled with absolutely no regard for facts to back them up. And it’s that small cadre of republican supporters that divert attention from the unvarnished truth. Crotonblog just reports on actions (or lack thereof) – it doesn’t create them.

This upcoming election may be a bit “gentler” in tone. We’re stuck with this majority for at least one more year so they have nothing to lose. They most likely will claim to be running to “continue the forward movement” of this past year. In all likelihood they’ll claim non-partisan government (maybe the Mayor will not rudely interrupt Ann and Charlie); they’ll undoubtedly take credit for the new playing fields at Croton Landing; they’ll tell us how they’ve “cleaned up” the village and take credit for Ann Gallelli’s and Kiernan Murray’s business development in Harmon. Maybe they’ll even promise to respond to emails and on-line communications.

I may wish for the good old days but I’m not stupid. And I certainly am not thin-skinned. We’re stuck with this bunch for another 16 months but make no mistake they’ve had their first year honeymoon. They’ll now be held accountable.

On December 7, 2007 9:59 AM, Benedict said:

Weewill and Notorc, thanks for the warm welcome and the advice. OT and Bojangles, thanks for sharing your opinions, you present your points verry well. Harley, just to put your conspiracy fears to rest, I am indeed a new resident (february) to Croton, my name is Vincent and my wife and I live on Benedict Blvd hence the name. I have been reading cb for a while and just wanted to vent some frustration about the tone of most of the postings. As per the restatement of principles posting I will not bring this up again, but doesn’t your reaction or over-reaction kind of prove my point.

Happy holidays everyone and hope to meet you all in person someday.

On December 6, 2007 11:35 PM, Just The Facts said:

Harley Davidson,

What a Hypocrite! You attack me as an “ignoramus” and at the same time criticize others for personal attacks on others? Then you go on to attack Mrs. Grant (one of two posters to my knowlede with the guts to use their real name) as being “out of touch with reality”. If this is not the pot calling the kettle black….

As for me and BP, all I did was express my opinion that the Gateway laws had nothing to do with the closing of a local restaurant. If anyone was “visciously attacked verbally” and chased from the discussion it was me (I have not and will not look at the remaining posts in that chain — just as I will not look at whatever drivel you respond to this post with). [By the way, not for nothing, this forum is written word, not spoken word, so I don’t think “verbally” is quite the right word].

On December 6, 2007 12:34 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I’ve never seen it fail. First, an article appears on this blog, such as the dissection of the Republican’s campaign letter with its baldfaced lies laid out plain as day. Then, totally disregarding the content of an article showing the sad state of local politics, Mrs. Grant and a supposed newcomer to Croton (who sounds suspiciously like a shill planted at an auction) suddenly become “the attitude police”.

In their back and forth repartee these two express mock horror because someone tells the unvarnished truth about the Schmidt administration and why the Democrats lost. Instead of commenting on the message , they attack the messengers (the writer of the original article and a commenter who calls himself “oldtimer”) over the issue of “tone”. I’ve seen the same thing happen in trade union politics.

As a result, the incriminating facts presented in the original article were smothered by what seems to be the hand-wringing comments of a couple of garrulous old biddies. In the meantime, attention is diverted from the article itself. Very clever! No wonder some people don’t want to comment anymore on this blog for fear of being attacked. “Business person”, who seems to know a lot about real estate, was visciously attacked verbally by an ignoramus named “Just the Facts”.

Mrs. Grant, nobody gives a rat’s ass about what great men we had in local politics years ago. Nobody is going to dig up Stan Kellerhouse and bring him back. Your recitation of this list of political has-beens only shows how out of step you are with reality. I don’t know what you and Benedict are looking for in your complaints about the “tone” of the article or oldtimer’s comment but if it’s sympathy, you won’t get it from me. You can find sympathy in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

On December 5, 2007 3:05 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

However, be aware that the only person/people who posts on the NCN blog is Maria Cudequest and her partner Bill Rooney, though I suspect that they are one in the same person from the similarity of writing style and thought process. You can count on one hand comments from anyone other than her/him, so be aware that the posts on that blog are as tied to her personal agenda as Notorc finds the posting on this blog tied to the Dems.

I dislike the personal attacks and vindictive replies, however, if you watched any Board meetings during the years Elliott was mayor and Grant was on the board, you can see where the nastiness got started. A small group of people, week after week denigrated and maligned the mayor and trustees and anyone who dared to disagree with their opinions, to the point where people are no longer willing to stand up at meetings for fear of being personally attacked in the newspaper, or having their tires slashed, or having someone follow them home, all things that happened to democratic trustees in years passed. In a small village such as ours, there should be no place for such anti-social behavior.

I hope that the Dems decide to fight back with documented facts this year and answer EVERY untruth and piece of misinformation with loud and clear responses. Three years in office and no community center, nowhere near and this was a huge part of their platform. And lest they start telling us that they finished the waterfront park, that was all in place before Bob Elliott decided not to run again, as was the pipe replacement in Harmon and many other initiatives. Remember this when election season gets into full swing.

On December 5, 2007 1:52 PM, notorc said:

Benedict, welcome to Croton. There’s a fairly small group of folks that post here and their negativity is not found in the general person in Croton.

Here’s some advice. Go the way of others like myself. Lurk here but rarely post. If you go against the grain, you will be called names, ridiculed and told to leave Crotonblog.

There’s another site you might find interesting:

Good Luck and again, welcome to the Village of Croton.

On December 5, 2007 1:14 PM, weewill said:

Thanks again for the reminder, Benedict. We don’t have to be “bitter, angry and negative” to make our points. I stand corrected and admit to responding in kind on a few occasions. I will try harder to keep my cool and not stoop to their level. I’ve been personally battered and bruised by this very small cadre of nasty politicals and am afraid I’ve lashed back and that accomplishes nothing.

The really best and most effective public servants have been deliberate and calm and have not resorted to name calling and ugliness. Think back and witness the really great elected officials. There never was a better, more soft spoken and calm Mayor than our beloved Stan Kellerhouse. Bill Ryder could calm a savage beast by a mere glance and a raised eyebrow. Bob Elliott, Bud O’Connor and Sam Watkins were gentlemen - truly gentle in style and manner. Guy Adami in his quiet, judicial manner stood for no nonsense. Roland Bogardus, and Mike Sullivan ruled with an iron hand in velvet gloves and achieved much. Judges Carl D’Alvia,, Guy Adami, John Gochman and Paul Hoffman ruled with dignity and dispensed equal justice. All would be outraged by the ugliness and accusations hurled today.

These are the role models for us to emulate. But make no mistake. We will no longer stand by and allow falsehood, innuendo, and rumor dictate the dialogue. The truth will come out and empty promises will no longer be tolerated.

On December 5, 2007 11:18 AM, Benedict said:

Bojangles; I agree that these issues should be brought to light, it’s the delivery that makes me queasy. Old Timers rant is a perfect example; bitter, angry and negative.

OT, what I am hearing you say is that Croton politics is a hopeless mess and newcomers like myself should not even try to look for a positive posting on cb. I guess your solution of clinging to past grievances and resigning yourself to lashing out on a blog that is only read by the politically likeminded is a much more productive solution to Croton’s problems. Cucumber sandwiches do seem much more appealing than the bitter pill you would have me swallow.

I will keep reading and I still appreciate the information, and the passion that is shown on cb for this town. However, I will take your opninions for what they are; extremely subjective as well as politically and personally biased.

On December 4, 2007 11:18 AM, TeaDrinker said:

To Benedict and weewill:

Let’s cut the crap, ladies. In the last election the Republicans ran on a single issue supported by a pack of lies. Crotoblog is quite right to nail them for what they were in the campaign letter—lies, pure and simple. There never was any way a community center could have materialized. Georgianna, would you have been happier if Crotonblog had called them lying promises? Newspapers assess issues editorially and hold candidates to high standards, making voting recommendations for some and slamming others. Why shouldn’t a blog have the same privilege?

In the last election, the Republicans hijacked village board meetings and scared the voters out of their wits with a Chicken Little “the sky is falling down” campaign that created imaginary dangers that did not exist. Spearheaded by Maria Cudequest, they cited phony facts about astronomical numbers of everything from trucks to pestilential diseases. In the meantime, the station parking lot was attracting larger numbers of vehicles spewing out far more dangerous pollutants than even the Republicans could invent for inflated truck traffic. Even though the Republicans were denied a place on the ballot, their scare campaign was so effective it gave them victory.

Fat and comfortable from riding into office on popular mayoral candidate Bob Elliott’s coattails, the Democrats placidly ran on a platform that totally failed to address the lies the Republicans were spouting. Democratic trustees even sat docilely when Chuck Trendell accused them of being on the take (see following video clip). The Mayor did nothing to rein him in. Any office holders who would hold still and allow themselves to be vilified with lies has no sense of personal honor and doesn’t deserve anybody’s vote. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: For the piss-poor, ineffective campaign they ran, the Democrats deserved to lose.

So long as these lies are the tactics Republicans will be using (the same lies that got us into the mess in Iraq and, it turns out, the same lies they have been feeding us about Iran), Democrats are going to lose unless they learn to play hardball. As a result of not fighting fire with fire, Leo Wiegman, a dedicated trustee was defeated, and a shallow, no-show trustee, Sue Konig, was dumped on the village. She is late or absent from meetings, takes little interest in village affairs, and is the Mayor’s ventriloquist dummy when it comes time to vote. She does a lot of furious writing at board meetings when she does turn up. Is she scribbling another book on village time?

You, Georgianna, were turned out to pasture because the Democrats decided to play by nonexistent Marquis of Queensbury rules. Even now you want to retain a Mrs. Nice Guy image. You may luv Croton but Croton obviously didn’t luv you. As I do, you may wish for the good old days when everybody left their doors unlocked, and your car was safe from vandalism when parked in your driveway. The difference is that I accept that those days are never coming back and have adjusted my life to suit changed conditions. Anyway, as coach Vince Lombardi used to say, “Winning isn’t everything—it’s the only thing.” Wake up and stop vainly bemoaning a vanished past, Georgianna. It ain’t coming back in politics or anything else.

To you, Benedict, I say that if you want a political climate that’s all cucumber finger sandwiches at a Victorian pink tea, then you have moved to the wrong village in the wrong county in the wrong state in the wrong country. You’ll find here a village in which the Mayor proclaims himself to be a registered Democrat yet he runs as a Republican whose actions would warm the heart of Karl Rove. You’ll find a trustee who proudly says he’s a registered Republican yet his stance on issues and his votes are invariably with the Democrats. Why voters have tolerated these two having a foot in both camps has never been satisfactorily explained, although one might guess that it’s only to gain votes from members of both parties. Confused? Welcome to Croton’s tatterdemalion politics, Benedict.

On December 4, 2007 11:04 AM, bojangles said:

If cb is biased toward democrats that may be because democrats are engaging in dialogue and discussion. That’s good. Republicans have shut down and boycotted any chance to answer false charges. Pouting serves no useful purpose. It could be construed as admission of guilt.

Be proactive and answer charge by charge directly …. name the survey committee - what new ballfields were created - how have they made government more accessible - and so on.

Don’t blame the blog. Residents have a right to know the truth!

On December 3, 2007 6:16 PM, weewill said:

Welcome Benedict, we’re always pleased to welcome newcomers to Croton and we hope you’ll love this special little village as much as we old-timers do. Those of us who have been here for a while also hope it’s viewed by everyone with an interest in our home town. I certainly hope you’ll continue to post and bring your own new perspective to issues facing us all. We surely learn from each other.

For the past several years there has been a small cadre of people who are convinced this blog is a democratic “chat room” and nothing could be further from the truth. To my knowledge there has only been one individual who has been blocked from posting here as often and as controversial as her posts might have been. They certainly were not biased toward democrats to say the least. Without going into the reasons why she was banned, it was clear that she was not abiding by the rules of fair play. And there are still some of us who suspect (and would not be surprised) if she continues to post under various fictitious names and from various locations.

Rest assured that many, many people share their views here and provide the opportunity for all of to debate issues, discuss concerns, and suggest constructive ways to make this an even better place to live.

I certain I’m not alone in looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

On December 3, 2007 2:48 PM, Benedict said:

I agree, I really like that cb brings issues to light and as I am new to Croton I want to learn about the issues affecting my town. This blog has been a great source of information, and I wish it was viewed by everyone in town. I think if it was more inclusive and less vindictive it would be a great virtual town hall to promoted at the high school or library. There have been some intriguing ideas and positive articles on this blog but even those are often tainted with accusations and negativity about the current town leaders. We don’t need to emulate Bill O’Reilly or Bill Maher to get our points across. We can be passionate about our beliefs but still maintain respect for those who believe contrary.

On December 3, 2007 1:45 PM, weewill said:

I agree with you Benedict. You say government has become extremely partisan — if proposed by a republican, it’s wrong; if, by a democrat; it’s right. As one who has been involved in village politics for a very long time I have just about given up. Today it’s accusation and finger-pointing and denigrating friends and neighbors. It’s not the way it was years ago with neighbors working together for the good of the village. It’s become a nasty, accusatory contest on every issue. It’s a very sorry state of affairs.

Good people are accused, slandered, and “yes”, lied about and to, for pure partisan advancing. Friends and neighbors giving freely of their time and energy should not be subjected to unfounded character assassination. I would prefer the headings of today’s post to be something like “THEIR PROMISES” and “THEIR FAILURES.” By using that terminology the facts as they are would still be demonstrated.

The truth remains that this administration has not accomplished what they promised when running for office. And residents should be reminded of this failure.

On December 3, 2007 10:24 AM, Benedict said:

That is an interesting entry. Thanks for sharing that info. However I continue to be disappointed over the blatantly partisan tone of Crotonblog. It’s hard for me to judge the validity of your point of view when it drips donkey venom all over my monitor. Something tells me that if the Mayor was a Democrat, but followed the same path as Mayor Schmidt you would be singing his or her praises. Republicans and Democrats both love to point fingers at each other and lay blame for what is wrong with this country. On the rare occasion where either side proffers a viable solution, it never gets off the ground because the other party reflexively opposes it. They don’t consider the issue or the efficacy of the proposed solution, only that the other party proposed it and therefore it must be opposed.
Of course you are going to read this and tell me how Democrats are right and Republicans are wrong, but hopefully you will try and be more considerate of people like myself who are sliding into a state of permanent apathy because I can’t stand the childish bickering between donkeys and elephants.

That said, good work on the blog, have a great week and happy holidays for those celebrating tomorrow.

On December 3, 2007 7:55 AM, TeaDrinker said:

Schmidtie, you’re doing a heckuva job!


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