At this time, it is customary for publications to review news events of the year just past and to take note of some of the high points. Crotonblog is pleased to follow that custom but has altered it by taking note of the low points in Croton’s governance in 2007. The following are ten awards various organizations have bestowed upon our Mayor Schmidt:
1. The William Marcy “Boss” Tweed Award for Civic Improvement. Earned for encouraging persistent and unsuccessful litigious legal actions racking up $1,500,000.00 in unnecessary legal fees with nothing to show for it other than the court’s blessing of 1A Croton Point Avenue as a waste-disposal site.
2. The Phineas T. Barnum Trophy for Bamboozlng the Public. Given for promising to correct the sinking parking lot. Instead, the parking lot is still sinking at an alarming rate. You responded to the “lowered” services by raising the already-high parking fees for residents and nonresidents alike two years in a row.
3. The Jacques Cousteau Medal for Best Underwater Parking Lot on Any Metro North Line. This award, inscribed with the motto “Park at Your Own Risk” in Latin, is also endorsed by the American Car Repairers Association for bringing the most business to its members. For your failure to prevent damage to cars parked at the Village lot by closing off sections susceptible to flooding before storms, this award also includes a special citation engrossed on parchment. The Village, of course, denies any responsibility or liability for damage.
4. The Richard Milhous Nixon Prize for Neglect of Water Infrastructure. Instead of a water-main replacement program to continue to carry Croton’s famous pure water, we can now look forward to a continuously leaking and deteriorating water distribution system. Your scheme to make these problems go away was to inject deleterious chemicals into our award-winning water, making it our own Watergate scandal.
5. The Herbert Hoover “Prosperity Is Just Around the Corner” Award. Given for looking the other way while a depression took place in local commercial real estate as evidenced by the growing number of ultra-visible empty storefronts. As a former head of the chamber of commerce, your failure to spearhead efforts to recover from this disaster is unforgivable. No wonder Croton’s home prices were shown to be among the lowest five in property appreciation in Westchester County.
6. The George W. Bush Accolade for Disinterest in Government. Bestowed for your failure to acknowledge or answer citizens’ communications all the while proclaiming that you espouse open government. A full orchestra playing Burt Bachrach’s song “Promises, Promises” from the Broadway show of the same name will accompany the ceremonious presentation of this honor to the Mayor.
7. The Silver Cup of the Association of Dog Haters of America. For your skillful management and legerdemain in delaying any action toward a dog park and for continuing to deny access to Croton’s parks by resident leashed dogs and nonresident unleashed humans.
8. The Ed Norton Honeymooners Trophy. For your imposition of separate “sewer rents” formerly paid out of tax revenues and then claiming that you had reduced taxes. The trophy is a gold-plated muck shovel inscribed with your name, accompanied by a pair of slightly used, odoriferous hip boots donated by the Art Carney Collection for wading through the muck of your administration.
9. The Alberto Gonzales Creative Fiction Honorarium. For giving your blessing and encouragement to the mailing of phony water bills that made Croton the subject of an Associated Press story and the laughingstock of the nation, not to mention the great distress the inflated water bills caused innocent resident recipients.
10. The Barry Bonds “I Got These Muscles from Eating Wheaties” Prize. Awarded for the promised ball fields that never materialized. After turning down Westchester County’s offer of the Croton Point Park ball fields, the Mayor’s promised ball fields at Croton Landing never happened—and never will. Surprise, surprise! Because Croton accepted State and County funds for developing Croton Landing, it turns out that any member of the great unwashed public (aka “those people”) could use ball fields constructed there. Heaven forbid and forfend such an outcome in snooty exclusionary Croton, which has opted for a Great Lawn and egg rolling.