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The World According to Trustee Candidate Joann Minett

February 13, 2008

For a newspaper with pretensions to being the newspaper of record for communities in the northern part of Westchester County, the North County News makes a surprising number of factual errors. A news story in this week’s issue contains many transgressions. In the story titled “Croton Voters to Choose from Four Board Candidates,” we read:

Minett, 42, is a part-time lunchroom supervisor at Carrie Tomkins Elementary School, and a mother of three. She’s also a community activist. Minett frequents village board meetings and has attended all the Comprehensive Plan sessions. She’s served on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee for the past two years.

The first and most obvious error, of course, is in the newspaper’s reference to the school. It is the Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School. As all Croton residents and readers of Crotonblog know, the Carrie Tomkins name should be correctly spelled as Carrie E. Tompkins. We caught this error in another North County News story two weeks ago and corrected it, telling Ms. Tompkins’s story in the process (see: “The North County News Ain’t Payin’ Attenshun”). North County News staff obviously does not read Crotonblog’s stories critical of that newspaper.

Mr. Bruce Apar, Editor + Publisher of the North County News, may be spending too much time at Club Fit in Yorktown Heights trying to shed weight and not enough time at his newspaper. He keeps the public advised of his progress in bulletins that appear from time to time on his personal blog. For those few who might be interested in his corporeal statistics, he crowed that he lost all of nearly four pounds. We have news for Mr. Apar. “Man bites dog” is news; “Man loses four pounds” is not news. If he doesn’t show more progress than he has demonstrated so far, Club Fit may find itself being referred to as “Club Fat” for its lack of success with Mr. Apar.

As eager TV pitchmen are fond of saying, “Wait, folks, that’s not all. There’s more.” Indeed there is. The North County News is obviously willing to accept as factual anything a candidate says. Regrettably, its account of Mrs. Minett’s civic endeavors is full of erroneous statements that result from its failure to check a few facts. Mrs. Minett is indeed a community activist if you define activism as appearing at village board meetings and haranguing members tiresomely, to the accompaniment of wild arm movements and facial gestures.

As for the claim that Mrs. Minett “attended all the Comprehensive Plan sessions,” we can categorically deny that she ever attended all Comprehensive Plan sessions. The record tells a different story. The Comprehensive Plan Committee held some 50 meetings between 2001 and 2006. Mrs. Minnett did not attend any of these 50 odd meetings.

The committee did conduct three public outreach workshops (in August of 2000 and January and March of 2001), and Mrs. Minett did attend these. So the correct figure for her attendance is three—not the more than 50 claimed in the North County News story. ” By any stretch of Mrs. Minett’s self-delusive imagination, her actual attendance at a mere three public information workshops is a far cry from her claimed attendance at “all meetings.”

It is also worth noting that Republican Mayor Gregory J. Schmidt disbanded the Comprehensive Plan Committee early in 2007. This was well before the final Phase Three code revisions were delivered to the village for consideration. And for some unexplained reason, mention of any activities after early 2005 was deleted from the village’s website. Similarly, the names of the Comprehensive Plan Committee members were also removed from the village’s website. Whether this was done vindictively, we don’t know. If it was anything but an accidental deletion, it does seem to be the height of political pettiness.

As for the statement that Mrs. Minett has “served on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee for the past two years,” we can again categorically deny this statement. Mrs. Minett has not and does not serve on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee.

She attended one, possibly two, Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee’s Community Input sessions, but she definitely is not a member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee. And the Committee has held more than 20 meetings. So much for her illusory membership in or claimed attendance at committee meetings,

It is interesting to note that the recommendations made to Mayor Schmidt by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee a year ago have yet to be acted upon.

Mrs. Minett may think the moon’s a balloon filled with pretty people, but there’s no reason for the North County News to promulgate her fantasies as fact. And we hope that her imaginings do not creep into Republican campaign literature, where we shall again be forced to shoot them down.

On February 20, 2008 11:57 AM, red hill resident said:

Devil’s Advocate, When and where is the League of Women Voters debate set to take place? Will there be resident Q and A participation? Does one need to sign up or is it just show up? Thanks for any information which you can share.

On February 20, 2008 10:42 AM, waffels said:

This woman is so nuts it would be horrifyingly-hysterical to see her operate at the level of trustee. The democrats need to expose her and the Republican party for what they really are. In an honest way the Dems need to play hardball and get the facts out….There’s so much dishonesty on the Republican side it should be easy…..

On February 15, 2008 7:15 PM, ohio-to-hudson said:

Please. Joanne Minette has been on the attack for years. She has been part of the shrill single issue ‘machine’ that has been dominating our public forum. She is ‘putting it out there’ personified. If she’s ‘in over her depth’, it sure hasn’t stopped her from advocating. She might be well intentioned, but her narrow focus is not at all what our village needs to move forward. I can handle a colorful public personna. I can’t handle the thought of village governmnet that is increasingly devoid constructive discourse.

On February 15, 2008 6:28 PM, Croton lifer said:

I think that another word, perhaps a more appropriate word for Joanne Minnett’s “theatrics” could be PASSION, which is only exuded when someone feels very deeply about someone or something. It means that she actually CARES about what is or what is not happening in her community. Does it take a Harvard Law degree to sit on a village board and be efficient?

I don’t think so. It does however take someone with a voice, someone who’s tapped into the community, someone who takes action when need be, and someone who is willing to go the extra countless miles. Maybe a part-time lunchroom SUPERVISOR is Joanne’s calling at this time in her life, while she is home raising her three children. Who is anybody to say that the Republican runners lack “intellectual prowess”?

Many people don’t like to hear it, but Croton’s roots are blue-collared railroad workers. There is no place left in Croton, not physically nor metaphorically, for intellectual snobs who think they should run the show. GO JOANNE!

On February 14, 2008 10:53 PM, TeaDrinker said:

So, Homemaker thinks that Crotonblog has exaggerated the theatrics of Joann Minett before the village board. Take a look at this performance:

On February 14, 2008 3:51 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

Homemaker:

I appreciate that the tone against Ms Minnett is harsh and that it troubles you. I think your last sentence however is really at the heart of everyone’s concerns about the Republican candidates (and incumbents for that matter). There just does not seem to be enough intellectual prowess to effectively deal with the complex issues the village faces.

Another problem that needs to be overcome by the Democrats (who I feel have highly qualified, experienced, and intellectual candidates) is that the simplistic approaches to the village’s complex issues unfortunately make for better “sound bytes”. For the majority of the voters who do not have an in depth understanding of the issues this village faces, and the potential repercussions from poorly made\simplictic decisions an underqualified Village Board may make, the “sound byte” is what they will base their vote on.

The democrats need to expose the lack of experience and capacity the Republican candidates bring to the table in order to win. Unfortunately that will probably require getting “down in the mud” with the Republicans, which the local Democratic Party seems unwilling to do.

On February 14, 2008 3:19 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I think you are all being too hard on Joann Minett. Joe Streany is no angel. Why don’t you pick on him? So she told a few lies. Big deal. Don’t all politicians lie? Your description of her acting strangely before the Village Board is very far from the truth. You people are just being horrible to this poor woman. She is probably in over her depth. I am also a mother of 3.

On February 14, 2008 9:32 AM, red hill resident said:

Georgianna, I think it is great that Ann and Rick are asking you to take the high road. This is to be commended. Unfortunately though, based upon past performance, it is naive to think that the opposition party will act accordingly. In the last election cycle LOTS of out and out lies were passed around. I think the lack of response may have cost the Democrats the election. Right now, the opposition’s attack dogs have painted a bulls-eye on Anne’s forehead and are dismissing a Harvard educated lawyer as less capable than a Lunch Lady. Clearly these are not rational people. I hope that there will be a strong response by the Democrats to the Oppositions Rovian tactics. Anything less will result in a further stacking of the board toward the lunatic fringe.

On February 13, 2008 7:25 PM, weewill said:

Ann Gallelli and Rick Oliver directed those of us working on their campaign for election in March to deal with facts and facts only …. no innuendo, no rumor mongering and definitely no personal or character attacks. We support and have agreed to abide by their wishes. We urge our opponents to do the same.

Accordingly, I want only to correct the erroneous report published in the North County News. Ms. Minett did NOT attend the Comprehensive Plan meetings. Nor is she a member of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee.

Georgianna Grant Former Trustee & Village Board Liaison to Comprehensive Plan Committee

On February 13, 2008 2:37 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

God help Croton if Joanne Minett is elected! How could the Mayor back candidates like Minett and Brennan and be taken seriously? This is an absolute joke!!!

I sincerely hope that both Minett and Brennan get hounded and harrassed at EVERY Village Board meeting from this point forward as they did to past candidates. They both need a consistent dose of their own brash, inappropriate and obnoxious abuse.

Joanne Minett needs to be exposed at the League of Women’s Voters Debate for who she really is. I encourage all who see this to formulate questions on issues other than Metro Enviro and direct them at Joanne Minett at the debate, then watch her candidacy sink into the abyss.



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