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Ann Gallelli's Refutation of Maria Cudequest's Lie

March 6, 2008

Let’s set the record straight. I have been accused of lying by Maria Cudequest on March 4, 2008, about being on the board that granted a variance for rail spurs at the Metro Enviro site. The document to which my accusers point is a draft (not final) statement prepared by Attorney Michael Gerrard in December, 2002. Gerrard’s draft erroneously stated the “Planning Board” rather than “Zoning Board of Appeals” (ZBA) approved the variance in 1998. Only the ZBA may grant variances. I have never been a member of the ZBA.

Further, the ZBA minutes of October 14, 1998 show the side-yard variance approved for Metro Enviro was to allow for the proposed processing building to extend over the already existing rail tracks. The already existing rail spurs were approved by the Planning Board in 1995 when I was not member.

In sum, I was on neither the Planning or Zoning Boards for either of the rail spur decisions. It is an absolute fabrication to say that I was.

Ann Gallelli, 914-271-5301

Editors note: The author currently serves as a Croton-on-Hudson trustee.

On March 7, 2008 1:58 PM, KWilly said:

The three words that one should be concerned when they come out of Greg Schmidt’s mouth are: Moving Croton Forward.

1) He cleverly uses these words to suggest that whatever he is doing is a good thing.

2) He uses these words so any opposition anyone has to his plan which would “Move Croton Forward” appears to be for “Moving Croton Backward”

So this train station proposal in Greg Schmidt’s words is “Moving Croton Forward”

Kevin W. Davis

On March 7, 2008 1:18 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I read this email message, that included a video clip from Leo Weigman, on behalf of Trustee-candidate Rick Olver, this morning. And as my nickname indicates, I am ‘Happy 2 Share’ it.

I am also ‘Happy 2 Share’ because the Croton Democrats have FINALLY woken up and decided to fight back and fight hard against “Schmidtville.”

Yeah!

Reasonable Choices require Reasonable Voices

Last night (Monday March 3rd) I witnessed the Mayor blow up as Ann and Charlie tried to object to his ramming through a costly, 2 stage approach to putting yet more fill in the ever-sinking train station parking lot. The Mayor apologised at the end of the meeting, after the proposal was carried. The message is clear - no debate, no alternatives, no concern for excessive cost. This bullying expediency must be stopped!

— Rick

Watch the clip from the Board Meeting:

Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8273079985176629803

—- BACKGROUND —-

The real crime—in my view—is that when Charlie Kane insisted on discussing the economics of the bond —“how much will this cost the taxpayers?”— the board’s majority sat dumbfounded—totally uninformed about the costs to residents. If it’s $2 million and 2,000 commuters, that’s $1,000 per car. So either the parking rate goes up to cover that. Or the tax rate goes up to cover that. Or a combination of both. Until the lot needs the next load of fill.

This past Monday 3/3/08 Croton’s Mayor jumped the Village Board with a resolution to spend $1.5 million+ on the parking lot. You might think that is great news. But what the Mayor proposed—starting with a quarter million dollars for design and engineering drawing—was NOT what the trustees had been shown 2 weeks earlier by the engineers and village staff.

Why? Because the staff and engineers proposed a more comprehensive way that would not likely start construction until early 2009. The mayor insisted instead on an expensive, “quick fix” to get a shovel in the ground this summer.

The village staff and the consulting engineer thought the priority was to present a cost-effective, long term solution. Doing so would require more upfront planning and permitting. The construction would be more orderly and less expensive per parking space. For example, the original plan proposed the needed fill might be obtained a far less cost by clean, certified fill from I-287 blast sites or building construction excavations. Now we will be buying new rock from the quarry, because we need it so much so soon.

The Mayor’s “quick fix” plan passed and the money will now be spent on a patch work plan with a different (more expensive) fill, no underground drainage channels, and less than than 5 foot height needed to clear peak storm surge flooding.

As Trustee Charllie Kane said, “There are 35 feet of peat and organic matter under the lot… a sponge….the more weight you put on it, the faster it will settle…how long will it last? …the property is still at sea-level after 30 years of fill!”

Trustee Ann Gallelli asked that the board “look at the parking lot in total.” And there was “no need to rush” into a quick fix, given the expense involved, when a better solution was only months away. Gallelli also pointed out that the village and commuters appear to managing the flooding events with early warnings and alternate parking locations. The mayor emphatically told Ms. Gallelli, “You are not paying attention!” Come again?

We all want high and dry parking. We raised the lot with gravel fill less than 10 years ago. But it is now back at sea-level. Hence, the engineers and staff proposed 2 weeks ago using lighter material with better drainage that might also be a better platform for later development—like a shore-side restaurant and board walk. That seems more sensible to me. It is my money too!

— Leo Wiegman

On March 7, 2008 12:21 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

We have seen time and time again that Maria Cudaquest can manipulate any set of words to give them her own particular twist. One could almost taste the affront in her post elsewhere that Ann had had the audacity to call her on her comments. It is well known that the Reps. have discounted Rick Olver and are actively trying to discredit Ann at every turn so that they can get their two candidates elected to give the mayor a large rubber stamp. It is my hope that voters can see through this and see that Ann has a very substantial record of excellent outcomes for the village, and that twisting the truth cannot change that. We need real checks and balances against the current mayor who, on Monday night, showed again that it is his way or the highway - check out the live stream of the meeting on the village website.

On March 6, 2008 11:47 AM, weewill said:

Ms. Cudequest has time and time again taken snippets and clauses out of context and reported them only in part. The really sad thing about this is that it results in futile attempts at character assassination.



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