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Thoughts While Strolling (8)

March 9, 2008


It’s Ba-a-a-a-a-ck! And We Don’t Mean the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. No, we’re talking about that joint production of another odd couple, Mark Franzoso and Joe Streany. We mean the large political sign that came and went for one day last week. Yes, that ugly oversize sign is back. Now it’s self-standing and, to make matters worse, it’s illuminated. Well, illuminated in an amateurish way. A halogen spotlight has been placed on the ground in front of the sign and powered by an ultralong extension cord that leads over a wooden fence to a residence at 6 Wayne Street. Guess what! That house is occupied by members of the Streany family.

The Stroller doesn’t know whether such a large illuminated sign comes under the purview of Croton’s Visual Environment Board. But the VEB exercises such iron control over signage plans of new businesses, one might think that they would be furious over this monstrosity. And it’s at a sacred Gateway, no less. One might also think that the electrical code would have something to say about overlong and unprotected extension cords. Shouldn’t such wiring be in metal conduit to keep it from endangering people or animals?

The Stroller has one bothersome question. If Joe Streany plays fast and loose with Village laws and codes before the election, what would he do should he be elected? We all know he has had ethical problems before and that he doesn’t put Croton’s environment first. If nothing else, this illuminated sign proves him guilty of having extremely bad taste, at the very least.

Here’s gallery of photographs taken at the scene of the crime.

Would you vote for someone who disfigures Croton with an ugly monstrosity like this? (Click to enlarge image.)

Don’t touch! And keep your dog away from this unprotected orange extension cord carrying 110 volts! What fireman or safety director in their right mind would hook up something as dangerous as this? (Click to enlarge image.)

The source of power—electrical power, that is. The Streany house at 6 Wayne Street is where the dangerous extension cord gets the 110 volts of electricity to power the halogen light and illuminate the sign. (Click to enlarge image.)

On March 11, 2008 8:17 PM, Benedict said:

Those are good points and I certainly am not blaming you for the absence of “the other side of the story” from the republicans. Their boycott of this site is baffling and quite lame. If there are Croton republicans reading this take note; people like me don’t vote down a party line, they vote based on information. Party bias aside, the Croton dems are doing a great job educating me on the issues that are important to this town. Your silence will cost you any chance of winning my vote.

On March 11, 2008 4:04 PM, TeaDrinker said:


We take note of the suggestion that we change the name of Crotonblog to reflect the Democratic leanings of some contributors. In the nineteenth century it was common for newspapers to indicate their political preferences in their names, such as The Arizona Republican or The Watertown Democrat, but those days are over.

For Crotonblog to accept the name-change suggestion would be tantamount to asking The New York Daily News to become The New York Republican or The New York Post to become The New York Neocon-Conservative. One only has to read one copy of The New York Times to learn where its sentiments lie.

When Crotonblog started, it was open to contributors of every political stripe. We admit to having our own political biases, but Crotonblog is still open to everyone. Certain persons with allegiance to the Republican Party decided to take their trade to the North County News forums, but that was their choice. Had they not deserted us, there would be no basis for the suggestion that we change our name. Under the circumstances, therefore, we must reject the suggestion.

— The Editors

On March 11, 2008 10:56 AM, Benedict said:

Those are all good points. I was mistaken. I thought this site was called but apparently it is Somebody should inform the domain host. I still think it’s a great site with great information but why not call it what it is? PS.I am neither a republican nor a fictitious, virtual republican schill. PPS. I am bummed that Spitzer isn’t a republican, I would love to see the feeding frenzy that would ensue on this site. Ignoring all my complaints about biased tone, the articles are pretty entertaining.

On March 10, 2008 6:56 PM, ohio-to-hudson said:

…back to Harley (& Devil)… I think the Dems need both ‘facts’ and ‘fire’. I’m glad you’re fired up. Leo took the gloves off last week, sans pseudonym. Somebody had to build the backbone of data from which we can make decisions, and take ACTION. It’s not like we’re getting free-flowing budgetary information from the current admin.. How many of you knew what a ‘super-majority’ on the board means, in term of getting bonding approved, until last week? Now, you can vote for whomever you want nationally, HD, but keep doing what you’re doing here, loudly! as for the blog… love it until I hate it- which is when it gets careless with ‘satirical’ ethnic protrayals. why go there? stuff’s funny and effective without…

On March 10, 2008 3:31 PM, waffels said:

J. Philip…….that’s ridiculous…..this is a clear case of a code violation. He will be/should be told to take the sign down for the violation and if he doesn’t he will be/should be cited. He will also look pretty bad as a candidate running for village office who is supposed to uphold and stand for the village code and village ethics as a representative to our town.

On March 10, 2008 1:49 PM, J. Philip said:

Small minded argument. That sign is protected by the first ammendment. Local ordinances like the one referred to never hold up in court, and the only reson they survive is because they are seldom challenged due to the time and expense required.

On March 10, 2008 12:04 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

Leo and the Democrats should kiss the ground Crotonblog walks on for exposing the truth about these Rebublican “candidates”. If Ann and Rick Olver get elected they have Crotonblog to thank!

On March 10, 2008 10:03 AM, TeaDrinker said:

Who does Leo Wiegman think he is objecting to the “tone” of the “Thoughts While Strolling” articles. I like them just the way they are. Who made him the Crotonblog censor? I say: “Keep these articles coming”. If he knew those two crumbums Streany and Franzoso like I do he would say the articles didn’t go far enough with their sarcasm. In the last election he got his ass whipped by Sue Konig. All Wiegman has contributed to this election is a bunch of dull compilations of tables and graphs. Why are Democrats always so bitchy and start fighting among themselves? If this keeps up just to teach them a lesson I may throw away my local vote and I may vote for Ralph Nader or Ron Paul nationally.

On March 10, 2008 9:35 AM, Benedict said:

I agree with you Leo. I love the info I get here but I can’t stand the pettiness. Besides, isn’t the contention here that the Republicans are the fear mongers? Why are we talking about the dangers of extension cords. Seriously people, extension cords?

Good info on the signage rules though. I will keep that in mind when I put up my red and blue “Can’t we all just get along?” signs.

Happy Monday!

On March 9, 2008 9:11 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

For those of you voting for Joe Streany, could someone read and interpret Chapter 20 of the Village Code (BELOW) for him.

Chapter 20: ETHICS, CODE OF [HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson 10-19-1970 by L.L. No. 1-1970. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 20-1. Legislative intent.

Pursuant to the provisions of § 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees of the village recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officers and employees which must be observed if a high degree of moral conduct is to be obtained and if public confidence is to be maintained in our unit of local government. It is the purpose of this chapter to promulgate these rules of ethical conduct for the officers and employees of the village. These rules shall serve as a guide for official conduct of the officers and employees of the village. The rules of ethical conduct of this chapter, as adopted, shall not conflict with but shall be in addition to any prohibition of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interest in contracts of municipal officers and employees.

§ 20-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: INTEREST — A pecuniary or material benefit accruing to an officer or employee, unless the context otherwise requires.

OFFICER or EMPLOYEE — An officer, member or employee of the village, whether paid or unpaid, including members of any administrative board, commission or other agency thereof. No person shall be deemed to be an “officer or employee” solely by reason of being a volunteer fireman or civil defense volunteer, except a Chief of the Fire Department or an Assistant Chief of the Fire Department.

§ 20-3. Standards of conduct.

Every officer or employee shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:

A. Gifts. He shall not directly or indirectly solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $25 or more, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him or could reasonably be expected to influence him in the performance of his official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his part.

On March 9, 2008 7:00 PM, TeaDrinker said:

No surprises here… After all, Joe Streany ‘No-Likey’ the Law.

How does he expect fair-minded residents of Croton to trust him to be an elected official?

I mean he has to be kidding. And his residential and business supporters—with their BLUE lawn signs out front—must be totally stupid to buy his act.

On March 9, 2008 5:20 PM, weewill said:

I sent the following email messages to both the Village Manager and to the Engineering Dept (since they have responsibility for code enforcement.)

It appears that the election sign posted on the Franzosa property at the corner of Croton Point Avenue and S. Riverside Avenue is in violation of Village Sign Law [Chapter 230-44 - temporary signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in area and shall not be illuminated.

Please investigate and take whatever action is appropriate.

Thank you Georgianna

On March 9, 2008 3:35 PM, Leo Wiegman said:

I am totally put off by tone in these “Strolling” pieces. Stroller’s gratuitous swipes get in the way of the facts that he or she reports. The facts in the piece above are sound enough to stand on their own.

Village law anticipates temporary signs and election campaign signs. For the record, the Village Sign Law [Chapter 230-44 of the village code] reads in part as follows: “K. Temporary signs… (2) The following types of temporary signs do not require a signage permit:… (c) Temporary signs pertaining to election campaigns. Such signs shall not be subject to the forty-five-day limitation in Subsection K(1) above but shall be removed within 10 days after the election day. (4) … temporary signs shall not exceed 16 square feet in area and shall not be illuminated.”

Village law also prohibits new billboards period, whether temporary or not, or illuminated or not. [Chapter 230-44 of the village code]: “M. Prohibitions. The following types of signs and artificial lighting are prohibited: (1) Billboards, except for those which are existing on the effective date of these regulations and which are associated with a site which is on the National Register of Historic Places.”

PS This last clause is meant to retain Van Cortlandt Manor’s old fashioned “billboard-in-the-reeds” at our Croton Point Avenue exit on Route 9. Historic Hudson generously allowed a fellow non-profit, Teatown to put up a terrific Eagle Fest banner there last month—an event that drew thousands to Croton Point for eagle watching. Unfortunately, the HHV billboard blew down last week in the high winds!

-Leo Wiegman


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