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Please Fix the Weather Station Again, Mr. Mayor

July 6, 2008


Click image to enlarge.

You’re always accusing others of pulling down Croton and destroying it. But it’s the little things that are neglected by your administration that really pull Croton down and diminish the quality of life here. Little things that your administration does nothing about.

In this new feature, called “Our Own Croton Watch,” Crotonblog will point out and show photos of some of the more egregious violations. And then we’ll keep score and see how long it takes your administration to correct them.

Take, for example, the expensive village weather reporting system installed with great fanfare. It has been out of action for the entire Fourth of July weekend. It stopped running at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 3rd. It seems to break down regularly and for long periods of time. This obviously proves that no one in village government is charged with checking on it to make sure that it’s operating properly.

You are sure to include the weather reporting system in your reelection campaign literature as one of your accomplishments. Don’t you think that delegating the task of making sure it’s up and running is your responsibility? Who’s minding the store, Mr. Mayor?

On July 8, 2008 8:36 PM, weewill said:

We sure hope ” everybody” is right and that Leo does indeed have his “eye on the prize of the Mayoralty in the next election.”

This village would be well served if “everybody” is right.

This selfless and demanding job requires someone with Leo’s intelligence, commitment, dedication and logical, analytical approach to problems. Most critical to a succesful Mayor is Leo’s willingness to listen and consider all opinions and options with an open mind. He realizes It “takes a whole village” to make a good Mayor.

Georgianna

On July 8, 2008 5:35 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Leo Wiegman misses the point as usual by offering presumed excuses for the Mayor and then tries to hog the blog by showing off his meteorological expertise. Of course the weather statistics were up and running again but only after the Crotonblog reported the outage.As I read it, the point of the Crotonblog article was that the village sprang for this expensive system and no one seems to be charged with making sure it’s putting out the information the village paid so dearly for. A lowly village clerk could do that but someone obviously hasn’t been assigned that task. It’s a chore no more demanding than making sure someone puts out a saucer of milk daily for the Municipal Building cat.

Croton has this buck-stops-here Mayor who likes to think he owns the village and bosses staff around as though they were his employees. Although we are well into the 21st century, he also proudly proclaims that he does not use the tools of technology. If these weather reporting outages are beyond our Mayor’s control, how come they go unfixed until the Crotonblog calls his attention to them in messages targeted directly at him? Last November the statistics display was frozen for the better part of a month and was only resumed after the Crotonblog pointed out in a message to Mayor Schmidt that no one in the village was paying attention to the malfunctioning weather station.

I am an amateur meteorologist and welcomed the weather station because it was reporting on Croton not on Briarcliff as the Weather Channel does. Any meteorologist worth his salt knows the ameliorating effect of the Hudson. My calls to the Village office to report outages never resulted in any immediate restoration of service. The Crotonblog seems to be able to get action. I cannot understand why citizens have to remind this village to pull up its socks.

Come on Leo everybody knows you’ve got you eye on the prize of the Mayoralty in the next election. Are you just trying to make sure you won’t be held responsible for minor details like the weather station should you be elected? It sure looks that way.

P.S. I’m a Democrat but I don’t know how much that means since the Mayor claims to be one too.

On July 8, 2008 2:11 PM, weewill said:

I respectfully disagreed with Leo Wiegman several years ago when he voted in favor of the purchase of the sophisticated weather forecaster and would do so without hesitation again. I noted then and still believe to this date that we are so inundated with “weather forecasting” for days before any significant storm on every single television station and in every daily newspaper. The DPW crews do a super job clearing our roads when we do have a storm and it’s because they are fully aware of when storms are approaching days before they arrive from constant public announcements and notification.

I thought our own sophisticated and expensive weather forecasting system was unnecessary back then and still believe that to be the case. We are a small, extremely heavily taxed village and we cannot expect to have the cadillacs of all technology. We need to pick and choose what’s right for our own particular needs.

Interesting to note, owning these advanced warning systems has in no way allowed us to prevent or improve the flooding conditions at the RR station, nor the storm damage from runoff in heavy periods of rain. Our snow clearance has been the best in the area long before we purchased any forecasting device.

Georgianna

On July 8, 2008 12:28 PM, Leo Wiegman said:

First, it is unfair to bust the mayor’s chops when this internet feed is out for a short time! The village weather report is back up today, and was probably frozen for reasons well beyond the village staff’s control. Second, you would think we could get accurate local weather data from NOAA’s National Weather Service. And NOAA does have it, after a fashion. But mining the digital depths of the fed’s huge data arrays on a continuous 24/7 basis for 20 different data fields is just a bit beyond what our village staff wanted to do. The NWS does not customize any weather data beyond a general forecast for the NYC metro region (high of 90 degrees and sunny, in case you are wondering!). Third, a New Jersey firm (Sussex County Weather Network, LLC) offers a weather aggregation and publication service to which the village began subscribing several years ago. I voted for it then, and would do so again without hesitation. At the time, our Public Works crews suggested this continuous update service as more accurate for forecasting when to salt the roads before ice and when to continuing plowing during snow events. The village’s prior ‘weather service’ involved getting faxes a few times a day from the NWS combined with a DPW phone tree. The NJ firm mines the federal NWS data and customizes it for Croton and feeds it to our server. This data is augmented by the local weather station (for local wind speed and direction, for example) located on Veterans Way between the village Salt Shed and the Echo Canoe Launch on the Croton Bay. Fourth, the only data feed missing from the public display on the village website are the twice daily tide times. The Village staff does monitor the tide charts, especially with an eye out for simultaneous rain and high tide. The tide charts help the village decide about parking lot closures at the train station (in case you are on that notification list). We could ask if the village would consider adding links for “local tides” on the webpage below the “local weather” link. For tide data for numerous Hudson locations, I use either Lamont Doherty or HudsonRiver.com and then choose either Ossining or Haverstraw (there is no Croton specific calculator) and a table or chart form. I add a few minutes to the Ossining times to estimate high or low times at Croton Bay. And add a few more to estimate high and low times up the Croton River at Paradise Island. Not that a few minutes matters much in a canoe!

Leo Wiegman

On July 7, 2008 3:43 PM, M.O.T.S. said:

I had no idea that the village had built its own weather station. It seems like a waste. Why not just re-post data from the National Weather Service on the village homepage? It might not be as accurate, but it would be free and, unlike whatever setup that have going on at the Municipal building, would be far more reliable.

I’d also like to toast to the success of the new “Our Own Croton Watch” feature. Government at every level can be improved by more scrutiny and constructive criticism. Mayor Schmidt should be proud that our village has engaged residents willing to address problems the community faces. The longer we ignore our problems the worse they will become.

On July 6, 2008 12:40 PM, weewill said:

Not to worry Crotonites. The same five or six posters on the other blog have everything under control! I check it several times a day to see what new spin they put on facts and events happening in their fairy land. (It never becomes clear exactly what qualifies them as “experts” but that’s a discussion for another time. )

Unfortunately these few self-appointed experts on everything from municipal government and finances, to environmental causes and concerns, to declining economics not only in the village but in the nation as well, to determining what constitutes civility and/or incivility, what motivates individuals and committees, particularly when they disagree with these few questionable experts, and on and on and on. Combine the above pretend expertise with the work of the amateur “roving reporter and photographer” and you might be apt to believe everything is under control in Mayor Schmidt’s “Magic Kingdom.”

I prefer getting the true story and facts on this blog. Some reports may be unpleasant to read but at least we get the full story and both sides of an argument.

Georgianna



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