You’ve seen his ads on TV. One proclaims that old saw, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Another is his own coinage, “We have a showroom in every neighborhood.” His name is Mark Franzoso, and he’s your typical siding salesman.
He does indeed have a showroom in one very important Croton neighborhood, and it’s making a very shabby first impression. The neighborhood is the highly touted “Gateway” where Croton Point Avenue joins South Riverside Avenue.
With the demise of Croton Dodge, Mr. Franzoso snapped up the lot where the former Dodge franchise used to store its unsold new cars and trucks. As unsightly as that usage may have been, Mr. Franzoso has outdone the previous owner in making the property unattractive.
During the past winter’s election campaign Mr. Franzosos placed a temporary storage building on the property and decorated it with illegal signage for a candidate. The candidate lost by a wide margin. Since then, the lot has been allowed to go to rack and to ruin. It is overgrown with weeds and covered with litter.
On this lot near South Riverside Avenue, a huge (and we do mean bus-sized huge) RV has been parked for weeks. A prominently displayed “For Sale” sign lists a White Plains telephone number. This is clearly illegal. Neither Mayor Schmidt nor Acting Village Manager Zambrano has taken notice of this highly visible stain on Croton’s escutcheon.
Mr. Franzoso is no stranger to doing as he pleases under the noses of this administration, which can be counted on to close its eyes and ignore Franzoso violations. At the Franzoso headquarters farther down Croton Point Avenue, his company cars and trucks are parked indiscriminately all over the sidewalk, impeding the passage of pedestrians. Here, too, no one in this administration seems to notice the many Franzoso infractions.
There’s an old saying to the effect that “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts.” This would seem to be the operating slogan for Mr. Franzoso, who, along with his buddy Mayor Schmidt, can take credit for assisting in Croton’s downhill slide. Zambrano, the apple of Schmidt’s eye, is angling for the post of Village Manager, and will do nothing to displease “The Boss.”