While the snow kept local residents home and children out of school on Monday, the local Democrats were recovering from a busy double-event weekend.
The Croton Democratic Committee hosted a public presentation of the Recommendations of Harmon Economic Development Committee (HEDC) for zoning adjustments in that business district at the Croton Free Library on Saturday afternoon. The forum drew a capacity crowd estimated at 140 residents for the two-hour presentation and question and answer session. Most of the presentation was devoted to the details of the committee’s rationale and process. The key speaker was Kieran Murray, chair of the HEDC. Mr. Murray stated at the outset, “Unlike most planning committees, we started our work with an economic analysis as to why no redevelopment was happening, rather than a strictly land-use basis. Any changes we would end up suggesting had to make economic sense for the land owner, the village, and the local residents, as well as the businesses who would be potential tenants in Harmon.”
The Croton Democratic Committee also hosted its annual Soup Supper fundraiser on Sunday late afternoon at the Croton Yacht Club. Treasurer Holly Anzani pointed out, “Yesterday’s Soup Supper raised 20 percent more than we did a year ago! Everyone seemed to be rounding up their checks!” A capacity crowd of 150 people turned out for fresh home-made soups, delicious desserts, family style dining and chatting. A larger than usual contingent of visiting dignitaries also stopped by to express their support for Democratic mayoral candidate Leo Wiegman, and village trustee candidates, Demetra Restuccia and Ian Murtaugh.
Croton residents were able to meet and interact with Congressman John Hall and members of his staff, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, County Legislator Bill Burton, Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Council members Frank Farrell, John Sloan, and Ann Lindau, Ossining Town Supervisor Catherine Borgia, Ossining Councilman Michael Tawil, Ossining Village Mayor Bill Hanauer, former Buchanan Mayor Dan O’Niell, Ossining Village Justice Frank Connolly, Ossining Democratic Committee Chair Thomasina Laidley, Cortlandt Receiver of Taxes Mary Breining, Cortlandt Town Clerk Joann Dyckman, and Deputy Secretary of State and former Croton Mayor Bob Elliott.
Mr. Murtaugh, a lifelong resident of Croton, talked about his concern over the decline of many parts of the Village that he holds near and dear to his heart. “I grew up here and had many ‘Tom Sawyer’ moments. I’d like this new generation of kids to have the same experience.” Ms. Restuccia echoed that sentiment, “I’m doing this for my kids. I moved here when my oldest was three weeks old. We came because the school system was great and Croton was thriving. Croton has greater potential and it isn’t being pursued. We need to get Croton back on track.” Leo Wiegman, candidate for Mayor summed up the issues by saying, “Croton used to be the little Village that could” citing the many initiatives that Croton had taken on over the years. He continued, “In the past four years, we have sadly become the little Village that won’t.”
Village elections will be held at the Municipal Building, Wednesday, March 18th, from 6AM to 9PM.