croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

They Make Me Want To Up-Chuck

May 31, 2009

To the editor:

On June 3rd at the Harmon Firehouse, there will be a presentation about plans to change the zoning to accommodate a mixed use housing proposal for the Harmon area. No matter what you are told that night, these are only some of the facts you need to know beforehand.

1) That the “Harmon Plan” is not just about a “few apartments” nor is it only about developing Harmon for this density housing. In a conversation on a site for municipal officials, the topic of which was redevelopment of this area, Trustee Gallelli wrote the following:

“What we want now is for the Village to take the lead on marketing our plans and to get the larger public to buy into it. Basically it is about a three block stretch of commercial first floor with two floors of mixed use (probably mostly residential above), with buildings built close to the street with pedestrian friendly frontage and parking to the rear. We want to get the public to buy into this for support of the zoning changes. We also are prepared to move towards doing the same kind of analysis for a second commercial Gateway where the Village actually owns a number of the parcels. We want to encourage the public to be a big part of this process so as to avoid opposition down the road.”

2) That current mayor Wiegman responded to Ms. Gallelli:

“By definition, a household earning 80% of an area’s median income is considered “low income”….”(County Planning Dept). Therefore some housing development funds are available to create housing that will target folks who earn 80% of the AMI.” For reasons that are unclear, he also added the following:

“Total number rental units in Croton: 674 (compared with 3,900 in neighboring Ossining).”

The so-called Harmon housing plan will no doubt change the character of our Village in a negative way. No matter what they tell you now, the “real deal” has already been laid out by the team of Wiegman and Gallelli. It is right there in black and white. You can read more at


Chuck Trendell

On June 12, 2009 9:20 AM, Clifford Harmon said:

Follow the facts and fiction of the Harmon zoning debate at:

On June 5, 2009 10:54 AM, Anonymous said:


The usual suspects opposed to progress in Harmon squandered what may have been their last chance to meaningfully challenge the rationale for the Harmon Zoning Change Recommendations.

Rather than challenging facts, figures and calculations presented in significant detail in the Harmon Committee Report, they chose to forgo asking meaningful questions in favor of lengthy diabtribes claiming yet again that lifelong residents are way smarter than the rest of us “Newbies”, and that if you didn’t inherit your house from your grandpapy or are not making hundreds of thousands of dollars, you must be a Section 8 immigrant criminal who will pack 15 family members in a 1 bedroom apartment and have babies like rabbits causing the schools to bust at the seams.

Of course, the opportunity was not lost to publically slanderize Democratic elected officials past and present for partnering up with the Mafia to run Metro Enviro and line their pockets at the expense of our children’s health, or to spend ten minutes bashing one of our most beloved and successful businesses for having the audacity to receive deliveries.

Hey Minett, did you not see the shopping center at your rear property line when you bought your house?

The usual suspects obviously rounded up anybody breathing that would buy into their warped interpretation of the Harmon recommendation and carefully coordinated their alleged “overwhelming opposition”. Even with the numbers clearly in their favor (I would say 80% in attendance were the opposition), they still couldn’t even manage to do better than a neutral article in the Journal News. Congratulations!

Last night made me lose all hope of a meaningful compromise. It’s all or nothing with the NCN malcontents.

Kudos to our Mayor for extending the olive branch in the face of a continued barage of character assassinations and personal attacks against him. The NCNers have no votes and no power so the only conclusion I can draw from their theatrics last night is that they dont want a seat at the table to help shape Croton’s future, they are just in it for the bitching and moaning.

On June 2, 2009 11:21 AM, Josh Karpoff said:

I think that this initiative is incredibly beneficial for the future of Croton and a step in the right direction.

I’m the fifth generation of my family to live in Croton and a graduate of CHHS, class of 2001, the same school that my parents, my aunts, my uncle and my grandmother all graduated from. The first of my ancestors to live here were Irish immigrants who came over to work on the railroad.

In all of the criticism I’ve read about this plan, I’ve noticed time and again that there’s this ugly underlying current of class-ism and racism.

Renters should not be demonized. Several of my friends from high school, who aren’t yet in a position to own a house, but who want to remain in Croton are renting units in town.

If you do the math for the 80% of AMI, based on the value I just got off the village’s Wikipedia page, the resulting value is $67,795.20, which is twice the median for the entire country. Most railroad employees can’t even afford that.

All too often it seems that some people are making negative comparisons to Ossining. What remains unsaid is that as we all know, Ossining has a large Ecuadorian community, in addition to a sizable African-American community. These are hardworking folks who should have the opportunity to live in our community. Many Ecuadorian immigrants already work in the village, renovating homes, working in restaurants and other service sector jobs. If they work here they should have the opportunity to live here. When I worked for Conte Electric on Brook Street, I worked alongside many Ecuadorian immigrants and they were some of the best and hardworking folks I’ve ever met. I learned a lot working with them, learning more about electrical wiring than I did in engineering school.

Do people really prefer looking at an abandoned car dealership and an empty gravel lot over the possibility that a few of the better paid Ecuadorians moving to Croton? If so, you might as well own up to it publicly.

On June 2, 2009 12:49 PM, Anonymous said:

Josh, while I am still making up my mind on the Harmon proposal (and thankful for tomorrow’s forum, at which I hope to learn more) and while I don’t agree with 100% of what you wrote, I applaud you for writing it. My son rented an apartment in Harmon for several months, and there are many like you, in your 20s, who need rental housing. Thank you for expressing your views and ignore the vitriol you are sure to receive.

Seth Davis


Recent Articles