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Susan Konig on Croton's 'Dreamers and Schemers'

February 1, 2010

To the editor:

For years, whenever the tide rose, our train station parking lot would flood. For years, nothing was done to fix this. When taxpayers with destroyed cars complained, their concerns were dismissed by the old gang at the municipal building with a shrug.

During the two years I served as Village trustee with Mayor Greg Schmidt, we went to work to fix this problem. We hired engineers to develop a 30-year fix, put out bids for contractors, scheduled the construction, secured the funds to raise and repave the lot, and got the job done. No more flooding.

Now Ann Gallelli and the current Village Board want to build on that success - literally. They want to build housing and shopping on the parking lot. The dreamers and schemers who can’t stand to see our little Village remain little are thinking BIG. Twenty million dollars big. They want to spend $20 million to turn the train station parking lot into a mini-city.

And you think it’s tough getting in and out of that lot during rush hour now?

Who will pay for this latest over-development scheme? How would a mini-city on our train station parking lot affect our property values? Why is the current board so driven to transform our little village in-between two rivers into a not-so-shiny city on a hill?

This board treats the taxpayers’ money as a no-limit credit card. In the last issue of the Gazette, Ms. Gallelli demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of our village’s finances. In reference to the drastic reductions in the Village’s tax rate increases achieved by the Schmidt administration, she wrote: “reserves…were used as ‘false’ income and reported to you as ‘a low tax increase.’” Her assertions that our village surplus was “raided” and that our decision to return some of the taxpayers own money to the taxpayers (a novel concept in our village!) rather than hoarding it in government coffers was somehow “false income” are unfounded and defamatory against former officials and the current staff of the village.

If Ms. Gallelli and the current board are really interested in saving the taxpayers of this Village money, how about cutting the $3600 a year the Village pays Ms. Gallelli to write the Village newsletter. This nicely doubles her annual trustee income.

It’s only $3600. But a $3600 newsletter here, a $20 million dollar parking lot mini-city development there…it starts to add up.

— Susan Konig, Croton-on-Hudson



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