To the editor:
An Article 78 was filed against the Village of Croton today by a few residents led by the Republican Party. While we recognize a responsible citizen’s right to file this lawsuit, we maintain this is a political action timed to support a weak candidate team in their quest to win seats on the village board as they have had 3 months in which to file this claim. We view this as a selfish political act at the expense of the residents of Croton.
An Article 78 is a legal action that challenges a municipal board’s decision based on failure to follow the prescribed procedures required by law. This lawsuit was filed in reaction to the recent change of zoning passed into law in December by the current board of trustees. This was a contentious issue and at one of the public hearings the threat of this lawsuit was mentioned by one of the anti change group.
Residents should know that the Village Attorney, Jim Staudt, aware of a minority but vocal opposition to the zoning action, and being very experienced in the required procedures, reviewed and directed the actions from its inception to ensure that all procedures were followed to the letter. Harmon Economic Development Committee Chair, Kieran Murray, who is well versed in this issue said, “As a lifelong Republican, I am embarrassed at my own party’s role in this action. This represents the politics of obstructionism at its worst.”
Because of this selfish act, taxpayers will pay on both ends: first and foremost in the cost to defend this frivolous lawsuit which could result in tens of thousands of dollars and more importantly, it will discourage currently interested parties from further investment in Harmon as they await the outcome of the lawsuit taking long term money away from Croton as well. Meanwhile Harmon continues to exist in a state of decline, empty storefronts lining the street.
We encourage all citizens to make their feelings known about this frivolous lawsuit that affects our pocketbooks, our image as a village, our property values and our property taxes.
— Eileen Henry and John McBride, on behalf of the Croton Democratic Committee