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Croton Election Bottom Line: 'Forward Thinking' Versus 'No Thinking'

March 15, 2010

To the editor:

Well, here they go again.

Our opponents have no ideas and nothing to offer the Village. So they are once again broadcasting their patented brand of nonsense to Croton voters. Their campaign of disinformation and distortion does nothing but waste time, discourage voter participation and degrade our political process.

We have NEVER advocated for over-development, high-density housing or a shopping mall at the train station. Those are but three of the stream of baseless, unsupportable claims made by our opponents. Their constant reliance on such tactics only serves to make clear that they have nothing to say about how they would help this Village to move forward.

Thanks to your support last year, we accomplished more for this Village than our opponents did in the previous four years. These are but a few of the many facts regarding our fiscal responsibility:

The accusations from our opponents of “frivolous spending and lack of fiscal responsibility” seem comical coming from a man who bloated the budget by $4 million while in office and a running mate who is an active tax evader.

In the past year we also made strides to increase the quality of life in the Village. For example:

We must plan for the future by taking actions today. We need to increase the commercial tax base in Croton, so that we can reduce the tax burden on homeowners and preserve our diverse and wonderful Village. We believe we can’t do anything without extensive community input. That’s why we conducted a thorough study, and solicited extensive public comment, before enacting the re-zoning of the Harmon business district. This is the kind of forward-thinking, citizen-driven change that Croton needs in order to keep Croton, Croton.

Consensus doesn’t mean that everyone agrees. A vocal minority opposes revitalization of Harmon. Their last minute filing of an Article 78 lawsuit (a complaint that the Village didn’t follow rules about changing zoning) is simply a political ploy. That much is clear from the timing—they had four months to file and chose the week before the election. This is a frivolous lawsuit—we took great care to follow all the rules and provided multiple opportunities for community input—and it will cost taxpayer money to defend.

Our opponents’ lack of vision is astonishing. And their inability to take any action other than saying “NO!” is tragic for the Village. They opposed the Harmon re-zoning plan because they don’t seem to comprehend that under the previous zoning restrictions it had become very difficult for the property owners to generate sufficient income without charging rents so high that many buildings now stand vacant. Something needed to change, and, with your help, we changed it.

Similarly, our opponents don’t grasp that our train station parking lot is Croton’s #2 source of income (second only to property taxes) and say “NO!” to investigating revenue potential there. The more we increase revenues from the parking lot, the more we can cut the tax burden on homeowners. Did you know that every space in the lot is sold and there’s a waiting list of over 300 people? So we are doing a professional study to explore the possibility of generating more income there. Our opponents seem to have forgotten that they actually voted for this study.

Unlike our opponents, we know we must plan for the future and actively seek solutions to our community’s problems. Leadership requires planning and action. Saying “NO!” is not a plan. Doing nothing is not an option. The Journal News recognized this in their endorsement of us on March 9, 2010.

That’s the kind of leadership we will continue to provide for our Village. We can’t do that without you. We humbly ask for your vote on March 16, 2010. Polls are open from 6 am to 9 pm at the Municipal Building.

Sincerely and with respect,

Ann Gallelli and Richard Olver


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