croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

Section: Metro Enviro

Earthline Intermodal on Track to Arrive at Transfer Station in Croton

May 8, 2007

So says Greentree Realty attorney David Steinmetz in a letter to Croton’s board of trustees read by Manager Herbek on Monday, May 7, 2007. Watch.

Video Transcript:

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Okay, Next we have a letter from David Steinmetz of the law firm Zarrin & Steinmetz. And he is writing on behalf of Greentree Realty, the owner of 1A Croton Point Avenue and in the letter he states that he also represents Earthline Intermodal LLC. His letter states that RSA’s lease with Greentree has been terminated and as part of the settlement with RSA, Earthline obtained the right to pursue, I guess, the special permit application filed with the village by RSA’s affiliate Northeast Interchange Railway.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “And at this point, I’m gonna turn this over to the village attorney to kind of explain where we are.”

Village Attorney James Staudt: “Right. On behalf of the—there are significant legal issues, um, this new entity of any entity in an application process like this has the right to standing to step into the shoes of a, an applicant mid-application. Ah, and so, the threshold determination has to be made whether this such entity would have such standing. In order to make that determination, the village needs more information about this applicant and about the details of its proposed operations and so forth. In that regard, on behalf of the village, I’ve written a reply letter to the attorneys who wrote that letter to the village and asked for such information. So, we’ll expect that there will be a response and when there s a response, then the issue of their standing to step into the shoes of the prior applicant will be addressed by the village. And that’s where it stands.

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Trash Talk: Alliance Party Candidates Still Peddling Their Big Lie

March 20, 2007


DATE: March 20, 2007, Election Day
TIME: 7:52 AM
PLACE: Croton train station

Still desperate to win support for their failed campaign, Alliance Party incumbents Brennan and Schmidt with novice candidate Konig are seen in this Crotonblog video still mouthing the BIG LIE about 30,000 trucks invading Croton.

Video transcription:

Thomas Brennan: “Croton elections. Keep trash out of Croton. Croton elections. Keep trash out of Croton. Vote for the non-trash party—the Alliance Party. Keep trash out of Croton. Village elections today. Croton village elections. 20 to 30 thousand C&D trucks coming through if they are allowed to make a deal. Keep trash out of Croton. Thank you. Village elections. Keep trash out of Croton. Croton elections.

Susan Konig: “That’s Okay. Where you can masquerade as a journalist and no one will say anything. Village elections today.”

Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Croton elections today. Croton elections today. Croton elections today. Croton elections today. Hey how you doing? Croton elections today. Croton elections today.”

Download this video clip of “Trash Talk: Alliance Party Candidates Still Peddling Their Big Lie” to your video iPod (how to guide).

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Shooting Off Your Mouth and Shooting Yourself in the Foot: The Case Against Candidates Schmidt and Brennan

March 15, 2007

Any first-year law student could spot the fatal flaw in the Schmidt-Brennan position on 1A Croton Point Avenue. It can be summed up with the “P word”—Prejudice, spelled with a capital P and illuminated by flashing red lights. Simply stated, both incumbent candidates have violated the precept that public officials must remain impartial and free of prejudice in all matters they rule on.

One monumental problem evolving from Schmidt and Brennan’s hardnosed position was hinted at in the recent Journal News article on the Village’s appeal of Judge Nicolai’s ruling in state supreme court. In that article, datelined Feb. 25 and titled “Croton appeals transfer station ruling,” Mayor Schmidt is quoted as saying he was awaiting a favorable ruling in federal court that would tell Regus that they must apply for a special permit. Left unstated was the obvious inference that such an application would summarily be denied by Croton.

Unfortunately for the citizens of Village of Croton-on-Hudson, from the get-go Mayor Gregory Schmidt and the Deputy Mayor he appointed, Tom Brennan, have been both loud and intemperate in their condemnation of Regus Industries. Given the years of outspoken prejudice by Schmidt and Brennan against the site and against Regus, the likelihood that Regus would receive a fair and impartial hearing under a Republican majority range from zero to none.

If Mayor Schmidt and Deputy Mayor Brennan should be re-elected and should Susan Konig ride in on their coat tails, the resulting Republican majority would reject a permit application by Regus. Regus most certainly would then sue the village, citing overt prejudice. Regus could place into evidence Republican campaign promises and abundant film clips clearly demonstrating the Mayor’s and Deputy Mayor’s prejudgment of a Regus permit application.

Paradoxically, the only way Croton can now forestall a continuation of the never-ending parade of onerous, expensive lawsuits would be for the Village to grant Regus a special permit. If Messrs Schmidt and Brennan were honest with voters, they would acknowledge their prejudicial actions and admit that the Village now faces a classic case of what has been called “Hobson’s choice,” which is no choice at all. Thomas Hobson (1544-1631) of Cambridge, England, rented horses and gave his customers only one choice: “Take the horse nearest the stable door.”

In the face of such easily demonstrable partiality and prejudice on the part of Messrs. Schmidt and Brennan, the village would likely lose any suit and consequent appeal. In fact, the court itself would probably impose a special permit allowing waste transfer activities at 1A Croton Point Avenue, in effect holding a legal gun to the Village’s head and telling it, “Grant the permit now, or else!” A clear case of shooting yourself in the foot.

Listen carefully, voters! Every time Messrs. Schmidt and Brennan speak out publicly against this enterprise in a cheap ploy to win votes, they add fuel to the forthcoming legal conflagration, consigning the village to future lawsuits. At the very least, their behavior leaves the village wide open to an Article 78 lawsuit for having made arbitrary and capricious decisions. Thanks to Messrs. Schmidt’s and Brennan’s propensity for shooting off their mouths, Croton’s depleted coffers will continue to be drained by the mounting expenses of defending itself against needless, self-inflicted legal actions.

As for the implications for voters in this election, Crotonblog would call to mind the sage proverb attributed to Ben Franklin: “He who lies down with dogs should not complain if he rises up with fleas.”

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The Insidious Campaign to Spread Fear and Loathing in Croton

March 6, 2007

Beginning in 2001, a cabal of neoconservatives in a cleverly orchestrated campaign of fear and lies led the people of the United States to believe their safety was threatened by Iraq. The result was that this great nation engaged in a costly and disastrous war in the Middle East in which no national interest was at stake. Proof of this statement is abundantly available in your daily newspaper or on the evening TV news.

For several years, a cabal with hidden motives—but masquerading behind concern for public health and safety—has been conducting a similar campaign of fear and lies directed at the voters of Croton and intended to sow seeds of distrust in local government. They have even enlisted residents of faraway communities to participate in their cleverly orchestrated campaign by using their form letters created at 84 Grand Street.

Want proof of the second statement? Crotonblog has privately obtained copies of two letters intended for the editor of The Gazette that were widely circulated to voters in Croton by Croton Republican Committee Secretary and Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School employee Joann Minett on Sunday, March 4. The reason advanced by Ms. Minett for the failure to publish them was that too many local letter writers had already flooded the paper’s pages with letters. Crotonblog would like to think that The Gazette did not publish them because the base motives of their writers were only too flagrantly obvious.

Crotonblog is not at liberty to disclose how we obtained copies of these letters. We are happy to publish them here, however. We ask readers to examine them carefully. The Russians have an expression, “Kak stranna” that fits this situation wonderfully. It means “How strange.” How strange that two persons in communities 600 miles apart should write letters virtually identical in structure and message.

How strange that two persons in communities 600 miles apart should write letters with identical salutations: “My name is Deb Roth…” and “My name is Linda Richmond…”

How strange that two persons in communities 600 miles apart should write letters concluding with instructions to Croton voters about how to vote, and with veiled threats to Croton officials. Ms. Roth: “I know that if I were a Croton resident I would support only those candidates who put their children’s health first over profit from trash. You know who you are.” Ms. Richmond: “We hope all of Croton officials will get on board or in the absence of that, that you will consider electing officials who have rejected negotiation.”

Conveniently omitted from each letter were some salient facts—namely that these communities and their problems do not remotely resemble Croton. Ms. Roth lives in a section of northeastern Ohio so heavily polluted that in 1969 the Cuyahoga River, which empties into Lake Erie, actually caught fire. Ms. Roth’s community, Leavittsburg, is on the Mahoning River, a river polluted by steel mills in the 19th and 20th centuries and also by human waste; Leavittsburg did not get a water treatment plant until the 1960s. Since 1988, the Ohio Department of Health has advised against swimming or even wading in the Mahoning River and against eating fish caught there. The pollutants in the Mahoning are trapped behind the ten dams used by mills to cool newly forged steel. As a result, its water was so perpetually warm it was known as “the river that never froze.” The Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that it would take 15 years to clean up the polluted Mahoning River.

Ms. Richmond lives in Woburn, Massachusetts, the town featured in the book titled A Civil Action, later made into a movie of that name starring John Travolta. Book and movie told the story of the families of eight leukemia victims who sued Beatrice Foods and W.R. Grace and Company in 1981. Their plants were accused of dumping industrial solvents and polluting wells used as sources of drinking water, thus causing cancer in the victims.

Readers will draw their own conclusions from the two letters, shown here as Exhibit A and Exhibit B. These may constitute the first known instance of carpetbagging by e-mail.

Exhibit A:


February 5, 2007

Dear Editor:

My name is Deb Roth, president of Our Lives Count in Ohio. I have previously written about our problems with the Warren Landfill and Regus. Despite this and the warnings of your local Drs. Cosentino, Kleinman and Kochanowitz, some Croton officials still continue negotiations for a deal. I believe it is time to repeat only some of my July 2006 Gazette letter. This information is also in Croton’s legal documents:

1) As a result of illegal dumping violations the Ohio EPA, entered into a negotiated consent agreement with Warren Recycling/Warren Hills signed by Gordon Reger of Regus Industries. Failure to comply resulted in a contempt charge with a large fine that is still not resolved in 2007. Another contempt charge is still in process.

2) Not only did Regus fail to meet the agreed upon negotiated consent order, they repeatedly violated state and federal environmental laws, including the discharge of surface runoff and leachate into the Mahoning River (under Regus Manager Barley). Our river is just as important as the Hudson. Their failure to comply resulted in action by USEPA (superfund) to remediate H2S health emergency issues and shut the site down.

I know that if I were a Croton resident, I would support only those candidates who put their children’s health first over profit from trash. You know who they are.

Deb Roth
President, Our Lives Count
P.O. Box 196
Leavittsburg, OH 44430”

Exhibit B:

“Feb. 24, 2007

Letter to the Editor

My name is Linda Raymond. In the past, I have written to you about our community, which is facing a similar unregulated rail situation as Croton. Indeed, despite repeated claims by some former village officials that Croton is all alone, nothing could be further from the truth. All over the country communities are facing similar potentially unregulated rail wastes operations by rail.

As I wrote previously in 2006, the Woburn Neighborhood Association, Inc. of Woburn, MA has been fighting for environmental justice in a similar unregulated regional waste facility here on the Woburn/Wilmington MA line. Once again, we applaud citizen’s efforts to do what is right for the community of Croton-on-the Hudson, NY—and those officials who choose not to negotiate at the same time they are allegedly fighting for their rights with the STB. By continuing to negotiate in 2007, some Croton officials are once again setting a dangerous example for the rest of the country.

It is most remarkable to see only some of the following states coming on board in commenting in rejection to the proposed rail facility New England Transrail similar to Croton: Maine, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Colorado, Massachusetts, etc. We hope all of Croton officials will get on board or in the absence of that, that you will consider electing officials who have rejected negotiation.

Not only for Croton, but for any other community facing similar issues

Linda Raymond, Chairwoman, Woburn Neighborhood Assoc., Inc.—Woburn, MA 01801”

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You Call That a Trustee's Report?

At the end of the Village Board meeting held on March 5, 2007, when Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt asked Trustee Thomas Brennan to report on his activities as liaison to various village departments, here’s what he said:

Download this video clip of “You Call That a Trustee’s Report?” to your video iPod (how to guide).

Video transcript:

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “I just want to remind the public and this is, this is just my opinion. At the Journal News debate this week that we had last week and it was a revelation to me that Ann had came out with the proposal that for the Croton 1A Point law, law situation with Regus with, with the case down there, she proposed for the first time a mediator. That a mediator may come in and, and possibly takes sides on, on you know whether this facility should be open or not. And my personal feeling, I haven’t spoken this with anything. Ann didn’t discuss any of this with any of the board members that you know, maybe a mediator should come in. I certainly didn’t hear anything about it. But as Ann being as far as I’m concerned, the leader of the new majority should take responsibility of the actions they’ve taken and tendering, accepting offers, considering offers and bring in the new idear of bringing this entity back into the village, I think that bringing a mediator kind of relieves them of the responsibility one way or the other of which the issue should go.

I mean, I’d be willing to make a decision and if, if it’s to a point where, where the, where the offers that have been tendered are so far not acceptable to the new board majority that a mediator has to come in, I will call for the board majority to join the board minority in fighting for the health, safety and welfare of the resident of the village and, and joining us and letting them file for their special permit, paying their fee and letting them come in here and be upfront about the village about who their operation really is, who owns it, what their intent is and let them pay and go through the process like they should instead of circumventing the village through the STB and, and four entities with the clandestine way that they have done this. And these are the people we are being asked to make a deal with. So, to me a mediator was a revelation that I was shocked at and that I’d be willing to stand up here and take responsibility for any action I’ve taken. Good or bad. I don’t want a mediator to come in and say “Tom, what you did is right or wrong.” Tom is going to take the responsibility for that. I’m not speaking for anybody else here. So, I was shocked at that and that I believe that if, if as a village representative if you lead and you take decisions on that affect your community, you should be willing to take the responsibility for the actions you take and not look for someone else to make that decision for you.

I appreciate your time. Have a good week.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Thank you.”

See also: “The Terrible-Tempered Mr. Brennan,” November 19, 2006.

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Croton Republicans Selling Fear this Election Season

February 25, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
I watched video of a variety of speakers at the February 5, Village Trustee meeting and I am saddened and alarmed at how similar in campaign and policy styles our local Republican Party is to the national Republican Party. What I saw was the selection of a single, emotionally charged issue, being sold to the public through fear of not acting quickly and forcefully, with scurrilous charges against their opponents, such as “on the take,” and the course of action that has to be used quickly is the high risk, all or nothing approach with no clear statement of a fall back position if we lose, or a financing plan to deal with appeals if we win.

I like being risk averse and judicious. I believe we witness headlines daily of what happens when actions aren’t thought through to their conclusions with long term planning for both best case and worst case scenarios. Nobody likes having this transfer station in our backyard. I guess it will be in someone’s.

But I like the idea of trying to negotiate an agreement with clear, verifiable environmental standards; with provisions of termination if those standards are violated. I thought that was the way Metro Enviro was closed. And we always have that last “let’s go to war” option available if all else fails. In addition, I, for one, would like to hear discussions of other ideas and initiatives that could benefit or adversely affect our community.

— Gary Shaw

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Croton Republicans Conspired to Hijack Village Board Meeting

February 8, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Wake up, citizens of Croton! You’ve heard of carjacking, haven’t you? Well, you’ve just been the victims of a new technique—meetingjacking. Yes, you’ve been scammed and you don’t even know it. An unscrupulous group with their own agenda secretly plotted to hijack a village board meeting and nearly got away with it. Here are the details of the coldly calculated plot and how it was accomplished:

Phase One. A letter was sent to the Village Manager signed by one Bill Rooney. Mr. Rooney is a mysterious individual who writes many letters to the editor of The Gazette, but has never been known to appear or speak at village board meetings. His spontaneous letter on the subject of 1A Croton Point Avenue, the former Metro Enviro property, was made part of the agenda for the meeting on Feb. 5. The stage was now set for the next phase of the scam.

Phase Two. With the Rooney letter now on the Monday night meeting’s agenda, Susan Schmidt, wife of the Mayor, and Joann Minett, Secretary of the Republican Party, conspired to drum up attendance at the Feb. 5 meeting. Mrs. Minett widely circulated an e-mail message urging recipients to attend the meeting and “protest” village actions with respect to this property and attached a flyer prepared by Mrs. Schmidt. These were the famous documents found “floating in a bottle” in Croton Bay.

Phase Three. At the Monday night village board meeting, members of the cabal took advantage of the Mayor’s invitation to speak on “agenda items” and took turns at the microphone to read lengthy prepared statements. Subject categories had obviously been assigned to prevent repetitive coverage of individual topics. A total of ten persons spoke in succession at Monday night’s meeting—not the “more than a dozen speakers” reported in the typically less than careful Journal News story of Feb. 8. In the order in which they spoke, they were: James R. Moore, Maria Cudequest, Antoinette M. Cosentino, M.D., Charles Trendell, Richard Pellicci, Joann Minett, Susan Konig, Regina Montana, Don Daubney, Robert Wintermeier, with a brief afterword by Phil Tamico of 18 Half Moon Bay.

It is curious that among the names of those who signed the Republicans’ Certificate of Participation accompanying the nominating petitions filed on January 26, 2007, for candidates Gregory Schmidt, Thomas Brennan and Susan Konig were six of the ten names from the above list: James R. Moore, Charles Trendell, Joan Minett, Susan Konig, Don Daubney, Otto R(obert) Wintermeier. Joann Minett was listed on this certificate as the secretary of the Republican caucus. Maria Cudequest claims to be registered as an independent voter and Richard Pellicci claims to be registered as a Democrat; thus, they are not permitted to take part in a Republican caucus.

Phase Four. Mayor Schmidt colluded with this cabal and refrained from admonishing the small partisan audience not to applaud or make any demonstrations. He also failed to cut off Charles Trendell, who libeled the three Democratic sitting trustees by accusing them of taking bribes (see: “Charles W. Trendell Charges Croton-on-Hudson Officials with Accepting Bribes”). Mr. Trendell’s embarrassing embellishment was probably inadvertent and not part of the plot. Trustee Brennan underscored each speaker’s statement by repeatedly reiterating the Schmidt-Brennan-Konig campaign position, a blatant act of electioneering prohibited by law at a public meeting. This was reported in painfully excruciating detail in Crotonblog’s satirical “theatrical review” (see “A Satirical Report on Croton’s Feb. 5 Village Board Meeting”) of the proceedings.

In 2000, a similar unscrupulous group with their own private agenda hijacked our national government, and we all know the disastrous mess their machinations have caused at home and abroad. Sadly, we have just witnessed a similar nefarious attempt to abuse the democratic process and subvert our local government. Wake up, Croton, and see these people for what they are! They claim to be concerned about your health and welfare but they are actually engaged in a plot to control local government through trickery and deception. In its campaign to instill fear, the Bush administration has everybody on the lookout for swarthy-looking individuals with strange-sounding names, accompanied by women wearing headscarves. Jackals are indeed lurking among us here in Croton. The people we should really be wary of, however, are co-conspirators like those named above posing as our friends and neighbors.

— John C. “Dusty” Rhodes

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A Satirical Report on Croton's Feb. 5 Village Board Meeting

February 7, 2007

“Not much fun” was humorist Dorothy Parker’s answer to a bartender’s question, “What are you having?” That response also could be used to describe Croton residents’ reactions to the performance of what has become Croton’s Little Theater Company—the hackneyed, moth-eaten group that braved the cold to turn out and give another listless presentation of golden oldies at Monday night’s meeting of Croton’s board of trustees. In the eyes of this critic, it was no Ziegfeld production.

Not only did not much fun result from the show they put on, not much light was cast on an issue of crucial importance to the village. Exhibiting their usual feelings of superiority to those who do not share their political philosophy, they all played dual roles—except Croton’s diva, Madame Maria Cudequest, who always folds her tent and departs after her star turn. As predicted by Crotonblog (see: “Desperate Campaign to “Pack” Monday Night’s Croton Village Board Meeting”), when not onstage and performing, they served as their own noisy little claque—taking in each other’s wash, applauding loudly and approvingly at each performer’s solo reading. Despite the noisy little group’s efforts to generate loud applause, the sound level barely reached what might be heard from a pair of ham-handed attendees applauding at a convention of Turkish bath masseurs.

This was no memorable routine by a group of enthusiastic fresh-faced young players. Rather, it was another boring replay by the same tired group mouthing lines so familiar those watching at home could have said them as they were being read. So regularly does this hectoring crowd make a travesty of board meetings by reading from prepared scripts and lecturing patient, long-suffering village board members that Crotonblog now refers to them as “the usual suspects,” the classic phrase from the film Casablanca, Verily, their tactic is that of dripping water that can wear away a stone. Sensing the lackluster, repetitive tone of the evening, Trustee Tom Brennan simply could not resist playing enthusiastic ringmaster, injecting his own self-promoting comments after each player’s soliloquy. Heaven help us if we are to be subjected at village board meetings to another month of the Brennan brand of electioneering on steroids.

Amid the old familiar faces was one faded has-been performer resurrected from the past for an unbilled solo: Charles W. Trendell, 69 (see video clip below). For a change, a Barrymore not in his cups, he is more putty-nosed vaudeville clown than seasoned actor. All he needed was the baggy pants and the bladder and the slapstick to bring back memories of the old Minsky days. His chief claim to fame is that he served one term as trustee a quarter-century ago before voters got wise to him and turned him out to pasture. Carried away by his own sense of self-importance, he rambled on, wagging an accusatory finger, libeling Democratic trustees and charging them with accepting bribes. Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt, as he had done all evening, sat passively at the center of the horseshoe-shaped dais. Never once did he reach for his gavel to control the forced applause nor did he caution Mr. Trendell about his defamatory remarks. Such is the loose rein exercised by our illustrious Bürgermeister.

The Croton Little Theater Company players presented an end-of-days scenario they claim is taking place because of the village’s reasoned attempt to protect itself from unexpected turns of events arising from litigation now in progress. To them, Croton is already awash in noxious fumes and coated with dust containing every contaminant and poison known to science. Residents, it seems, are also at risk from every disease and condition that affects mankind, ranging from asthma to yellow jaundice. In their eyes, the village is already so contaminated as to be barely habitable, if not uninhabitable. To spice up the threat, they also threw in a couple of rumors and some urban legends for good measure. Example: Contaminated automobiles are the Typhoid Marys of Croton.

These scare tactics are identical with the scare tactics the Republicans have used nationally since 9/11 to retain their stranglehold on the government. As the November election showed, fear tactics have lost their usefulness to guarantee reelection of Republican candidates. Having recited their litany of alleged pollutants and impurities already coating surfaces of the village, they then raised the specter of falling real estate values, proving that their mock anxiety about health issues is merely a cloak for their real concerns: the dollar value of their homes. Yet by their wild, irresponsible allegations—unsubstantiated charges that would never be permitted to be uttered in a court of law—they have already done irreparable damage to real estate values in the village.

One statistical number ran like a thread through their unfounded allegations: the specter of “20,000 trucks rumbling through the village annually,” spewing death and destruction everywhere. The authority of and source for this monstrous number was never cited. Nevertheless, speaker after speaker repeated the ominous mantra-like phrase. It still rings in Crotonblog’s ears like a Buddhist chant. Om mani padme um. Twenty thousand trucks a year. Om mani padme um. Twenty thousand trucks a year.

Crotonblog barely scraped through mathematics at school, but retained enough common sense and skepticism to detect that this astronomical number of 20,000 trucks a year had a strong odor of baloney. A few simple calculations enabled Crotonblog to convert it into a realistic number: Assuming continuous operation at 1A Croton Point Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and deducting only for national holidays, 20,000 trucks a year translates into one truck entering 1A Croton Point Avenue, being unloaded and exiting every six minutes! What masterful scheduling and process control that would take. Yet the Croton Little Theater Company players want you to believe their unbelievably fanciful number of 20,000 trucks a year has validity. Even auto manufacturers Toyota and Honda, known for their carefully timed scheduled delivery of automobile components to their assembly plants, cannot boast of such quick delivery turnarounds.

And so Crotonblog is compelled to ask the Croton Little Theater Company: If your astronomical numbers have been so blatantly inflated, how can you expect residents to give credence to your other unfounded allegations? In the guise of citizen participation at a village board meeting, Croton was subjected to nothing short of an electioneering event staged by the desperate Republican Party. For their appalling takeover of Monday night’s meeting, these abysmally bad actors should be prevented from ever again using the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building as a stage for such shabby theatrics. They should be banned from repeatedly wasting the valuable time of village officers and residents at village board meetings. If they want to engage in electioneering, let them pull up their socks, get some new material and put together an election platform that is free of fear, hokum and deception. But whatever platform they come up with, it should be presented as street theater—not on village property masquerading as honest comment.

Video Clip:

Download this video clip of “Charles W. Trendell Charges Croton-on-Hudson Officials with Accepting Bribes” to your video iPod (how to guide).

Video transcript:

Continue reading "A Satirical Report on Croton's Feb. 5 Village Board Meeting."

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On 1A Croton Point Avenue, Our Position is Clear

February 5, 2007

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Let there be no mistaking our position on pursuing the litigation with regard to 1A Croton Point Avenue. As we have been in every instance, we are firmly in favor of all legal means to protect the village and want the Village to win in the courts.

But rolling the dice in the courts should NOT be the only means we explore to help control this site. In entering into a dialogue with the site operator we are trying to both learn more about the site and its operator and about non-judicial means to achieve control.

As Village Trustees we feel it is our responsibility to explore options for the village beyond reliance on the courts for protecting the health, safety and welfare and pocket book of Village residents.

— Ann Gallelli, Trustee; Charles Kane, Trustee; Leo Wiegman, Trustee

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Desperate Campaign to "Pack" Monday Night's Croton Village Board Meeting

February 2, 2007

“Packing the house” is a theatrical expression used to describe a show that has become a runaway success and fills all seats at every performance. It also describes the shady theatrical practice in which unscrupulous theatrical producers selectively give out tickets for opening-night performances to friends or hired audiences to create false enthusiasm and applause, thus swaying newspaper critics when they write their reviews. The latter underhanded maneuver is what is apparently going on in Croton to promote the Republican candidates and attack the Democratic incumbents.

While down at Croton Bay taking photographs of the omnipresent railroad ties for a future news story, Crotonblog came upon a small bottle floating in the water at high tide. Inside the bottle we found a most interesting letter and attachment. At this very moment, these are being circulated by e-mail to selected Croton residents. They reveal a plot to use an upcoming Village Board meeting as the setting for an organized protest to sway voters in a political campaign under the protective coloration of indignation over the Village’s attempt to explore negotiations with a property owner. This is electioneering, pure and simple, although on analysis, its purpose is not pure, nor simple. It deserves to be unmasked for what it is—an attempt to “pack the house” with a raucous and tiresome crowd that will repeat the same doleful message over and over again: Croton is going to hell in a handbasket because of the Democratic majority on the Village Board. Elect us Republicans.

The writer of the letter was Joann Minett, perennial village discontent, and the creator of the attached flyer was Susan Schmidt, wife of the present Mayor. Crotonblog is publishing both privately circulated documents here as a public service to the people of Croton who might otherwise see this demonstration next Monday evening as a spontaneous upwelling of popular sentiment. Instead, it quite obviously will be a blatant attempt at manipulation and electioneering. As Bette Davis, playing fading actress Margot Channing in the movie “All About Eve,” tells her party guests, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Friday, February 2, 2007

“We won. We got rid of Metro Enviro and now we need to get rid of Regus. Never before has it been so important for you to attend a meeting as it is now. This will affect us all so greatly in so many different ways it is scary. We need to band together now! Please come to the Village board meeting, listen and let your voice be heard. Do we really want this environmentally hazardous entity in our village? Do we really want to see our home values plummet? Do we really want thousands of trucks rumbling through our village? Weigman. Kane and Gallelli do! The people in this village must not let it happen. So many mistakes have been made in the past and we must not let it continue. They claim to be environmentalists yet this operation is against everything environmental. From our river and land to our health and safety.

Please see the attached flyer (illustrated below) and send it to your friends. Print it and hand them out. We need the grassroots spirit!


Joann Minett

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