Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 406

Dear neighbor, Here is the 406th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings. I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas –  May 21, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees


8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)


PRESENTATION/OTHER: Hon. George Latimer, Westchester County Executive, addresses the Board.


PUBLIC HEARING:  Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2018 to authorize a charitable gifts reserve fund tax credit.   As a result of recent NYS legislation allowing the use of charitable fund contributions to be used as a tax credit, municipalities in the state are determining whether to set up the required local  laws and regulations to implement this.  Comments will be received form the public on the proposed local law providing that a property owner making “an unrestricted charitable monetary contribution to the Village’s charitable gifts reserve fund shall be issued a written acknowledgement of such contribution and may claim a credit against their Village real property tax equal to ninety-five (95%) percent of the charitable gifts reserve fund donation.”




  • Letter from John Buonamano, Croton-Harmon UFSD Athletics, regarding field use. On behalf of the school district, Mr. Buonamano is requesting permission to remove the grass from the infield of the Village-owned Firefighter’s Field in order to provide a field “conducive to the game of softball.”
  • Letter from Thomas Kaplan, Fire Council Secretary, regarding Croton Fire Department membership changes.   As is required, the Fire Council is notifying the Village of changes in its membership roster.
  • Letter from Glenn Simpson, Croton Little League President, regarding banner donations for 2018.  Mr. Simpson enclosed a check for $500 for the field maintenance fund for Dobbs Field.  This was a result of a 2017 agreement between Little League and the Village, that permitted sponsor banners to be sold and displayed on the fence at this field.  Mr. Simpson also reiterates Little League’s commitment to invest $30,000 in improvements to the Duck Pond Park field.








  • Authorizing the Village Manager to sign a lease agreement between the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and the Croton Sailing School for a period beginning June 1, 2018 continuing until May 31, 2028.   The current lease agreement between the Village and Steve Jennings, Croton Sailing School owner, expires on May 31, 2018.  The proposed new lease extension, with some modifications, would extend it for another ten years.
  • Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the Grant Disbursement Agreement with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to receive $125,000.00 in funding for the Elliott Way Sidewalk Project.   The Village will receive the $125,000 to be used for the sidewalk project to be constructed along Elliott Way this summer.


Adoption of Proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  The proposed one-year Capital Plan calls for $1,837,000 in expenditures for the General Fund.  $700,000 would be bonded, $604,000 from Fund Balance, $345,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) and $87,500 in grants and $100,000 from the Water Fund fund balance.

The resolution also directs the Village Treasurer to bring Bond resolutions for approval to the next Board meeting.


  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the Sewer Fund in the amount of $8,000.00 for the purpose of making repairs to the sewer jet truck.  This is budgetary housekeeping needed to put enough money in to the proper Sewer account from contingency to pay for the needed repair.
  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2017-18 Adopted Budget in the amount of $34,500.00 to reflect under-budgeted revenue in parking permits.  This resolution calls for $34,500 in parking lot revenue to be utilized for new camera equipment for parking enforcement vehicles.
  • Authorizing the establishment of a Charitable Gifts Reserve Fund pursuant to Section 6-u of the New York State General Municipal Law.  Prior to a municipality providing a tax credit for charitable contributions it must create a charitable reserve fund into which contributions can be made.
  • Considering the adoption of Local Law Intro. No. 5 of 2018 to establish a Charitable Gifts Reserve Fund tax credit program in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.  Input from the earlier public hearing as well opinions from Counsel and recent guidance from NYS  will be considered in determining whether to  establish a tax credit program from the charitable reserve fund.




Executive Session:

Request from the Village Manager to enter into an Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter related to a specific individual. If the request is granted, an executive session will be held.


Sherry Horowitz: Community Conversations

May 15, 2018sherry2017

Letter to the Editor

Before I was elected Trustee, I was an early member of the Croton Climate Initiative.  In fact, the major reason I decided to run for a position on the Village Board was to advance Croton along the road to a more environmentally sustainable future.  As a current friend of CCI, I can speak to the herculean efforts of its members to educate Croton residents on the environmental dangers of single use plastic bags and the merit in adopting a Reusable Bag Initiative for our community.  

That being said, I was very gratified to see so many CCI and Mothers Out Front members at the Village Board meeting on Wednesday night, May 9th, to strongly advocate for a Reusable Bag Initiative. The take away for me is that when people are passionate about an issue, when they come together to organize and advocate, they become incredibly powerful agents for change.  Grassroots organizations like CCI and MOF are perfect examples of this kind of people involvement in local affairs. And when elected officials listen to their constituents, and are responsive to their advocacy, there is tremendous potential to make good things happen.

So, thank you all for showing up and speaking up! And please keep on being involved and active in the life of the community we all call home!

Sincerely, Sherry Horowitz, Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 405

Dear neighbor, Here is the 405th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas –   May 14, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised



  • Review of existing resolution and possible expansion of Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). Chuck Lesnick of New York State Homes and Community Renewal to attend.   In 2003, the Village adopted a resolution to include Bari Manor under the ETPA.  It has 82 units and is the only existing housing covered under ETPA in the Village.  ETPA can be adopted  when there is a declared housing emergency which, by definition, means there is 5% or less vacancy rate of housing.  The ETPA can regulate buildings with 6 or more units.  The number set in the 2003 resolution was 50 units.   The board will discuss whether it should amend that number to a smaller number.    Currently there are just 4 locations with 6 or more units, (2 with 6, 1 with 7, 1 with 32). There are also 2 properties currently designated as Affordable Housing with 12 units each. Chuck Lesnick of NYS Homes and Community Renewal has been invited to attend and answer questions.




  • Discussion on how to move forward with proposed local law on affordable housing and charette scheduled for June 13.  The Village has a proposed local law on affordable housing which has been under discussion for several years in various forms.  The Board is planning to have a charrette ( a facilitated public meeting to discuss an issue or topic) on June 13 to discuss the Village’s needs with regard to housing.  The Board is considering the proposal by the Pace University Land Use Law Center to conduct such a charrette and facilitate the discussion with all interested residents.  It will cover the Village’s goals, needs, choices, existing housing stock, and regulations.  The cost to the Village for this service would be $1,000.


Existing affordable housing ordinances for Hastings, New Castle, Pound Ridge, Irvington and Rye Brook can be found on the Village website with the agenda for this meeting.


  • Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar installations within the Village.   The proposed local law would regulate  both Ground-Mounted and Large-Scale Solar Energy Systems that provide onsite energy and onsite and offsite energy respectively.
  • Discussion on changes to the existing village soliciting and canvassing laws.   The Village’s existing Solicitation law (Section 172 in the Village Code) is being reviewed.  Proposals made in 2015 have not yet been addressed. The Board will review and discuss current regulations regarding commercial and non-commercial solicitation, currently licensing, and options for residents to choose No Solicitation.




  • Discussion on consideration of Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2018 to authorize a charitable gifts reserve fund tax credit.  In order to be compliant with the provisions of the charitable contribution provisions of the recently passed NYS Budget, the Village will discuss establishing a Charitable Contributions Reserve Fund.  Property owners would be able to make unrestricted charitable contributions to this fund and would be eligible to a credit  against their property tax of 95% of their contribution.    While the Village is moving ahead to satisfy the provisions of the NYS law, the federal IRS has not yet ruled on this use of a charitable contribution.




  • Discussion on Echo Canoe Launch parking issues.  The Board will discuss some of the parking issues associated with the Canoe Launch site on the Croton River. 





  • Review of Proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  The prosed one-year Capital Plan calls for $1,737,000 in expenditures for the General Fund.  $800,000 would be bonded, $604,000 from Fund Balance, $245,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) and $87,500 in grants. 



Brian Pugh: Citizen Action Makes It Happen

To The Editor:


I was born and raised in Croton-on-Hudson and decided to come back here after college. Now, I live on North Riverside Avenue with my wife and enjoy exposing her to the many different sides of Croton that we all love. This past weekend was a prime example of the spirit of what makes Croton so special: our residents care about community and actively participate in community life.


On Sunday, residents came together to maintain the breathtaking Croton Gorge Unique Area as part of Love My Parks Day on the Old Croton Aqueduct; they supported the educational aspirations of our students at Croton Yacht Club Scholarship Dinner & Silent Auction; replenished lifesaving blood reserves as part of the Croton Community Blood Drive; supported the fair trade movement at the Plant & Bake Sale at the Holy Name of Mary; and enjoyed the arts at the the Croton Chorale presentation of Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” at Asbury United Methodist Church, and the Spring Photo Show at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Hudson Valley.


Later this week, residents will join together to plant new native species at Brinton Brook Sanctuary on Friday, May 11 (6 PM to 8 PM) and learn about the power of solar energy to light our homes, trim our electric bills and protect our environment at the Solarize Croton-Cortlandt Workshop this Saturday, May 12 (10 AM) at the Hendrick-Hudson Free Library.


These wonderful community projects are the work of many dozens of people voluntarily joining together to improve our world. I have a deep appreciation for those who step up in big ways and small, because Margaret Mead is right: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Brian Pugh

Decoding Village Agendas No. 404

Dear neighbor, Here is the 404th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings. I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas –  May 9, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees


8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)


NOTE:   This meeting is on a Wednesday.





  • Email from Jennifer Pauly, Croton Climate Initiative, Regarding Plastic Bags.   Ms. Pauly requests, on behalf of CCI, that the Village Board place their reusable bag initiative on the upcoming May 14 work session.  CCI has gathered over 1000 signatures from local residents and over 45 local merchants in support of their proposal.  As stated in her email letter, the CCI proposal is as follows:



would prohibit stores and merchants in Croton from providing single-use plastic bags to customers. The RBI would also require that those stores that distribute the greatest number of bags, grocery stores and chain drugstores, charge a ten cent fee for paper bags, which must be composed of at least 40 percent post-consumer (recycled) paper. Plastic produce bags used in grocery stores, dry-cleaning bags, and newspaper bags are exempt. Smaller stores and restaurants would not have to charge for paper bags “





  • Authorizing the Village Manager to award the contract for tree trimming and removal services to Golden’s Tree Service at the rate of $1,605.60 per day for a total of $48,168.00.   The Village received four bids for the work.  Golden’s was the lowest. The next highest was $80,250 and the highest was $164,400.  DPW Superintendent recommended accepting Golden’s bid. 
  • Authorizing the Village Manager to execute a cooperation agreement with Westchester County for the purposes of applying for future Community Development Block Grant funds.    This agreement would enable the Village to work with the County in applying for and obtaining CDBG grants.  These are federal grants allocated through HUD.  In the past, the Village obtained this type of funding for several improvement projects in the village.
  • Acknowledging receipt of the special permit renewal application for a Motor Vehicle Service Station and used car lot located at 365 South Riverside Avenue and referring it to the Planning Board for a recommendation back to the Board of Trustees.  This is the initial step in an application to renew its existing special permit at this location – the site of the former Dodge dealership and current site of a Happy Hearts child care facility.  After review and a recommendation by the Planning Board it will come back to the Village Board for a decision.



Brian Pugh: Special Savings on Electric Vehicles for Croton Residents

​To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

Thanks to our Village’s partnership with Sustainable Westchester, the nonprofit intermunicipal consortium, residents have the opportunity to see unique savings on the purchase of electric vehicles. By leveraging the buying power of its member communities, Sustainable Westchester has succeeded in securing a deal that allows consumers to buy an all-electric Nissan leaf for $17,490 after discounts, rebates and tax credits. The Leaf cost 50% less per mile than a traditional gasoline-fueled vehicle.

Beyond the economic benefits to consumers, though, this deal helps to achieve important environmental and public health goals by accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs). As many readers may know, the American Lung Association recently gave Westchester County’s air quality an F-rating–mainly due to air pollution from automobiles–EVs produce no tailpipe emissions.

In addition, EVs are essential to our fight against global warming. And the science shows that EVs today, using current technology, can get the job done.

A recent MIT study found that roughly 90 percent of the personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced by a low-cost electric vehicle available on the market today. Moving to EVs would more than meet near-term U.S. climate targets for personal vehicle travel. Overall, when accounting for the emissions today from the power plants that provide the electricity, this would lead to an approximately 30 %reduction in emissions from transportation.

Deeper emissions cuts would be realized as our electric grid switches to renewables overtime. Indeed, NY’s solar capacity has grown by 1,000% since 2011. Further progress is being made as our state works through our state energy plan towards the target of 50% of electricity from renewable source by 2030.

It took the world 20 years to get the 1st million EVs on the road – but 18 months for the 2nd million, and only 8 months for the 3rd. EVs are coming fast and we appreciate the work of Sustainable Westchester on behalf of our communities to speed that progress and save our residents money in the process.

To learn more about Sustainable Westchester electric vehicle discount program, visit, or call their Mount Kisco office at (914) 242-4725.


Brian Pugh

Amy Attias: Make Your Voice Heard!

To The Editor: fre-sonneveld-powerlines.jpg

This week, I watched a Facebook feed about local business on the Croton Community Page, and was thrilled to realize that I was watching the possibilities of democracy in action. (On Facebook, which might be a bit ironic.) People were discussing concerns about the difficulty of sustaining businesses in Croton, and were also offering forward-looking ideas, many of them creative and wonderful and exciting. Other community Facebook conversations have addressed many local issues, and it is wonderful to see the exchange of ideas that would not otherwise happen.

Part of what drew me to Croton 16 years ago was its progressive, highly creative community. That spirit manifests in all places, including Facebook. That spirit also led me to run for local governmental office, so it is so exciting to see great ideas from people who live here, and now be part of a Village Board that can help “incubate” those ideas and facilitate the high creative Croton approach to what we would like for our Village.

For example, the Village recently was approached by a small group of residents who put together a well researched, well planned idea for a pop-up Farmer’s Market at Vassallo Park, which will also include local art and music talent. We were thrilled to support this venture. We would welcome the opportunity to work with individual projects, but perhaps more importantly, at some time in the near future we will be looking for a group of knowledgeable and interested residents to form a group to look at this issue together.

Democracy in action also takes another form this week, as we have been given the opportunity to respond to a New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) initiative investigating the response of utilities, including Con Edison, in the last storm. The state is looking for information such as how you were affected by the outages, whether you received accurate and timely information from the utility, and your overall impressions about Con Ed’s response.

Comments can be submitted by telephone or email. The number for the 24-hour, toll-free Opinion Line is 1-800-335-2120. Emails should be sent to Kathleen H. Burgess at Emails should reference “Matter 18-00618” and/or the “March 2018 Winter Storms Investigation.”

Issues like bringing in new businesses that can be sustained is not something a town board can do on its own. Our Village is a pretty amazing place. Government acting together with residents and business owners will make our beloved little spot even better.


Amy Attias


Ann Gallelli: Discounts for Village Seniors

To the editor,ann2016

Here are a few points to consider on the institution of a $20 season pass rate for Silver Lake for resident seniors. 

  • In Croton, senior residents (over 62) get a Parks & Recreation Photo Id for free.
  • While the $20 season pass allows for unlimited access, the cost for an individual visit to  Silver Lake park is $1 for senior residents with their ID. For many who don’t visit more than 20 times in a season, this is a very low-cost alternative to the season pass.


For comparison purposes, Briarcliff Manor charges its Seniors $125 for a season pass to their pool.  The Town of Cortlandt charges $68 for a senior season pass to Charles Cook pool or a $4.75 daily fee in addition to its $7 charge for a photo id.


Although we never like to increase fees, this fee was adopted to help cover the cost of improvements being made at Silver Lake. This past winter, the Village Board agreed to upgrade a path down to Silver Lake beach from the parking lot.  This improvement was suggested by some residents, local seniors, who came to the Village seeking a safer access to the park. The Board supported this idea and included it in the budget. Work on it is expected to begin in the next few weeks in time for the season.  It will improve access for everyone.


Additionally, it should be noted that the Parks & Recreation Dept. has a financial aid program to ensure that all residents have full access to Village parks and programs regardless of their financial situations.  Applications are available in the Recreation Office through June 1. All information will be confidential.


I believe that most seniors would find that paying $1/day entrance fee on top of zero charge for a Photo ID, plus the improved path to the beach, is well worth it for the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful summer park facility.  


Ann Gallelli


Brian Pugh: Announcing The Adopted 2018-19 Budget

brian-pugh-group-croppedTo The Editor:

I am happy to report that on Monday, April 23, our Village Board adopted the 2018-19 budget. I would like to thank Village Manager Janine King, Village Treasurer Sandra Bullock, the department heads and my colleagues on the Board of Trustees for collaborating on a smart budget for FY 2018-19.

The Village faced several challenges in this budget cycle: increasing health insurance costs, greater pension contributions, and finalizing a contract with our largest municipal unit (and closing a contract that had expired back in 2016). But we were able to deliver a budget with a modest 0.47% increase (well below the 2% cap, saving taxpayers almost $200,000). We also limited growth in total Village government appropriations to below the rate of inflation.

Our 2018-19 budget achieved all of this without any reduction in the services our community relies on and expects from our Village government. The range and quality of these services (e.g., building permits, courts, code enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, parks, police, roads, recycling, senior programs, sewers, snow removal, trash disposal, water and zoning) are an integral part of the high quality of life we enjoy in this community.

To maintain this balance between taxes and services we must be proactive and budget strategically. As a Board, we will continue to work with the Village staff and the larger community to control costs while preserving the amenities and quality of life that we all cherish.


Brian Pugh

Ian Murtaugh: Community Solar Lights The Way

To the editor,  pexels-photo-411592.jpeg

Last Friday I attended a ribbon cutting of a new solar installation in Montrose which shows the promise of community solar.  Community solar is an initiative which gives access to smart power to those who do not, or for whatever reason, cannot have their own systems.  Quality Circle Products is hosting an array of panels on their roof, which benefits them both through hosting fees and reduced power costs, and their neighbor subscribers who are getting reduced energy bills.   Quality Circle has a nice big roof and are in effect sharing it with others.

This safe renewable power source is a reliable and welcome addition to our energy toolkit as we try to reduce sourcing power from extractables.  This installation was brought about by a committed and environmentaliy minded business owner, private companies whose expertise was necessary, Sustainable Westchester and local and county governments who believe in the future of community solar and helped facilitate it.  I am convinced this is just the beginning of something really big!

Respectfully submitted,

Ian Murtaugh


Village of Croton-on-Hudson