Brian Pugh: “If you were mayor, what would you do?” 8th Grade Essay Contest

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped


Calling all 8th graders: If you were mayor, what would you do? Enter the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) annual 8th grade essay contest and tell the world.


The essay should begin with “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” and explain WHAT you want to do, WHY you want to do it, and HOW you are going to undertake such action, including how you’ll pay for it.


Per NYCOM, essayists should make sure their plans are consistent with the legal powers of a Village Mayor in New York State when choosing your What, Why and How. Mayors can: 1) Lead and collaborate on the building of municipal projects; 2) Promote and implement shared services with other governments; 3)Apply for grants from to make parks nicer, roads wider and sidewalks safer; 4) Work with the Board of Trustees to decide how the village should spend its money; 5) Make local laws; and 6) Manage city and village employees


Three winning essays will be awarded $150, second place $75 and third place $50. The first-place winner—along with their parents—will also be invited to NYCOM’s Annual Meeting in May in Cooperstown, NY.


Each essay must contain the student’s name, school they attend, and city or village in which the school is located. Essays must be between 350-500 words. Essays must be RECEIVED BY NYCOM NO LATER than MARCH 6th and submissions should be e-mailed to


Contest rules and details can be found at:

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 434

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 434th 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 –   February 25, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised




  1. Discussion on a donation to the Village of underwater lands adjacent to Senasqua Park.  Steel Style Development Corp., owners of HMB Marina, have been working with the Village on the donation of 39+ underwater acres in the Hudson River between HMB and Senasqua Park.
  2. Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar installations within the Village.  The Board will discuss a draft law modeled after a NYS Solar law which covers solar installations that are roof and ground mounted and also includes provision for a Special  Use Permit for large-scale solar installations.
  3. Further discussion on a traffic study around the intersection of Grand Street and Old Post Road South.  At the request of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee the Board authorized a RFP for professional services to examine the above intersection as follows: “review historical data, the examination of the area surrounding the intersection, traffic counts to determine the quantity of vehicles traveling through the intersection, an intersection capacity analysis, recommendations for intersection control, as well as a public meeting to present their findings”.  The Board will discuss its next step in this process of studying this intersection.
  4. Discussion with representatives from the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce on plans for Summerfest 2019.  The Board will discuss plans for this year’s Summerfest.  The Hudson Valley Chamber has indicated to the Village that its sponsoring and administration of the Village’s Summerfest is not profitable for them.  Currently the Village participates in coordinating this event through the participation of the Recreation, DPW and Police Departments.  The Chamber sends out requests for vendors, allocates spaces, provides advertising, and pays for the bands.
  5. Further discussion on Police Department expansion and relocation of Recreation Department offices.   The Board will further discuss the proposed relocation of the Recreation Dept. to the Gouveia Park house as part of, and in conjunction with, its examination of the planned renovation of the Police Department in the Municipal Building.  A determination on the relocation must be made before the finalizing of the Police renovation planning is done.   The Recreation Advisory Board has endorsed the move and a proposed list of programming that would utilize the site is included in the backup materials.

Brian Pugh: Supporting Our Sidewalks

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped
I am writing to advise readers that the Village Board has called for a public hearing on Monday, March 4, 2019, at 8 PM at the Municipal Building on a proposed local law to revise the existing sidewalk improvement program and establish a general sidewalk improvement program for the Village.
The proposed local law would revise the existing sidewalk improvement program, available to property owners with sidewalks damaged by street trees, to state the Village will pay 40% of such repair costs for property owners and a general sidewalk improvement program under which the Village will also pay 40% of renovation and replacement costs for property owners. The proposed program would take effect on June 1, 2019 and last for a period of three years.
The Village administration has developed the in-house ability to repair small sidewalk sections and no longer needs to hire an outside contractor to do this work. This is possible thanks to the recent hire of our new Village Foreman, the training of our Department of Public Works crew, and the streamlining of operations by our Superintendent of Public Works.
Safe sidewalks are an integral part of making a walkable community as well as supporting property values. I hope that if this proposed local law to revise and expand the sidewalk improvement program is adopted, it will serve as a strong incentive to property owners to take advantage of it to ensure that our sidewalks remain in good repair.
A recent survey found the Village of Croton to be the best community in New York State–by working together I hope we can maintain an attractive and affordable Croton.
Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 433

Dear neighbor, Here is the 433rd 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 – February 19, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)


NOTE:  This meeting is on a Tuesday.




 Continuation of Public Hearing on revising Chapter 223 of the Village Code, Water, to reflect new bill delivery options (Hearing will be left open due to notice issues).   The proposed amendment would allow for water bills to be sent via email.  As the notice of the hearing  was not made  within the legal time frames, the hearing on this will be left open so comments can also be heard at a subsequent meeting.





  • Email from John Munson, Fire Council Secretary, regarding Fire Department membership changes.  The Fire Department is notifying the Village of the addition of three new members.
  • Letter from Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Town Supervisor, on proposed cuts to AIM funding.


Supervisor Puglisi copied the Village on her letter to the Governor asking that the elimination of AIM funding  proposed in his budget be restored.




  • Consider adoption of a Breach Notification Policy in accordance with New York State


law.  The proposed policy would notify residents whose information may have been subject of identity theft.  Such a policy is required by NYS.


  • Consider revision of the conditions listed in the special permit issued to New York SMA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless for the proposed co-location of a personal wireless services facility at the Municipal Building, 1 Van Wyck Street.  Two conditions in the approved permit are no longer considered necessary by the Engineer for the installation of this wireless facility and would be removed.
  • Consider scheduling a public hearing for Monday, March 4, 2019, at 8 PM in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to amend Section 197 of the Village Code, Streets and Sidewalks, to revise the existing street  sidewalk improvement program and establish a general sidewalk improvement program for the Village.  The Village is considering reinstituting a sidewalk replacement program of past years. The amendment to the Streets and Sidewalk Law would add a new section saying beginning June 1, 219 and continuing for three years, the Village will cover 40% of sidewalk replacement costs.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign the 2019 Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Town of Cortlandt to provide Emergency Medical Services within the Mount Airy/Quaker Bridge Fire District during the period of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 for the amount of $66,043.  This is an annual agreement between the Town and the Village which calls for the Croton EMS to provide coverage in the about stated area of the Town.
  • Consider establishment of standard work days for elected and appointed officials of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.  The NYS Retirement System annually requires  municipalities to establish for elected and appointed officials who are members of the retirement system the number of hours that constitute a standard work day and the the number of days accrued in a month.
  • Consider amending the Master Fee Schedule of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson to include an administrative fee to property owners billed for clearing of sidewalks. The Village recently started a program whereby homeowners who do not clear their sidewalks of snow and ice by 18 hours following a storm, will be issued a violation and have their sidewalk cleared by a contractor.  The cost of this clearing is billed to the owner.  A significant amount of administrative overhead is incurred for this billing process.  A fee is proposed to be added as a fee to the owner’s bill for the sidewalk clearing on an escalating basis: $35 for first violation; $50 for second; $75 for third and more.
  • Consider appointment of John Smith to the position of Detective Sergeant, filling a vacancy, at an annual salary of $139,983.31, per the PBA contract. Chief Harper is recommending that Detective  John Smith be promoted to Detective Sergeant filling that vacant position in the Department.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the amount of $12,748.49 for Fire Department costs.  This money is for both equipment and training expenses that were authorized in the 2018/2019 Budget approval.  The money was placed in the Contingency account to be authorized as needed during the year.



Brian Pugh: Moratorium a reminder of the need to conserve energy

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

As many readers may already know, Con Edison announced in January a moratorium on new natural gas customers for much of Westchester County to take effect in March, which was the subject of a public hearing in White Plains this week.  This moratorium does not cover the Village of Croton.

Although the Village of Croton is not affected by the current proposed moratorium, it is a stark reminder of the importance of conserving energy as the moratorium is driven by growing demand for natural gas in Westchester County.  Some simple energy saving tactics from Con Ed include:

1) Lower your thermostat-Each degree over 68°F can increase your energy usage by 3 percent.

2) Keep ducts and vents clean-Your heating system will run more efficiently, and it might last longer.

3) Swap out your shades seasonally-Light-colored window coverings reflect the sun’s energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat.

4) Take showers instead of baths-Showers use half as much water as baths. Less hot water means less energy used.

In addition to these energy smart behaviors, I encourage property owners to consult with the nonprofit Energize Croton program.  The Energize Croton program is here to help you with everything from the initial application, picking a contractor and scheduling the home energy assessment to prioritizing energy upgrade measures and accessing financing options

Dozens of Croton residents have already made their homes more energy efficient with Energize.  A more energy efficient home can make your home more comfortable, make it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, save money on heating and cooling, increase the value of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint

For more information, please call (914) 302-7300, visit or write to

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Saving Taxpayer Dollars

ann2016To the Editor,
This week the Board of Trustees authorized our Village Treasurer to refinance two bonds issued in 2009 and 2011 respectively. The refinanced bond will provide a total net savings of over $300,000 over the life of the bond.
Thank you to our proactive Village Treasurer and Manager who brought this opportunity to our attention.
There are many demands on our Village dollars for infrastructure, services, maintenance and protection. We are always looking for opportunities, such as this, to improve and maximize our ability to meet these demands.

Ann Gallelli

Amy Attias: Thank you, Trustee Olver

To the editor:Sep. 14th LTEs -- AA


As many know, several weeks ago I had to make the tough decision to resign as Trustee in Croton. The decision was wrenching, but watching Rick Olver being sworn in Monday evening as the person taking the seat I vacated, made my heart and mind rest at ease.


Our community is so well served by Rick’s decision to answer the “call of duty” and to once again serve as Trustee. He has been in this position before, so there is no starting from square one. Rather, he is experienced, prepared, and ready to go.


And then for me, personally, knowing that Rick’s professional background both at the United Nations and as an immigration attorney, coincided with my own social and political values, took the sting out of disappointing people who may have voted for me. I believe that in many important regards, Rick and I would see eye to eye, and that he will be a valuable asset to the Village Board.


Croton is in such good hands. Thank you, Rick Olver, for saying yes to a request to serve us once again.


Amy Attias

Brian Pugh: Welcome Aboard, Trustee Olver

To The Editor:pugh2016
I appointed former Trustee Rick Olver to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Trustee Amy Attias. I believe that Trustee Olver, thanks to his previous service on the Board, is ready from day one to serve and well positioned to contribute to our community.
I feel it was particularly important to appoint someone that could hit the ground running as we begin work on the 2019-2020 Village budget. The Village’s budget process, which begins with the presentation of the Village Manager’s proposed budget in March and continues to the adoption of the budget in April, can be demanding with many twice weekly Board meetings to review the budget line-by-line with the heads of the Village’s Departments.
Trustee Olver previously served on the Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011. Olver holds a J.D. from the Harvard School of Law and his law firm is located in the Village. I believe that Trustee Olver’s experience, expertise and deep local ties will make him an asset to the Board of Trustees and the Village. I hope that readers will join me in welcoming Rick Olver to the Board and thanking for him his willingness to serve.
Brian Pugh

Rick Olver: Answering a Call to Service

To The Editor:rick-olver-croton-on-hudson.jpg

I am proud to have been appointed to our Village Board to serve out the remainder of this year’s term. I agreed because I’ve learned to say ‘yes’ when I’m asked to help. Our village government has been led and managed in a thoughtful and prudent manner, but the challenges we face seem ever more difficult. People are being priced out. Young people, old people and families with good middle class jobs can’t afford it here any more. I’ve discussed with Mayor Pugh the need to continue to encourage the careful development of mixed business and middle class housing to expand the tax base, revitalize our down towns, and take the tax pressure off of homeowners, so we can keep Croton a unique place where people don’t have to be rich to live in what’s been called “the best town in New York”!

Rick Olver, Trustee