Last week Mr. Paul Steinberg wrote yet another letter. Once again, rather than approaching the Village directly for information, and/or posing his questions in this forum simply and straightforwardly, he seems to be using this forum to take another opportunity to attack, insinuate and provoke. Why? One can only speculate, since he never made it clear.
Mr. Steinberg’s letter involved a property on Hollis Ave. that has belonged to the Village for 24 years, and had recently been offered for sale. When one scrubs his lengthy letter of sarcasm, mockery, innuendo and personal slurs, his questions boil down to the following: 1) Why has the Village offered this property for sale, after all these years? 2) Why have they done so by placing it on a website called BidNet that is generally used for solicitation of bids and procurement of goods and services.? 3) Why was there a specific time limit set on this process? And finally, 4) Why was the decisions to sell the property made in executive session and not made public after the decision was made?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with raising these questions. Of course, had there been a sincere effort to get the information, the obvious method to do so would be to ask the questions directly of the Village by simply sending an email which would then have been included in the Board’s agenda. As I am sure that someone as well informed as Mr. Steinberg knows, there is a standing item on the agenda – “Responses To Questions Submitted By E-Mail”. His four questions I’ve listed above could have been answered that way. I suspect that someone from the Village Board will soon address them directly.
For myself, I think the most productive question raised dealt with notice to the public. That is a very important issue and one that should be explored directly and dispassionately. If the perception of the public is that our government could be more “open” in its communications with them, then it certainly should be.
Unfortunately, it does not seem to have been Mr. Steinberg’s goal to get an answer to that or any other question. It seems that he was more interested in agitating and fomenting concern among his fellow residents by raising these question and insinuating something nefarious had gone on then he was in getting answers. To what end? What is his motive in doing so? He does not say. And I do not claim to know.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter asking folks to try to be more productive and less confrontational in lodging their complaints/concerns about the governance of the Village of Croton on Hudson. I think it bears repeating:
“We are all entitled to our own opinions. I would not criticize anyone for that. However, if your goal is truly to be of service to your fellow Village residents by pointing out what you perceive of as misguided policies, why is it necessary to manufacture “facts”, impute malign motives to, and engage in ad hominem attacks on the sitting Trustees? One thing we all should have learned from the 2018 elections is that most people in this country are sick and tired of this kind of behavior and want those who claim to be acting in the public interest to do so in a truthful and civil manner.”
Richard Masur – Chair, Croton Democratic Committee
To The Editor:
I am writing to remind readers that payment for Village of Croton utilities is due by Monday, July 15th. If you have questions about your bill, you can call 914-862-1419. These bills can be paid online by going to the village website, www.crotononhudson-ny.gov, and selecting “Online Payments” under the Citizen Action Center.
These utility payments support our vital water and sewer infrastructure.
Our Village has made important improvements in this area. As recently as 5 years ago, testing found 5 violations for inadequate chlorine contact time and excessive copper. In their last tests, the County Healthy Department found no violations.
These improvements did not come by accident. Keeping our water pure requires vigilance and funding.
Approximately 1/3 of our Village’s outstanding bonds are for our water system. In this year’s budget, the Board approved $500,000 for relining water mains along Cleveland Drive and Albany Post Road. Property taxes pay for none of this. The entire system is funded by resident’s utility payments.
As Mayor, I will continue to make the provision of vital municipal services a priority. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and our Village staff to keep our community safe and healthy.
Brian Pugh, Mayor
Dear neighbor, Here is the 456th 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.
Work Session of the Village Board
7: 30 p.m.
(Open to Public and Televised
a. Discussion on the future of the Croton Coalition with Laurie Dean, Chair and Coordinator. The Croton Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse has completed its 10th and last year with federal funding with the Village as its sponsor. The Board will discuss its role for the future.
b. Discussion on the creation of a youth advisory committee. The Board will discuss the possible role of such a committee.
c. Discussion on proposed Oktoberfest event with Toni Senecal, owner of the Croton Tapsmith. Ms. Senecal will present her ideas for an Oktoberfest event, possible location and dates for Fall 2019.
d. Recap of snow removal from sidewalks by the Village’s contractor during the 2018-19 winter. The Board will review some facts and figures from last winter’s snow removal on the Village streets and train station parking lot.
e. Review of residency requirements for certain Village parks. The Board will review the current status of Village parks. Currently parks and fields in the Village are restricted to residents with the exception of Croton Landing Park, Manes Field and Fireman’s Field.
Mayor Brian Pugh, the Croton Village Board and Police Chief Russel Harper share a vision of a modern police force that proactively partners with local citizens to identify and solve problems. We believe that in our small, welcoming village such a community policing strategy will build security, trust and caring.
When a police department is trusted by its community, the job works like it should. But trust can be a very hard thing for police to earn—especially since officers tend to appear in a citizen’s life when something has gone wrong. Police agencies that are diverse are simply more likely to build trust because they reflect the community and include officers of many backgrounds and experiences – and officers learn different perspectives from each other.
This week Croton took a couple of important new steps. Congratulations to new Officer Debra Rodriguez, who graduated from training at the Rockland County Police Academy – she will be on patrol soon. And congratulations to Nicholas Ditomasso, who we hired to fill the position of Police Officer (Spanish Speaking). We designated an existing, open position to require proficiency in Spanish and English. Mr. Ditomasso will be the first to fill that position.
Trustee, Village of Croton on Hudson
Last Friday (6/28) was the first “Air Quality Action Day” of the summer due to excessive Ozone. Ground-level ozone is a respiratory irritant that can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Children, people with pre-existing respiratory or heart conditions, people doing strenuous outdoor work or exercise and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone.
Sunshine can cause some pollutants to undergo chemical reactions, creating smog. Higher air temperatures can also speed up chemical reactions in the air. Therefore, as the summer progresses, we can expect additional air quality action days.
Here are several simple steps to take to prevent air pollution:
Combine errands into a single trip and postpone unnecessary trips.
When possible, use mass transit
Avoid letting your vehicle idle
Postpone operating gas-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and wait for when air quality is better.
Finally, motorists should remember that Westchester County has enacted an Anti-Idling Law to prohibit the idling of vehicles for more than three consecutive minutes. Every minute of idling wastes fuel and affects the air quality of our area. Local police are empowered to enforce this law.
I encourage residents to remain informed about local air quality by subscribing to alerts from www.dec.ny.gov, protecting themselves by taking appropriate precautions (e.g. limiting outdoor work on air quality action days) and taking steps to reduce air pollution.