The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.
To the Editor:
Seniors of Croton, unite! The village board is coming after us with guns blazing.
The other day my wife and I went to the Municipal Building to renew our Rec passes, which expire next month. After our new cards were issued came the shock—and the outrage!
For years, no, for decades, Croton seniors have been issued free passes for Silver Lake. This in recognition of our status and in compensation for the substantial contributions we have made (and continue to make) to the village during our younger years. But when we requested our Silver Lake stickers for this season, we were rebuffed. It seems the board, in its infinite wisdom, has chosen to reverse this venerable policy and, henceforth, seniors will be charged a fee for entry into our favorite swimming hole.
Yes, the fees are moderate. And yes, many of us can reasonably afford them. But there are also those in our village, many on fixed incomes, who struggle every day to remain in their homes in our high-priced community; and for whom every dollar is important if they are not to be driven from our midst. And how much can the board possibly expect to reap from these folks in comparison to our $19.5 million budget? A pittance at best.
So what is behind this slap in the faces of our oldest residents? Is the board that desperate to glean every nickel from every source to fund its pet projects like Croton Point Avenue and Gouveia Park? Is this how they respond to the Financial Stability Committee’s warning that village expenses will soon exceed its revenues?
It is sad to contemplate that, during a hot, muggy day this August, some of our senior citizens may be forced to forgo the opportunity to cool themselves in the waters of the Croton River, or to just sit in the sun and reminisce with old friends about the good old days when our village board actually cared about all of the residents of Croton, not just themselves and their friends.
Joel E. Gingold