The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.
To the Editor,
In The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill warns, “Ya got trouble! Right here in River City!” Well, we got trouble right here in our own river village.
The devastation created by the developer of three properties on Piney Point Avenue and Nordica Drive, ostensibly under the watchful eye of Croton officials, as so graphically depicted in these pages, is so egregious that it drew two individuals from across the Croton River in Ossining to join neighborhood residents at last week’s village board meeting to admonish the trustees for the conditions created on their watch. They can clearly see the ravaged properties from their homes several hundred yards away and they expressed surprise that there were not many more Croton residents in attendance demanding answers.
While most members of the board responded with only the usual platitudes of concern, Trustee Richard Olver was willing to step up and express a real willingness to try to do something about it when he made a passionate call for an investigation to determine all of the facts of the matter and ascertain how we got to this deplorable state. Was he serious or was it just theater? I don’t know, but I will take him at his word and assume it is the former.
Consequently, since Mr. Olver is not seeking reelection, and his term on the board will end in a couple of months, let’s appoint him to oversee a thorough investigation of what brought us to this juncture, what errors of commission and omission were committed by various boards and individuals, etc. And to produce a public report to the community detailing the facts, before he steps down.
Some have implied that village officials were on the take or too cozy with developers. Others have attributed this atrocity to gross incompetence on the part of some or all of those involved. I have no idea which it is, but it can only be one or the other.
While November’s village election will be uncontested, we can expect the Croton Dems to inundate us with propaganda extolling the virtues of the current all-Democratic village board. Telling us about all of the marvelous things they have done, and will do, for the community, and exhorting us to return them to office. I would invite the board’s acolytes and supporters to visit us here on Nordica Drive to view first hand what has occurred under this board’s purview. I doubt that it will be highlighted in their campaign literature. And why should we expect their next term will be any different?
Maybe, just maybe, the board, instead of creating new committees with no real function; instead of looking for ways to overwhelm Croton’s already overburdened parks with people from other communities; instead of squandering millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on projects of highly questionable value to the community in order to justify past indefensible decisions; maybe, just maybe, the trustees might devote some of their valuable time to performing an in-depth review of development procedures and practices in the village, the roles of the various village officials and boards in issuing authorizations and permits and enforcing their requirements, the penalties for violating those requirements, and most importantly, the specific responsibilities of individuals for every aspect of the development process. And then make the changes necessary to preclude such fiascos in the future. That, I think, would be a much more effective use of village resources.
Joel E. Gingold