Thursday, September 21, 2017


The following letter from Mark Franzoso appears in this week's Gazette.

Dear Editor, 

It seems I struck a chord with Trustee Brian Pugh in my address to the board and my last Letter to the Editor outlining my objections to the Village purchase of two parcels of land for a new DPW facility that will strap taxpayers with decades of payments and increased taxes—not to mention its ill-conceived out-of-town location. Who locates its DPW garage in another community over 3 ½ miles away from their biggest and most used asset? Answer: Croton, thanks to Trustees like Pugh. 

I read Pugh's defense of his vote in favor of the land purchase for the garage, which if he had confined his remarks to the DPW garage, his letter would have been a sincere defense. Instead, he veered off and concluded the letter with a personal attack on me.

He implied that I shouldn't have an opinion if I sit on the sidelines. Having to work with a politician like Pugh is the exact reason why I do not serve in elected office. I work outside of government to make Croton a better place to live and work. I have been flattered over the years to have been asked to run for all levels of local government, but I have declined, because I want to maintain my freedom and independence.

Since I was the only individual protesting the ridiculous plan to move our Department of Public Works out of town, I can only assume his letter to the editor last week was directed at me.  I don't sit on the sidelines when the Village Board makes a bad decision, nor when my character gets attacked.

Before Pugh lectures us taxpayers, he should purchase a home in this wonderful Village of ours and start paying property taxes, and insurance, and water bills like I do, like we all do! Maybe when he's paying all those bills, he may change his attitude about me and my concerns about how to spend our hard earned tax dollars. Let's face it, he's got no skin the game and now he wants to run for Mayor! 

Additionally, Pugh had the temerity to challenge my political donation to Croton United. It was clearly a political dart aimed at linking my contributions to Croton United and the reimbursement to me for work done to repair a sewer main damaged by a low bid contractor hired by the Village to replace a sidewalk in front of my property. The damage was hidden and only discovered after years of clogged drains.  When I finally had enough, I had the sewer line dug up only to find out the contractor broke the sewer pipe. His “fix”was to cut a bucket in half and lay it over the broken pipe.

The previous administration denied the insurance claim, saying the statutes of limitation had expired. Does Mr. Pugh or anyone in this town have x-ray vision to see below ground? The current board, after the Village Manager said the Village was indeed at fault, eventually approved the claim. If politics played any role in this, it was when the previous administration refused to honor the claim. I have to ask the question - was the claim denied because it was me?

If Mr. Pugh owned a home like the one his parents just moved out of on Alexander Drive and a contractor hired by the Village caused damage to their sewer line, and covered it up, would he expect them to pay the cost of additional repairs? Would any taxpayer be expect to bear the cost? Of course not. That wouldn't be fair to his parents or any other Croton taxpayer.

He and his small handful of political cronies are now perpetuating that there was some kind of quid pro quo when the Village settled this long standing insurance claim. By honoring my claim, the current Mayor and Board (Pugh voted “No”) sought to overturn an injustice that should have been properly and legally approved by the previous administration who refused to do the right thing. All Croton residents should be treated fairly without regard to politics in such matters when they come before the Board. 

Mr. Pugh conveniently omitted that I made a similar political donation to Kevin Davis who, years back, was running on the Democratic ticket. I am an Independent; I vote for the candidates who I believe will do right by Croton taxpayers without regard to party affiliation and not for political favors. 

Now, Mr. Pugh is pushing for an ethics board. Isn't it ironic that this Village Trustee is supporting the creation of an ethics board and yet he attempted to besmirch my reputation with false allegations and implications? I wholeheartedly support an ethics review committee.  With elected officials like Pugh, I predict the committee will be very busy. 

To quote another great Roosevelt, this time Eleanor: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.” Mr. Pugh should focus on ideas to move this Village forward, not on me as a person. Let us see how much more this DPW project and all of its elements is going to cost taxpayers, thanks to Mr. Pugh. 

Sincerely, Mark Franzoso
Taxpayer, property owner, businessman


  1. Thanks Mark though we disagree on the DPW purchase, we agree on Pugh.

  2. Brilliantly written Mark I'd say Mark for Mayor but I know you are too wise to do it !