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June 12, 2021
To the Editor,
Does it strike anyone else as just a tad hypocritical that our esteemed mayor and his cronies on the Croton Village Board (with the notable exception of Trustee Sherry Horowitz—thank you, Sherry), voted to dismiss the ardent appeals of their own constituents along the Croton River and approve the kayak rental contract with Hudson River Recreation (HRR)—which will dump as many as 50-100 people into the Croton River Gorge at any given time—and then ran to the State of New York, pleading with the state to please, please limit the number of people allowed to enter the gorge from the Unique Area?
“We believe,” they complained, “that drastic measures must be taken to avoid overuse, protect public health, and ensure the safety of visitors to the area.” But of course, declining HRR the right to rent its kayaks to scores of out-of-town people who will join the throngs already overstressing this fragile area is just too drastic a measure to even contemplate. The village desperately needs the few thousand dollars paid in rent by HRR, and HRR’s business interests far outweigh the concerns of the board’s constituents, so please, please, New York State, save us from ourselves! We’re incapable of restraining ourselves from trashing the quality of life of our own residents, so you’ve gotta bail us out.
When the state declined his request, our outraged mayor accused it of “willful blindness,” adding that, “We know exactly what’s going to happen . . . this summer . . . and every summer.” Yes, Mr. Mayor, we do know exactly what’s going to happen. The kayakers you personally invited into the gorge will, once again, join with the multitudes entering from other areas to wreak havoc on those of us who live on Nordica and Truesdale Drives and the surrounding area.
But what the heck. We’re big boys and girls, so we just better suck it up and deal with it. It’s totally unreasonable of us to expect you to forego those rental payments just so we can experience a tranquil summer. And HRR’s entitled to its profits. How dare we protest, we ingrates who live along the river!! How totally selfish of us!!
at least we do have the stewards program, which we can pray might reduce the
anarchy we’ve experienced in past years just a bit. That’s the program for
which the Town of Cortlandt stepped right up and authorized $10,000 in support
(thank you, Linda) while the Village of Croton, which bears the brunt of the
problem, could only muster up a paltry $2,500.
But money’s tight in Croton and we do have to pay for the Croton Point Avenue fiasco and pour more cash down the bottomless pit that is Gouveia Park. Such are the board’s priorities. As always, it’s projects over people and the public be damned.
Joel E. Gingold