Castaldi Criticizes Opponents' Votes On Walkway

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Janis Castaldi, who is running for mayor of Ossining, criticized her opponents for voting for a "trail to nowhere."
Janis Castaldi, who is running for mayor of Ossining, criticized her opponents for voting for a "trail to nowhere." Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Ossining Trustee and mayoral candidate Victoria Gearity said voting for the walkway was smart fiscal policy.
Ossining Trustee and mayoral candidate Victoria Gearity said voting for the walkway was smart fiscal policy. Photo Credit: File Photo
Mayor Bill Hanauer said no one, including Castaldi, showed up at public meetings to speak out against the project.
Mayor Bill Hanauer said no one, including Castaldi, showed up at public meetings to speak out against the project. Photo Credit: File Photo

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining mayoral candidate Janis Castaldi is criticizing her two opponents on the Ossining Village Board for voting for what she calls a "trail to nowhere".

At the May 21 meeting, the Village Board unanimously approved a resolution to establish a 300-foot walkway as part of the Kill Brook Sewer Improvements Capital Project at a cost of $353,921, using money from a fund funded by developers for public recreation projects.

Mayor Bill Hanauer and Trustee Victoria Gearity, who are also running for mayor, voted in favor of the project.

Castaldi, who called the situation a "scandal," said the Planning Board and Recreation Advisory Board were not consulted on the decision and the village lost out on a grant as a result of the vote. She said it showed reckless and irresponsible spending.

“Ossining now has its own ‘bridge to nowhere,' and we have Mayor Hanauer and Trustee Gearity to thank,” said Castaldi. “In these difficult economic times, those funds could have gone toward a number of worthy projects in need of renovation."

Hanauer said no grants were lost as a result of the board's unanimous vote and no one spoke out against the project at any of the board's public sessions.

"Least of all Ms. Castaldi, who has not been to a village board meeting since she precipitated her resignation as trustee in the middle of her term, after having been absent from many meetings in the first nine months of 2011," Hanauer said.

Gearity said the vote was smart fiscal policy that will help connect Water Street with the downtown.

"The Kill Brook Walkway Extension leverages the elaborate infrastructure currently in place for the sewer relining project by extending the pedestrian pathway to an overlook where the ground levels off to a point that makes its ultimate connection to Water Street fiscally practical," Gearity said.

Gearity said back in February, Recreation Supervisor Henry Atterbury said in an e-mail to her that the project was a good idea.

"It is unfortunate the facts of this project are being misunderstood by some community members," Gearity said.

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I recall that back in 2005 I proposed a trail within the Kil Brook Gorge one of the most scenic places in the Village the critics called it " Parachute Park". They also rejected the River Walk concept and the dedication of 45 acres of Village-owned land next to the Crawbukie Park. There was sneering as well when I pushed through the legislation to officially designate several existing other plots of land in the Village that were used as parks for years but never put on as such in the officially registered park list. It's unfortunate that Ms. Castaldi has joined league of people of this Village who claim to know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. Had she fulfilled her obligations as a Trustee by attending meetings and finishing her term she might have more credibility and learned what it takes to complete a mission of service to the community.

Sometimes it's not just a matter of opinion, sometimes the political challenger is just flat out wrong

Wrong in her opinion

Wrong on the facts

Wrong for the village of Ossining