Déjà vu
Docks, Dockets and Disinformation from Candidate McFadden | May 24, 2007

Déjà vu

Docks, Dockets and Disinformation from Candidate McFadden
(May 24, 2007)

The Mayor’s recent “Déjà vu”  blog about his campaign pledge to clean up the Isles lawsuit over the Tuxedo Club’s docks requires further clarification and corrections. Not all of us, and especially those who try to keep informed, believe the political spin that the Mayor turns out on his blog and campaign material.

The Mayor claims that the Costello lawsuit against the Village in 2005 was about a car sticker and an unpaid sewer bill – if only that were the full extent of it! He’s right about the sewer bill part but he did not explain that Costello’s lawsuit was about the legality of the Village’s gates.  

In order to make the prior administration seem unreasonable, Mayor McFadden does not explain that the Costello property is in the Town of Tuxedo but can only be accessed by Village roads. The Village provides their sewer service – as well as garbage collection and other services – even though they don’t pay Village taxes. Therefore they were billed by the Village for these services. The Costellos felt that since they pay Town taxes they were in essence billed twice for sewer services. In 2005 the prior administration was negotiating a settlement with the Town and Costello when Candidate McFadden threw himself into the mix with the end result that the lawsuit was negotiated in Costello’s favor.

As Mr. Costello claimed that his civil rights were being compromised, the lawsuit ended up in Federal Court. True to his campaign pledge, Mayor McFadden negotiated the lawsuit by providing Mr. Costello with TEN years of free sewer service – with eight more years to go.

The Mayor also states that just prior to the last election he received copies of letters, written by residents, objecting to the Tuxedo Club’s application to restore docks and the approval of the Board of Trustees to do so. The fact is that there is no record in the Village Office of any letters received from residents objecting to the approval of the Club’s application. He claims that he posted these letters on his 2005 campaign blog.

The Mayor moves on to the current Geoff Isles lawsuit, among the many others the Village is dealing with, to blame Trustees Stebbins, Darby and Parker for hiring a new law firm to handle the litigation. The reason why it was necessary for the Board to appoint a different attorney was because the current Village attorney had to disqualify himself. It seems that the Village attorney had written the now famous 50-page report in which he opined that the Club’s docks may be illegal. The Board did not agree with the Village attorney; Trustee Darby clearly outlined his reasoning in a letter to the residents (Counting Docks and Moorings - March 2, 2007) The Village attorney could hardly now represent the Village in the Isles lawsuit claiming that the advice he provided was wrong. It’s a classic case of a conflict of interest. Hence the need for another attorney.

Finally the Mayor wraps up his “Déjà Vu” blog by claiming that he will settle the Isles lawsuit, if re-elected, by rescinding the 2005 Resolution and inviting the Club to reapply - for a permit which they already have obtained. Somehow, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Hansen fail to recognize that once a Board rescinds any permit they become liable for all expenses and damages expended by the property owner of the permit. One could not blame the Tuxedo Club, or any property owner, for filing immediately a Notice of Claim for expenses and damages in the event the 2005 Resolution is rescinded.

Basically, the Mayor is making a campaign pledge to settle, if elected, a lawsuit which is part of his own making.

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