Ex-trustee calls Maybrook street a ‘ghetto’
A former Maybrook trustee leveled emotional complaints against the village board last Wednesday evening, saying that she feared the area surrounding her home on Tower Ave. was becoming a “ghetto.”
Gina Bradshaw served as a village trustee last year, but chose not to run for another term. Before the village board of trustees, Police Chief Butch Amthor and Mayor Dennis Leahy, she claimed her road was a hotbed of open-air drug trafficking and drunken midnight fights and ravings from renters in the area.
She brought with her a letter from one of her neighbors that called the mostly part-time police force in Maybrook a “joke,” although no one else from Tower Ave. was with her to corroborate her grievances. The residents were afraid, she said, of coming before the police with the matter.
“I’ve had windows broken and my tires flattened,” she said.
Bradshaw told the police chief she believed his officers were friendly with Tower’s vagabonds, having seen them leave their patrol cars and “fist-pound” them. Amthor told her that being drunk and shouting in the street was not a crime, and that she was most likely exaggerating the issue.
“You’re making it sound like Chambers Street in Newburgh,” he remarked. Amthor, who spent 21 years in the city of Newburgh’s police department, said he’d been involved in 62 homicide investigations and had his life threatened before. He was upset when the former trustee suggested his mostly part-time force was not well-informed on criminal activity in the village.
Amthor criticized the way she was reporting these incidents, saying that Bradshaw had recently called the police about a drunk woman shouting outside of her house but had refused to give her name. He said that, especially if the intention was to get state police involved, she would need to get “more involved.”
Leahy had already become frustrated with Bradshaw earlier in the meeting when they agreed to accept a donation from Jim Taylor of Taylor Biomass to pay for a beach volleyball court in the village park. The sand, she expressed, would be urinated on by stray cats and may conceal dangerous objects like hypodermic needles.
“Who are you representing? I don’t hear from these people. If there were that many problems, there would be more than just you here,” he said as she spoke of a neighborhood collectively upset with the issues. Leahy said he had seen many of the neighbors she was citing in person and they had not complained.
The board expressed that it had complete confidence in Amthor and his police force, saying that if he felt the need to hire an additional officer they would comply with the request. The chief said he would consider putting a “scarecrow” patrol car in the area.
By Mark Ferdinand