Friday, August 27, 2010

An Appeal for South Bay

In his My View earlier this week, Mayor Scalera delivered this defeatist message: "It's time to put to bed this pipe dream that Scenic Hudson or the Open Space Institute would ride up to Hudson on white horses and pony up millions of bucks to buy the port in an eminent domain proceeding. They won't."

While it's true the two organizations cannot get involved in an eminent domain action, that doesn't mean that they cannot help us resolve the current waterfront conflict. A letter to Scenic Hudson and Open Space Institute, written by Jennifer Arenskjold on behalf of Hudson business and property owners, requests their help in a way that does not involve eminent domain. To read the letter and to sign a petition endorsing what it proposes, click here.


  1. I was one of the authors of the strategic economic development plan for Columbia County a couple of years ago.

    One of the most depressing findings was that along the entire shoreline of Columbia County, there are only 4 (yes FOUR) slips available for transient boaters. Surely it's worth an effort to make the County a more attractive destination for wealthy travelers.

    -- Jock Spivy

  2. Jennifer's letter is a wonderful letter, but not to be mistaken for the letter that comes from the Hudson Business Coalition sent also to SH and OSI. Each supports the same cause. The more we all do, the better.

  3. It should be noted that the Hudson Business Coalition members have not been shown any letter or given the choice of endorsing such a letter. Mr. Weckler thus misspeaks in saying that the Coalition has sent a letter.

    Jennifer's letter is an "opt-in" one, giving business owners and others the choice of signing on.

    According to Lori Selden, three members of the Executive Committee have been working on a letter. Any letter sent thus should be identified only as representing those Executive Committee members, as you have not asked the membership whether they wish to sign on to a letter they haven't

  4. Sam, I thought we were on a first name basis?

    Here's my take on it:

    On August 5th (at the August Coalition meeting) it was made known to me that Jennifer (with yours' and Peter's assistance) had written a draft of a letter that the Coalition Executive Committee (on which I sit) was to work from and formalize. I finally saw Jennifer's letter the following week and at that time the committee discussed and worked on that draft. When we wanted to re-word it, you let us know that that was not going to sit well with you. So the Executive Committee decided it best to write our own original draft, which we did and completed late this week. Jennifer's letter and the Executive Committee's letter request the same things of SH and OSI.

    So if you want to quibble over a misspeak of mine, I will retract that bit of comment you object to. The letter written by the Coalition Executive Committee still needs to be signed by it's members, of which there are four. As far as I know that letter will be presented at the next "member's" meeting scheduled for September 2nd. I believe we also will discuss bylaws for a "formal" Coalition that have been drafted, although I'm not absolutely certain of that.

    The Coalition listserve currently has over 90 people signed on as "members". But currently to say that the Coalition has a membership is a bit of a misspeak on your part and the Executive Committee had to take that in consideration when we drafted the current letter. Jennifer's letter and the Coalition Executive Committee's letter are positions that Hudson's businesses can either support by adding their names, or not, as we both know that not every business owner supports our positions.

    So let us work together to secure a bright future for the City of Hudson.

  5. When one uses "sent" in the past tense, it indicates that something has already gone out. And when one identifies the sender as "the Hudson Business Coalition," that indicates something was sent on behalf of an entire organization.

    So if you say that neither has occurred, that's good to hear. But it's not what you said. And to point those rather large errors our is hardly quibbling, considering the protracted discussions over Jennifer's work. If the HBC wants to be taken seriously, it ought to be able to move ahead in a more timely, organized and inclusive manner.

    Moreover, prior edits from HBC Executive Committee members clearly implied that the organization has a membership, or at least presumes to speak for 100 (not 90) businesses. It is up to the HBC to figure out its decision-making process and how it relates to those on its listserv, and to date that has been left nebulous.

    I would further point out that Jennifer was tasked by the Executive Committee with this work because its members asked her to. (Peter Jung and I were asked to provide documents and other supporting information which is in our possession.)

    This is not the first time in recent memory that the Executive Committee was unclear about its structure, or reversed course times after a consensus appeared to have been reached. (That's why, among other things, we now have two GoToHudson sites and multiple lists.)

    It thus seems long past time for the Coalition to get its act together and do the work of instituting bylaws and the like. And it might be good to add some more people to the leadership whose role in the Hudson business community has some historical perspective.

    We can work together, naturally. But disorganization, indecision, and a lack of clarity does not breed cohesion.