Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Decisions Are Made by Those Who Show Up"

When this line is delivered by President Bartlet at the end of the first season of The West Wing, it's implied that he is quoting some real-life historic figure, but the only attribution I could find was to Aaron Sorkin, the creator and writer of the series. Whatever its provenance, hearing the line last night (I'm watching all the episodes of The West Wing again--for the third time) made me think of Hudson's LWRP and how in a critical aspect of its development just the opposite seems to have happened.

During the workshops and public meetings held throughout 2006 and 2007, those who showed up expressed the desire to have a waterfront free of heavy industrial activity. In 2010, those who continued to show up for meetings about the LWRP and submitted comments about its content were steadfast in their opposition to heavy industry on the waterfront. So, if decisions are made by those who show up and the LWRP is supposed to represent "community consensus regarding the future of its waterfront," how is it that the decision was made to add this statement to the draft LWRP and to repeat it three times: "The City supports plans proposed by Holcim (US) and its tenant to reroute dump truck traffic from the Holcim mine in Greenport, New York, to the deep water port via the South Bay causeway"? 


  1. I'm not sure why, but we surely have a dysfunctional democracy in this area. When you combine weak government oversight bodies -- e.g. board of ed, city council -- with a weak press, you get deeply embedded bureaucrats and well-financed special interests making most calls. Our putative public watchdogs -- our legislative chambers and media -- simply provide cover for those who have deep pockets and plenty of time. I got a kick out of the recent discussion at a Hudson Common Council meeting about helping people who were losing their homes -- this from a body that spent almost no time discussing, much less acting on, the outrageous acts of the publicly paid assessor, who caused the foreclosures! You see the same MO on the LWRP. Ugh.

  2. Yes I see myself in the above LWRP workshop photo. I attended all the hearings, have written postcards, letters and am still writing letters, the most recent to Scenic Hudson. And where is all this input going? In the circular file as far as I can see.

  3. I was in attendance at the planning & vision sessions for the LWRP, and I am quite familiar with the 25,000+ comments regarding the waterfront that have been submitted by local residents going back to 1998 up until the present. 99.999% of those comments take a stand against the industrialization of the Hudson waterfront, yet the draft document endorses a dump truck route through South Bay and a rock and gravel depot right next to our new waterfront park. This LWRP process is a sham, an embarrassment, and an insult to the residents of this community.

  4. One doesn't need to look any further for an example than this "snow emergency removal" portrays. Rules no one can understand while the coffers into accounts receivable runnith over.
    The bullies known as "Saint Marys Fairies" rule!
    Get over it.