The Common Council meets in a special session tonight, Monday, September 26, to hear a presentation by City Attorney Cheryl Roberts about the changes made in the past few months to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement, which accompanies the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP). After the presentation and discussion by the aldermen, the Council is expected to vote on whether or not to accept the document. The meeting takes place at the Central Firehouse, 77 North Seventh Street, at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting has been scheduled for the larger venue of the firehouse to permit more members of the public to attend, but it has been rumored that Common Council President Don Moore will not be allowing the public to speak. Contacted by Gossips this morning, Moore explained that he would allow public comment but only after the Council has voted on accepting the GEIS. He explained that there was a ten-day period following the adoption of the GEIS, during which the public could "put things on the record," but stated that he believed "it was in the city's best interest to move beyond this right now, and let the chips fall where they may." He characterized tonight's vote as a "particularly important step in advancing the LWRP to its conclusion"--something that he expects to see happen in the next month or so.
Not everyone shares Moore's opinion that this action is in the city's best interest. The Valley Alliance is urging "all residents with an interest in the economic, environmental, and social future of Hudson" to attend tonight's meeting to "encourage a better outcome." On Friday, Scenic Hudson sent out an Action Alert that began with this call to action: "PROTECT YOUR WATERFRONT: Urge Local Officials to Fix the LWRP." Scenic Hudson summarizes its position in this way: "The draft LWRP includes a number of positive strategies to achieve the vision of a revitalized waterfront area that we all can support—but all that is undermined by an incomplete approach to industrial activities on the waterfront." This morning, the South Bay Task Force, anticipating not being able to speak prior to the vote, send to members of the Common Council a list of seventeen questions about the most recent changes to the GEIS that should be considered before they vote to accept or reject the document.