Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not to Be Missed

Sam Pratt has a new post on his blog that harks back to the sad time in Hudson--and American--history when the General Worth Hotel was demolished: "Shadows on the Hudson." One correction, though: It wasn't so much residents who "fought to prevent an historic firehouse from becoming another ice cream shop, and prevailed" as it was four resolute aldermen, representing the First and Third wards, whose collective weighted votes constituted just enough to prevent the three-quarters majority needed for the sale of city property, who endured verbal abuse and, in the case of one of their number, a series of threatening letters, to preserve the Washington Hose firehouse for better things. 


  1. Carole, the Gang of Four were to be commended for their votes... But surely you are not suggesting that in taking this stand, those four aldermen were acting in a vacuum — without the concerns, input and backing of their 1st and 3rd Ward constituents uppermost in their minds, along with doing the right thing?

  2. No, Sam I'm not suggesting that, but there are some causes that start with the community and gain the support of elected officials, and there are some causes where elected officials act out of conscience and in so doing garner the support of their constituents. Washington Hose was of the latter sort.

  3. Sigh... (Next up, Sam and Carole debate which came first: the chicken or the egg?)

    A July 2008 article in the Register-Star on one of the many hearings on Washington Hose stated that “most at the public hearing spoke in favor of keeping the building.”

    The article quoted statements (from non-aldermen) Hillary Hillman, Mark Young, Nick Haddad, Alana Hauptmann, and Keith Nelson. And we all know that such articles never include everything said, especially against Scalera’s position. Were these public comments inspired but the Aldermen's leadership, or vice-versa, or both? Can we ever know, and should we care?

    So for the record, both the public and the Aldermen had a role in this outcome. Whether it began with one or the other is immaterial, because those votes were bolstered by public support, giving the Aldermen that much more courage of their convictions.

    We have certainly seen other cases where Aldermen either abstained when they should have voted, or even voted against their conscience, so such public support is important to recognize.

    I appreciate that you are proud of that particular vote, justifiably so. But your “correction” does seem both less clear-cut than stated, and also kind of small fry given the far larger and more important issues raised by the American Heritage piece.