Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year, New Council

The Common Council held its organizational meeting tonight. At this meeting, the composition of the standing committees was revealed, and Council president Don Moore set forth his goals for 2014. The committees are as follows:

Youth & Aging
Chair: Alexis Keith 
Bart Delaney 
Tiffany Garriga 
Ohrine Stewart 

Arts, Entertainment & Tourism
Chair: Ohrine Stewart
Henry Haddad
Alexis Keith
David Marston
Don Moore

Finance
Chair: Nick Haddad
John Friedman
Tiffany Garriga
Henry Haddad
Abdus Miah

Economic Development
Chair: Don Moore
John Friedman
Tiffany Garriga
Nick Haddad
David Marston
Ohrine Stewart

Police
Chair: David Marston
Bart Delaney
Robert Donahue
Henry Haddad
Nick Haddad
Abdus Miah

Fire
Chair: Bart Delaney
Robert Donahue
Henry Haddad
Alexis Keith
Don Moore

Public Works
Chair: Robert Donahue
Bart Delaney
Tiffany Garriga
Nick Haddad
Abdus Miah

Legal
Chair: John Friedman
Bart Delaney
Abdus Miah
David Marston
Don Moore

The following are the initiatives identified by Moore for 2014:

Charter reform  
Moore indicated that he and the mayor were in discussion with Eric Lane, a charter change attorney and the dean of the law school at Hofstra University.
Ferry Street bridge 
The weight limit on the bridge was recently reduced from 5,000 pounds to 3,000 pounds. A Mini Cooper weighs 2,568 pounds; a Subaru Outback weighs 3,395 pounds; a Chevy Tahoe weighs 5,524 pounds; a SMART car weighs 1,600 pounds.
Correction: DPW Superintendent Rob Perry informs Gossips that the weight change on the bridge was from 5 tons (10,000 pounds) to 3 tons (6,000 pounds), so it would seem that only Land Rovers, weighing in at 6,724 pounds, and trucks with boats in tow need to avoid the bridge.  
State truck route
Zoning changes The aim of which is to create more rental units
Tax foreclosure procedures
Equal opportunity working group 
This is the response to the request from new aldermen Keith and Garriga for a diversity subcommittee.
Holcim port 
Moore spoke of sorting out what's owned by Holcim and what's owned by the City.
Police and court facility 
The first task is to hire a construction management firm.
Parking 
Adopting a plan to create more parking spaces in Hudson 
Mass gathering permit
Finalizing the proposed changes to the requirements and the procedure for attaining a mass gathering permit
Youth Center 
Increasing use of the center  
Senior Center  
Helping to define programming and staff 
North Bay Conservation Area 
Assuming stewardship of the former landfill and conceptualizing the redevelopment of the "Tin Boat Historic Area"
HDC 
Working with the agency to achieve economic development goals
Conservation Advisory Council 
Bringing to reality a concept that was proposed almost eighteen months
  
Moore concluded by saying that the list of fifteen issues to be taken up in 2914 was only partial.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CAROLE OSTERINK

17 comments:

  1. Is the Ferry Street Bridge being used like the Christie-staff lane closures, as punishment?

    After council president Moore's disappointment on learning that the bridge is a historical structure in a historical district, he knew that procuring the state funds to replace it wasn't going to be as easy as he thought.

    That's when I predicted the City of Hudson would limit the weight load rather than post a speed limit for the bridge.

    It's fast-moving vehicles that stress the bridge's deck, and not slow-moving boat trailers. But rather than impose a speed limit, the tonnage downgrade will have the desired effect of inconveniencing residents - and particularly boaters - into complaining.

    Make the bridge difficult enough to use and you'll make people angry enough to reject any historical or aesthetic arguments to preserve it.

    So, is there an engineering report recommending this change? What are the real numbers from stress tests and the like, and not the educated guesses of the incompetents at Crawford who'll always tell city officials - their bread-and-butter - whatever it is they want to hear.

    And what does CXS say about the new tonnage restriction? As the owners of the bridge, they're the ones for whom it's a liability. Oh, maybe it's too hard for them to lay their hands on an engineer (heh).

    (I'm still waiting for the Common Council to order an appraisal for a right-of-way through the L&B parking lot. Since 2010, we still only have then-Mayor Scalera's make-believe estimate, and he never distinguished between leasing it and buying it! Of course Mr. Scalera would routinely produce estimates out of thin air. Then, after the [old] Register Star would dutifully report his fake numbers, the figures were henceforth treated as factual estimates, even to the point of informing the Common Council's environmental impact statement on the LWRP and the city's amended zoning. It would be unbelievable anywhere but here.)

    The DPW has its own budget, but that money is our money. So what sort of engineering estimate did the DPW buy with it, or are we only relying on the opinion of Mr. Pierro's second-cousin's teenaged nephew, who may or may not aspire to become an engineer someday.

    I'll wager the tonnage downgrade is Mr. Pierro's parting laugh at us. If there's no real engineering report (and I will FOIL it today), then this tonnage downgrade CAN ONLY BE an invidious manipulation intended to turn the county's boating community against the city's historically-minded residents.

    The resulting conflict is meant to settle the issue about razing the bridge or not.

    When nearly the same thing was done in New Jersey out of the governor's office, would it really surprise anyone if the puny and cynical City of Hudson attempted something so similar, and so soon after?

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    1. According to DPW superintendent, Rob Perry, the weight limit change, which happened a couple of weeks ago, has made at the direction of the NYS Department of Transportation.

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    2. And what did the DOT say about a speed limit?

      I'll FOIL the DOT's engineering report before I believe its own conclusions weren't politically motivated too. DOT may be state, but it's administered at the county-level, and that spells f-a-v-o-r-s.

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    3. A correction in my previous comment: It should be "was made" not "has made."

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  2. This is precisely why the Freedom of Information Law exists, to let sunlight to reach into what would otherwise devolve into an elaborate web of favors.

    Until I see them, I won't believe that any tests were conducted. And if there were no tests, then everything I said above is accurate.

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  3. ..."assuming stewardship of the landfill", i think he means mow the lawn at the old dump after this land has been "transferred", not sold, not auctioned, to the conservancy. the biggest land grab ever in the city and no one says a word...
    "redevelopment" of the North Dock shacks?...does he plan classes for old men on how to park their small craft next to a sewer plant in order they always remain in a clean wind? perhaps the old fishermen will teach bait cutting to children? what sort of grant does he have in mind that will be necessary in order to park a little boat?...

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    1. the prolixity of your sarcasm is tedious.

      "biggest land grab ever in the city and no one says a word..."

      simply false. the clc isn't taking title to anything. its a plan, not a sale. and the honor of biggest land grab ever is reserved for timothy eric galloway anyways.

      try facts, it might relieve your ennui.

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    2. Finally, the Landgators will find out how much (hard) work is involved in maintaining a wharf at North Dock.

      Interesting to note; the LWRP was conceived by two women, out to dismember "the last bastion of maledom". Although women are ever present at the water's edge, never seen any hip-waiter wearing divas down in the wharf. In March or December, when it was time to do the heavy dirty work of wet lifting, they stoked the woodstove. Just saying...

      With total disregard for their hard, cold, wet dirty work, Mr. Moore, sent upland 125 county (tax paying) citizens. Three generations of local fisher folk, contractors, licensed electricians, licensed plumbers, steamfitters, life long laborers, a veterinarian, roofers, all landlocked. Bridge builders engaged in a common social intercourse; promoting the free flow of people, from land to water. No one did it better.

      Now, neither Mr. Moore nor the Landgators from CLC will do the maintenance? Ponderous!

      Because there is no King; the shore belongs to whomever promotes the most sea miles, for the largest number of users, at the lowest cost to the same users of (our) public land.

      Mr. Moore, let people flow.

      1Riparian

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  4. From NOR:
    Government agencies cannot sell or give away rivers to private ownership or control, because rivers are held “in trust” for the public under the Public Trust Doctrine. They must allow the public to fish, boat, and recreate as described above. They must conserve the strip of public land along navigable rivers, including its wildlife habitat and wetlands. They can manage recreation to conserve resources of public interest, but not simply to reduce or eliminate recreation. They can prohibit camping in particular areas, but not exclude it entirely from long stretches of river.

    People are entitled to the "full enjoyment" of lands for public use.

    Might the full enjoyment be, what the Columbia county fisher folk were forced to accept, after the HRRR entrapped the eastern shore 160 years ago?

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  5. ..".common council gave the mayor power to transfer North Bay lands to the conservancy"...i read it right here on this blog or in the register...explain "transfer"...

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    1. Support your local lawyers, fish the Hudson.

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  6. It's true that Mr. Galloway represents the largest and most ominous "land grab" in the city's history.

    It's also true that the Columbia Land Conservancy owns nothing in our area. The lands they manage just upriver in Greenport are owned by a foundation called the Open Space Institute. Look it up.

    Finally, the easiest way for our betters to conquer us is to begin by dividing. I intend to find out whether the now-dispossessed river rats (I count myself as one) are being manipulated to resent another minority dedicated to preserving local history, and vice versa. Of course I'm speaking about the Ferry Street Bridge, which will now be regulated for boats and boat trailer weights.

    But is that really necessary? (How dare you ask!)

    That neither group of interests - boaters and historians - are mutually exclusive, and that they often enough overlap (river people are usually obsessed with local history), only serves the interests of those who might otherwise have attempted a speed limit on the Ferry Street Bridge first.

    But what these officials are addicted to is grant money. They're the self-same cynics who're all too eager to explain that the LWRP is about bringing in state revenue for Hudson. I'd say it's the best way to tell them apart from decent people, because otherwise they have no idea what else the waterfront program is for! It explains every stupid short-cut they take too, such as cutting out public participation, so that the grants they're after repeatedly fail.

    But do you understand the LWRP, dear reader? If not, that's your bad then.

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  7. Ref: Ferry St. Bridge & CSX
    May I suggest that GOR readers go to the CSX web site. The site has a Responsibility tab on the top bar. You may want to read a few of CSX's statements such as "goal is zero incidents and zero accidents" with CSX. CSX also lists a Community Safety Program with a quote "Our safety campaigns are aimed at specific audiences and specific areas such as parks and college campuses directly affected by CSX operations." (of lack of operations) The CSX bridge issue is unending as it has for more then 50 years. Imagine the impact on rail transportation should Ferry St Bridge collapse. I spoke w/ a CSX rep (1-877-tellcsx) Basically she stated that it depends on who is responsible for the repair of the bridge, Hudson or CSX. The CSX rep suggested that the Public Projects Mgr. be contacted for additional details. His name is Les Scherr @ 1-904-366-3057.

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    1. Great suggestion tmdonofrio, thanks for that.

      Whenever I phone any of the higher-ups at CSX, they're always courteous and informative. Occasionally they tell a surprisingly different story than the one the city is telling.

      Recently CEO/Chief Haigh said it was once a great thrill for neighborhood kids when the exhaust from old locomotives stopped beneath it would invariably light the bridge on fire!

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    2. Thank you unheimlich.
      Here's another Ferry St. Bridge story for GOR. At on time there was a walkway on the side of the bridge for pedestrians. Kids would lower themselves form the walkway onto to top of the waiting passenger train, run on top of the cars. Northbound trains were a target to see if one could throw a rock from Promenade Hill into the rotating exhaust fan on top of the diesel engine car. It's a fact, but I do not recall being there.

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    3. "I do not recall being there."

      I'm sure I wouldn't either (heh!) ....

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    4. If there were any chance of failing, the RR would replace it. That bridge is way overbuilt. New deck planks is all it needs but the city can't skim a lot from a little budget. General fund needs a new pair of shoes.

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