Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hofstra Law Students to Present Their Reports

Remember the eight law students from Hofstra University who were studying Hudson city government in a seminar entitled "Special Problems in Municipal Law"? After a semester of examining our city charter, under the tutelage of Eric Lane, dean of the law school and Eric J. Schmertz Professor of Public Law and Public Service, Ashira Ostrow, associate professor of law, they have completed their study and are returning to Hudson to present their reports. They will be here next Wednesday afternoon, May 14. The reporting sessions, with the opportunity for questions and answers, will be open to the public. Here is the schedule of topics to be addressed:
12:30 to 1:00 p.m.Mayor
1:00 to 2:00 p.m.—Contracts
2:00 to 2:15 p.m.—Break  
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.—Ethics
3:15 to 4:00 p.m.—Environmental Issues
4:00 to 4:15 p.m.—Break
4:15 to 5:30 p.m.—Weighted Vote
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.—Wrap-up Discussion
The reporting sessions will take place in the Council Room at City Hall.


  1. As far as I know these students only met with city officials, but without speaking to members of the public how will they have seen through the blather of the self-same officials who serially cheat residents and bend the rules?

    If I was their professor, I'd evaluate Peter Barbieri and Brendan Friedman, the zoning team, on how they address the question whether or not cities in New York have the same option as counties, i.e., to redistrict and still retain a weighted vote? In my opinion that's Hudson's solution although you'll never hear it mentioned in City Hall.

    Chelsea Plushanski and Frank Piccininni will be comparing Hudson with other cities on the Hudson River in regard to environmental conservation.

    But did they only speak with the same city officials who serially cheated the public on the waterfront program's State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR)? Among these were the same politicians and officials who deliberately omitted the public from participating in the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program (big surprise: no BOA grant for Hudson!). These are some of the same officials who omitted required public participation from the federally mandated Long Term Control Plan (LTCP), allegedly finished in 2009 but not seen by the public until January 2014.

    I'll be rating Hofstra's product against the story I know that they didn't hear, and apparently didn't seek.

    If absolutely everyone has to be a managerial type today (despicable!) then the problem with higher education is the same we find in our leadership, except that where the educator's proclivity leans towards technical fixes, our political managers always answer to human nature.

    That's why it's concerning to me that, after speaking with the self-interested officials who run Hudson, the dean of the Hofstra law school announced “We’re at the point of trying to give real life to what’s in the classroom.”

    I take that to mean that Hofstra will have found technical fixes that won't even approximate actuality.

    Perhaps Thomas Hughes and Alex Anolik who are studying Hudson's ethics code will crack the nut, but will they have the same insights on the unethical behavior of our local officials that Hudson residents have?

  2. On the other hand, what if Hofstra reads Gossips?! In our case we'll probably never know, but what a great way to take a community's temperature: just read it's better blogs!

  3. When as mayor, one can betray the public trust by selling/leasing riverfront property, and then cause the Foster fiasco as head of the "development corporation", what's needed is an Attorney General, not a study group.

    Smoke and mirrors...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.