Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year, New Council, New Council President

Tonight, the Common Council held its first meeting of the new yearan organizational meeting followed by the informal meeting for the month of January. New Council president Claudia DeStefano called the meeting to order with a sharp rap of the gavel. After the usual moment of silent contemplation and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, DeStefano began by introducing the new members of the Council: Michael O'Hara (First Ward), Priscilla Moore (Fifth Ward), and Lauren Scalera (Fourth Ward). Addressing the aldermen, DeStefano admonished, "We won't always agree, but we must always agree to act civilly and respectfully toward each other."

After presenting the rules of order for review and adoption, DeStefano announced the makeup of the standing committees.

Youth & Aging
Abdus Miah, Chair
Tiffany Garriga
Alexis Keith
Lauren Scalera
Michael O'Hara 
Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.

Arts, Entertainment & Tourism
Rick Rector, Chair
Alexis Keith
John Friedman
Michael O'Hara
Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:45 p.m.

Finance
Claudia DeStefano, Chair
Tiffany Garriga
John Friedman
Rick Rector
Abdus Miah
Committee meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

Economic Development
Rick Rector, Chair
Alexis Keith
John Friedman
Henry Haddad
Committee meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.

Police
Henry Haddad, Chair
Alexis Keith
Tiffany Garriga
Priscilla Moore
Abdus Miah
Committee meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m.

Fire
Robert Donahue, Chair
Lauren Scalera
Henry Haddad
Priscilla Moore
Committee meets on the fourth Monday of the month at 6:45 p.m.

Public Works
Robert Donahue, Chair
Tiffany Garriga
Lauren Scalera
Abdus Miah
Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.

Legal
Michael O'Hara, Chair
Claudia DeStefano
Tiffany Garriga
Priscilla Moore
Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:15 p.m.

After adjourning the organizational meeting, DeStefano reopened the meeting to announce her intention to establish a housing subcommittee to address housing issues in the city and a "bipartisan committee to examine ward boundaries" with the goal of making a proposal, presumably about moving ward boundaries or creating voting districts of equal population, to be presented to voters in a referendum in November 2016.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK

8 comments:

  1. So now, in order to stand up and comment at a council meeting, we must announce our street addresses?!

    Where is THAT written?

    I've never met the new Council President, but she addressed me by name tonight, then insisted that I provide my address. (This was immediately following a lecture on how we need to be more civil to one another.)

    So what's next, our phone numbers? Social security numbers? Proof of citizenship? "Your papers please?"

    It's a no-brainer, this will lead to people being intimidated in their homes. It's already happened for some, and the HPD refused to step in.

    So let's give our Wards only when we stand to speak - which is the existing practice - and no other information.

    This is still a Republic, and not a police state. We are the taxpayers and we call the shots.

    Do not become the slow-boiled frog.

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    Replies
    1. I must state that I agree with you.

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    2. Agreed
      Resident of Hudson is sufficient

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  2. An exciting start to a productive 2016 !

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  3. This is not a large place, so why does the Common Council need our addresses announced aloud? This is what the new civility looks like?

    But there it is, in the Rules of Order ratified just last night, at Rule #10:

    "At the discretion of the Chair, non-members, after identifying themselves and providing their place of address, may address a question before the council ... "

    "At the discretion of the Chair" is a rule which can be safely ignored.

    Speaking as someone who's been intimidated by thugs in Hudson, on a number of occasions standing alone against City corruption backed by overt threats of violence, please HELP ME, and help your neighbors, by refusing to announce the location of your homes.

    Do not give your street address when standing before the council, or any other information which can be used to intimidate.

    It's part of the underlying, vicious thuggery of this place, and it can and will be used to keep honest people from pointing out dishonest practices.

    Yes, it appears reasonable and tidy, but the gratuitousness of the rule shows it in its proper light as being fascistic.

    Will lower income people and minorities be more or even less apt to speak publicly than they are already?

    Why do renters, who are already under the thumb, now have to provide their addresses?

    We are all Hudson residents, period. You shouldn't even be expected to give your Ward, which is nobody's business either.

    The council president is relatively new here, so she may not know what it's like to stand up to Hudson's nascent corruption. Anyone familiar with this place should be able to see that Rule #10 is actually destructive of the civil ethos - it's part and parcel of the Old Boys' bullying culture, which this election didn't do enough to change.

    "At the discretion of the Chair" is a rule which can be overlooked.

    Otherwise, the underlying message is clear to those who'd challenge the council's customary lawlessness and cluelessness:

    "We've all got your number."

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  4. With respect to the ward line issue, does anyone know what "bipartisan committee" means? Is this a committee made up of members of the Common Council or is something else envisioned? The Common Council is apparently made up of 7 Democrats and two NOP's, so the word "bipartisan" is a bit odd if that is the source of the membership. But as we know, in Hudson, partisan affiliation has really not been particularly illuminating as to where the political fault lines really lie in the city. Which brings to mind the comment of Will Rogers: "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

    Oh, for the new Common Council President's records, I live in that rather disheveled brick house at 213 Robinson Street. I'm here to help!

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