Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Highlights from City Hall

Conspicuous for His Absence  In the past, Fifth Ward Alderman Dick Goetz has reappeared in April, after spending the first quarter of the year in Florida. This year, Gossips has heard, Goetz isn't due back until May, making him absent from City Hall and all votes that come before the Council for four months instead of just three. 

Conspicuous for Her Zeal  First Ward Alderman Geeta Cheddie was ardent in her scrutiny of two resolutions voted on at Tuesday's meeting. First, she declared that she had to abstain from voting on the resolution creating Commissioners of Deeds because she did not believe that Timothy Rodgers actually lived at 15 Allen Street. As a consequence of her objection, it was decided that the resolution would be amended to omit Rodgers' name. The amended resolution passed unanimously, with Third Ward Alderman Ellen Thurston abstaining because she was one of the people named in the resolution. 

The resolution to appropriate $1,600 for an energy audit of all Hudson's municipal buildings inspired a barrage of questions from Cheddie--not about the energy audit but about the $30,000 contract that Michael O'Hara has with the City to carry out a program aimed at reducing energy consumption in the city by 10 percent. (The $30,000 is from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from NYSERDA [New York State Energy Research and Development Authority].) "I'm very curious about it," said Cheddie, as she flipped through a copy of the contract. She wanted to know if there had been an RFP, what had happened as a consequence of Hudson becoming a Cool City in 2007, and what was the point of doing the project if the City has no money to implement the recommendations. 

In light of Cheddie's objections and concerns, it's interesting to note that Timothy Rodgers is one of the candidates endorsed by the Hudson Democratic Committee to challenge Cheddie for her seat as First Ward alderman in November, and Michael O'Hara has the Democrats' endorsement to run against her husband, John Musall, for First Ward supervisor.          

Conspicuous for Her Location  The historic Hudson River sloop Eleanor will be restored in full view of visitors to Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. The resolution to lease 7,500 square feet of land, at the point where Water Street turns into Broad Street, to the Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society, passed unanimously last night. The resolution was an amended version of the one introduced at the informal Common Council meeting on Monday, April 11. The three-year lease now involves a $1 fee, and the resolution is more explicit about what happens at the end of the three years. If the project is not completed as anticipated within three years, one of three things could happen: (1) the Eleanor and the pole barn constructed on the site to house her during the restoration would be moved to another site; (2) the pole barn would be left at the site and the Eleanor moved someplace else; (3) the City of Hudson would renegotiate with the Society to extend the lease.  

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