Friday, July 27, 2012

Galvan Homeless Shelter Moves Forward

The proposal to turn the former Hudson Orphanage and an old garage on State and Seventh streets into emergency and transitional housing for single adults got approval last night from another committee of the Board of Supervisors--this time, the Budget and Salary Committee. Nathan Mayberg has the story in today's Register-Star: "Homeless shelter sails through BOS committee." A memorable quote from the meeting, considering the goal is to end homelessness, came from Art Bassin, the supervisor from Ancram: "If [the shelter] stays full, it would be a big savings. It's really a good idea."

The two hurdles left to clear are the Finance Committee, which meets on August 7, and then the full Board of Supervisors, which meets on August 8. This deal is going to be all sewn up before any kind of public forum is held to hear what the people of Hudson think about it.


  1. I have to rant---my apologies for being long-winded:

    Our Mayor and our Common Council President are making a grave mistake in supporting this project. They are making decisions based on county and city budgets and all that b.s. without getting out there and taking the temperature of public opinion. Are the majority of residents and business owners in Hudson actually in favor of this Galvan/MHA homeless shelter?

    A net savings of something like $75K per year for the county? What about the economic cost to Hudson of bringing in more poverty, more social services? This didn't help Hudson too much in the 1970s and 1980s. Why is this re-introduction of government housing a good thing now? Why aren't the residents of Hudson consulted directly about any of this?

    Not one alderman, not one supervisor, not one representative of the Galvan Foundation, and, it goes without saying, the mayor, has ever reached out to me by mail, e-mail, telephone, or in person about this project. I'm a registered voter, with aldermen and a supervisor that are supposed to represent me and others in my ward. Granted, I am one of hundreds in my ward. I do pay property taxes, and I do actually buy things on Warren Street and eat there (which many Hudson vocal locals in the Register Star comments section claim is way beyond their pocketbooks) And, like may of you, I do run into my aldermen and supervisor fairly regularly. I guess I need to speak up? I guess we all need to speak up?

    The current mayor, like the last one, is generally invisible. Rarely seen at community events; rarely seen in and around Warren Street; never even seen him in my ward. I'm sure that others see him all the time, at their events, in their wards, etc. I guess he is ward-specific.

    And Galvan? Aloof and imperious does not even begin to describe the principals. Their two agents, Swope and Scalera---are they in this for us or for themselves? Why has Swope changed his tune: from a couple of years ago---we need to make this city affluent and get rid of poverty, to, we need to insure that Hudson is affordable for everyone! Housing the homeless is good for Hudson! It's the right thing to do! Don't you find that change in stance strange? (Errr..maybe not---$$$$$$). How much of Henry van A's money is Eric Galloway using to pay Scalera to bulldoze this project through the county BOS? Does Scalera get paid to be Special Advisor to Galvan? If so, how much? That is material to the issue, I should think.
    Or does Scalera just do this on a non-compensated volunteer basis? Why don't we all have an answer to the question: is Scalera compensated or not by Galvan? And if so, what is his compensation? He has tremendous influence in the City and in the County and, I have been told, in Albany......(n.b., the no longer needed prison slated to be closed by the State was saved by Scalera).

    And what about the NON-HOMELESS population who pay taxes and work for a living? Don't we have any say? Or are we just styrofoam?

    It's all very, very disappointing. Disgusting, actually.

    Does anyone else out there share my frustration? Should we all just collectively collapse into a sad quagmire of apathy?

  2. Art Bassin, the supervisor from Ancram states: "If [the shelter] stays full, it would be a big savings. It's really a good idea." You can bet that the shelter is going to stay full. The shelter has to stay full to financially (and politically) survive and, therefore, Mr. Bassin will get his wish once this initiative is up and running. Unfortunately, Mr. Bassin and others who agree with him on the public policy objective of saving money rather than ending homelessness will see that the County will not save money on this endeavor down the road. Homelessness will endure and it will cost more and more money to support all the planned "wrap around services". Columbia County is not doing anything innovative with regard to its small homeless population. In fact, the population is so small there was an opportunity to do something that stands out and could be replicated in other small jurisdictions but the County is doing the same old same old because that is where the money is. At some point austerity budgets will force certain State agencies to start moving money around between Counties and Columbia County will find costs soaring and there will be cut backs in services. Gov. Cuomo is the founder of HELP and was very influential at HUD during the Clinton years. Cuomo remains an ardent supporter of efforts to provide services to the homeless. It is not too difficult to be plugged in to Albany right now on the issue of homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse. But that could go when Cuomo goes. Be prepared.

  3. Rant away observer please,everyone rant. Here and in R.S. This is beyond.I have written and ranted so much,people are sick of me by now,so please everyone start getting mad NOW. They are moving very fast. When did The Mentally ill Shelter combo with mental health and GalVan CHETH get scrapped?. Didn't the funding fly??Now 7th State Street Shelter is now the "Civic"Single SROS that was slated for 4th St and Columbia that the cops nixed ,and before that the nixed "Starbaord" at 5th and Warren with GalVan running it. Why do these BOS think City ,County, State Fed money isn't taxpayer money Its all taxpayers money,like their salaries.I only heard that BOS 4th ward Hughes on the vote [shilling his YES],from Hudson.Scalera strong armed as Galoway's employee,but recused on vote.City Attorney must have had to say cool it Rick.Half an ethic,not even. Where is the the BOS REP's of Hudson from 2nd,3rd,and 1st?Pres.Donald Moore??What is up with him supporting this.? What is up with Tom Swope?Build this at UNION and 5TH,go ahead.Thats Don's neighborhood.Hell build it on Warren and 5th. Suffer all equally,Build next to anyone who votes or supports this.
    We do not have a transit system in Hudson or a grocery store.No Jobs. Great spot for a shelter. The 7th St park will be their back yard. How do all the new businesses on the 7th St Park feel about that?
    And get over this "helping the homeless",cause it doesn't HELP.It only helps Galloway and the rest of Columbia Count,so they can dump this mess on Hudson. Just a small group of highest payoff,least overhead for Galloway ,single mentally ill,chemically dependent with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Single strangers permanently there,as one gets better,the next most desperate will replace them. 5yrs at a time up to 20 yrs.Read all the small print .Galloway is in it for money , just for the sake of money as he personally doesn't need it,and some psychopathic power in a very small pond.
    But the pond where I live.
    I'm on he road now.
    Someone PLEASE do the Math here.It doesn't make sense.It doesn't add up.
    This is A Really Bad DEAL, FOR HUDSON, but works great for rest of BOS and GalVan Shills. A Potential Disaster for our most vulnerable neighborhoods and reverse progress so many have worked so hard to obtain,This will be hell ,if not impossible to get out of Hudson once it goes through.I agree with poster on R.S.
    Citizens of Hudson must find a way,legally,some kind of injunction,anything
    that will prevent this from going through without the input of the CITIZENS OF HUDSON.PUBLICLY
    They Have to SLOW DOWN.
    Rant on Observer
    I'm writing on the run

    Right now no one is talking about human beings. For all you Do-gooders who I'm sure mean well,that obviously have not dealt with the likes of GalVan .
    They are talking about money and ego. and other communities ,getting off the hook. Not helping homeless families ,women and children ,teens programs ,nothing. .no plans at all. Just pay per head ,per bed.
    Pay attention to what is being said,now. This is now actually serious

  4. No offense, Observer, but how can anyone reach out to you if you hide behind a made-up name? And you're obviously new here. In Hudson governing bodies are an extension of the private sector. Most deals are done behind closed doors; public meetings are a kind of window dressing. By the time these projects are presented, they have been vetted by the insiders. There is no process by which public opinion is actually solicited in advance of decisions; and there is no mechanism for measuring community impact of decisions. It is a squeaky-wheel model of governing. It's a bad model. But its seductive. Too many people get elected to office and think that they have been annointed "expert" (and King) of whatever issue comes before them.... We've got to get people in public office who actually believe in being public servants.

    1. peter ,
      Kate Stone is a moniker.I use one too. I have my reasons as I have been threatned and harrassed by cops and city officials in this town ,for demanding the laws be upheld,especially since they involved the safety of citizens and children.Kate Stone has her/his reasons too.

  5. When is someone going to realize that MORE social services won't bring any jobs to Hudson?

    I can't afford ANY more taxes to support a community that doesn't work.

    We need JOBS that produce employed citizens!

    Someday when every tax paying resident moves out of Hudson because they can't afford their taxes, the city will be in a spot they have been dreading forever. Their only income will be from government grants for supplying income based properties to unemployed/unemployable people, and this town will fall into disrepair... AGAIN!

    Now if you'll excuse me, I must go buy a slew of garbage bags for 3.00 a pop, because my taxes don't cover simple services like trash removal. yet across the street is a row of dumpsters I am not allowed to use...(that my taxes pay for).


  6. What a great, memorable comment Mr. Meyer! Astute and obviously hard-won. Thank you, T. O'Connor

  7. Peter Meyer:

    Peter, Peter, Pumpkin-Eater....

    My point in writing what I wrote is that I, some random Hudson voter, have not been contacted. I was trying to get the point across that perhaps little ole moi might be one example of someone who has not been contacted in any fashion whatsoever, and that there are hundreds of Hudson citizens who have not been contacted by their representatives about this issue. Are there no newsletters, e-mail blasts, door to door solicitations, scheduled meetings that our representatives are trying to put out there?

    I am pretty available----and still no contact. I know the nuance is subtle, but I trust you now get my point?

    ...and there he kept her very well.