Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Opening on the HPC

Since Scott Baldinger resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission at the end of August, the HPC has been short one member. Chapter 169 of the city code specifies: "New Commission members shall be appointed by the Mayor after consideration of recommendations put forward by the existing Commission" (169-3 D). Gossips learned yesterday that the HPC, as a body, has not made any recommendations to the mayor, although individual members apparently have.

Although the process of getting appointed to the HPC has not been codified, one gathers, from observation, that it works something like this. If you are interested in serving on the HPC, you should make it known to a current HPC member and follow it up with a written statement of your interest and qualifications to the mayor, either in a letter or an email. Based on these statements, it seems, the mayor calls people in for interviews, and if he is persuaded of your passion for historic preservation and at the same time feels you will not let the interests of historic preservation impede progress, he will appoint you to the HPC. Regarding mayoral appointments, the law also states: "The Mayor shall not be bound by the recommendations of the existing Commission."

Chapter 169 of the City of Hudson code specifies the makeup of the Historic Preservation Commission.
A.  The Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed, to the extent available in the community, by the Mayor. All new members, but the architect-member, shall be residents of the City of Hudson and remain so throughout their term.
(1)  At least one shall be an architect experienced in working with historic buildings; if there is no resident of Hudson who has these credentials and is willing to serve on the Commission, a nonresident may be appointed to the Commission;
(2)  At least one shall be an historian;
(3)  At least one shall be a resident of an historic district;
(4)  At least one shall have demonstrated significant interest in and commitment to the field of historic preservation either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment, or volunteer activity in the field of historic preservation, or other serious interest in the field;
(5)  All members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the City of Hudson;
(6)  All members, but the architect-member, shall be residents of the City of Hudson;
(7)  The Chairperson of the Planning and Land Use Committee of the Common Council shall be the liaison between the Historic Preservation Commission and the Common Council and shall report to the Common Council regularly on the actions and proposed actions of the Historic Preservation Commission.
Item 7 needs to be deleted from the law; the short-lived Planning and Land Use Committee of the Common Council was abolished at the beginning of 2008.

Anyone who has an interest and background in historic preservation and who appreciates how important Hudson's architectural heritage had been to the city's renaissance over the past quarter century and is to the city's continuing economic vitality should consider volunteering to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission. The HPC meets on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at 10 a.m.   

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