Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Times They Are A-Changin'

On Tuesday, the Common Council voted to override the mayor's veto of amendments to the mass gathering provisions. The alderman who cast 352 of the 457 nay votes opposing the override and supporting the mayor was Fifth Ward alderman Robert "Doc" Donahue, who during the 2013 campaign cited as his greatest achievement during his twenty-odd years on the Common Council "Being part of the legacy that Mayor Richard Scalera left our city."

On Wednesday, the Register-Star did a story about the "cease and desist" manifesto that appeared mysteriously last Saturday, on utility poles up and down Warren Street: "Anonymous letter poster comes forward, seeks change." The article by Arthur Cusano revealed what many had known for a while (that the author of the manifesto was Jacob Plourde) and reported the reactions of the two people to whom the manifesto was addressed: current mayor William Hallenbeck ("So the threats against me continue") and former mayor Rick Scalera ("The only people who can remove me from politics are the voters and me").

And today the Register-Star reports on the creation of Hudson FORWARD, the initiative of the indefatigable Tiffany Martin Hamilton: "School board veep starts citizens action group." The expressed purpose of Hudson FORWARD is to "focus the collective energy and talents of progressive thinkers to drive positive change within our community," and the following specific issues have been identified:

  • Thoughtful development of the town's waterfront (the LWRP, which has yet to be ratified at the state level, is not enough).
  • The establishment of a local dog park.
  • Better/alternative parking facilities for the businesses in town; exploring the idea of eliminating meters altogether to promote business.
  • A real plan for the further cleanup and development of the Town Square/7th Street Park.
  • Appropriate cleanup/renovation of the park at Promenade Hill.
  • Attracting new businesses to Hudson, particularly green ones.
  • The exploration of partnering with educational institutions to encourage them to establish a local presence.
  • The development of a "green belt" in town that connects Hudson to the Greenport Conservation Area via a boardwalk, as formerly proposed by the Columbia Land Conservancy.
Sounds good to me.


  1. Thank you Tiffany. Finally a group that will welcome me and my ideas with the respect that I do not get when confronting local government. I love the emphasis on positivity. This is the right time for change. Let's work together and make Hudson great. Let's all get behind this idea and ask "what can I do to make positive change?"

  2. To say the LWRP is "not enough" is polite to a fault!

    Why not aim for sensible "green" things, which neither the LWRP nor the Columbia Land Conservancy plan made mention of, such as green infrastructure to deal with the environmental hazards of splitting the city's sewer system.

    Against all common sense and federal recommendations, the City of Hudson has just submitted a grant request for $600,000 to greatly increase the flow of stormsewer runoff into the North Bay.

    The proposal is so typically irresponsible and ignorant of us that Riverkeeper deemed it important enough to weigh in by submitting a public comment. (Only two comments were submitted overall; way to go Hudsonians!).

    However, previous residents' recommendations to integrate green infrastructure for runoff were certainly submitted during the LWRP process, and were subsequently dismissed by the authors of that jealously-guarded program.

    Last week, the Columbia Land Conservancy informed me that it is "premature" to discuss things like green infrastructure for North Bay with the public, even though the grant application for the purpose had already been submitted!

    In my opinion, the Columbia Land Conservancy is already covering for the deficiency of its plan, and by doing so will continue to help the city achieve its nefarious ends. That the conservancy plan is a fig leaf is evident in its reluctance to engage the public.

    At least people are beginning to pay a little attention, but clearly not enough.

    I hope that the people behind "Hudson FORWARD" won't be too naive about the planning already done for the waterfront. Whether done by the city or by the conservancy, it's all terribly flawed. Furthermore, neither the city nor the conservancy plans benefitted from actual public input.

    So to the folks at Hudson FORWARD, please don't be polite to a fault. Don't be a fig leaf for the thoughtless actions and plans of the city and the conservancy.

  3. it took the "conservancy" maybe two years to come up with their "plan". then it was sold it to the mayor as if it were marching orders from Albany in the form of an approved LWRP, which it was not, he then closed the peoples' docks. the shacks have now been closed for another two years. the 'conservancy" plan calls for addressing the citizens' wharf, Furgary, in phase 3, years seven, eight, and nine. sorry, i'm sixty years old, i refuse to wait ten years for any plan to bear fruit unless there will be another "senior center" built down there with, always, someone else's money. no more plans, take the lock off the gate now and "let the people flow", to quote Mr. Gallo.
    as far as "thoughtful development of the town's waterfront" i wonder what "waterfront" anyone is talking about, there isn's any left, holcim isn't leaving, nor powerboat, nor the railroad. the "waterfront" is spoken for.

    1. Perfectly said in every detail. A bull's eye.

    2. Two years, we've lost eight seasons and 100 stone soups...