Sunday, July 19, 2015

Local Elections 2015: The Response

Last Saturday night, Tiffany Martin Hamilton hurled down the gauntlet in the 2015 Hudson mayoral race, and this Saturday night (last night), Mayor Hallenbeck took it up. Register-Star reporter Roger Hannigan Gilson was present for the the mayor's campaign kickoff and offers his account of the event today: "Hallenbeck kicks off re-election campaign."

The event seemed to have a very old Hudson feel about it, including the detail that it took place at "the Elks Club on Union Street." The Italian villa, now an event space known as Hudson Lodge, hasn't been the Elks Club for more than a decade.

The other candidates on hand for the event, with the exception of Derrick Smart, who is running for Fourth Ward alderman, were all from the Fifth Ward: Claudia DeStefano, who is running for Common Council president; Bob Donahue and Priscilla Ward, both running for Fifth Ward aldermen (Note: Gossips has heard the Priscilla Moore is running for Fifth Ward alderman, so it may be that reporting the candidate's last name as Ward is a mistake); Rick Scalera, who is running for Fifth Ward supervisor. Is it the case that the Republicans have no candidates running in the First, Second, or Third wards?

The account of Hallenbeck's address to his supporters makes it sound as if he used Hamilton's talking points from the week before as the outline for his speech. Of interest is what Hallenbeck had to say about gentrification.
"I don't favor gentrification . . . we have many individuals who are moving here now which has created, not only from a business perspective but from a residential perspective, a high costs in rent," Hallenbeck said.
"I'm not saying we shouldn't think about rent control in the future," Hallenbeck said, noting its prevalence in New York City, but suggested additional affordable housing as a better alternative.
"Hudson Terrace Apartments, Crosswinds and other affordable housing units that we've provided here forever--that may be the better strategy to stop the gentrification, rather than impose on those that are spending millions of dollars in the city of Hudson" with rent controls, Hallenbeck said.
Who are the people "spending millions of dollars in the city of Hudson" who need protection from rent controls if not the very gentrifiers he accuses of causing the problem? But, the mayor probably had only the Galvan Foundation in mind. Interestingly, the two housing complexes he mentioned have PILOTs and tax abatements that limit the amount of property tax they pay, and some see this as contributing to the precariously unsustainable nature of the City's financial future. 

Mark your calendars. Hallenbeck promised that the senior center at the Armory, soon to be known as the Galvan Community Learning Center, will be opening in forty-five days, which would be on or about September 19.


  1. Scalera seeks the Dems endorsement for 5th Ward Supervisor, and gets it. Then signs on as speaker at the Republican incumbent's first fundraiser? That's rich.