and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
Tonight, at its regular meeting for December, the Common Council passed the resolution, initiated by Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), to increase the funding for the ramp at Promenade Hill by $100,000, but not before aldermen John Friedman (Third Ward) and Garriga and to a lesser extent Abdus Miah (Second Ward) had a heated discussion about the wisdom of redirecting $100,000, which had been written into the 2017 budget against the possibility of a lawsuit over the City's weighted voting system should the Fair & Equal referendum fail, toward the proposed ramp at Promenade Hill.
Most of what was said has been said before. Friedman told Garriga and Miah, "You spend money like water." Garriga repeatedly invoked people with disabilities, as well as mothers with strollers, who were denied access to Hudson's most historic park. Miah complained that $20,000 had been appropriated for a ramp and asserted that those members of the Common Council who were unhappy with the ramp that $20,000 would buy were now obligated to support the resolution that would appropriate $100,000 to the ramp. Friedman had a different solution: "Do it right, and fund it slowly." To this Garriga countered, "Tell the disabled that we don't need a ramp."
Audience member Steve Dunn called for the vote on the resolution to be deferred and added a new wrinkle to the argument. He suggested that the $100,000, originally appropriated for legal fees, was needed for legal fees of a different nature: "to hire separate counsel to deal with Colarusso" and its proposal, now before the Planning Board, for a haul road from the quarry to the dock.
When a vote was finally called, the resolution passed--but barely. The resolution required a simple majority, which is 1,015 affirmative votes; it got 1,019 affirmative votes. Those supporting the resolution were Council president Claudia DeStefano (190) and aldermen Robert Donahue (Fifth Ward, 364), Garriga (185), Miah (185), and Lauren Scalera (Fourth Ward, 95). Those opposing the resolution were alderman Friedman (180), Henry Haddad (Third Ward, 180), Priscilla Moore (Fifth Ward, 364), Michael O'Hara (First Ward, 95), and Rick Rector (First Ward, 95). Alderman Alexis Keith (Fourth Ward) was absent from the meeting.
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