for love of writing The Gossips of Rivertown, that is.
It has been my aspiration to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission since 2003, when Hudson's preservation ordinance was enacted and the commission was created. Finally, in late October 2017, my hope of more a decade was realized. Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton appointed me to the HPC.
From the beginning, my role as the author of The Gossips of Rivertown, a blog that regularly deals with issues relating to historic preservation, proved problematic. I assumed that if I simply refrained from expressing an opinion on Gossips about a project being considered by the HPC before a formal decision had been made by the entire body and never criticized determinations made by the HPC, all would be well. But things turned out to be more nuanced and complicated. Uncertain that I could thread the needle, I simply stopped reporting on HPC meetings altogether, but that proved inadequate to avoid problems. In recent weeks, it became clear that being on the HPC required that I stop writing about all historic preservation issues and development impacting the historic character of our city. That was a bridge too far.
Earlier this week, I resigned from the Historic Preservation Commission, after just three months of service. This morning when I go to the HPC meeting, I will resume my seat in the audience and my role as observer, reporter, and critic.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK
Carole's resignation is a sad event for therer are few in Hudson who have a deeper knowledge of Hudson's history and a firmer grasp of the nuances that attend the decisions of that committee, and who could and would be willing to fight against the incursions of those for whom "preservation" is either an annoyance or a deterrent to profit.ReplyDelete
Ah, but your greater influence is here. When I think of all the issues that would've turned out differently were it not for Gossips I shudder to think how government was conducted before the advent of blogging.ReplyDelete
Of course we all remember what that was like!, which reminds us not to take Gossips for granted. But by having to compromise the City's only serious news media for government service I, for one, regretted your decision to join the HPC. In that case, thanks for reversing.
I agree with Byrne, but I think the needle is not as hard to thread as Carole as Carole has unfortunately found it. There is far too little understanding of what it means to be a public agency and far too much ignorance about how to act as a member of such a group. There is often an expectation that members of these groups have to agree on a course of action or not rock the boat. It's hard, I know from experience on the Board of Ed, but members of the group can and should say what they think of the groups action and they should say it in public, which can mean in a blog, a letter to the editor, or the street corner. That said, if Carole's resignation brings back her voice in the Preservation battle, I'm all for it!ReplyDelete
Your words are far more important than your silence Carole.ReplyDelete
To quote OSCAR WILD... I MET MANY A PERSON WHO COULD INFLUERNCE MY OPINION, BUT NONE WHO COULD INFLUENCE MY VOTEReplyDelete
Glad to have Carole at liberty to blog about anything and everything. Others can serve on the HPC-- no one else can maintain this wonderful site.ReplyDelete
"Freedom of the Press,if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose" -George OrwellReplyDelete
It's unfortunate that you had to resign from the HPC in order to report on activities concerning Hudson's Preservation. Your knowledge of historic architecture and your love of Hudson should certainly give you a place on the HPC. But for the "Greater Good" it is better that you are free to voice your opinion, act as a watchdog and keep the citizens of Hudson informed. Keep your ear to the ground!