Chris Jones, who was one of the three members of the nominating committee (the others were Rasner and Common Council president Tom DePietro), reported that the committee had received eleven applications and had interviewed ten applicants. She explained that the committee's recommendations were based on a desire "to fill the board with expertise we lack and to get some institutional memory about Hudson." Three of the four candidates recommended by the nominating committee were present, and after minimal discussion which involved having each candidate explain "how he felt his expertise would fit it," the eight members present elected all three candidates to the board. The new board members are: Walter Chatham, Steve Dunn, and Nick Haddad.
Walter Chatham is an architect closely associated with the New Urbanism movement. He is currently co-chairman of the National Academy of Design and is on the board of the Architectural League of New York. He was appointed to the Hudson Planning Board by Mayor Tiffany Martin in the fall of 2017 and became its chair in January 2018. As chair of the Planning Board, Chatham is ex officio on the board of HCDPA (Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency), which he chairs, and on the Hudson IDA (Industrial Development Agency).
Steve Dunn is a lawyer who also has an M.B.A. He was part of the Fair & Equal initiative last year, being principally responsible for doing the calculations to determine ward boundaries that would produce five wards of equal population while meeting all the other demographic standards for equity. He ran unsuccessfully to be the Democratic candidate for Common Council president last year, losing in the primary to Tom DePietro. Dunn currently serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Nick Haddad has had a strong connection with Hudson for many years. He is the proprietor of Red Hook Electric and formerly also of Hudson Electric. He served on the Historic Preservation Commission, ran for mayor in 2011, losing to William Hallenbeck by only 53 votes, and served as First Ward alderman for two terms, from 2012 through 2015. Though all the candidates in their responses to the board spoke about city planning and urban design, Haddad was the only one to touch on what is the principal mission of HDC: job creation. He spoke of the city being "caught up in a renaissance" but noted that "a substantial part of the population is not working." He expressed the hope that the City and HDC can "take our benefits and make things happen that are equitable."
* The nine members of the HDC Board are John Gilstrap (chair), Bob Rasner (vice chair), Don Moore (treasurer), Christine Jones (secretary), Rick Rector (mayor of Hudson), Tom DePietro (Common Council president), Carolyn Lawrence, Alex Petraglia, and Mark Morgan-Perez.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK