Sunday, November 25, 2018

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

The long Thanksgiving weekend is over, and the week going forward is filled with meetings.
  • On Monday, November 26, the Common Council Fire Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. and the Police Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. Both meetings take place at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street.
  • On Tuesday, November 27, the Tourism Board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of 1 North Front Street. Also on Tuesday, the board of the Hudson Development Corporation will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Chamber of Commerce conference room on the ground floor of 1 North Front Street.
  • On Wednesday, November 28, the Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on the proposal to demolish two buildings at 248 and 250 Columbia Street and build a two-family duplex on the site. Area variances are required for the two new buildings. The public hearing takes place at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall and will be followed by the regular meeting of the ZBA.
At 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the Common Council Legal Committee meets in the Senior Center at the Galvan Armory, 51 North Fifth Street.
  • On Thursday, November 29, the Conservation Advisory Council will present the maps that have been prepared for the Open Space and Natural Resources Inventory. The presentation will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street.
  • On Friday, November 30, the Historic Preservation Commission will its second meeting of the month at 10:00 a.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.


  1. Don't be misled into supposing that public comments on the CAC's new maps can lead to necessary corrections. The maps are finished and, right or wrong, the information is already static. We may admire the maps but not affect any changes.

    Instead, you'll be informed that you may play a part the next time the city gets a mapping grant, if there is a next time.

    Although a grant deadline is cited as the nonnegotiable reason why public participation was excluded (the CAC got one grant extension already), Chairman Lerner refuses to answer the question whether a second extension was ever sought.

    Since its founding, the CAC under the present Chairman has repeatedly circumvented public participation. At meetings, even interactions between CAC members and the public are strictly regulated. The public may observe, but not much more.

    It's similar with the maps which the public has yet to see. On Thursday you'll be invited to observe, but not much more.

    That's why there will be hell to pay if there are serious problems with the maps. If the data is wrong then it will be wrong for a long time.

    It's a simple Yes/No answer: did Mr. Lerner request another extension on the mapping grant, or is this deadline just his latest excuse to exclude a well-informed public?

  2. It is now definitive: there is no limit on grant extensions in this particular state program.

    Mr. Lerner should not have used a grant deadline as an excuse to push through incorrect mapping data, and to do so at the expense of public participation.

    Once again our secretive CAC has acted shamefully in regard to the public interest.

  3. In the Minutes for the July meeting, CAC members voted that "public presentation and review of the inventory" should be a last step. There was no mention what "public presentation and review" meant.

    "The maps, he [Chairman Lerner] said, should be done by the end of summer."

    Personally, I'll be looking to see if the CAC's previous misunderstandings of the sewer system remain unresolved, particularly as I've submitted tediously specific mapping analyses of each of these irregularities for nearly three years! (At least one instance and maybe more concern known public health risks.)

    Now that we know the maps were not ready "by the end of summer," it's a fair guess what "public presentation and review" meant all along: no ability for the public to affect changes to the maps.

    Either way, when you consider Hudson's abysmal history on the subject of public participation it's outrageous that the public should now have to differentiate between incompetence and guile in the explanation why its substantive input is being excluded yet again.

    Yesterday we learned that the CAC is eligible for a second grant extension, so that excuse won't work anymore.

    When you consider that the project is 100% publicly funded, and that the CAC is merely an advisory body to the Common Council, it's high time that our Aldermen intervene. They're equally culpable, and the Council can even request a grant extension on its own.

    I say we should let our elected representatives differentiate between incompetence and guile and not place that burden on a neutered public which happens to be footing the bill.

  4. Tonight we learned that the maps can be changed after our public comments. It's reasonable for the public to expect as much and it turned out a solution was within reach.

    Of course the maps can't be perfect, but we mustn't omit something like the combined sewer which occasionally flows through an open stream behind the Oakdale parking lot (and another shorter line that's potentially missing at Tanners Lane).

    But now that I've finally seen the map I can understand how that line could have dropped out. If you drop the city's existing stormsewer layer from the current sewer "Map Book," you inadvertently lose anything misidentified as a stormsewer on the old layer. The sewer line in question was so misidentified, and surely that's how it was omitted. Simple. Now it's just a matter of putting it back in.

    The public comment phase is always so interesting.