Monday, December 3, 2018

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

Today is a day off for inveterate meeting goers. The week's events begin tomorrow.
  • On Tuesday, December 4, the Conservation Advisory Council meets at 6 p.m. at City Hall. A full agenda is planned for the meeting. First, there will be a debriefing on the public presentation, which took place last Thursday, of the maps being prepared for the Open Space and Natural Resources Inventory. If you missed the meeting on Thursday, the maps presented can be viewed online here and comments on the maps can still be submitted.
Also at its meeting tomorrow night, the CAC will review the second draft of the narrative for the inventory and discuss proposed planning recommendations to be included in the inventory, those recommendations being: develop conservation planning guidelines based on the findings of the inventory, to be adopted as city policy; update and complete street tree inventory; develop a comprehensive, city-wide street tree and sidewalk plan, incorporating green infrastructure to address stormwater issues wherever possible; confront the expectation of higher tides and inundation in the low-lying parts of the city by adopting robust design requirements for any new construction or adaptive reuse of existing buildings in the flood plain, and make realistic decisions about how much should be invested there; address poor conditions and lack of amenities and programming in city parks.
  • On Wednesday, December 5, the Common Council Youth, Education, Seniors, and Recreation Committee meets at 5:30 p.m., and the Housing and Transportation Committee meets at 6:45 p.m. The city website offers no information about where these meetings will take place, but it is assumed that the Youth, Education, Seniors, and Recreation Committee will meet at City Hall, and the Housing and Transportation Committee will meet someplace at the Hudson Area Library. Last month, it was the History Room.
  • On Thursday, December 6, at 4 p.m., in City Hall, Mayor Rick Rector holds a public hearing on the controversial Local Law No. 5, sometimes known as "the Stewart's law," which would amend the zoning in R-2 and R-2H districts to allow a nonconforming use that has "been established and has operated continuously for a period of greater than twenty years" to double the size of its building and to expand into adjacent lots. The only nonconforming uses to which this amendment would apply are Stewart's and Scali's.
The public hearing held by the Common Council on November 13, at which only three people commented, lasted all of six minutes, and on November 20, the Council voted unanimously to enact the law. Those not able to be present for the mayor's public hearing on Thursday can submit written comments to the mayor. They must be received prior to 4 p.m. on Thursday, and they must include the author's name and address. 


  1. Carole, could you elaborate on the reasons for the Mayor's public hearing on a law passed by the City Council after its public hearing? Is this the set-up so that the Mayor may veto the bill? Do you know what the veto rules are? Is the Mayor obliged to "sign or veto" a law passed by the CC? Is there a time period? Etc. Thanks

    1. Sorry, Peter, but I have to start this reply with "Duh?"

      Every law that the Common Council votes to enact must be signed (or vetoed) by the mayor. This has always been the case. And before the mayor takes action, there is a public hearing. This, too, has always been the case. Mayors can veto--or suggest changes to--any law passed by the Common Council, and a hundred years ago (I know this from reading Council minutes), the mayor at the time vetoed just about everything. In his day, Bill Hallenbeck vetoed a couple of things passed by the Common Council--the chicken law and the parking permit law for the neighborhood around the hospital. In both instances, if memory serves, the Council chose not to try to override the veto because they didn't think they had the votes. (A two-thirds majority is required to override a veto.) There's nothing new here, Peter. Nothing sinister.

    2. "One of the first jobs of a journalist is to ask stupid questions." --peter meyer

  2. How 'bout this for stupid - stupid because the answer is glaringly obvious:

    Why is the draft "NRI Narrative," a text document of the Conservation Advisory Council which was produced with public money, only available for public comment for less than four days? I haven't even looked at it yet!

    The document was cleared to go public on Sunday; the comment deadline is tomorrow; suck it up peasants.

    So why "glaringly obvious"? At this point, how can it surprise anyone that the document isn't even available unless you know somebody. It's only being shared privately!

    The successful grant application for the project promised a "public participation framework for the presentation and evaluation of the inventory ..." (the narrative is part of the inventory).

    If you have a problem with any of this then take great care you're not portrayed as an insolent person! After all, who are you to question your betters?

  3. At tonight's CAC meeting it was confirmed that tomorrow is the last chance for the public to comment on a 13,000-word "Narrative" which is not yet publicly available. You read it right!

    During the meeting the CAC members discussed the odious policy recommendations they still intend to add to the Narrative's conclusion. The members were seemingly bereft of a sense of conscience or obligation to the public for whom comments on the recommendations are now impossible.

    Hudson's bad old days are back in force, but now in sheep's clothing. How about it reader, did you stop caring the minute you saw something passable as a sheep?

  4. I'm wondering how those under the radar lobbying sessions that Ken Dow is conducting out of the Mayor's office against proposed Local Law Number Five are going? Susan