Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Week Ahead

There is only one meeting of interest in the first week of 2019. It's the monthly meeting of the Conservation Advisory Council, which takes place tomorrow, Thursday, January 3, at 6:00 p.m., at City Hall. The single topic of discussion will be the Open Space and Natural Resources Inventory, which is pretty much the CAC's raison d'être at the moment. In addition to discussing the progress of the project and the timeline going forward, members of the CAC will be formulating a plan for reviewing public comments and talking about how to promote the completed inventory and encourage its use.

The inventory is now available for review online. Click here for the narrative; click here for links to the maps that accompany the narrative. Comments on the inventory will be accepted until Friday, February 1. Written comments should be submitted to

The CAC currently has two vacancies. The city code specifies that CAC members "shall have expertise in environmental sciences, planning, engineering, arboriculture, Georgraphic Informational Systems, and associated skills by specified professional or education credentials and relevant attainment." Members of the CAC are appointed by the Common Council. Anyone interested in considered for appointment to the CAC should contact Council president Tom DePietro:    

1 comment:

  1. The CAC was very eager to promote its inventory even before the public comment period had begun.

    In December the members discussed policy recommendations to be based on the inventory, giving the distinct impression that the inventory was produced to justify their unwarranted policies rather than the other way 'round.

    Aside from the word "conservation" in the title, which leads people to drop their guard, the CAC is like any other governmental entity in regard to public participation. The public may weigh in if the funding source requires, but otherwise our comments are for window dressing. The "experts" have already spoken.

    The inventory itself, which consists of maps and text, was basically a done deal before last month's attempted public comment period. That was when the CAC granted the public less three days (!) to see and then digest the material.

    A complaint to the CAC Chairman about the comment period's brevity earned the reply that he "didn't care" if the state was alerted, and so it was. The next day the DEC ordered a one-month comment period adding that "we want to ensure the public is appropriately engaged in the projects we fund."

    Whether or not our public comments can actually affect something the CAC regarded as being final is anyone's guess, but that the draft inventory should be less dishonest is beyond question.