Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The PILOT and the Council

The informal Common Council meeting went on for an hour and a half last night, and at its high point there were seventy-nine people participating in the Zoom meeting. The hot button issue was the PILOT for the building proposed by the Galvan Foundation for 75 North Seventh Street.

Over the weekend, the Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition carried out a phone banking campaign, organized by Quintin Cross, targeting voters in the wards represented by aldermen who had not voted in support of the PILOT agreement in July. Last night, some of those same aldermen were targeted by members of the public.

Jane Trombley, who represents the First Ward, which encompasses all of the south side of Hudson, was reminded by Claire Cousin that half of Hudson Terrace was in the First Ward. Cousin invited her "to see what the waiting list for Hudson Terrace looks like." Dylan Weidman, who said he'd been able to remain as a renter in the First Ward for ten years only because his landlord was Galvan, challenged Trombley, "Who do you represent? Because you don't represent me." 

Vern Cross, who lives in the Fifth Ward, implicitly questioned how in touch his aldermen, Eileen Halloran and Dominic Merante, were with the people they represent by asking how they were getting information about the project out to their constituents. Later, three commenters who stated they were Fifth Ward residents--Elizabeth Dickey, Rebecca Borrer, and someone identified only as Anya--declared their support of the project.

Toward the end of the meeting, Cross directed his questions toward Malachi Walker, demanding to know if he had another solution or if he was "just trying to shake down Galvan?" Walker countered, "Is me caring about the city shaking down Galvan?" He went on to say, "I'm a God-fearing man. I want the best for the City of Hudson. I don't want to swing at the first ball."

To return to an earlier point in the meeting, among the communications received by the Council was a letter from Paula Forman, founder of Perfect Ten. The letter begins: 
The proposed Galvan project is yet another brick in a long history of institutional racism in our city and our country.
It is well documented that projects like the one currently under consideration on 7th street, while purporting to solve an immediate problem, have the unanticipated consequence of depriving yet another generation of home ownership. It has the effect of creating a permanent renter class and discourages upward mobility. Home ownership is the single most important vehicle for accumulating wealth and meaningful equity that can be passed on to the next generation. Projects like the one currently being reviewed do not allow residents to profit from increasing home values and discourages aspiration to higher paying jobs. They perpetuate the status quo and institutional racism. Because the residents are not property owners, they do not benefit from the economic impact of all improvements in the quality of community life. Don't we want better than that for our citizens and their children?
Trombley, when urging that the Council take "a really big breath" and take "a really careful look at what we do," spoke of homeownership and referenced the letter. Later in the discussion, Mayor Kamal Johnson maintained that "millennials don't want to own houses" and accused Trombley of denigrating renters.

The last word in the meeting came from Fourth Ward supervisor Linda Mussmann, who reminded everyone that "the last reval was extremely difficult for the city" and declared, "This project will ask more of the taxpayers." Dismissing the notion that property taxes could be raised for those already heavily burdened, Mussmann asked, "What do we cut to make this project affordable?"

The Common Council is expected to vote on the new resolution authorizing the PILOT agreement at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 18, at 7:00 p.m.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CAROLE OSTERINK

19 comments:

  1. It's interesting, thinking back on the various Galway/Galvan proposals the city has been the target of. They have always been controversial due to their problematic lack of planning or site suitability (i.e. the 5th & Warren plan, etc.).

    The current proposal is vintage Galway: poorly planned, out of scale and step with the surrounding neighborhood and, as always, reliant on corporate welfare to fund gaps that the sponsor could easily fill if it had the courage of its convictions (which, clearly, it lacks).

    In the meantime, the use of pressure tactics in weak attempts to force council members to support a weak project are repellent.

    If Galway/Galvan and its sycophants want to be taken seriously they might consider putting Mr. Galway's money where their collective mouths are and finance their own pipe dreams rather than seek to foist the bill on working families.

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  2. Uh, millenials certainly do want to own houses. What an idiotic statement.

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    1. When this PILOT makes the property tax burden for the rest of the City so high they can't afford it, owning a home in Hudson won't be an option for most of the community.

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  3. Its truly unfortunate that this proposal is so lacking in its financial and social cause that intimidation is the only recourse for making its case. We are still living in the era of Scalera, divide and conquer to serve non-local billionaires, and oneself.

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  4. Whenever the community is vocal it gets called intimidation. Last night i was on that meeting and it was a very unified community Aldermen Trombley should resign. Scalera was also a very good Mayor.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. So you choose not to even address the long, long list of problems that many highly intelligent people in Hudson have with this horrible project and with Galvan in general, you choose instead to intimidate Jane Twombley by calling for her resignation?! Seriously? Good grief.

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    3. Jane Trombley has the thoughtfulness to examine a project critically, the openness to listen to her constituents, and the strength of character to take a stand against a project that she (and a great many of her neighbors and constituents) believe does not serve the needs of the community, and the best you can do is slither onto message boards anonymously and troll her? You're a poor communicator, a lousy salesman, and a coward.

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    4. Good Grief - perhaps instead of demanding immediate resignations of elected officials, why don't you step up (first identify yourself on this board) and then run for office yourself. Run on a platform you believe it. Trust me it's an experience - the good: meeting residents and talking policy and the not so fun: dealing with nameless folks who think placing nasty signs around town are fun.

      AlderWOMAN Trombley has outlined her thoughts on this as to why the CC needs to look at the PILOT and the impact of the tax base. That's not against affordable housing - she's just able to understand her role.

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    5. Who said these people are intelligent? Rob Bujan didn’t you lose the last election by a mile clearly you need to change your thought process. John Friedman also lost by a mile sometimes you all should venture off this blog and into the city get out of your comfort zones. Doug Holst no one knows you at all or cares about you so you don’t deserve a response.

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    6. If you are going to sit at your keyboard and thrown barbs at people, "Good Grief" without showing who you are - then perhaps - you should turn that mirror on yourself.

      Jane, John and I have all run for office and got off our asses to do so - win or lose. We all put ourselves out there to do something for the city and if you think holding office is a creature comfort, please I invite you to enter the ring of public office - you'll see how comfortable it is.

      You're obviously a petty individual without the gumption to stand by your word. Everyone else you called out - at least are using their names. You're just another CAVE in the city filled with them.

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    7. Good Grief, yes, I lost handily running for supervisor after being asked to do so by the City Democrats who then decided to endorse someone else on the strength of his not having done anything for the city since moving here. But I didn't really want the job having just quit the Council after 6 years of wading through that sea of stupid.

      And Rob got beat, too. As did half of those running -- being the nature of elections.

      But that's all an aside compared to the absolute cowardice of someone who is not willing to use his own name -- I assume you are male because most of the women I've known have the balls to stand on their hind legs.

      So who cares what you write, Good Grief? You act like a child, and only fools take to heart children whining about things being unfair or calling for elected officials to resign because they disagree with them.

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    8. It’s not a barb it’s a real issue Robert you never left your comfort zone while campaigning. Why does my identity have anything to do with anything and balls really John balls make you tuff? So much toxic masculinity wow. I said Jane should resign because she is just like you two she doesn’t venture out of her comfort zone. John do you comment everything on gossips? Man get a life take a post or two off Good Grief.

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    9. Oh you poor thing, the mere mention of balls gives you the vapors? Perhaps you need to get out of your comfort zone more often.

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    10. gg - I guess your identity would only really be important if you were an elected or appointed city official, otherwise - have at it. Continue to demand change from behind the curtain, oh great oz.

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  5. Thank you Alderman Trombley. Don't give in to the intimidation.
    The scale of this project is ridiculous in comparison to its location.
    Greedy Galvan is not Good

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  6. How does anyone who declines be identified by name, who hides behind a fake ID, expect to be taken seriously, or be considered someone whose opinion should earn respect, arguing, in this case, in no uncertain, anonymous terms that an Alderperson, any Aldersperson, should resign. Anonymity in public discourse, or just in conversation, is the height, or the depth, of privilege. How is democracy served, how are an individual's convictions served by such disguises? What is there to be so feared? Doesn't anonymity add to the general apprehension that we are challenged even more to know what is true and what is false?

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  7. It's great that Galvan made a better offer but if PARKING is not included, it is still a JOKE. Galvan owns multiple properties throughout the city which already have parking and sewer which could provide scattered affordable housing for mixed income levels all over Hudson. There is something in this large project that is fishy. The tax benefits, the high costs for construction (apprx 262.00 per sqft), & the chosen location. Dan Kent reminds us that Galvan Foundation is a non profit, so where are the profits from this project going to be directed? How about parking and water treatment and reclamation?

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  8. As per usual, Galvan only offers a project that is a boondoggle for this town. We always get left holding the bag. Thank you to Alderwoman Twombley for her diligence. I hope this joke of a project is voted down. The fact that intimidation is being used is proof positive that it's bad.

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