Wednesday, February 24, 2021

"Lessening the Burdens of Government"

In early April, Bob Rasner, president of the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) Board of Directors, proposed creating emergency task forces to come up with "forward thinking solutions" to help Hudson survive the pandemic and "merge from this crisis better than when we entered." At the HDC meting yesterday, Rasner proposed a similar initiative directed specifically toward dealing with the City's current fiscal crisis: a revenue shortfall for 2020 of more than $1 million; a 2021 budget balanced with half million from the fund balance; a fund balance that has dwindled to $600,000 in unencumbered funds. In addressing the HDC board yesterday, Rasner said in part:
As defined by the State of New York, the HDC is a private, not-for-profit corporation. Incorporated 45 years ago, we are a volunteer organization, privately funded, not reliant on taxpayer’s money. The organization was formed, among other purposes, to “Lessen the burdens of government and act in the public interest”. . . .
During recent discussions with parties expressing interest in investing in the city by means of developing the land owned by the HDC, we have been asked about the economic health of the City of Hudson. In recent months the same question has been raised by friends and business associates. . . . 
To gain an understanding of the dilemma in which we find ourselves, the minutes of last year’s City Finance Committee were reviewed, paying particular attention to the reports of Heather Campbell, our City Treasurer. Heather was contacted and asked if she might be willing to meet with a small group to inform us on the current economic outlook for the City. . . . 
Because information is power, and with the belief that citizens with information can accomplish extraordinary things, the goal of the gathering was to arm participants with information that might “Lessen the burdens of government and act in the public interest”. . . .
I am going to propose formation of an Economic Task Force similar to those we formed almost a year ago to assist the community at the beginning of the pandemic. I will propose it be facilitated by this Board, but consist of citizens that can and be willing to work very hard to see Hudson through a difficult time… in short, to “Lessen the burdens of government and act in the public interest.”
In the discussion that followed, Rasner clarified that he was thinking the task force might explore possible new revenue sources for the City. He said he would be reaching out to board members and other residents and stakeholders in Hudson about being part of the task force and would report back to the board about community involvement.


  1. To create revenue streams one has to be practical and use common sense.

    Here are some facts.

    Hudson had a "thriving" AirBNB business that generated alot of revenue for the city.

    Hudson is not an attractive city to relocate to because the taxes are too high, and the quality of the school system is so low. At the hospital, it was hard to hire doctors and other professionals with children. They refused jobs based on the terrible school system.

    if the City wants to survive, and grow, and thrive, it has to recognize the facts of life. it is hard to pay the bills, and one needs to strive to save on expenses and excel at quality.

  2. Possible new revenue sources? WEED! WEED! And more WEED! B Huston

  3. The phrase "new revenue sources for the city" is an euphemism for raising taxes and imposing new fees on residents for city services. What Hudson really needs is a task force to explore practical ways to cut the city's costs and expenses. In other words, the city needs to tighten its proverbial belt. It is time for frugality.

    1. Besides removing salaries for elected officials, there is precious little discretionary spending in the City budget outside the Youth Department (which, at about $1m/year, has been shuttered for the last 12 months). Beyond that, "new revenue sources for the city" need not mean taxes on residents. The lodging tax is an example. There are a number of other options that the City could pursue -- if anyone was minding the store.

    2. I wonder how much money the city spends every year on gaoline for police cars? Perhaps the city should explore the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the police station and replacing the current police cars with electric vehicles.

    3. Regarding the police, in the warmer the months there have been police patrols on bicycles -- green energy and efficient.

      on the subject of taxes, lodging taxes and sales taxes are the lifeblood of the city. the residents need revenues.

      on the Youth Dept, the city can ill afford to spend 1 million dollars or anything near that for 27 children. it makes no sense, on any level. the Youth Dept could be run as a foundation to which citizens donate money, and also receive money from the city and the county, and perhaps the State. that makes sense, and the organization has to then supply financial reports.
      Children need activities, but we have to make sure that they actually get them.

      it is pointless to spend a million dollars and be closed.

      Why is the City going bankrupt ?

      Because these things are allowed to happen.

  4. Hi gang, just wanted to provide the ACTUAL numbers regarding the Youth Department. The 2021 Youth Department budget is: $606,805. We serve well over 400 youth annually. We are still operating with vurtual programming, but we have not been able to offer drop in programming for the past 3 months because of covid. I am also very proud of the transition we made during the pandemic to be able to offer a free food program which was accessed by over 15% of the population of Hudson experiencing food insecurity. The 2021 budget is available on the city website for anyone to see and we give monthly reports to the common council if you have more questions about what we do. Have a good night! :)

    1. Nick -- All that free time with no drop-in activities, seems like you shouldn't need to be reminded that the trash cans in your Oakdale park are overflowing with garbage and dog waste.