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.