Gossips has been observing the Common Council for many years now, and last night something happened that I don't think has ever happened before. At the end of a meeting that lasted for more than two and a half hours, a roll call vote was taken to decide whether or not to adjourn. Eight voted in favor of adjournment; three were opposed.
Because it was such a full evening, Gossips will report on what happened one issue at a time, beginning with the license agreement for the docks at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.
Monday, May 10, the Common Council voted six to five to authorize Mayor Kamal Johnson to enter into a licensing agreement with Hudson Cruises, which has been operating from the river-facing commercial dock for the past seventeen years.
resolution it had passed the previous week. Before voting not to rescind the resolution, Alderman Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward) said, "This is very confusing, and it sets a bad precedent." In voting to rescind, Alderman John Rosenthal spoke of the "commercial monopoly of the dock."
Before the vote on rescinding the resolution was taken, the Council heard from Noor Rahaman and Sam Merrett, representing respectively Hudson Cruises and the Hudson Sloop Club, the two entities vying for the license to use and manage the docks. Rahaman told the Council that in the past Hudson Cruises had worked harmoniously with the Hudson Sloop Club. He said Merrett was a former employee of Hudson Cruises and noted that Merrett had used the dock this past weekend to load his boat, Apollonia, with barley for delivery to breweries in New York City. Rahaman cited the late issuance of the RPF, which didn't happen until March, as "the reason we are having this dispute." He invited Merrett to engage in a dialogue over dock access.
For his part, Merrett said the process "has been strange and dividing." He said the Sloop Club was "trying to expand community public programming on the commercial dock" and "create connections with other vessels on the river." Rahaman responded that in the past, the boats Merrett mentioned, among them the Clearwater, had never been turned away. He argued that the three boats Hudson Cruises docks in Hudson "are our revenue stream" and told the Council they had already lost $10,000 in cruises that had to be canceled because of the delay.
After the Council voted to rescind the resolution, Council president Tom DePietro said, "Let's just hash this out at a special meeting." That special meeting has been scheduled for Monday, May 24, at 7:00 p.m. Later DePietro commented, "Maybe we'll resolve it offline before Monday."
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