Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A Night at the Council: Part 2

At the informal Council meeting on Monday, May 10, Jeff Baker, counsel to the Council, offered this advice regarding the resolution to accept $100,000 from the Galvan Foundation to study the feasibility of moving City Hall to 400 State Street and the resolution to issue bonds for alterations to 520 Warren Street to achieve ADA compliance: "Get both introduced and then decide which to proceed with." Last night, Council president Tom DePietro told the Council, "We don't have to choose between the two resolutions." Peter Bujanow, commissioner for public works, elaborated, saying that improvements to 520 Warren Street "would enhance the value if the building should go for sale in the future." DePietro added, "Doing both projects will make the DOJ [Department of Justice] happy." The City of Hudson has a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice over its ADA compliance shortcomings.

The Council first voted on the bond resolution, which was unanimously approved. One of the most troubling things about the proposed improvements to 520 Warren Street are the alterations to the facade of the building. 

When the proposed alterations were presented to the Historic Preservation Commission in November 2020, it was explained that the marble steps of the building will be removed, and the doorway will be dropped down to street level. Once inside the door, visitors can either climb of set of stairs to the lobby of the building or use a lift, which will be located just to the right of the door. It's debatable if altering the facade of the building in this manner will enhance its value or not.

The vote on accepting the $100,000 from the Galvan Foundation for a feasibility study on relocating City Hall to 400 State Street was not unanimous, but the resolution was passed. Six Council members voted in favor (Tiffany Garriga, Eileen Halloran, Jane Trombley, Malachi Walker, Rebecca Wolff, and DePietro), and four voted against (Dominic Merante, Shershah Mizan, John Rosenthal, and Dewan Sarowar). In casting his vote, Rosenthal said, "No, no, and no!" Calvin Lewis, who is employed by the Galvan Foundation, recused himself from the vote.

An hour or so later, at the end of the meeting, Jane Trombley (First Ward) said she was having a crisis of conscience over her vote on this issue and wanted to change it. She had voted for the resolution, and she now wanted to vote against it. Trombley's vote would not have changed the outcome. Baker advised that for her to change her vote, the full Council would have to vote to rescind the original vote and redo it. 

Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward) groused, "People complain about gravel trucks, but we take a donation from Colarusso. I want to know why it's a problem to accept money from Galvan." She alleged that John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward) "is against everything Galvan."

DePietro expressed frustration, saying, "This is another vote that we're trying to turn back," and Rosenthal responded, "I think there's a lack of leadership here." Before Trombley's issue was resolved, Garriga made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and DePietro called for a roll call vote on adjournment. Eight members voted in favor of adjournment (Garriga, Halloran, Lewis, Sarowar, Walker, Wolff, and DePietro), and three voted against (Merante, Rosenthal, and Trombley). The meeting, which started at 7:00 p.m., was adjourned at 9:34 p.m.


  1. Here we go again ,GALLOWAY is dangling that K100,in front of you.The Donkey never gets the carrot.Whatever he has promised,it ain't going to happen. Well done J R you can see right through the smoke and mirrors.

  2. The absolute dearth of leadership and, frankly, critical thinking, on the Council becomes more stark every time it meets. Mr. Rosenthal's observation is spot-on.

  3. I don't always agree with John Rosenthal, but he comes correct, does his due diligence, and has a sense of responsibility to his constituents and the Hudson community at-large. He is an asset to both the City government and the people it serves.

    Council President Tom DePietro has routinely demonstrated himself to be a thin-skinned demagogue more concerned with the optics of control and the affirmation of election wins than actually serving the needs of the community.

    This latest debacle with 400 State Street is just another wasted $100k in service to his delicate ego.

    At present, Warren St looks like we're waiting for the infantry to arrive, the Waterfront is in a state of crisis, and he's wasting time on a silly fantasy of a big corner office with his name on it. Leadership indeed.