Sunday, July 11, 2021

Meetings and Events in the Week Ahead

Last week, the Register-Star reported on the efforts to continue remote access to public meetings now that COVID restrictions have been lifted and in-person meetings are a must: "Hudson contemplates remote meeting access." The meetings taking place in the coming week, including two that have grown notoriously long, are sure to make those of us who attend public meetings long for the days when we could monitor and participate in public meetings from the comfort of home.
  • On Monday, July 12, at 3:00 p.m., the mayor will hold a public hearing on proposed Local Law No. C of 2021, which amends the city code to require repairs to sidewalks to be made in accordance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. 
  • Also on Monday, July 12, the Common Council holds a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to appoint a replacement for Third Ward alderman Calvin Lewis, who resigned his position on the Council on July 1. There has been no information about candidates being considered to replace him or the process by which they have been identified. At this meeting, the Council will also consider a "settlement in the police grievance matter," the details of which are not known, and "hiring a firm to provide professional services related to a recently filed Article 78," which may be the lawsuit filed by Verizon
Update: Gossips has been advised that the "recently filed Article 78" referred to in the call to meeting for this special meeting could not be the Verizon lawsuit. Article 78 is a NYS statute; the Verizon suit was brought under federal law and filed in federal district court.
  • At 6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12, the Common Council holds its informal meeting. This is the first time this marathon meeting, at which, as a consequence of eliminating all standing committees, every department head must report to the full Council, will be held in person rather than on Zoom. So far this year, since the change was initiated, this meeting has typically lasted for three or four hours. It will be interesting to see if meeting in person has any effect on the length of the meeting.
  • On Tuesday, July 13, the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) meets at noon. This meeting will take place at City Hall, 520 Warren Street. The agenda for the meeting can be viewed here. The discussion of whether or not parcels owned by HCDPA, including the one at the corner of Warren and Front streets, will be offered to the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) for inclusion in its development plans, is certain to continue at this meeting.  
  • Also on Tuesday, July 13, the Planning Board meets at 6:00 p.m. No agenda for the meeting has yet been published, but according to the city calendar, the meeting will take place at City Hall, where even before the suspension of in-person meetings the Planning Board was not holding its meetings. On June 22, members of the Planning Board suggested they should stop working if their secretary, Rebecca Borrer, was not adequately compensated. Borrer, who in addition to keeping meeting minutes for the Planning Board has accepted the responsibility of handling escrow payments and wishes, for that reason, to be recognized not as a secretary but the board's administrative assistant, delivered the ultimatum that she would quit unless she was paid at least $20 an hour. (In June, the Common Council passed a resolution to pay the part-time clerks assigned to the Common Council, Historic Preservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Tourism Board $15 an hour instead of the $60 per meeting they had been receiving.) The Planning Board has suggested that Borrer be paid $30 an hour. Planning Board member Laura Margolis commented, "We all work for free, so the least we can do is have a fairly paid employee." Gossips has no information about how or if the situation has been resolved.
Update: Stephen Steim, chair of the Planning Board, has confirmed that the Planning Board meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, at City Hall. 
  • On Wednesday, July 14, the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners holds its regular monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Community Room at Bliss Towers, 41 North Second Street. It was expected that the board would vote to approve the draft RFQ (request for qualifications), which would then be released the next day. This process seems to have been held up a bit because the board failed to get permission for its plans, in a timely manner, from HUD. The draft RFQ, which can be reviewed here, and public comments that have been received about it are likely to be topics of discussion at the meeting. 
  • Also on Wednesday, July 14, Waterfront Wednesdays happens from 5:00 p.m. until sunset in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. This week, the event features A-Y/Dancers at 7:00 p.m. and Band of Gold at 8:00 p.m.
  • On Thursday, July 15, the Tourism Board meets at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place at City Hall, 520 Warren Street.


  1. why is the public hearing re sidewalks being held at 3.00 pm on a workday? reducing public access?

    1. The mayor's public hearings are traditionally held in the afternoon--3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. The scheduling for this one is not unique.

  2. I am shocked and appalled at the cavalier manner with which a city park for the past three years has been swapped out with HCDPA and bandied about as a property for housing development; that is, 2-4 Warren street (corner of Warren and Front streets, pictured above), site of what I call “Promenade Prospect Park,” ignoring its neighborhood significance, at the gateway to the city, and the major crossroad of the west end’s population diversity. It is, in fact, much more lawn with lovely trees than paving; a minimal investment of nicer benches and a fitting light standard would greatly enhance its appearance.
    Housing built upon it would no doubt restrict the view of oncoming traffic – including trucks and towed boaters coming to and from the waterfront – for cars turning onto Front street, amidst the crosswalks for the frequent visitors headed to Promenade Hill. All of which in short order would necessitate a traffic light.
    Can’t help but think that the park of fifty years at 2-4 Warren street must be one of the few, if not only, HDC property that serves a long-standing purpose, rather than simply being vacant. And hope that zeal to build might be tempered by neighborhood and urban civility considerations. Save Our Park!

  3. DePietro's comment that there was little notice for the change back to live meetings strikes as particularly absurd. I know I mentioned that the Council should prepare months ago for this eventuality months ago, and I'm certainly not the only one. Further, while he is correct that streaming meetings on WGXC is additional to the requirements of Open Meetings Laws, the Hudson community should be able to expect more than the bare minimum under the law as the bar set for bragging rights. Other municipalities have spent months preparing and making adjustments to allow remote access to meetings.

    Sadly, this purely reactive form of management, if you can even call it management, is what we've come to expect from Tom DePietro. A more proactive approach that anticipates the needs of the community and prepares for them would serve Hudson better and should be the expectation.