Monday, December 27, 2021

No Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

It has become Gossips' practice to provide an annotated list of the upcoming meetings and events at the beginning of each week. This week, the last week of the year, there are no meetings, so instead we'll take a look at who will make up the Common Council and the various boards and commissions in the new year.

Common Council 
  • Jane Trombley (First Ward)
  • Rebecca Wolff (First Ward)
  • Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward)
  • Shershah Mizan (Third Ward)
  • John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward)
  • Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward)
  • Tom DePietro (President)
  • Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward)
  • Ryan Wallace (Third Ward)
  • Malachi Walker (Fourth Ward)
  • Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward)
New to the Council
  • Art Frick (First Ward)
  • Margaret Morris (First Ward)
  • Mohammed Rony (Second Ward)
  • Theo Anthony (Fourth Ward)
  • Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward)
It has yet to be determined who will be the second alderman to represent the Third Ward. In November, Council president Tom DePietro invited residents of the Third Ward to apply for the position. To Gossips' knowledge, only Amber Harris, who garnered 84 votes as a write-in candidate in November, submitted a letter of interest

Planning Board
The terms of two members of the Planning Board expire at the end of 2021: Stephen Steim, who was appointed by Mayor Kamal Johnson in January 2020 and now serves as the chair, and Laura Margolis, who has been on the Planning Board for more than a decade. There is a Planning Board meeting scheduled for January 11. We will find out then, if not before, if Steim and Margolis have been reappointed.      

Zoning Board of Appeals
The ZBA already has two vacancies. At the end of the month, there will be a third when Mary Ellen Pierro's term is up. It will be interesting to see who gets appointed to the ZBA.

Historic Preservation Commission
The HPC has a full complement of members, with no one's term expiring until the end of 2022.

Industrial Development Agency
All but one of the positions on the IDA are ex officio, so there will be a new Common Council majority leader replacing Tiffany Garriga and a new minority leader replacing Rebecca Wolff. In February 2020, the Common Council passed a resolution appointing John Cody to represent the Planning Board in the IDA in place of the chair, who was then Betsy Gramkow. It is unclear if that substitution will continue in 2022. The Council also passed a resolution appointing Richard Wallace as the only community member of the IDA. Wallace's term expires at the end of January 2022.

Conservation Advisory Council
Of the eight members currently on the Conservation Advisory Council, the terms of four are up at the end of the year: Tom O'Dowd, David Konigsberg, Michael O'Hara, and Hilary Hillman. The law establishing the CAC specifies that it be made up of "not less than five nor more than nine members." It also specifies that members of the CAC be appointed by the Common Council, so it is up to the Council to make reappointments or new appointments.

Tourism Board
The terms of the entire Tourism Board expire at the end of the year. The law that created the Tourism Board specifies that the Tourism Board be chaired by the chair of the now defunct Economic Development Committee and that half of the eight members be appointed by the mayor and the other half be appointed by the Common Council. Of the six members currently on the Tourism Board (there are two vacancies), three (Chris McManus, Nea McKinney, and Nabila Akhter) were appointed by the mayor, and three (Hannah Black, Selha Graham, and Kate Treacy) were appointed by the Common Council. It is rumored that two of the current members do not wish to be reappointed, so we can expect at least four new faces on the Tourism Board.


  1. I'd like to say that it is a big disappointment to see John Rosenthal departing, but as intelligent and present as he has been, he really has little to show for it. But it's not his fault, as I see it. The system he and others found themselves in was so dysfunctional, so cluttered and slow as friggin molasses (not to mention antiquated) that my guess is that John and others just knew it wasn't worth their time, brain space and headaches to get little to nothing accomplished in 2 or even 4 years for 5 grand a year. To serve on committees that produce nothing but talk? And then tom el presidente Depietro scraps the committees? And then brings one back? And there's no way for an alderman to change Hudson's CC system. It doesn't matter how smart or adept an alderperson might be, the forces will bring you down down down and so you just throw the towel in and move on. But nothing changes, and, for example, we are nowhere near to having even a plan to replace our horrible sidewalks. John was part of that effort for almost two years, it went nowhere after so much talk and study of Ithaca's model, and the whole effort seems to have been scrapped. (Even the attorney who was part of the sidewalk effort left the council) Why would anyone sign up for another two years of that kind of abuse and feeling worthless?

    Bill Huston

  2. Well, there is a law right now to fix the sidewalks, it's called "fix your own sidewalk." The law isn't enforced, if it was all the sidewalks would now be fixed. The new proposal is called, "you don't have to fix your sidewalk, because your neighbors will pay to fix it for you."

    1. How does one enforce "fix your own sidewalk" anyway? It gets ugly and it simply doesn't work, not in an urban setting. Never has (at least recently), never will. It's an outdated and unwise, unworkable approach. Just cus it says so in our code don't mean it's right or effective -- There are plenty of examples of this in our code aside from sidewalks. B Huston