Sunday, January 2, 2022

New Year, New Council

The new Common Council was sworn in today--at least eight of the ten alders were. Art Frick (First Ward) was not present. He reportedly had been sworn in last week at City Hall. Calvin Lewis (Third Ward) also was not present. It is still not clear if he intends to take office or not.

Margaret Morris, First Ward
Mohammed Rony and Dewan Sarowar, Second Ward
Ryan Wallace, Third Ward
Malachi Walker and Theo Anthony, Fourth Ward
Vicky Daskaloudi and Dominic Merante, Fifth Ward
The swearing in took place at the Central Fire Station. Seating was limited, and admission was by invitation only. Gossips was not invited and not present, but it was reported that Council president Tom DePietro delivered a speech at the event, in which he urged the new alders to emulate former First Ward alder Rebecca Wolff, who brought $1 million to the City in the form of the anti-displacement grant from Enterprise Community Partners. DePietro said the impact of the grant would be felt long into the future.

Gossips' Note: Back in 2008, when I was starting my second term as an alderman for the First Ward, I discovered that the representatives on the City Council in the very cool city of Madison, Wisconsin, were called alders, thus avoiding the gender specific terms alderman and alderwoman. I suggested to my colleagues on the Common Council that we should do the same in Hudson, but the idea was pooh-poohed by the Council president at the time, and it got no traction. In the past year, I have noticed that some of the alderwomen have taken to calling themselves alders. So, from hence forward, Gossips will use the term alder to refer to the women and men who represent the people of Hudson on the Common Council.


  1. Carole, just out of curiosity— is there a historical precedence for the entirety of the Council to not be seated at the beginning of its term?


    1. Not that I'm aware of, but that doesn't mean it has never happened. What makes this situation seem a bit unusual is that the public doesn't know if Calvin Lewis intends to take the oath of office or not. He has not declared himself, one way or the other. We have Tom DePietro's statement that there will be a vacancy, so maybe he knows something the rest of us don't.

  2. Sure, listen to Tom. If any of the alders want to get nothing positive for the community accomplished in their two years in office through a total lack of policy chops or analysis and a deaf ear to constituents, Rebecca Wolff would be a prime example of how to get it done. Tom's had double that time in office and his trophy shelf looks about the same as Rebecca's.

    There are hopefully enough new Council members who want to work together to accomplish things for their community, from flashy grant applications (that actually do require cooperation to follow through on, ahem) to the mundane but important (street safety, sidewalks, sewers) to the forward looking (zoning changes to allow ADU construction in alleys for affordable housing, protecting and enhancing the waterfront), to working with departments such as HPD and DPW to both recognize the good work they've done and help them continue to do their jobs in a way that best serves the needs of the community. It should be a busy two years; I wish them well.

    Hudson's growth and success has largely happened in spite of the City government. It's time City Hall stopped the performative nonsense and started getting down to business.

    1. I'm sorry to say that Hudson's accomplishments since I have been here have always been in spite of the Government, in spite of the fact that we have tried to elect forward thinking people. Let's hope it works this time. Wishing the best to the new alders.

    2. Yes, out with the alderman moniker, in with alder. It should have been done long ago. Who will make it happen officially, though, and how much discussion will it require among the CC?
      B Huston

    3. Jennifer’s “in spite of the government” is spot on.

      Last year I discovered that even when citizens discover an issue, research it to the hilt, put the necessary politicos in touch with one another, then actually draft the required Resolution for them, nothing gets done.

      Of course I’m talking about the 13 acres in Hudson owned by LaFargeHolcim (with a net worth in excess of $31 billion) which pays no property taxes in Hudson.

      Go figure.