Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Gleaning Information

Last night, at the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) meeting, Common Council president Tom DePietro revealed two bits of interesting information.

The first regards the ad hoc committee pursuing the plan to install solar panels on City-owned property. When asked by CAC chair Hilary Hillman if the committee would continue, DePietro said, "Not really." It will be remembered that the Common Council issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) in creating a solar farm in the area of North Bay, and three developers responded--all of whom wanted to install solar arrays on the capped landfill. The CAC objected, arguing that the former landfill is a significant habitat for rare species and an important open space for residents of Hudson. They advocated instead for installing solar panels over hard surface throughout the city, one possibility being over parking lots. Last night, DePietro commented, "No developer is going to put together a hardscape solar project. It's just not economical."

The second relates to a new comprehensive plan. The current comprehensive plan was adopted in 2002, and it is long overdue for an update. The City has received a grant to do a new comprehensive plan, but the amount--$67,500--is considered insufficient to accomplish the task. A portion of the $200,000 received from Stewart's in the host community benefit agreement was supposed to go toward a new comprehensive plan, but it turns out that the upgrades to the intersection of Green Street and Fairview Avenue are going to cost more than the $200,000 received from Stewart's. Last night, DePietro told the CAC that the City would be able to use ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to finance a new comprehensive plan and said, "A comprehensive plan is in our future." 


  1. It's all so amateurish and embarrassing. When will there be any professionals at City Hall making big decisions we can be proud of? I honestly feel that the current system (the council, primarily) is so broken, so outdated and so dysfunctional that things will never improve until there is a do-over. That no one, no matter how well intentioned, capable or smart, will be able to get ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT accomplished at Hudson City Hall.
    It's the same old nonsense year after year, but it seems to be worsening. Who on earth responds "not really" when asked about whether a committee that person was involved in will continue? An amateur who, among other shenanigans, wastes our time looking into installing solar panels in town. Why should anyone believe, be interested in or want to be involved in anything Tom says or claims? No wonder so few people in town attend meetings and ask tough questions of city hall. It's a farce and it doesn't matter in the end, because nothing improves.
    Bill Huston

    1. The council doesn't have a leader, it has a pusher

  2. Do we need any more reason to show Peter Bujanow the door than this waste of time and effort solar debacle that he pushed so hard for when the people/CAC (who, unlike him, actually live in Hudson) concluded years ago and recently that we don't want the panels on the landfill? Enough of his nonsense already. First pillory him, make him apologize, then take away his DPW commissioner title. It's only fair. B Huston

  3. 67K would buy a lot of solar panels to install on rooftops of city owned buildings, for starters. Shelling out all this money for plans and proposals is a big waste of money if you ask me, but that's the way govt. works these days, or doesn't. I'd say stop wasting money on all these stupid plans and proactively spend the money that comes in practically.

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  5. This episode ought to serve as an object lesson to city residents, though I suspect it won’t.

    After decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent studying what might be at the capped landfill, plus years of discussions between city agencies and residents that culminated in an official 2015 Agreement with the county and land conservancy, one seemingly unaccountable city commissioner from Kinderhook got it into his head to revisit the previously abandoned solar farm idea and here we are.

    According to council President DePietro, however, Commissioner Bujanow was given specific instructions not to include the capped landfill in his RFEI. Being ambitious and unaccountable he did anyway. Ever since we’ve seen how much trouble and wasted effort one disrespectful individual has caused city taxpayers.

    So in addition to showing this fellow the door, I’d suggest that the Common Council, working closely with its Conservation Advisory Council, renew the city’s 2015 commitment to the Columbia Land Conservancy’s North Bay Recreation and Natural Area.

    If the city doesn’t update the Agreement, and if Mr. Bujanow remains in city government (which, sadly, is all too likely), then the same issue will have to be addressed the next time this bad-faith political hack supposes that nobody’s looking.

    If for no other reason than continuity, revisit the Agreement for the sake of the money already spent on the North Bay plan, most of which originated from the two-decade old Athens Gen settlement negotiated by Scenic Hudson. Is there anyone left in Hudson who even remembers that? Well, that’s where the hundreds of thousands came from which the land conservancy used to develop its plan.

    Why would the city let all of that money and effort go to waste? And why do we routinely abandon our North and South Bays?

    1. Exactly, the former landfill area should remain as park and connected to the Greenport conservation area with trails. The dilapidated shacks down at the north bay should be demolished and removed, plant some grass and install some grills and tables, that whole process wouldn't take more than a month, but that mess has been rotting there going approaching nearly a decade. Did taxpayers spend all that money on legal fees to observe an experiment in structural decay? Imagine if that +100K was spent on solar panels on rooftops. How may buildings would be powered by solar right now independently making electricity unbeholden to any utility. We need to get off the study and proposal bandwagon and spend the available funds on actually doing some work. contractors

  6. Important open space for residents? There are "No trespassing" signs posted.

  7. Yes I remember the Athens Gen. agreement Every time I see the plume across the river. Enough with the studies.
    The CAC does good work I appreciate their

  8. No long term thinking or institutional knowledge. It's like we start from scratch every year.

    We need a serious organized effort to fix the city charter as the system is broken. Here's my suggestion:

    1) Eliminate the position of Mayor as chief executive
    2) Eliminate the Council President position
    3) reduce the alders to one per ward (the unopposed elections show we have too many). The 5 members of the new City Council will, on an annual basis, select one of themselves to serve as Mayor. The Mayor will not be a chief executive, but rather the one who leads and presides over the City Council.
    4) With the savings from the prior three points, hire a qualified urban planning administrator as a City Manager (with a small staff), on a 4-year renew optional contract. The City Manager will be the chief executive, managing the departments and day to day city business. The City Manager will be found through a ad-hoc search committee and then decided by the 5 member council. The City Manager will report to the City Council like a CEO reports to a board. The City Council will decide whether to renew the City Manager's contract.
    5) The new 5 member City Council will focus on legislation, constituent needs, and long-term strategic planning.

    There, I fixed it.