Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hudson's New Comprehensive Plan

In June, the City issued an RFP (request for proposal) for a new comprehensive plan. The responses were due on July 14, 2023, but since then there has been no news about how many proposals were received or who submitted proposals. 

At the informal meeting of the Common Council on Monday, in the process of the introducing Celeste Frye, who was about to, in his words, "describe what they are going to be doing for us in the comprehensive plan," Council president Tom DePietro told the Council, "The committee selected Public Works Partners." Frye, who is the CEO of Public Works Partners, told the Council that her group would be teaming up with SLR Consulting, a group that specializes in sustainability, on Hudson's comprehensive plan. 

In her presentation, which can be viewed here (beginning at 2:44), Frye said they would start with all of the work already done, e.g. the Strategic Housing Action Plan, the Natural Resource and Open Space Inventory, the LWRP, etc., and would build on that. She presented this schematic to show their process.

She anticipated the process would take from 12 to 16 months.

When Councilmember Vicky Daskaloudi (Fifth Ward) asked about the fee, the answer came that it was $208,000. DePietro noted that a third of the amount was covered by a grant. Presumably the rest is coming from the general fund.

The committee that reviewed the proposals and chose the winning proposal was made up of Kamal Johnson, mayor; Michael Hofmann, mayor's aide; DePietro; Margaret Morris, First Ward councilmember; Michelle Tullo, Housing Justice Director; Peter Bujanow, Commissioner of Public Works; Heather Campbell, city treasurer. 

Gossips has learned that there were five responses to the RFP, and three of the respondents were invited to an interview with the committee. Among the three interviewed was a group headed up by Kaja Kühl, well known to Hudsonians for her work on plans to revitalize Oakdale, conceptualizing Shared Streets during the pandemic, and creating climate adaptive redesigns for Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. Kühl's urban research, design, and planning practice is called youarethecity.


  1. Dear City Hall -- Before getting involved with another consultant, could you please create a true Parking Bureau, like the most recent consultant you paid for told you that you must do? Could you please spend some money first on purchasing some new parking meters manufactured this century?
    Could you please first spend some money and begin the process of removing the worst of the furgary shacks? Could you create a JOBS AVAILABLE page on the city website first, please? Could you deal with and get started on the sidewalk improvement plan first, please? Could you please first solve the truck route problem? Could you please come up with a fix for the ugly and unwelcoming 7th Street park first? Could you please purchase the street lights from National Grid like you've been talking about doing for 7 years? Could you please first figure out how to make our alleys less full of garbage? Could you please first get started on creating a parks department before spending any more money on consultants, especially those focusing on the comprehensive plan? Could you please first spend some money on improving the horrible surfaces of our downtown parking lots and figure out how to turn the lights OFF DURING THE DAY in the city hall lot? Could you do possibly DO SOMETHING besides hiring another consultant?

  2. I agree, take that 150K and use it to actually fix something, rather than wasting it on "a plan" to fix something. All the tax money spent on consultants, advisors, assistants, etc., is such a waste.

  3. The amateurs need to hire the outside professionals to tell them what to do, to help them understand what they are not doing correctly, to make them feel like they are accomplishing something and "progressing" -- "Look, it's all on paper, this is what we are going to do, everything will be great." Next thing you know, money and revenue issues are the norm and still no one in power has risen above the rank of amateur. Hire another consultant, we're sinking!

  4. Not only that, but the idea that a "community visioning workshop," would be used to direct future city spending is a really bad idea in Hudson, where there is a lot of political apathy and where a small group of activists can easily populate and manipulate workshops like this to direct city financial traffic into their preferred direction.

  5. What happened to the last Comprehensive Plan? (2000, 2005 - can't remember). It was a good one with good plans and ideas. I don't think too many have been implemented yet.