Monday, November 20, 2023


I debated about whether I should attend the meeting of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, which was scheduled to happen today at 6:00 p.m., in person or on Zoom. At the September meeting, which I attended on Zoom, the architects working on the project, Alexander Gorlin Architects, never showed the plans they were presenting to the Zoom camera, so in October, I attended the meeting in person. 

At the October meeting, the only one of the architects present assiduously avoided displaying the drawings she was sharing with the Board in a way that would allow me to see them. I got a better view of the materials from watching the video of the meeting the next day.

So tonight, I decided to save myself the bother, stay at home, and attend the meeting on Zoom. That was a mistake. I clicked on the link to the Zoom meeting at 5:55 p.m., and for the next 40 minutes I got nothing but these messages. (They appeared on the screen simultaneously, but to avoid reproducing a lot of white space, I captured each one separately.) 

After 40 minutes, I gave up hope that the host would ever start the meeting or let me in.

It is not clear what happened. I try not to be so paranoid as to think the host, whoever that may be, deliberately excluded me from the meeting. It's more likely that no one thought to turn on the Owl. Still, if a meeting is advertised as a hybrid, it should be a hybrid, and if you are planning a project that is going to have a significant impact on the character of a very small city, little more than two square miles, you should be more open about sharing what you are planning with the people who live in that city and are invested in that city. 


  1. Sorry about that Carole. The third party that facilitates the zoom meetings could not get proper authentication and so HHA was not able to start the Zoom meeting. The in-person meeting was very short and there was no update or discussion of the development plans.

  2. I too tried to attend the zoom meeting of the HHA last night, and had the same suspicious thoughts when I got the same blank screen you did. After being unable to connect to the meeting, I decided to go back and look at the Youtube recording of the October HHA meeting that you attended. And it was very clear from the HHA board members' comments at that meeting that they are committed to a maximalist build philosophy, and that scale and density are not their concerns, but only the concerns of others in the community that are to be gotten around. Then this morning I went back to the Hudson City Zoom Meetings page on Youtube to listen again to that meeting, to see whether my impression of the meeting was correct. But I couldn't. Apparently since last night the recording of that October meeting has been "disappeared."

  3. The only apology owed is from the HHA. Just don't hold your breath. It's clear from the manner in which the HHA approaches public communication (by avoiding it at all costs, e.g.) that it doesn't give a damn about the city of Hudson or the people who live here. Their only goal seems to be building whatever they decide makes them happy. Based on their exhibited design sense and history, we're all in for a lasting, over-sized, underfunded visual assault completely devoid of landscaping.

  4. This is very concerning. Being that no video is posted on the city YouTube page, it looks as if they simply "forgot" to take video. If they're trying to hide it from the public, it must be really bad and hoping they'll get little attention over the holidays. Stay on them, people.

    What will doubling the size of the projects in Hudson do for the character, infrastructure, businesses, and taxes of Hudson? Has anyone studied that math on how much the city and school property tax bills will have to increase to cover a significant increase in the city's population with high users of city and school services. I don't think these properties even pay a PILOT.

    History has shown that warehousing the poor does not work. Many cities have been tearing down these old monoliths, like Bliss, for smarter, mixed income development. Why would Hudson want to double down on a failed concept?

    1. Nick Zachos, who serves on the HHA Board of Commissioners, provided the explanation for why there was no Zoom access in a comment above, and I appreciate that.

      Regarding a PILOT, HHA actually does make a payment in lieu of taxes. Back in January 2020, Tim Mattice, who was then the executive director of HHA, said in a meeting (and I reported it on Gossips) that HHA pays a PILOT of about $30,000 a year--that's city, county, and school tax--and pays the City of Hudson another $30,000 a year for water and sewer.

      Although members of the board often seem to talk about the plans for redevelopment as if they are doubling what are now HHA units, I think what's being proposed is actually mixed income housing, but they are not being very forthcoming about what's being planned, so it's hard to tell. I do recall that the last time HHA went through the whole planning process for rehabbing Bliss and building new structures across the street, they were talking about mixed income, with some units being available to households with incomes up to 120 percent of the AMI (area median income)--not unlike what Galvan is proposing for the "Depot District."