At the informal Common Council meeting this past Monday, Councilmember Margaret Morris (First Ward) raised an issue relating to the Youth Department budget. Citing data that indicated one third of the children participating in programs at the Youth Center do not live in Hudson, she suggested that there should be a nonresident fee at the Youth Center for children who do not reside in Hudson. She noted that the Youth Department already charges a nonresident fee for its summer program at Oakdale Lake.
Mayor Kamal Johnson, attending the meeting on Zoom, urged the Council "to err on caution" when considering charging "kids who have been displaced." He spoke about kids who are going to the Youth Center "because their friends, who used to be their neighbors, are going there." He warned against making such a decision without public input and cautioned that such a meeting "could get out of hand" if people perceive that "services are being taken away from the youth." He made reference to a recent meeting of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, attended by a large group of people there to appeal to the supervisors not to evict the Hudson Youth Clubhouse from 11 Warren Street. (Johnson might also have cited a BEA workshop on the Youth Department budget back in November 2018, when a bag of dog feces was hurled at Mayor Rick Rector.)
|Annette Perry appealing to the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the Youth Clubhouse|
It was revealed at the meeting that the sale of the building has not yet closed, and the Board of Supervisors plans to hold a public meeting sometime in December to determine what county agencies will be going into the building once the County has taken ownership.
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