Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations (CANA)
Wednesday, January 6, 1999
p. 3 Bob McRae was at the meeting on December 3rd.
Cynthia Galivan moved to accept the minutes with the noted changes. Emily Grisom seconded. Motion approved.
4. Committee Reports
a. Community Police Council
The committee will be receiving 15-minute monthly lectures about crime prevention through environmental design creating defensible spaces. The downtown BID provided funding to produce 20,000 policing community policing brochures. The Community Police Council will present an award to one citizen and one officer. Each CANA delegate can make one nomination. Contact one of the following delegates to make a recommendation: Mary Connair (Delaware Area), Marty Jewell (Beverwyck), Shannon Hickman (Pine Hills), Emily Grisom (Sheridan Hollow), Maria Parisella (Mansion).
b. Community / University Relations
Continue to study the facilities proposal next draft due at budget time.
Mayor Jennings stated that many positive things are happening in the City and he reflected on 1998.
Healthy central business district is crucial to vital City. When focus on one area attract right investors. Continue to stay where were going with steadfast approach benefit neighborhoods, businesses and City.
Q: Whats happening with Academy Hill/University Heights Proposal
A: Comprehensive learning, recreation, food services to benefit all four institutions. Great concept. City talks with them on regular basis. Plan needs to be financed, able to sustain itself and good for this area.
Q: Downtown on upswing. Residentially no further along then a year ago. Would like to share concerns and ideas and have a discussion with the Mayor regarding the City Marshalls position being taken over by Sheriffs Department; minimum expectations of landlords; boarded up properties. Key is turnover and ownership.
Q: Schools what will happen with old buildings is a key concern dont board up and plan on selling later. Have legitimate buyers.
A: PS27 on Western Ave. is not handicap accessible. Trailers are being used and building is unsuitable. Consider building elementary school where current park is, raze building and build a new park. Need to look at creative solutions. Cant board up buildings.
Q: Fašade development how will NAs be involved. When is money available and how will word get out. How can City help move businesses to Delaware Ave.
A: One person will be assigned to handle project. Will be discussion with citizens. NAs will have lots of say.
Q: Library has shortened hours. Highest traffic area after 5 p.m. more people after hours will occur with the improvements of the library, as it will become a meeting place and literacy training center. Recommend longer hours.
A: Answered by Jeff Cannell, Library Director: Based the change in hours on traffic and labor. Willing to work with organizations for use of library.
Q: Converting the Sheridan Ave. lot to parking garage would be logical.
A: Logical, but not to Sheridan Hollow.
Q: Crestwood Market is on Whitehall Road rightaway. What are the plans?
A: Development on Whitehall Road will be Adams Park needs work. Need to explore alternatives living opportunities come up with ideas to use space.
Q: Bleeker Library and Dept. of State building? Whats their status?
A: Gutting DOS and moving Social Services. Theres interest in the Bleeker building.
Q: Foreclosed properties. County has auctioned property and purchase never closed or someone buys property and never does anything with it. This is tying up property in neighborhoods where a jolt is needed. Can City and county work together so people have plan before property is awarded?
A: Have had discussions and continue to. There are ways to create fabric of neighborhood if look at streets and neighborhoods.
Q: Did you know the tax bill is incorrect. It says to pay by the 1st but it should be by the 31st. There is a significant difference.
A: Will look into this.
Q: Need head count for census. Use local people instead of hiring outsiders who neighborhood residents arent familiar with.
A: Opened census office in Pine Bush. Want people from my neighborhood in my neighborhood.
Q: Started out the year with some unfortunate situations in the police department including delayed response to the Jenna Grieshammer homicide and the Jermaine Henderson incident. Training should project more positive issue.
A: Only takes one incident to mar department. At Conference of Mayors discussed this issue. Encourage residents to go through citizen academy. Take department and make familiar with neighborhoods (decentralization), consolidating court system, get cops on street all will help with this issue. Some dont like change and some dont like supervision.
Comment: Decentralization of the police department is great and the lieuts are doing a great job.
Q: Cops on bikes was met with disagreement a few short years ago and it works. What about putting Public Safety Officers on bikes so they can cover more area.
A: Shifts change one supervisor in charge of twelve PSOs. Doesnt make sense to leave whole side of streets open for 24 hours. Parking permit will be difficult to implement and enforce. Need to look at options and what works best.
Need legislature to pass legislation on Albany-wide parking permit to cover the entire City so we dont have to go back to legislature each time we want a change.
Comment: hill parking has ruined Sheridan Park. The Mayor invited Emily Grisom to walk down Sheridan Ave. to review the issues that need attention.
Q: Pine Bush, Ward 15 what is the relationship with Crossgates expansion plans.
A: Have had meetings. Cant handle parking. Needs better plan cant see anyway that the proposal can handle the increase of people and vehicles. Need business in downtown Albany. Proposal would have a five county economic impact. Zoning and planning would have say in the matter. Albany will be involved because of environmental impact.
Q: Budget Tax Base for the past 20 years have seen new businesses and sweetheart deals. When do these businesses have an impact on tax base rather than increase taxes.
A: New buildings fully taxable. State buildings and Central Ave. Private corporations own and City lease would be an idea. Incentives used back then to get things started.
5. Other Business - None
Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Submitted by Sandra Thomas and Marggie Skinner
Attendance for 1/6/99
Cynthia Galivan, Manning Blvd. NA
Denia Van Houter, Sheridan Hollow NA
Clare Yates, Center Square NA
Maria Parisella, Mansion NA
Emily Grisom, Sheridan Hollow NA
Colin M. Knight, Mansion NA
Howard Stoller, Melrose NA
Elfrieda Textores, South End NA
Jeff Cannell, Center Square NA
Harold Rubin, Center Square NA
Pat Maxon, Upper Washington NA
Craig R. Waltz, Jr., Helderberg NA
Henry M. Madej, Pine Hills NA
Thomas Gebhardt, University at Albany
Frank Benoit, Upper Washington Ave. NA
Richard Carroll, Delaware Area NA
Colleen Maloney, Delaware Area NA
Mary Connair, Delaware Area NA
John Fenimore, CDARPO, NANA, DANA
Robert McRae, CDARPO, Mansion NA
Ann DiSarro, Senior Services of Albany
Gene Solan, Pine Hills NA
Candida Santos, Rapp Rd./Crossgates
John Mounteer, Manning Blvd.
Mimi Mounteer, Manning Blvd. NA
Anne Brewster, Washington Park NA
Nick DAntonio, Mayors Office
Jerry Weiss, Hiscock & Barclay
Chris Lindsay, Beverwyck NA
Marggie Skinner, Pine Hills NA