Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations
Meeting minutes for October 4, 2000
2. Minutes Joanne McElroy Moore moved to accept the September minutes. Stephen Winters seconded. All in favor. Motion approved.
· Common Council brochures distributed
· Albany Public Library News distributed
· A preliminary report from David Phaff on the Code Enforcement / Quality of Life surveys was circulated
· Police station open houses will be held on October 15.
· A meeting on PCBs and the Hudson will be held on October 18 at 200 Henry Johnson Blvd. Call the Arbor Hill Environmental Justice Corp. 463-9760 for more info.
· Attorney General is hosting 2nd Annual Neighborhood Watch Conference on October 18. Call 474-4290 for more information
· Community Land Trust asked for CANA mailing labels. Decision: Give them the NRC contact list. The application for CANA membership should include a line authorizing CANA to pass name and address along to similar organizations, at our discretion. It will be done in the future.
· Owners of "vacant" buildings must register these buildings and pay $300 fee. A list of buildings identified by the Div. Of Buildings and Codes was distributed. If you are aware of buildings that are not on the list, contact James Googas, 434-5995.
· NYS Schools Coalition would like CANA's support. Marggie will circulate their information and discuss this at the November meeting.
4. Guest Speaker: Mayor Gerald D. Jennings Topic: 2001 Budget
The Mayor views the City as a $100 Million+ business and to remain competitive we need to make the City attractive to live, work, learn and play in. This budget is balanced structurally.
Some significant accomplishments provide funds to strengthen the City's infrastructure. The extension of the landfill is bringing in revenue and recognition by the state of the South Mall's burden on the City has led to legislation that will pay back Albany and other cities, burdened by non-taxable state property.
Among other things, this budget shows the following:
· 3% raise to all City employees;
· 6 more (from 322 to 328) police officers. A grant has been secured to put 14 existing officers on the street and civilians will cover their desk jobs;
· 5 new firefighters (from 255 to 260);
· restoration of police department, fire department, animal warden vehicles, and parks and recreation vehicles, upgrade of fire department uniforms, 11% health insurance increase.
· The City has just opened the Home Store that is located with other services (banks, mortgage counseling, youth services) to help promote and foster purchase of homes in the city.
· HUD grant secured to build 27 single family homes in North Albany
· Arts Grants not cut.
· Summer Youth Employment not cut.
· New Neighborhood Planner to focus on neighborhood planning and work with the Home Store.
· New full-time Attorney with the Law Dept. will focus on code issues. A handbook for homeowners will be developed so that they know their responsibilities regarding code and the fines associated for not following code laws.
· BIDs are making progress
· South End Plan - another police substation
· So. Pearl- Phase III of street improvement
· $500M in construction in the City will be taxable. We don't need to raise taxes this year.
· Port of Albany moving into containerization - has applied to be an upstate relief site for the NYC ports. Albany has direct access to rail, water and highways and we need to capitalize on this.
· Home for the Half Moon as an attraction.
· Working to make waterfront a significant part of the City. Lock 1 of the Erie Canal is buried at NIMO substation in North Albany and would like to see this unburied and utilized as an attraction.
· Rejected sales tax increase.
· Landfill generates $10M in revenue. 10-12 year extension.
· League of Arts and Center Galleries moving into the Library.
· Need to get parking permit legislation through.
· Lincoln Park Pool bathhouse. Task force to look at issues. Restore building before the pool.
Q: Outstanding parking tickets exceed amounts collected. Why?
A: More people are paying their tickets. Looking to contract out this collection service to businesses that do this. Look toward options to pay via the web.
Q: Concerned about Sheridan Hollow Area. Looks like WWIII. Can't GIVE property away.
A: Need to get together and do the same thing we did on Lark and Central in Sheridan Hollow. Find out what works for that area and develop a plan.
Q: Concern about Clinton Avenue / Ten Broeck area.
A: Need to stabilize that area and not happy about the current situation with St. Joseph's - would rather have it the hands of the Historic Albany Foundation. The Palace Theater area - City has taken title to properties surrounding the Palace. Anders/Thompson is planning on taking over the Urban League building.
Q: Plans for Clinton Avenue are never mentioned. Why not?
A: They should be. City is going after money for all major thoroughfares.
Q: Value home ownership incentive. For people to stay in the City we need good schools - need to reexamine what's happening. Proposed facilities plan is not good for City.
A: Need redesign of elementary program. Can't have 900 and 700 kids in k-6. Believe in City's education. People have always had negative image of Middle Schools - not sure exactly why. Need to take a step back. Would like to take Albany High School and create one building for 7-8th grades and one for 6th grades. Build new high school with technology focus and give our kids a chance. Start with elementary schools.
Q: CANA will be examining the budget. Is this the final document or will another one appear?
A: This is the final document.
Q: What will the Neighborhood Planner due for the neighborhoods?
A: Want to hire an experienced urban planner who will address issues of neighborhoods.
Q: Public Access television. Why don't the citizens of Albany have access?
A: Would like to see competition to Time Warner Cable Want to drive prices down. We should have access.
Q: Are there plans to implement technology to compile statistics, i.e. from the police department?
A: $3M in technology updates is planned. Hired consultant group to look at Police Dept. systems, computers and upgrades.
Q: Will citizens be allowed to serve on the Lincoln Park Pool committee?
A: Architects want community input
a. University Community Relations
Next meeting is 7 pm on Wednesday, October 11 at the Albany Police Department, 526 Central Ave. Topics of discussion include final evaluation of the fall 2000 "Thirteen Point Plan," Committee's 10th anniversary celebration on November 8, Tavern owner Advertisement Agreement. Other initiatives include advertising campaigns regarding fake ID, open container ordinance, unattended property thefts and bike thefts.
b. Code Enforcement / Quality of Life
Preliminary report is available from David Phaff (distributed at the meeting). A more complete analysis is currently underway.
Upcoming candidate forums: 10/16 Albany High School 7 pm, 10/25 PS 19 7pm, 10/17 Sheridan Hollow.
Facilities Plan: vote at the 10/19 roundtable might be postponed until after Superintendent returns. The plan needs more work on the education side.
d. Cable / Public Access - Aimee Allaud and Marggie Skinner and several others attended a dynamic presentation at Schenectady Access recently. They are working with Steve Winters to form a Cable Access TV committee for Albany with the hope that the public in Albany will have the equipment and people to broadcast public meetings (such as CANA meetings) live. Stay tuned. To date, we have taped both of this year's meetings, but we have yet to have them broadcast.
Neighborhoods Work conference on November 18 at the First Lutheran Church, 646 State Street, Albany. For more information call the Neighborhood Resource Center at 462-5636.
Cynthia Galivan, Manning Blvd. NA
Joanne McElroy Moore, North Albany Shaker Park NA
Lt. James Marcello, Albany Police
Aimee Allaud, Melrose NA
Betsy Shearer, Park South NA
Helen Black, Arbor Hill Concerned Citizens
Emily L. Grisom, Sheridan Hollow NA
Mary Connair, Delaware Area NA
Cathy O'Neill, Delaware Area NA
Stephen Winters, Second Avenue NA
William F. McMahon, Washington Square NA
George T. Roman, Washington Square NA
Kathleen M. Jones, Washington Square NA
Eleanor Billmyer, observer
Benjamin Hughes, Mayor's Office
Henry M. Madej, Pine Hills NA
Harold Rubin, Center Square Association
Sam Burton, Sheridan Hollow NA
Ruby Hughes, Sheridan Hollow NA
Thomas Gebhardt, University at Albany
Howie Stoller, Melrose NA
Bob Hokanson, Lincoln Park NA
Gene Solan, Pine Hills NA
Jeff Cannell, Albany Public Library
Tom McPheeters, Mansion NA
Matthew Johnson, observer
Dan Egan, Plymouth NA
Isla Roona, Hudson Park NA
Andreas Kriefall, Schenectady
Marty Gawoski, West Hill NA
Holly Katz, Mansion NA
Carol Wallace, 1st Ward
Jack Neilsen, Police Chief
Chris Hearley, Budget Director
Deputy Mayor Phil Calderone
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings