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Minutes for

Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations (CANA)

Wednesday, November 4, 1998

Introductions

Correction to the October minutes:

p. 4 Rick Maecker's name was misspelled as Rick Wassher in the minutes.

p. 1 Regarding the Albany City Schools facilities planning project, the average age of all buildings owned by the district is 81 years – not just school buildings.

p. 3 Changes to the Charter via the petition process require a two step approach: citizens representing 10% of voters in gov. election petition the city with proposed changes. If the council fails to adopt the changes or submit the changes to a referendum, a second petition signed by an additional 5% of voters- will put the changes on the ballot. (NOTE: All of this is spelled out in pp. 8-14 of the NYS Conference of Mayors & Municipal Officials' Guide to City Charters and Charter Revision. Trying to summarize it in 25 words or less is hazardous and does result in an oversimplification. If you want to know what needs to be done- join our charter revision committee.)

Communications/Announcements

Albany Public Library news was distributed. For more information on upcoming events call 449-3380.

National Neighborhoods USA 1999 Conference will be held in Madison Wisconsin. For further information call Cheryl Wittke at 608-256-6713 mail to: cwittke@aol.com

South End Task Force newsletter was circulated.

Cambridge, MA Citywide Rezoning Bulletin was circulated.

South End Home Maintenance & Repair workshop on Monday, November 9 from 6-7:30 at the Howe Branch of the Albany Public Library. For information and registration call 436-8777 or 463-4267.

The next Delaware Area Neighborhood Association meeting is Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m., VFW Sheehy-Palmer Post, 525 Delaware Ave. Special guest speakers are Dr. Jeanne Neff, President of the Sage Colleges on the University Heights Initiative and Mike Whalen, Codes Administrator, Department of General Services, on the new Quality of Life Appearance Tickets.

Delaware Area Neighborhood Association will hold their annual holiday event "Share the Spirit" on December 5 from 3-5 p.m. for $5. Includes house tours and events with local businesses.

Marggie requested that Neighborhood Associations send notices of their meetings to CANA so we can post them on our web site and to provide this information to those who ask. Send newsletters and meeting notices to Hstoller@aol.com or mail to Howard Stoller, 130 Melrose Ave., Albany, 12203.

Emily Grisom received a Mayor's Award for Excellence. Harold Rubin moved that CANA commend Emily for (among other things) getting the Common Council to adopt a public comment period at all of its meetings thus allowing citizens to present their views to the Council. Emily's perseverance brought about this important change to the process. Keith St. John seconded, motion approved.

Pine Hill Wildlife Refuge Second Annual House Tour will be held December 9th at 6 p.m. Tickets available at the Norma Jean Theater on Madison Ave.

Bill Beckman, VP for Finance at Russell Sage College, addressed the group regarding JCA's plans for the future. The college recently underwent a facilities master plan and building study. The study indicated that the Fine Arts program is the flagship program on the JCA campus. As a result, a new fine arts facility of approx. 30,000 square feet will be built on the New Scotland Ave side of the campus. Phase One will include classroom/studio space and Phase Two will include gallery space. The RFP will go out in November with a groundbreaking planned for late summer/early fall.

Committee Reports:

Community Police Council: Maria suggested the web site http://www.communitypolicing.org as a good web site for information on Community Policing. A brochure is being prepared called "Information on Community Policing." The Council is planning an award to an officer and a civilian for outstanding work in promoting community policing. Halloween went well from APD's point of view. Beat and bike cops worked from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. The APD is buying 15 new bicycles by spring. Three officers have been trained to tune up the bikes saving $180/bike/year. We will see bikes in the winter when roads are clear. Station open houses were a success. It was noted that both the beat and bike cop positions are becoming the prime assignments and more officers want to be part of each.

Community / University Relations: The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, November 11 at 7 p.m. at the Albany Police Department's Traffic Safety Building at 526 Central Ave. The committee will be receiving an update on the University at Albany's "Campus Master Plan" and evaluate the efforts by the Student Association of the University at Albany to originate this year's homecoming parade (that was canceled) from the Pine Hills Neighborhood no October 24th.

Library: Judy Rosen and Mr. Cannell, the new director, will be invited to the March meeting. It was noted that the new director has a positive and progressive attitude.

Zoning: Appeals passed around. Marggie called for the formation of an active zoning committee of CANA from the existing NA committees. In an effort to ensure that the appropriate neighborhood association contacts are receiving zoning notices, Marggie will send a letter to Mike Morelli requesting a copy of their list. Pat Hancox volunteered to be on the zoning committee.

Permit Parking: Council passed amendment to parking permit legislation raising fee to $1500 from $5000. The legislation is likely to pass. Once implemented, a lawsuit will most likely ensue to abolish the legislation. This process could take months and will include a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

BIDS – no BID representatives were present.

A petition to save St. Joseph's Church from demolition was mailed with the minutes. Signed petitions can be forwarded to Rick Maecker at 8 First St. , Albany 12210 phone: 434-8259.

Charter Revision: Relevant pages from the NYCOM Guide to City Charters and Charter Revision was distributed along with Albany's Proposed City Charter (passed on 11/3/98).

After much discussion Craig Waltz made the following motion:

To have CANA call on the Common Council to create a committee to solicit public input on these areas which require clarification in the revised charter and enact local laws to do so where appropriate. Also, the Council should identify areas, which require amendment of the charter and submit a report of all these items to the citizens of Albany by May 1, 1999. Seconded by Clare Yates, motion approved with two abstentions.

Marggie and Cynthia Galivan will compose a letter to each Common Council member and the Mayor requesting the above.

It is important to keep CANA members engaged in this process to see it through. The CANA Charter Committee includes Cynthia Galivan, Harold Rubin, Donald Dugan, Keith St. John, Christopher Lindsay, Marggie Skinner, Craig Waltz, Dominic Calsolaro, Henry Madej and Don Wardle.

Cynthia informed the group that Trisha Coates, leader of a group in opposition of the charter, did not attend the meeting not because they've lost interest but because the want to let CANA's opinion unfold without their influence. They are still interested in working with CANA on this project.

Cynthia Galivan moved that CANA send a request to Nancy Burton asking for an audit of the Charter Review Commission. Craig Waltz seconded, motion approved with four abstentions.

Other Business

Budget will be out on Friday- Nov. 6 and public hearings may be held before the next CANA meeting.

Trash schedules were changed in Pine Hills & Beverwyck neighborhoods without notification to the neighbors.

Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.

Submitted by Sandra Thomas

Attendance for 11/3/98

 

Anne Brewster, Washington Park NA Mary Connair, Delaware Area NA

Richard Carroll, Delaware Area NA Thomas L. Gebhardt, University at Albany

Pat Hancox, Pine Hills Urban Wildlife Maria Parisella, Mansion NA

G. Mowbray, Hudson Park NA Howie Stoller, Melrose NA

Clare Yates, Center Square NA Valerie Benjamin, Enterprise Community

Elizabeth Benjamin, Times Union Marggie Skinner, Pine Hills NA

Elfrieda Textores, SECC Keith St. John, Historic Pastures

Cynthia Galivan, Manning Blvd. NA Harold Rubin, Center Square NA

Henry M. Madej, Pine Hills NA Claudia Brown, Washington Park NA

Emily L. Grisom, Sheridan Hollow NA Donald Wardle, Center Square NA

Craig Waltz, Helderberg NA Christopher Lindsay, Beverwyck NA

Marty Gawoski, West Hill NA Andrew Harvey, Park South NA

COUNCIL OF ALBANY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS