Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations
Minutes from December 1, 1999 Meeting
Harold Rubin made a motion to accept the minute of the November meeting as submitted. Seconded by Mimi Mounteer. Motion approved.
· Neighborhood referral forms from the Albany Police Department were distributed.
· Albany Public Library News Release was distributed
· Council of Community Services Community Residence Siting Committee letter was read. This topic will be put on the agenda for the January meeting. Principles for the siting of community residences, as proposed by the committee, will be discussed. NOTE: Please read the enclosure: PRINCIPLES FOR THE SITING OF COMMUNITY RESIDENCES. The Council of Community Services has asked CANA to endorse these principles. Please come prepared to approve or disapprove CANAs endorsement.
· ZBA notices were circulated.
· Volunteers are needed for the Albany Millennium 2000 Celebration. 434-5411.
· Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County Handivan schedule was circulated. 463-4267
· It was suggested that the Restorative Justice Coalition be invited to a future CANA meeting. The Coalitions meetings are held at 340 First Street on the Third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.
· Emily Grisom thanked everyone for buying oranges this year. Big support to the church.
4. Committee Reports
a. Schools-Don Dugan
Next meeting is Tuesday at Albany High at 7 p.m. The architects final recommendation regarding the aging of the schools will be presented to the Board. If you have any issues you want the Board to hear contact Don Dugan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 489-5034. The teachers and the Board settled on a new contract.
b. Committee on University and Community Relations-Tom Gebhardt
Next meeting Wednesday, December 8 at 7 p.m. at the Albany Police Departments Traffic Safety/Special Operations Building at 526 Central Ave. The latest update on the new New York State unlimited drinks special law will be presented. Students have received numerous safety flyers and informational flyers for the holiday break.
c. Budget- Harold Rubin
Process was a fiasco. The October 1 budget document called for an 8.5% tax increase. At the same time the Mayor recommended changes in the size of fire and police forces to avoid a tax increase. Mayor negotiated with unions to require fewer cuts. Process kept evolving. Five people spoke at the Nov. 15 public hearing including Cynthia Galivan, Dominic Calsolaro, Harold Rubin and David Miranda. Items brought to the Council and Mayors attention were problems of readability and explanation in the actual budget document. Budget was passed as amended followed by various council members objecting to the process. 10 people voted for and 5 voted against the budget. Voting against the budget: Carolyn McLaughlin (lack of appropriate reconciliation); Carol Wallace (concern about safety cut backs); Shawn Morris (big holes - not sure figures jive - assuming collections from land fill without approval - budgeting state aid not yet passed); Sarah Curry-Cobb (legislature played no role). Very confusing situation. The City will no longer publish the City Record and will have advertisements in the paper. This was originally proposed by CANA in 1981. What can CANA do to make sure this disastrous process isnt repeated? Put together plan and meet with Budget Dir. & Finance Committee to encourage them to present a better document next year. Is there any legal recourse? People are looking into it.
d. Zoning-Marggie Skinner
New legislation introduced by Carol Wallace - requires that signs be posted on properties where zoning changes are proposed.
e. Census-Marggie Skinner
Holding until January - need help figuring out where homeless are and how to count them.
Nominating committee volunteers: Gene Solan, Harold Rubin, Craig Waltz
5. Commit to Kids: Thea Hoeth, Volunteer Center
The Volunteer Center of Albany has been operating for 30+ years.- Now the Volunteer Center of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties, it runs two major programs: 1. Community Service Sentencing (non-violent offenders are placed in organizations in the community); 2. Resource for volunteer needs in the community - keep current on organizational volunteer needs. 434-2061.
Commit to Kids is a citywide project launched when a delegation from Albany came back from the Presidents Summit on Volunteerism in Philadelphia a few years ago. The Summit encouraged volunteer efforts within ones local community, particularly those directed to help children. Commit to Kids identified five fundamental resources our community should provide for our children 1. safe place to be; 2. healthy start; 3. relationship with caring adult; 4. marketable skills; 5. opportunity to give back to the community. The Albany Alliance for Youth was developed to match at least 1,000 kids with at least one of these resources.
Since 1998 Commit to Kids collaborations have been established to connect people to services: a coordinator was hired in the South End and Arbor Hill to let people know about Child Health Plus; Fleet funded a computer tutoring center; they had a clean-up and tree planting at Tivoli Institute Reserve, and produced a student guide to volunteer opportunities. They received funding to compile a database of volunteer opportunities that is accessible via the Internet. They secured hundreds of baseball tickets and took kids to Mets games.
Samantha Karmel: Commit to Kids Strategy: go from neighborhood to neighborhood to find out what the children need. What are the gaps in services and what can Commit to Kids do to help? They recently brought people together in Arbor Hill to discuss these things.
Can CANA help with other neighborhoods? Who is in your neighborhood that we need to reach? Which organizations and individuals should be involved? Q: Whats the age of kids? A: 12 is the youngest usually for volunteering. Call Samantha at 434-2061 for more information and to get your neighborhood involved with Commit to Kids.
6. Guest Speaker: Deputy Chief Bob Wolfgang - Y2K Readiness
City has a plan a Y2K or City of Albany Disaster Preparedness Plan that can be utilized for any crisis that may occur in the City of Albany. Reached out to federal, state, county and local agencies and to the private sector: NiMo, Bell Atlantic, Red Cross, Salvation Army, CDTA, Nursing Homes, Local Banks, Grocery Stores,
o City of Albany Plan
o Operation Center is located at Department of General Services on Connors Blvd.
o On December 31 the operation center will include both City and County command centers and be staffed by: NiMo, Bell Atlantic, mental health, Red Cross, Salvation Army, State Police. Command center supported by five different command centers at fire stations across the City staffed by emergency service providers.
o All City systems have been assessed and upgraded or replaced.
o Back up power will be available at all command centers and sheltering sites.
o Police staffing:
o traffic lights tested and operational. If power goes out, traffic patrol will be at vital intersections.
o will utilize all personnel if necessary
o Fire and EMS: additional personnel and equipment on hand if necessary
o Hospitals: their needs are built into plan i.e. traffic control and special needs shelter for those homebound
o Mental Health: County will provide additional mental health workers and response teams.
o Housing Shelters: three shelter sites: Albany High School, Pepsi Arena, and Albany School of Humanities
o Transportation for shelters: provided by CDTA
o What about snow?: DGS has staffing and equipment plan in place
o Water Dept. has been ready for months - in great shape -waste system will operate
o Public Information Group: local media - worst enemy is misinformation
o Will be getting out accurate information to people to make intelligent informed decisions.
o Volunteer opportunities related to this or other disaster plans down the road
Q: This Y2K presentation was very well organized and was a great visual presentation. Can you provide these resources to the budget director?
A: Becoming more widely used in the City
Q: What do you see as what really might happen?
A: +Utilities feel that theyre ready to make this happen - reported to regulating agencies in June. There are possibly outside influences that they cant control. There may be sporadic power outages and temporary phone outages. May not notice impact on January 1 but in subsequent weeks when interconnected tasks start crossing.
Q: When is December mailing going out? Are there certain things we should be telling students who are leaving?
A: Can get supply of brochures to SUNY. Make sure landlords are aware of situation.
Do we expect anything to happen? No. Are we prepared if something does? Yes.
Non Y2K Questions?
Q: When people put out illegal trash and they get slapped with a tag and the illegal trash sits there indefinitely. What department is responsible for issuing ticket?
With the change in command, the new Chief Nielson and Deputy Chief Wolfgang attended every roll call and let officers know what was expected of them - only professional conduct. Also met with supervisors and discussed the importance of their mentoring role. APD is a business and the citizens are the consumers.
Currently in the process of professionalizing the department, providing a clear message and providing the tools for their staff to do the job including a series of professional development opportunities. Recently brought in a retired major general from West Point who spent a morning with all of the supervisors (voluntarily) on how to become effective leaders. Transitional leaders. Transformational leaders.
The leadership will back an officer if they do their job right. Important to be open and communicative with the community. Important that they know what community wants. First responsibility is to the community. If they carry out their jobs as expected they wont have any problem.
The department has been hit recently with some backlash but was not able to respond to the community until all of the facts were collected. Other communities have utilized effective tools of change. In Rochester, community members are relied on for oversight and are trained arbitrators. Working for something that will help the community and not build a barrier.
Clinton Avenue Nov. 13-14- two separate incidents
1:30-1:40 a.m. shooting incident: emergency service team called in because alleged suspect was armed and in pursuit. Goal: to minimize chance of injury to alleged suspect, officer or community member .
Separate incident....bike officers saw suspected marijuana sale and it escalated.
Office of Professional Standards came in right away. Chief and Deputy Chief hit the roll calls
Comment: people who serve on police review board needs training. Current Board would benefit from neighborhood representation
Deputy Chief Wolfgang suggested regularly scheduled meetings with CANA by Wolfgang and Chief (1/2 hour every other month) to help keep the community informed.
Q: What is the law regarding loitering? 4th Ave and Clinton have been a problem for many months.
A: By itself its not a crime. Loitering with intent to commit a crime - doesnt go far in the court.
Q: Regarding civilian review board and mayor & police chiefs indication that they are interested in the idea. Havent heard anything since initial article in the paper. Is there a timeline? Proposal?
A: Should be able to do something this month.
Q: Two policeman still being paid but not working - when will it be resolved?
A: Trying to resolve. Working on it with attorneys and need to deal with the community on it.
Q: Can you share the outcome of the editorial board meeting with the Times Union?
A: Initial response from some of the community members was based on misinformation. Opinions changed once they met with the community and provided information. Editorials werent as bad as expected...made some headway.
Attendance: December 1, 1999
Mimi Mounteer, Manning Blvd. NA
John Mounteer, Manning Blvd. NA
Harold Rubin, Center Square NA
Clare Yates, Center Square NA
Holly Katz, Mansion NA
Colin McKnight, Mansion NA
Emily L. Grisom, Sheridan Hollow NA
Cathy ONeill, Delaware Area NA
Mary Connair, Delaware Area NA
Craig Waltz, Helderberg NA
Don Dugan, Helderberg NA
Tom Gebhardt, University at Albany
Margo Janack, CDTA
Thea Hoeth, The Volunteer Center
Andrew Harvey, Park South NA
Samantha Karmel, The Volunteer Center
Kathleen Kearney, Hudson/Park NA
G. Mowbray, Hudson/Park NA
Betsy Shearer, Park South NA
Howard Stoller, Melrose NA
Aimee Allaud, Melrose NA
Karen L. Brown, UTA/West Hill NA
Bob Sheehan, Helderberg NA
Gene Solan, Pine Hills NA
Marty Gawoski, West Hill NA
Marggie Skinner, Pine Hills NA