Council of Neighborhood Associations
Minutes for February 2, 2000
2. Minutes: (Jan. Correction): Elfrieda Textores and Mimi Mounteer were both in attendance at the January meeting. Clare Yates moved to accept the minutes as corrected. Gene Solan seconded. Motion approved.
· Neighborhood Resource Center's Annual Meeting is on Wednesday, May 24. Nominations are being accepted for the Thomas J. Senchyna Neighborhood Service Award and four Certificates of Recognition for Outstanding: Public Official, Organization/Group, Publication and Web Site. Call 462-5636 for nomination form and more information.
· Capitalize Albany Economic Development Strategy brochure was circulated.
· Various announcements were distributed including: ZBA Notices, Community Police Council minutes, Albany Public Library press release, University Heights Association News, Mayor invitation to African American History Month 2000 celebration.
4. Committee Reports
a. Committee on University & Community Relations
Next meeting on February 9th with guest speaker Commander James Turley of the Albany Police Department. Will receive updates on the 11/99 New York State "unlimited drinks" law and form a working group to start planning 10th anniversary celebration this fall. Recent initiatives include: "Off-Campus Awareness Day," snow emergency notifications to off-campus students, WhistleWatch advertising initiative, Census 2000 promo plan.
Board met regarding the building's plan. Five elementary schools will be in the first phase to the amount of $67 million; high school time frame is at the back end of the plan. The goal is to have every school be one of excellence.
Official count of homeless will be done in March. Marggie asked for any ideas on where to find people to make sure that all homeless are counted.
d. Budget - no report
e. Zoning - no report
f. Housing/Code Enforcement
1. David Phaff, New ANA, brought up the recurring issue of enforcing codes and dealing with landlords who have multiple unit properties that are not maintained and/or supervised. There continues to be a lack of enforcement and follow-up by the city. City needs to adopt more stringent policies. There are zoning and public safety issues at hand. Helen Desfosses recommended contacting Carol Wallace, Richard Conti, Shawn Morris and Carolyn McLaughlin, all of whom are concerned about these issues.
2. School 10 is back on the ZBA agenda. Historic Albany Foundation has given them three alternate plans. There is a meeting on 2/14 to address this issue.
3. Waste management administrative hearing 60 days from 12/27. Encon will notify all who attended December meeting. Governor's bargaining chip - City can get landfill expansion approval if Waste Management gets the contract. City employees were told that they were not to speak at hearing although Mayor says he's in support.
5. Guest Speaker: Helen Desfosses, Common Council President - State of the Council
· Continue serving de facto ombudsman role
· Taking budget process to next step
· Archeology and historic tourism
· Continued emphasis on neighborhood revitalization
· Civilian review board
Working group of Common Council, Deputy Mayor, Council and Budget Director has been established to look at issues of past year including:
Enhanced revenue ideas
Changes in style and format of budget document
Process between Council and Mayor's staff needs improvement
Regionalization - Intergovernmental Cooperation
· Increase collaboration with county and other government around joint purchasing, joint debt pool, and liability insurance pool
· Consultant to determine what to charge telecommunication firms for use of public rights of way
· More involved in electronic purchasing to draw from wider purchase base
· Extend life of landfill
· Investigation of new fees
· Utilize, lighting and overtime audits
Top of the agenda: enhancement and process between Common Council & Mayor's office
· Neighborhoods/government are co-planners/o-producers of services
· $1M bonding for revitalization proposed (1-3 match in Portland)
· Joint planning - distributed to maximize impact
Archeological/Historic Tourism Initiative
Resources not at the level needed to preserve our heritage
· Cultural & Historic Tourism
· Heritage Trail - Michelle Vennard
· Looking at what kind of ordinances are needed for preservation
- guidelines for preservation
- displaying artifacts- what do we need to display and where?
- looked at status of historic resources - many have been destroyed - need to stop abandonment of buildings
· State Museum renovation
- brings in 650,000 tourists (attendance is actually down 50% so potential for many more)
- interested in being part of historic trail and Albany interested in using their halls to display
· Better code enforcement would be a good source of income.
· Historical resources: Guests came to town and wanted to see Schuyler Mansion. Closed. Make sure hours correspond to times visitors in area.
· Coeymans is not going to sit by during this landfill process.
· Recycling: commercial waste gatherers mix all trash together. Need better job of enforcement.
· Planning: Albany has NO planning - put together walking tours of City.
· Need better signage for tourism
· Recycling: educate the kids on recycling - start with kids to educate adults
Q: Million dollars (proposed bond) for neighborhoods - what would it be used for.
A: It is in the budget but hasn't come to Council. Hope it will go for planning. C1 concept applied to residential. Neighborhood Based - neighborhoods should begin planning about the use - neighborhood based, matching funds, donated labor.
Q: Budget - require departments to report in and repot to public. Revenue enhancement - Syracuse is doing similar plans. Legislation to form community event for Hudson River Quadracentennial, There's a lot of money available for waterfront.
A: Half Moon permanently docked here.
· Albany has 75% tax exempt - we don't get our fair share of revenue.
· Need for public education of legislative role of Common Council - help people lobby issues and develop relationship with Alderperson
· Have Common Council agenda printed in Times Union (recommendation that CANA write a letter to the TU about publishing meeting dates)
· Put on CANA web site
· Put on TV - public access.
Q: Any process for a master planning commission? NY State, University at Albany, BIDs and school district almost has one and the city doesn't. Need mission bigger then selling garbage space.
A: Would love to see it. Agree, good idea.
Comment: Master plan and charter revision. If Mayor gets to pick everyone in charge, watch out.
Q: Charter Revision status - is there an opportunity to revisit it?
A: Psychologically hard, politically nearly impossible.
Q: Any resolution in charter as far as who's doing what and when?
A: Charter has dates set. Existing relationships stabilized
Comment: Meaningful summer jobs for youth: how about using them as tour guides?
Submitted by Sandra Thomas & Marggie Skinner
Dominick Calsolaro, Second Avenue NA
Mimi Mounteer, Manning Blvd. NA
John Mounteer, Manning Blvd. NA
Eileen Gallagher, New Scotland / Whitehall
Maryann Berman, HELD
Wilma Simon, Holmes Dale
Elfrieda Textores, South End Concerned Citizens
Thomas Gebhardt, University at Albany
Roy Conrad, Sheridan Hollow NA
Clare Yates, Center Square NA
Harold Rubin, Center Square NA
Joan Byalin, New Albany NA
David Phaff, New Albany NA
Craig Waltz, Helderberg NA
Helen Desfosses, Common Council
Pat Hancox, Pine Hills NA
Gene Solan, Pine Hills NA
Michael Kernan, Melrose NA
Joanne McElroy Moore, NANA
Pat Maxon, Upper Washington NA
Chris Lindsay, Beverwyck NA
Don Wardle, CSQ/UTA
Cynthia Galivan, Manning Blvd. NA