Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations
Meeting Minutes for April 5, 2000
A motion was made by David Phaff to approve the March minutes as distributed. Harold Rubin seconded. Motion approved.
· The Albany Roundtable schedule was circulated. They are looking for support from CANA to bring the Mayor of Charleston, SC to their 6/14 meeting. For more info call 431-1440.
· Fred Perkins of the Washington Park Conservancy Pedestrian Safety Committee spoke to the group about access to the park and the issue of a road that was recently reopened as a one way street. The City says it was reopened because residents were upset about lack of parking. Looking for input to see if this is in fact the issue. Call 437-9560 for more information.
· Carol Saginaw, President of the League of Women Voters, is organizing a group for the Million Moms March on Washington on May 14th. Call 482-2617 (Aimee Allaud) for more information.
· Return your CENSUS questionnaires.
· Colin McKnight suggested reminding the police and the Mayor about the enforcement of boom boxes as we enter spring and summer.
· Carol McLaughlin informed the group that the Mayor's Task Force on police review will be meeting on Monday at 6 pm at the Albany Public Library Main Branch. The Public Safety Committee is on hold until they get a recommendation from theTask Force or until they need to meet again.
· Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) flyer was distributed regarding becoming a member ($5). NRC holds annual awards, provides administrative services to CANA, has an office at South End Improvement Corporation, responds to neighborhood inquiries, distributes a Neighborhood Association contact list, and two publications, How to Start a Neighborhood Association and How to Increase Participation in a Neighborhood Association.
· The City's Leadership College announcement was circulated. CANA members suggested that those who set up this program should add topics and information that citizens could actually use, i.e. how to get permits, Zoning Board of Appeals process, Historic Commission information.
· Friends of Lincoln Park Pool asked for support from CANA to save the pool. The pool is the size of four Olympic pools and to date the city has offered to replace it with a pool one quarter its current size - serving the same number of people. Clare Yates moved that CANA support the Friends of Lincoln Park Pool in their effort to save and repair the Lincoln Park circular pool and bath house to its original grandeur and function as an unparalleled South End and truly city-wide community resource, a historic landmark, a unique national treasure, and as a symbol of the City's commitment to its residents, families, children and communities. Cynthia Galivan seconded. Resolution approved.
4. Committee Reports
a. SUNY Community Relations Next meeting April 12th that will include an update on the Spring Six-Point Plan which includes the neighborhood clean up, special trash pick-up dates and door-to-door distribution of the dates and safety as well as behavior/party information. Plans for the 10th anniversary this fall continue. It was reported that safety information, census, vacation, smoke detector information has also been distributed.
b. Community Police Council - minutes circulated.
c. Schools- No report. Next meeting will be on the school district budget.
d. Budget- No report.
e. Zoning- No report.
f. Census- Marggie reminded people to mail in their questionnaires and encourage other to do so.
g. Quality of Life and Code Enforcement- David Phaff reported that the City administration and the residents may have different views of the issues of code enforcement and quality of life. There can be a partnership for a win-win situation. Mayor's full support is important. Based on conversations with the City, there are plans to establish an open forum (May 13) with the Mayor and Department Heads that will include limited public discussion (2-3 minutes), presentation of neighborhood perspective based on the questionnaires being collected, and a Renssealerville Institute trainer to facilitate discussion between neighborhood associations and the city. Neighborhoods need to be part of the solution. Phil Calderone has shown interest in putting together an informative publication. Communication between City departments via computers can be improved. Bill Bruce invited David in to look at systems.
5. Guest Speaker: Bill Bruce - Director of the Department of General Services (DGS)
The DGS is primarily responsible for maintenance of all of the City's infrastructure and facilities (except the water system). The DGS mission is to insure that the City's streetscapes, infrastructure, public facilities and natural resources are maintained to be functional, safe, clean, attractive, and convenient for residents and visitors alike. This includes solid waste management, fleet maintenance, snow and ice removal, street cleaning, street maintenance, sewer maintenance, traffic maintenance, engineering services, facility maintenance, parks maintenance, recreation programming, and natural resource & open space protection.
Brochures on many of these topics were distributed along with spring clean-up listings. Batteries can be dropped off at DGS anytime. Household hazardous waste drop off at Erie Blvd. Waste tonnage numbers are based on total rate of waste (10,000 tons/year) including yard waste and recycling.
Normanskill Farm now has community gardens and new hiking trails. Call Capital District Community Gardens to reserve a plot. It was recommended that DGS put a sign on Delaware Avenue letting people know about Normanskill Farm (just a small park sign).
Q: Why is the leash law not enforced at the Golf Course.
A: There is not a leash law - the law states have to keep dog under control.
It was suggested that the City put out regular reminders about garbage, snow and yard waste removal.
If you're having a problem with garbage in your neighborhood, call FRANK at 434-CITY
Chronic garbage offenders get appearance ticket and pay additional fines - $21.50 for one bag. Police and DGS do appearance tickets together. Need help with garbage epidemic. "Hot spots" college area, Clinton Ave, Morton Ave. How are fines levied? To owner and if not paid, on tax bill.
Q: Tivoli Preserve - what's happening with the settlement between Arbor Hill NA and Att. General over the burn plant?
A: Working to do educational programming and watershed preservation.
Q: Have faxed chronic problems to DGS. No improvement (Mike said there would be). How do we get feedback - get printout from Mike?
A: Call Frank or Bill at 434-CITY.
Q: Pearl Street trees don't look well. Will they be replaced?
A: State should help replace
Q: Property with excessive debris in backyard - can you remove?
A: Yes, if there's access.
Q: Many ordinances don't have "teeth" and too many loopholes. What's being done about this?
A: Albany Law reviewing and making recommendation on improving them.
Q: Can street cleaners notify police to ticket cars left behind on cleaning days?
A: They do - ticket or tow.
Q: Block of the Year - announced that DGS services would be cut back because of C1. Told that C1 should have different budget but not separate staff or additional staff for C1. Is this the case?
A: Not cutting back to Block of the Year because of C1. Need to be reasonable requests -13 this year instead of 10.
Q: Snow/Ice removal - is CDTA responsible for clearing path to the street?
A: Yes, but they don't have budget. Call 434-CITY for clearing.
Recommended that an information bulletin for business be produced and distributed and that signage for Welcome to Albany be improved.
Q: Some of the concrete sidewalks repaired with black top - what do we do to fix?
A: Might be quick patch for safety
Q: 1-800 POT HOLES - does it work?
A: No, if in City call 434-CITY
Q: Intersections have one set of street signs is there a reason?
A: Will check into it.
Minutes submitted by Sandra Thomas and Marggie Skinner
Cynthia Galivan, Manning Blvd NA
Craig Waltz, Helderberg NA
Ed Hamilton, Manning Blvd NA
Tom Gebhardt, University at Albany
Larry Becker, Mansion NA
Elfreida Textores, SECC
Harold Rubin, Center Square NA
Clare Yates, Center Square NA
Elizabeth Griffin, Center Square NA
Mac Mowbray, Hudson/Park NA
Joan Byalin, New Albany NA
David Phaff, New Albany NA
Aimee Allaud, Mansion NA
Mike Kernan, Melrose NA
Stephen Winters, Second Avenue NA
Betsy Shearer, Park South NA
Fred Perkins, Pine Hills NA
Peter Sokaris, Friends of Lincoln Pool
Pat Maxon, Upper Washington
Tom McPheeters, Mansion/Lincoln Pool
Margo Janack, CDTA
Cathy O'Neill, Delaware NA
Bert Malerba, Friends of Lincoln Park Pool
Holly Katz, Mansion NA
Terence Thornberry, Washington Park NA
Cindy Schultz, Buckingham Lake NA
Mary Connair, Delaware Area NA
Joe Van Alphen, CDARPO
Marty Gawoski, West Hill NA
Gene Solan, Pine Hills NA
Marggie Skinner PHNA