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Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations


Meeting Minutes – November 6, 2002

Albany Public Library  

1.      Howard Stoller, CANA Chair, called the meeting to order.

2.      Minutes of the October 2, 2002 , meeting were corrected for spelling.

3.      Guest speakers:  Jim Sano, Chair of Common Council Budget Committee and Tom Nitido, City Comptroller, discussed the 2003 City Budget:

 Total revenues (in thousands) $118,395; total expenditures $118,395.  Projected fund balance as of 12/31/02 $1 million, with a proposed 7.4% tax increase.

 Sales tax revenues are down $1 million, partly based on population recalculation, partly because of the economy.  80% of the budget is salaries and benefits.  The wage increase built into collective bargaining agreements was given to non-bargaining employees as well.  The City is trying to accelerate $10 million payment due in 2005 from the State.  The City bond rating is A from S&P and Fitch; Moody’s is A3.

 The Council voted not to increase council members’ salary, but did approve increases for the Counsel and clerical for the Council, plus raised Election inspectors from $65 to $75.

 The Council will be looking at increasing fees, comparing what surrounding communities charge, and possible postage efficiencies.  There are centralized purchasing departments in different departments which use State contract.  Warehousing supplies has been looked at, but that has costs for inventory, guards, shipping.  About 7 years ago, the City did a comprehensive management audit with an outside firm.  As a result, the City reduced staff and consolidated departments.

 Budget and Finance Committee meeting is 11/12 at 5:30 ; next public forum is 11/14 at 7:30 in Council chambers.

 About 10% of revenues come from the City Landfill, which will be filled up by 2005.  The City is in the process of siting another landfill in Town of Coeymans .  A Court ruling prohibited the City from buying property outright prior to the siting process.  The trailer park is to be put into the Pinebush preserve after expiration of the long-term leases of people still living there.  Offices that are at the landfill are being relocated.


Revenues from cable TV are lower because based on a recent FCC ruling the City can no longer collect a fee on Roadrunner.  Four million dollars revenue in budget is transfer of land on river to Water Board & Port, transfer of Library to Board.

 4.      Guest speaker Mike Breslin, County Executive , spoke about the 2003 County budget:

 Last year was uncertain due to 9/11 and the economy.  This year is worse.  Upstate counties had $1 billion deficit, Albany County $32 million.  Budget up from $427 million 2001 to $438 million in 2002.  This budget reduced a number of positions, used $11 million of surplus, and raised taxes 23.8% for $8.5 million.

 Other counties raised sales and property taxes.  Biggest burden is State mandates – of which Medicaid is the largest.  In most other states, State picks up most of the cost.  NY does a 50/50 split. 

 Last year, NY changed PINS legislation – added 16 & 17 year olds; the number in this group will be equal or higher to the number under age 15.  The Medicaid increase and PINS increase together exceed the tax increase.

 A total of 237 positions are eliminated under the budget proposal, 127 of which are currently vacant. An additional 110 positions would be eliminated through early retirements. The workforce reductions will yield $7 million in savings.  Nursing home employees, child protective workers and jail guards are exempt from early retirement eligibility.

 Three years ago Albany had a $42 million surplus, which is down to $10 million with $11 million put into this year’s budget.  Next year will be $11 million short.  Relief is needed from the State.

 Payroll is $100 million, pension contribution $2 million, next year $47 million.  $1.75 million for added medical insurance, $1 million for county participation @ HVCC.  No salary increase for those earning over $50,000.

 Medicaid increase is rising faster because of expanding programs.  County leaders are working through the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) to lobby State legislators.

 There does not appear to be a decrease in sales tax revenue in Albany County because Rennselaer County eliminated sales tax.  Total sales tax revenue is $125 million.

 Measures put in place to improve quality of delivery of services at the Nursing Home and Social Services are:

·        dual track system – when CPS called, County goes in 1st to assist, not police;

·        added personnel in CPS and integrated all social agencies – Mental Health, child protective services;

·        At NH, procedures put in place to identify those likely to fall.

 Send copies of agendas to:

  CANA links to county site; County asked to link to CANA .

 1.      Committee Reports

 a.      Committee on University and Community Relations - Tom Gebhardt:  Next meeting will be 11/13.  Joint APD/UPD program for Hudson Avenue “Adopt a Block” will focus on cleaning up.  They hope to have one program per month.  Five to 6,000 students live off campus.  Those creating problems are a small percentage and not all are UA students.  University does have alcohol awareness programs, screening at the counseling center.


  1. Neighborhood Works III Planning Committee – Gene Solan:  This year’s conference will have more focus on workshops


  1. Communtiy Police Council - Fred Perkins:  The Council is reevaluating its mission, developing goals and objectives.


  1. Reapportionment – Marggie Skinner: nothing to report.


2.      Communications and Announcements


·        Tom McPheeters distributed the ARISE Declaration of Independence, which will be discussed at the ARISE Public Meeting, 11/19, 6 PM at Proctor’s Theatre, Schenectady ·         

·        Harold Rubin distributed copies of CANA goals, history.

 ·        DANA will be meeting with the Times Union about neighborhood coverage.

 ·        Howie Stoller proposed that CANA do an outreach to Austin Neighborhood Associations – Marggie suggested Ann Savage.

 ·        Speaker for the 12/02 meeting will be Ray Bromley on the Monumental Visions conference.

 ·        CDTC has overview, questionnaire on web page.

 Erin Duggan, Time Union reporter covering local neighborhoods, asked that she be added to email lists for neighborhood associations.  Her email is:


The meeting adjourned before the Library closed.



November 6, 2002 Attendees




Tom Nitido

Albany City Comptroller

P.O. Kathleen Rissberger

Albany PD

536 Western Ave. , 12203

P.O. Matthew Montesano

Albany PD

165 Henry Johnson Blvd. , 12210

Howard Stoller


Harold Rubin

Center Square

Dave Casciotti

City Planning

21 Lodge St. , 12207

Jim Sano

Council Member 9th Ward

Mary Connair


68 Summit Ave. , 12203

G. Mowbray


400 Hamilton St .

Colleen Ryan


Craig Waltz

Helderberg NA

979 New Scotland Ave., 12208

John Frederick


305 Hudson Ave. , 12210

Daniel Van Riper

Lincoln Park NA

Colin McKnight


45 Elm St. , 12202

Holly Katz


1 ½ Elm St. , 12202,

Tom McPheeters


Cynthia Galivan


Aimee Allaud


Fred Perkins

New Scotland/Woodlawn

11 Woodlawn Ave.

Rev. Joyce Hartwell

North Albany Arts & Business

Betsy Shearer

Park South N.A.

58B Morris St. , 12208,

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 S. Allen St. , 12202

Stephen Winters


Georgette Steffens

The Albany Home Store

Erin Duggan

Times Union

Tom Gebhardt

University at Albany

UPD-UAlbany, 1400 Washington Ave. , 12222

Pat Maxon


34 Victor St .

Anne Brewster

Washington Park NA

75 Willett St. #3 - 5

Marty Gawoski

West Hill

Jack Wheeler

Woodlawn Triangle

55 Glenwood St. ,

Marggie Skinner