Make your own free website on



Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

 Meeting Minutes – December 4, 2002

Albany Public Library


  1. Howard Stoller, CANA Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM .


  1. Introductions

§         Melinda Yates of the New York State Library announced that Dan Button will speak about his new book, Take City Hall!, at the New York State Library on December 10 at 5:30 PM .  Members are encouraged to attend.

§         John Cirrin, Public Information for the Albany Public Library, announced that the public is invited to a series of presentations by architectural planning consultants that will be held in the large auditorium during December.  The library is seeking an innovative, progressive and experienced consultant to assist in the development of a library facilities and programming master plan.  He encouraged CANA members to attend.  A schedule will be sent to the CANA chair for distribution to members. 

The Library is also sponsoring a reading and book signing with Dan Button this month.


  1. Minutes – Minutes of the November 6 meeting were approved.


  1. It was suggested by the Chair that a representative of each association present a 5-minute report on new and interesting events and issues in their neighborhood at upcoming meetings.  Presentations shall be made on a rotational basis; the following associations volunteered for the next few months.


§         January – New Scotland Avenue/Woodlawn

§         February – Delaware Area

§         March   - Center Square

§         April – Arbor Hill

§         May – Hudson/Park


In June, other neighborhood representatives will present a broader report.


5.   In order to provide members with an overview of the CANA website, the Chair provided printed copies of the table of contents for distribution.


6.   Committee Reports


A.      Committee on University and Community Relations – Tom Gebhardt

The next meeting will be at 7 PM on Wednesday, December 11 at the Albany Police Department at 526 Central Avenue .  John Murphy, Director of Judicial Affairs at the University at Albany will provide a summary of judicial actions regarding inappropriate off-campus students. Several advertising campaigns are underway as well as the Adopt-a-Block program. 


B.      Neighborhood Works Planning Committee – Gene Solan

On November 23, 2002 , 125 residents participated in the five lively workshops offered at the Neighborhood Works Conference.   Issues of concern were identified and subcommittees were formed.  Representatives of the subcommittees will meet with City officials in December.  Members of the Neighborhood Works Committee were recognized and thanked for their participation and assistance.


C.      Community Police Council  – Fred Perkins

The Council met earlier this evening.  The members worked on redefining the Committee’s goals and objectives.  Three issues considered were (a) community policing of code enforcement; (b) culture; and (c) the development and distribution of a booklet that states the Committee’s core mission.


D.      Sematech Impact on Neighborhoods

Anne Savage and Howard Stoller will continue attempts to contact the City of Austin Texas to gather information about the effects Semetech has had on Austin neighborhoods.  They will contact the neighborhood in the Fuller Road area where the Semetech facility will be located, as well, and report findings at a future meeting.


7.  Guest Speaker – Professor Ray Bromley


Professor Bromley presented information about the “Monumental Visions and Urban Transformations in Albany 1948 – 1978” conference, one of several events sponsored by SUNY Albany, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the City of Albany in recognition of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Beverwyk.   Several events were videotaped and will be available at the SUNY library in two to three months.  A meeting will be held at the University Administration building on Thursday, December 12 at 1 PM to consider proposals for future events such as conferences, lectures, and workshops.  


One of the most popular topics at the conference dealt with the 40-block neighborhood that was destroyed to build of the Empire State Plaza .  7,000-9,000 people (7 percent of Albany ’s residents) were traumatically moved from their homes and relocated.  A half-day “reunion” meeting is planned to provide former residents of that neighborhood and the area surrounding it with the opportunity to share oral histories, facts, memories, and feelings about that neighborhood which no longer exists.  


Some of the effects of the destruction of this neighborhood have been overlooked in the recording of Albany ’s history, such as the impact upon public works and services, politics, infrastructure, etc. Information and oral histories presented at the upcoming reunion will be recorded with audio and videotape and subsequently be stored and made available to the public.


Professor Bromley encourages other long-time residents of Albany to share any information and recollections of their present or former neighborhoods and participate in the discovery process of some of Albany ’s overlooked heritage.  Individuals who may have documents such as Albany city street maps (particularly from the 1940’s and 1950’s), photographs, records, memorabilia, etc. are encouraged to consider donating them to the SUNY Library  (Brian Kehoe in the Special Collections Section), Albany Institute of History and Art (Wesley Balla, 463-4478), or the Albany Public Library History Collection (Ellen Gamache, 472-4303).  Presently the SUNY library has the funds and manpower to organize and catalog items relative to Albany ’s history. 


8.         New Business and Announcements        


A.      Leonard Morgenbesser called members’ attention to the number of incidents of gun violence reported in the local newspapers, particularly in the last several months.  He reported that the Albany Common Council is considering the formation of a community and city coalition to address the issue of youth gun violence.  Mayor Jennings and the City of Albany Youth Department are sponsoring a half-day event in January on this subject, similar to the one-day event sponsored by the US Attorney in Syracuse .  It was recommenced that the chamber of commerce and “Capital District Business Review” be made aware of these incidents and the negative image gun violence has upon the Albany business community.  Mr. Morganbesser encourages involvement by CANA and Albany residents in speaking out about youth gun violence in the city of Albany . 


There is concern about fiscal and law enforcement resources diverted to providing homeland security and the effect that has municipalities’ ability to maintain safe streets with fewer budget resources    The Chair will approach Chief Neilson about addressing CANA at a future meeting to explain how these transfers have effected the City of Albany.


B.      Albany City Budget – Harold Rubin

Harold Rubin, representing CANA , was the only individual who attended the City’s budget presentation.  He summarized the following comments he made at the meeting.


§         Significant changes in the budget should be explained in the document.  Presently that information is available to Council members in committee meetings when they request it.

§         Common Council members and committees should receive budget information throughout the fiscal year.

·         Historic financial statistics should be included to determine income and spending trends.

§         Common Council should review bonding operating costs included in the budget .

§         Additional information about the City’s workforce should be provided.

§         Greater detail regarding the $2.7 million in outstanding parking fines should be provided as well as information about efforts being made to collect those fines.

§         The Common Council can and should take more active role in the budget process.


C.      Nominating Committee for CANA Officers – Howard Stoller

A committee consisting of three people representing three different neighborhood associations must be established to nominate individuals to serve as CANA officers for the upcoming year.  A motion nominating Harold Rubin ( Center Square ), Gene Solan ( Pine Hills ), and Pat Maxon ( Upper Washington Avenue ), to serve as that committee was made and seconded.


D.      Newspaper Coverage

Louise McNeeley (432-0516) will be contacted to encourage the Times Union to provide more news coverage about the Albany neighborhoods.


E.      Niagara Mohawk

The City seems to be unaware of the details of its contract with Niagara Mohawk and as a result, continues to pay for services that are not being used, such as non-working streetlights.  Niagara Mohawk representatives continue to be unresponsive to CANA members’ requests for information.  In order to get an overview and general information about contracts between municipalities and utility companies, the Public Service Commission will be contacted.  Results of that contact will be reported at the April CANA meeting, and if it’s deemed appropriate, a meeting with the City, Niagara Mohawk, and the Public Service Commission will be requested. 


F.      Upcoming Speakers

The date of the January CANA meeting will be determined based upon which evening Major Jennings would like to speak.  His office has been contacted, and members will be contacted by email notifying them of the date of the January meeting.


Helen Desfosses will speak at the February 5, 2003 meeting.



The meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM .

Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

December 4, 2002 Meeting Attendees






Howard Stoller

Chairman, Melrose NA

Daniel W. Van Riper

Lincoln Park NA

223 S. Swan St.

Pat Maxon

Upper Washington Avenue NA

34 Victor St .

Matthew Montesano

Albany Police Dept

165 Henry Johnson Blvd.

Helen Black

T.B. Triangle

39 Ten Broeck Place

Mary Connar


68 Summit Ave. , 12209

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So Allen St. , 12208

Kathleen Kearney


326 Hudson Ave.

Colin McKnight


45 Elm St .

Harold Rubin

Center Square NA

156 Chestnut St .

Thomas Gebhardt

University at Albany


Holy Katz

Mansion NA

1 ˝ Elm St .

John Cirrin

Albany Library

161 Washington Ave.

Marggie Skinner

Pine Hills NA


Marty Gawoski

West Hill NA

308 Second St .

Leonard Morganbesser


219 Tampa Ave.

Rev. Joyce Hartwell

Arts & Business of No. Albany

453 No. Pearl St .

Mimi Mounteer

Manning Blvd.NA

75 Manning Blvd.

Marggie Skinner



Fred Perkins


11 Woodlawn Ave

Kate Maynard

City of Albany

21 Lodge Street 434-2532 ext. 17

Kelly Kimbrough

Albany Police Dept.

165 Henry Johnson Blvd.

Donald Wardle

United Tenants

125 Dove St .

Tom McPheeters


14 Wilbur St .

Karen Cunniff


10 Crosswell St .

Georgette Steffens

Albany Home Store

175 Central Ave.

Anne Brewster

Washington    Park NA

75 Willett St .

Cynthia Galivan

Manning Blvd. NA

127 Manning Blvd

Andrew Harvey

Park South

271 Myrtle Ave.

Henry M. Madej


194 Western Ave.

Elfrieda Textores

South End

70 Third Ave.

Mac Mobray


400 Hamilton St .

Jennifer Novak

TB Triangle

24 First St .

Dave Casciotti

City of Albany

21 Lodge St .

John Wheeler, Jr.

New Scotland-Woodlawn

53 Glenwood St .

Royce Rambo

Center Square

189 Lancaster St .

Richard Conti

Common Council – a6th Ward

152 Chestnut St .

Dennis Mosley

Pine Hills NA

550 Myrtle Ave.

Roger Marcovics

United Tenants

33 Clinton Ave