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Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

 

Meeting Minutes of December 5, 2001

 

Albany Public Library

 

 

    1. Howard Stoller, CANA Chair, called the meeting to order.
    2. Introductions
    3. GUEST SPEAKER: Albany Public Library Director Jeffrey Cannell presented information regarding the library’s proposed re-chartering. (See attached Albany Times Union article which describes proposal)
    4. Presently, the Albany Public Library is a municipal library. As such, it is governed by an appointed board of trustees, and its funding comes primarily from the City of Albany’s budget. Funding has remained flat for the last ten years, and, therefore, it cannot fund enhanced services, new technology and a more highly trained workforce.

      The library is proposing that it be re-chartered as a not-for-profit, public district library. The New York State Board of Regents has found that the libraries with such a public charter operate democratically and are better able to provide increased services and are more beneficial to the population they serve. In order to re-charter, three items must pass the voters next May; (1) the proposal to re-charter as a public district library; (2) the slate and terms of the unpaid, board of trustees; (3) the budget. If all three of these items pass, the Albany Public Library would become a public district library in the year 2003.

      With such a charter, voters would approve or disapprove the library’s budget and select the board of trustees at the time they vote on the City’s school budget. The library’s budget shall appear as a line item; therefore, it can be approved or disapproved independently of the school budget. Once the initial budget is passed, it would only appear in years that the library is seeking an increase of funding. The board of trustees would be elected officials.

      CANA members expressed concerns and made comments about the proposed re-chartering which included (a) the timing of this proposal with concerns presently high about the proposed facilities improvement plan; (b) the low voter participation in the school budget; (c) the ability of the voters to control the library’s budget; (d) the inability of the City to exercise political power over the library and its funding; (d) whether there would be a cap on the library’s budget.

      It was suggested that a written, detailed outline of the proposed re-chartering be distributed to CANA members for further consideration. Mr. Cannell agreed to provide this information at the next meeting.

    5. Communications and Announcements
      1. Leonard Morgenbesser discussed the proposed Crime Commission and Partnership to Reduce Youth Gun violence, a partnership between government agencies and community residents designed to reduce gun-related incidents, particularly by youths. He has presented the Syracuse model of this commission to several agencies and suggested that CANA communicate its support to the Albany Common Council. Members felt that more detailed information is required prior to endorsement. Therefore, additional information will be posted on the CANA website, and the issue will be re-introduced at a future meeting.
      2. Mayor Gerald Jennings will be the speaker at the January CANA meeting. That meeting will be held on THURSDAY, January 9, 2002, to accommodate his presentation of the State of the City message.
      3. Common Council President Helen Desfosses will speak at the February meeting.
      4. Bills for CANA dues are being prepared and will be transmitted shortly.
      5. Members will receive the December minutes by mail accompanied by a request to submit their most recent e-mail addresses
    6. Committee Reports
      1. Committee of University and Community Relations: Tom Gebhardt announced that the next Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 12, 2001, at the Albany Police Department at 526 Central Avenue. Three committees will report updates, and there will be a discussion of whether the Committee’s present approach is effective.
      2. Neighborhood Works Conference Committee: Conference Chairman Gene Solan was congratulated for the success of the conference. Credit was given to the committee members, panelists, moderators, recorders and other volunteers.
      3. Nominating Committee: A motion was made and passed to appoint Margie Skinner chairman, and Harold Rubin and Dan Dugan as members of the committee to nominate new officers. The motion as seconded and adopted.
    7. Vote to Oppose or Support the Proposed School District Facilities Plan
    8. Having met, the CANA Schools Committee proposed the following resolution be acted upon:

      "RESOLVED: CANA supports the proposed $175,000,000 Albany City School District Facilities Plan bond issue. CANA urges a "yes" vote on December 11, 2001, on the School Facilities Bond referendum."

      After several neighborhood association representatives made statements, issues were clarified, and questions were answered, a roll call vote of the member associations was taken. As outlined in the CANA by-laws, each member association is entitled to three votes. There were no abstentions. By two-thirds majority, the motion to pass the resolution was passed with associations voting as follows.

     

    YEA

    NAY

    ASSOCIATION

    0

    0

    Arbor Hill

    1

    0

    Beverwick

    2

    0

    Center Square

    0

    0

    Delaware

    2

    0

    Helderberg

    2

    0

    Hudson Park

    0

    0

    Krank Park

    1

    0

    Lincoln Park

    0

    1

    Manning Boulevard

    1

    0

    Mansion

    1

    1

    Melrose

    0

    0

    New Albany

    1

    0

    North Albany

    2

    0

    Park South

    0

    0

    Historic Pastures

    3

    0

    Pine Hills

    1

    0

    Plymouth

    0

    0

    Second Avenue

    0

    0

    Sheraton

    1

    0

    South End

    0

    3

    Upper Washington Avenue

    0

    0

    Washington Park

    0

    0

    Washington Square

    1

    0

    Westland Hills

    0

    0

    Whitehall

         

    19

    5

    TOTAL

     

  1. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM by Harold Rubin.