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Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations


Meeting Minutes of February 6, 2002

Albany Public Library


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


MINUTES: The January 9 minutes will be corrected to include the following:

§ Correction of the spelling of Holly Katz’ name from Holy to Holly

§ Mary Connair shall be added to the list of attendees

§ Permit parking is one of Mayor Jennings’ major issues for this legislative session

§ The grant received by the Community Police Council will be dedicated to the prevention of gang violence

GUEST SPEAKER: Helen R. Desfosses, Albany Common Council President

"Place" matters; it is important to preserve the archaeology and history of Albany and reconnect to the Hudson River.

Cities are durable, yet vulnerable; our success impacts the entire geographic region.

4.5% of Albany’s population was lost in the last ten years; this is the lowest of any upstate city.

Albany has experienced more ethnic growth than other cities. It is important to reach out to the people of these groups.

The Common Council’s partnerships with the mayor, suburban leaders and corporations provide strength to the city and the Capital District region.

A joint task force will be developed with corporations such as Dell and Microsoft to wire public housing complexes to provide lower income individuals with access to computers and technology in order to bridge the digital divide and promote learning.

The contributions of dedicated individuals promote the character of the City’s communities and neighborhoods.

The City council anticipates holding one of its meetings each year at a location within one of Albany’s neighborhoods to promote attendance.

A newsletter that includes a directory of City office telephone numbers was distributed.

Information about Rochester’s city-wide planning model and master plan which was also presented at CANA’s Neighborhoods Work Conference was presented. The model promotes asset-based planning within neighborhood boundaries that positively impact the city and region as a whole. Within the model, residents participate in the decisions made about their neighborhoods ("neighbors building neighborhoods").

If CANA has interest in developing such a program, there are several resources available for assistance, including the formation of a committee or task force with or without government representatives); local experts; SUNY and its Rockefeller Institute; travel to Rochester to investigate the process they followed and see the outcome.



Questions, Answers & Discussion:

Some members expressed concern with the City’s overall plan and philosophy. The Hudson River, Fort Orange, re-creation, Lark Street revitalization, New Scotland Avenue/Road, and neighborhood clean up projects were discussed as examples of projects underway where the residents were not involved in the decision-making or planning, yet are directly impacted. Therefore, there is concern that "bottoms-up planning" may not be well received by City administration at any level.

Pres. Desfosses supports the proposed change in the charter of the Albany Public Library. The City cannot fund the now expanded needs of the libraries, and the new model will increase resources available to the libraries. It is important that residents/voters receive accurate and honest information about the tax impact they will experience.

Members expressed their concern about the lack of communication between the City and the County.



The chairman reminded members to remit their dues that were due on January 31, 2002. Bills have been sent to all neighborhood presidents.

Chairman Howie Stoller requested that members e-mail him so that their address can be put on the CANA mailing list. Communicating by e-mail reduces mailing cost. It is CANA policy that its mailing list is not distributed by its chairman to members or the public. The Chair forwards notices to members at his discretion, but does not show the names of members on those transmissions.


Members who are interested in participating in the proposed Crime Commission and Partnership to Reduce Youth Gun Violence were directed to speak with Leonard Morgenbesser.

As discussed at the last CANA meeting, the $6.2 million in bond funds originally assigned to the revitalization of Lark Street have been reassigned to a road reconstruction project on upper New Scotland Avenue. The Lark Street revitalization project will instead receive $2 million of the City’s funds, and the project will begin sooner but be less comprehensive than was originally considered. Representatives of the Lark Street and Center Square neighborhoods met with Mayor Jennings and with the Capital District Planning Committee. The CDPC will not act on the transfer of the funds until after a February 28, 2002, public meeting at which transportation improvement plans will be reviewed and CANA will present information for their further consideration. Definitive action by the CDPC will not take place until March.

The Albany City School District has a building advisory committee charged with soliciting input from the residents of the neighborhoods where there will be renovation and reconstruction of schools, and that committee has contacted CANA to participate. However, they have contacted members in some cases only hours before scheduled meetings that their participation is requested, and have not always contacted the right CANA representatives. Howie Stoller will communicate to the district’s advisory committee the need to keep CANA better informed of their meeting dates and times. Additionally, he will provide lists of the appropriate members to be contacted.

Helen Black volunteered to coordinate CANA’s "bottom’s up government " movement. Those interested in participating should contact her.

Howie Stoller will contact Bill Bruce regarding the schedule for neighborhood clean ups.



Committee on University and Community Relations: Tom Gebhardt was unable to attend the meeting but sent materials regarding the committee’s activities. The next meeting will be at 7 PM on Wednesday, February 13 at 526 Central Avenue. At that meeting planning will begin for the "Spring 2002 Six-Point Plan", and there will be discussion of the litter problems in the Pine Hills neighborhood. A list of the current advertising campaigns was distributed.

Community Police Council: A referral form has been developed and is available. The non-emergency telephone number for the Council is 438-4000. Four CANA members are needed for the council which meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 PM. Members who would like to volunteer should inform CANA Chair Howie Stoller.

Surveys: David Phaff was unable to attend the meeting but sent communication regarding the progress and status of the surveys. It was intended that the surveys would be compiled and available during January. However, the university is no longer able to provide assistance. He suggests that there be a discussion at the March meeting regarding the value of the survey and it whether it should be perpetuated, modified or abandoned. The topic will be placed on the agenda for the March CANA meeting.

Reapportionment: The CANA City Reapportionment Committee will meet on February 21 at 7 PM at Marggie Skinner’s house. Its role is to be a watchdog of the City’s Reapportionment Commission. The CANA committee will keep members up-to-date as reapportionment progresses. It is imperative that the neighborhoods provide input very quickly—prior to the City commission actually drawing it’s lines. Reapportionment lines are drawn in relationship to population, not the number of registered voters. Aaron Mayer will join the committee.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.









Peter F. Caracappa


367 State Street, Apt. 2

Daniel W. VanRiper

Lincoln Park NA

223 S. Swan St.

Harold Rubin

Center Square NA

156 Chestnut St.

Suzanne Taiman


485 State St., Apt. 14

Mary Connair


68 Summit Ave.

Matthew Montesano


1 Morton Ave.

Colleen Ryan


335 Madison Ave.

Sgt. Patrick W. Donnelly


126 Arch St.

Jeff Cannell

Albany Public Library

161 Washington Ave.

Clint Brand


13 Danker

Shirley Brand


13 Danker

Sara Foss

Daily Gazette


Marggie Skinner


49 Ryckman Ave.

Mark Schneffer


213 Jefferson St.

Aaron Mair


622 Manning Blvd.

Rodney Davis


19 Mapleridge Ave.

Leonard Morgenbesser

Tampa Ave. (individual affiliate)

219 Tampa Ave.

Mike Kernan



Royce Rambo

Center Square

189 Lancaster St.

Elfrieda Textores

South End

70 Third Ave.

Betsy Shearer


58B Morris St.

Mary Ellen O’Connor


66 Park Ave.

Holly Katz


Colin McKnight


45 Elm St.

Rev. Joyce Hartwell

Artist All Faith Center

453 North Pearl St

Andrew Harvey

Park South NA

271 Myrtle Ave.

Mimi Mounteer


75 Manning Blvd.

Joseph Cunin

Lark St. BID

245 Lark St.

Elizabeth Griffin


391 State St.

Helen Black

Arbor Hill

39 Ten Broeck Pl.

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

127 South Allen St.