Lauren Pierce of the City Office of Special Events
announced that volunteers are needed for this year’s Tulip Festival.
The deadline for vendor space applications has passed.
“The City agreed to consider revising its website to include code
violations and a flow chart that updates progress in complying”
“The City is currently considering revising its website.
The Code Committee will explore the feasibility of developing an on-line
capacity to search for code violations and status of code enforcement by
building address and by owner name.”
that change, the minutes were accepted.
Common Council President Helen Desfosses
Desfosses was elected President of the Albany Common Council in 1997.
She is the first woman and the first independent candidate elected to
that office. She is not seeking
reelection for another term.
Council president is one of the most important positions in city government
because the individual elected to that office succeeds the mayor if s/he is
unable to serve. And like the
position of mayor, the president is elected by the citizens’ votes.
Ms. Desfosses’ tenure in the position, the council has used powers it had but
did not previously exercise as the cases of the Board of Assessment Review and
IDA appointments. Citizens have
become more participatory in the Common Council process and are encouraged to
share their views.
Desfosses discussed several of the issues that she would like to see addressed
by the Council after her departure.
The Council needs an office and full-time staff.
The Council chamber is in need of a sound system, and the feasibility of
including that item in the upcoming cable television contract is being
The Council receives between 70 and 100 calls, letters and emails per day,
yet the Council has no public relations director to act as a contact point for
citizens and neighborhood associations.
The City would benefit from a “311 system” to facilitate rapid
response from agencies and give residents the ability to check on the status of
any request made through that system.
Continued strengthening of the link between the universities will benefit
Desfosses is opposed to legislation that would eliminate the election of an
individual as president of the Common Council.
Desfosses discussed some of the issues about which she has been vocal and hopes
the City and Common Council will continue to address; namely, neighborhood
development; archeology and historical development; and the decline in the
Desfosses plans to mentor her successor. To
date, two people, Sara Curry Cobb and Shawn Morris have expressed interest in
running for the office.
opposes a reduction in the number of members on the Common Council and feels it
would be costly and limit representatives’ abilities to be responsive to
residents. She feels that the
Council needs one full-time staff person and one half-time attorney.
plans for the future include international consulting similar to what she did in
the past, more writing, and she plans to stay involved in media such as
newspapers and television.
Associations who have not done so were reminded to pay their 2005 dues.
Grant applications have been forwarded to member neighborhood
Topics at the next three
Friends of the
2005 National Night Out will be held on August 2.
It was suggested that neighborhood associations band together to have
one, city-wide function. Howard
Stoller will write to the Department of Public Safety about this suggestion.
Community Realty: Eric Dahl
presented information about Community Realty, a new resource in the Capital
District to assist first time and existing homeowners. The
agency is composed of seven not-for-profit agencies, and the focus of the
organization is to strengthen neighborhoods.
It is not government funded or affiliated and services are not limited by
purchasers’ income or geography. Community
Realty promotes city living and does not represent sellers.
They match buyers with homes, conduct seminars, assist purchasers with
applications and paperwork, and leverage assistance and public purchasing
properties have been identified as being in violation of city codes, and a
letter was sent to Valerie asking for the properties to be researched.
Members will be submitting ideas to define the goals of the committee.
The committee will meet on Monday evening from
at the Library to
focus on additional information.
Cable Television Committee
members met with George Stoney in
Committee met on March 1 to plan for the coming year.
The plan to address the issues of
City employee health insurance benefits
Public access television
University and Community Relations
next meeting will be held
committee will meet on
Summary of any zoning/land use issues that need to be addressed as well as
examples of how these issues are addressed in other municipalities.
Recommendations in regard to a database “tickler system” for ensuring
that conditions and reviews are observed.
Zoning ordinances, notices, applications, etc. from other municipalities
Information about how other municipalities run their meetings.
members are urged to attend or send an alternative representative as this should
be a very productive meeting. Questions
may be directed to David Phaff at 469-8984.
meeting adjourned at