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COUNCIL OF ALBANY NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS

MEETING MINUTES - MARCH 5, 2003

ALBANY PUBLIC LIBRARY

 

1.                   Introductions

 

2.                   Minutes:  Minutes were not taken at the February 5, 2003, meeting.  It was, however, videotaped and there was a discussion of providing a copy of the videotape to Deanna Colfels for transcription so that a written record would be available.

 

3.                   Discussion/guest speakers:

 

a.                  Kate Maynard and Lori Harris - City of Albany Department of Development and Planning

 

Ms. Maynard and Ms. Harris presented information about the City’s efforts to provide comprehensive, positive information about its neighborhoods in preparation for the anticipated number of individuals and families who may be considering living in the Capital District.

 

Students from RPI are assisting in the design of a comprehensive, interactive web page to provide a centralized location for information about Albany ’s neighborhoods.  It will be part of the City’s web site.  The creation of this web page was one of the recommendations made at the Neighborhoods Work Conference.  Features will include a city map that lists and illustrates different neighborhoods; an inventory of vacant commercial properties; a development process (permits, variances, contracts) brochure; links to ZBA notices, DGS and snow emergency information; updates on neighborhood initiatives; and links to other City and regional resources.  Information about some neighborhoods would be geographically and logically combined, making 17 links within the site rather than 28.  17 printable brochures promoting the diversity of Albany ’s neighborhoods will be available through the page.

 

CANA members provided the following suggestions and information

§         Several neighborhood associations presently have websites.  It was suggested that the City’s site provide links to those sites and/or use information presently on those sites to develop their page.

§         Historic districts might be flagged.

§         Realtors and the regional chamber of commerce are steering potential home purchasers away from the City and into the surrounding areas.  The City should consider reaching out to them in its marketing efforts.

§         The assessment rolls may be made available on the site.

§         Names of developers and realtors may be included         

§         Realtors have already divided the city into six zones.   Use of those zones, rather than 17 individual neighborhoods, might be considered.

§         The present CANA website might be used as a starting point.  It might be reorganized for continuity and unity of format.  And a link to the CANA site might be included in the City’s neighborhoods page

 

Members were asked to provide input by completing questionnaires that were distributed.  Howie Stoller will also email the questionnaire to CANA members.  They should be returned to Kate Maynard no later than March 21, 2003 .  Questions or comments should be directed to Kate Maynard at 434-2532 ext. 17 or maynardk@ci.albany.ny.us.

 

Albany County Executive Michael Breslin

 

Mr. Breslin explained the impact the New York State ’s budget is expected to have upon counties and property tax payers.  Governor Pataki has stressed the fact that the 2003 New York State budget contains no new or “job killing” taxes.  While the State may not be imposing new taxes, it is decreasing its aid to counties by about $2 billion.  In order to fund mandated programs, particularly Medicaid, counties must increase property taxes lay off employees, and eliminate other programs and services.   Albany County ’s cost to provide mandated programs will be more than $125 million for 2003.  The largest mandated expense is about $60 million for Medicaid, and that amount may be as much as $84 million by 2006.  There is presently no cap on the local share of Medicaid costs.

 

Additionally, the PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision) age has been increased, but the State funding to provide services to a larger group of people has not been increased.  The cost to Albany County will be $8 to $10 million. 

 

Mr. Breslin urged the members to contact their State legislators and request that they reexamine the method by which Medicaid is funded and cap the local share of the cost.

 

The State has abandoned its plan to stay several mandates.  The increase of property taxes as a result of the new State budget may mean more abandoned properties since there may be a loss of marginal rental property.

 

Several programs such as “911”, Internet purchasing, and road care have been consolidated to form regional, collaborative government.

 

Information about the Albany County Volunteer Program was distributed by Mr. Breslin.   Applications were also made available. 

 

An informational list of pending property foreclosures was distributed.  Mr. Breslin explained that the county is eager to transfer foreclosed properties to new owners.  Therefore, those who purchase lots and structures that the county has no interest in for redevelopment, take ownership immediately.  Federal grant money is available for this purpose and several other sources of funding are being investigated.    There are presently 800 abandoned buildings in Albany .  Taxes are being paid on some and not on others

 

The county has had increased expenses for security since September 11, 2001 , for items such as inoculations and personnel.  To date the expenses have not been excessive, nor has the county been reimbursed

 

Communications and Announcements

 

ARISE Meeting – Tom McPheeters

One or more volunteers are needed to represent CANA at the ARISE meeting on March 14, 2003 , 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at St Vincent ’s Center.  The topic of discussion will be “A Regional Forum on Future Development in the Capital District”. Paul Malecki agreed to represent CANA at the March 14, 2003 meeting

 

CANA Mailing List  - Howie Stoller

The CANA mailing list has been transferred to ListServe to simplify the mailing process and store all emails in one place.  Instructions for members to subscribe were presented.

 


Neighborhood Resource Center Community Service Awards – Gene Solan

The NRC community service award nomination forms were distributed.  Completed forms must be received no later than Tuesday, April 1, 2003 .  Awards will be presented at the NRC annual meeting on Tuesday, Mary 13, 2003.

 

Memorial Contributions to Delaware Area Neighborhood Association - Howie Stoller

A condolence card was sent to Mary Connair on behalf of CANA expressing sympathy for the recent death of her husband, and Howie Stoller went to the wake.  Members are encouraged to recognize the family’s request for contributions to the Delaware Area Neighborhood Association.

 

The Albany Bill of Rights Defense Committee – Dan VanRiper

Information about this committee and the text of a bill drafted by Common Council Member Doninic Calsolaro that will be introduced on March 12, 2003 , was briefly presented.  Additional material will be distributed to members in advance of a future CANA meeting for consideration and discussion.

 

Gun Violence Task Force – Dominic Calsolaro

The Albany Common Council Public Safety Committee has not acted on the referendum introduced by Council member Calsolaro.   Twelve people spoke at the last meeting—nine were in favor, two were opposed, and one was a victim.  The Albany Police Department is opposed to the establishment of the task force.  However, they may reconsider that position if the language of the resolution is very broad and left open for law enforcement, victim groups, and others to be involved.

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Appointments – Harold Rubin

The mayor nominated six individuals to serve on the Board.  Five are reappointments and one individual is a new member.   One nominee, Mr. McCoy, declined leaving five appointees.  They are Michael Apostle (Chair), Leslie Scott Horan, Joseph Ray, Charles Cronin, Jr. and Susan Tucker Ross.  Council Member Conti recommended that the vacancy be filled by Charles McCaffrey.  After a review of his qualifications, a motion was made for CANA to endorse Mr. McCaffrey. The motion was seconded and adopted without opposition.  Howie Stoller will notify the Common Council of this endorsement.  The CANA Zoning Committee will work with and monitor the City BZA to resolve issues such as the taking of minutes, agenda notices, evaluation of economic data, compliance with the open meetings law, and informal training for the new members.

 

Committee Reports

 

University and Community Relations – Tom Gephardt

The next meeting of the Committee will be at 7 PM on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 , at 526 Central Avenue .  Planning for the “Spring 2003 Seven-Point Plan” to deal with issues of safety, behavior, and trash will be discussed.  Additionally, updates of the Adopt-a-Block (April 2003 cleanup on Hudson Avenue and other blocks), Pine Hills Walk and Watch Program with St. Rose and the APD, and the OASAS grant will be presented.

 

Community Police Council – Joe Cunin

Neighborhood associations are invited to contribute information and questions about the CPC brochures that are being revised.   Email addresses have established for the Council.  They are communitypolicecouncil@albany-ny.org and cpc@albany-ny.org.  The addresses are linked. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM


 

CANA MONTHLY MEETING

March 5, 2003

Attendees

 

 

NAME

ASSOCIATION

ADDRESS

Howard Stoller

Melrose

Hstoller@aol.com

Daniel W. Van Riper

Lincoln Park NA

dwvr@atecone.net

Thomas Gebhardt

University at Albany

UPD Bldg, 1422 Washington Ave.   12222

Marty Gawoski

West Hill

308 Second St .

Harold Rubin

Center Square NA

156 Chestnut St

PO Matthew Montesano

Albany PD

1 Morton Ave

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So Allen St. , 12208

Henry M. Madej

Pine Hills NA

194 Western Ave , 12203

Holy Katz

Mansion

1 ½ Elm St. 12202

Colin McKnight

Mansion

45 Elm St , 12202

Kate Maynard

DDP

maynardk@ci.albany.nymus

Kathleen Kearney

Hudson Park NA

326 Hudson Ave. , 12210

John Cirrin

Albany Public Library

cirrinj@uhls.lib.ny.us

Georgette Steffens

Albany Home Store

steffensg@ci.albany.ny.us

Clare Yates

Center Square

138 Chestnut St .

Jim Tierney

Pine Hills

69 So. Allen St , 12208

Marggie Skinner

Pine Hills

marggies@aol.com

Andrew Harvey

Park South NA

271 Myrtle Ave 12208

Mac Mowbray

H/P NA

400 Hamilton St .

Lori Harris

City of Albany

harril@ci.albany,ny.us

Jeff Neal

Albany County

jneal@albanycounty.com

David Phaff

NANA

dphaff@yahoo.com

Dave Casciotti

City of Albany

DavidC@ci.albany.ny.us

Pat Maxon

UPANA

maxdanys@aol.com

Paul M. Malecki

New Scotland-Woodlawn

Paul_Malecki@yahoo.com

Fred Perkins

New Scotland-Woodlawn

fperkins@nycap.rr.com

Betsey Shearer

PSNA

bshearer@quixnet.net

PO Kathleen Rissberger

APD

536 Western Ave

Donald Dugan

HNA

56 Lawnridge Ave.