|Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations|
March 7, 2001
PresidentMarg Skinner opened the meeting at 7:07 PM.
All present gave their names and theiraffiliations.
Copies of the February minutes had been sentout via e-mail only. Print
copies wereavailable. One correction from Helen Desfosses. She did not
initiate thepublic comment period at Common Council meetings; she has
encouraged it in herrole as Council President. Harold Rubin moved to accept the
minutes as amended.
Mimi Mounteer seconded. The motion passedunanimously.
KellyConlon, Albany's 2000 Tulip
Queen, distributed applications for the 2001TulipFestival. Additional
information isavailable on the city 's web site. http://www.albany.org/.
Severalannouncements of meetings,
were made and distributed.
NRC'sAnnual Meeting will be May
15. Deadlinefor nominations for the Senchyna, public official and
communication awards is April10.
Aconference on Access TV is being
held Mar. 15-18 at RPI. CANA and NRC will subsidize the fees formembers
who will attend.
TheAlbany Citizen Police Academy
will start on a Tuesday as soon as the class isfilled. Applications for
admission tothe class were distributed. They may bereturned to P.O. Fred
Aliberti, Center Station, 536 Western Avenue. For additional information,
PaulBray noted that the Mayor has
still not made appointments to the Urban CulturalPark Advisory Committee. A
Margexpressed our condolences to
Jeanne Hennessy's family. Jeanne, who died in February, was secretaryto
CANA and executive director of NRC. To many long-time CANA people she was "Super
Henny". She will be missed.
Duesnotices and questionnaires
were sent to NA presidents. Not all have responded. Reminder will be
The25th anniversary if CANA is
this year. We need help in planning an appropriate celebration.
Call489-5311 if you can work on this.
SandraThomas, CANA secretary, has
left us for full-time job at RPI. We need someone to take and
transcribeminutes at our meeting. A small stipendis available.
CodeEnforcement-Quality of Life
Committee distributed copies of a handout that canbe used for neighbors who
ignore city ordinances regarding trash, etc.
A. Committee on University
& Community Relations. Tom Gebhardt. The next meeting, Mar. 14 at
7 PM at the AlbanyPolice Dept., 526 Central Ave, will feature Anthony Capece of
the Central Ave. BID. The committee is promoting its first annualSafety
First Day (2/21) and National crime Victim Rights Week, (4/22-28).Information
fliers: travel tips, avoid being burglarized, and date rape drugs.
B. Community Police Council.
Marginvited neighborhood participation on this committee. She noted
the form for reporting neighborhood problems that arepolice matters.
C. Swan St. Liz
Griffin and HelenBlack. Helen requested that CANA pass aresolution
requesting an environmental impact statement to allow publiccomments than a
negative declaration what does not allow as much publiccomment. A discussion
David Phaff moved that CANA draft a letterrequesting an environmental impact
statement on the Swan St. project. Dan Van Riper seconded. The
motion passed unanimously. Paul Bray will draft the letter.
D. Neighborhood Convention.
A finalreport will be coming out soon.
E. Cable/Public Access
TV. Ourmeetings were being broadcast every Thursday evening at 7 PM on
public accesschannel 18. Marg thanked our videographers: Tim Peters
from CSR and Steve Winters. She noted that CANA has submitted a
grantapplication for help with our video needs. Our goal is to have a real
access studio and make more civic meetingsavailable to the citizens of Albany.
F. Airport Noise.
G. Lincoln Park Pool.
Larry Becker gave a historyof the Pool Association and plans to redo the
Bath House. He discussed plans for the Bath House andarchitectural studies
to find the source of the leak in the pool'ssuperstructure. Mac Mowbray
suggested that each Neighborhood association couldschedule a pool party.
H. School Coalition.
Pam Howell distributed anAlliance for Quality Education flier entitled
"Background Facts: AllChildren Deserve Sufficient Room to Learn in a
Safe and Modern Classroom"which detailed the school facilities crisis,
the necessity for modern schoolbuildings and facilities financing options.
Steve Winters moved that CANA support and endorsethe activities of the Alliance
for Quality Education. Gene Solan seconded.There was no discussion. The motion
passed. There was one "No" vote. It was suggested that
arepresentative of CANA should be present at all AQE meetings.
David Phaff described problems with somequality of life issues gleaned
from the citywide survey done last year. He invited participation in the
preparationof a new survey that will be distributed in May.
Speaker. County ExecutiveMike Breslin, withJoe Pennisi, Commissioner
of the Department of Management and Budget.
Mr. Breslin thanked CANA forthe invitation to speak at our March meeting. He
welcomed the opportunity to let the people of Albany's neighborhoodsknow about
the work that their county government is doing and also to clear upany
misunderstanding about what the county is trying to do with real propertytax
foreclosures, a $400 million operation.
$40 million is collected inproperty taxes. After three yearsdelinquency,
the county may foreclose on the property. The county's current policy is
to foreclose assoon as possible in and effort to return the property to the tax
Q. Isthere a process for citizens to suggest foreclosures on
A. Mr.Breslin: Members of the county staffwill to meet
with anyone to discuss citizens' concerns. The county's works from the
oldest liensforward. Properties are only madeavailable for public purposes
Q. Howcan we find out about auctions?A.
Auctionsare announced on the Internet with descriptions of the
properties. The URL is: http://www.albanycounty.com/.
The next two auction dates are: April 28 and August 11.
Q. Therehave been offers to buy property on Central Avenue. But
they couldn't be sold because there was no auction. Can this situation be
A. Mr.Pennisi: 106 Central Av. was put up forauction in
December and was sold.
Q. Doesanything in the auction procedure guarantee that the
successful bidder has theresources and inclination to rehab the building
A. Mr.Breslin: Nothing in the countyprocedure deals with
that specific issue. The Building codes of municipalities are responsible for
getting valuefor the property, which is difficult if the property in encumbered.
Q. Whatis the average time the county
owns a property?A.
Mr.Pennisi: The county is trying to reducethe amount of
time they hold a property. [He described the past policy and noted that changes
to procedures arein the works to eliminate the upset price unless a previous bid
Q. Isa property's assessment ever reduced so the county has to pay
less when theymust reimburse the city for unpaid taxes?
A. Mr.Breslin. We're looking into that.
Q. Isthere a way to prevent "investors" from
buying property at auctionand then hang on to it for three years without paying
A. Mr.Breslin: The county cannot foreclose for three years.
The county cannot discriminate among qualified buyers.
Mr. Pennisi: Nobody can purchase property at auctionif they already owe taxes on
other properties. Homeowner/occupants are the most desirable purchasers.
Q. Whatprogram is in place for
maintaining properties to prevent deterioration?A.
Mr.Breslin: Generally, the county tries tomaintain the
Q. Thecounty evicts tenants when they
foreclose on a property. Is that necessary?A.
Yes. Situations where code violations exist inforeclosed
buildings make it necessary to evict the tenants. The county is liable for
Q. Whatabout working together with Neighborhood Associations to take
ownership or taketitle to buildings to keep them from deteriorating? Will
backlogged buildings all go up for auction? When?
A. Within2 years the backlog will all have been auctioned.
Regarding specific properties where Neighborhood Associationscould get
involved, the County Executive will consider all requests on an adhoc basis.
Q. Manycounties run parks. Even in financiallyhard times, some
counties try to preserve historical landmarks. Shouldn't Albany County be
more pro-activein this regard?
A. Thecounty is involved in economic development to provide
jobs. This administration is definitely pro parkbut can't get involved
because the primary focus of county government is on apopulation whose major
needs are in the areas of medical, mental and economichelp.
Q. Doesthe county have any issues or
priorities that involve CANA?A.
Themost important thing that this administration has done is
the creation of theChildren, Youth and Families Department to give kids a
positive start. Thiswill make a big difference to these children's futures.
CANA can support and monitor the system andsuggest ways to improve it.
Q. Rochestergot a local law allowing foreclosure after only one
year. I Albany looking into anything similar?
A. Ourforeclosure policy is 3 years for residential, 2 years
for commercial properties.
Q. At what point does a residential building
Thezoning law determines the classification. Over 4 units are
Meeting adjourned 8:53 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Galivan, Recorder
Kathleen Kearney HPNA.
Harold Rubin CSQ.
Steve Winters, SANA.
Clare Yates, CSQ.
Thomas Gebhardt UNIV.
Cynthia Galivan, MANG
Carmelina Morrison, D BID
Betsy Shearer, PSNA.
Fred Perkins PHILL
Joyce Rambo, CSQ
Pat Maxon, UWNA
Colin McKnight, MANS
Mac Mowbray, HPNA
Steve Stella, APD
Mary Connair, DEL
Elizabeth Griffin, HAF
Kathy Hodges, GUILD
Nicole Santoro, SUNY
Renee Pizzo, SUNY
Amy Smut, SUNY
Ela Kessel, SUNY
Peg Elmer, SUNY
Don Wardle, UTA
Jeff Cannell, APL
Paul Bray ROUND
Tom McPheeters, MANS
Larry Becker, MANS
Marty Gawoski, WHILL
Christopher Lindsay, BEV. Rev. Joyce
Gene Solan PHNA
Pam Howell, AQE
Nathan Black, AHCC
Nancy Wiley, BEV, LEGIS
Dan Van Riper, LPNA
Mimi Mounteer, MANG
Henry Madej, PHNA
David Phaff, NewANA
Anne Brewster, WPNA
Jim Tierney, PHNA