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              Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Meeting Minutes of April 3, 2002

Albany Public Library



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

 2.                  Introductions

             3.                  Minutes:  The minutes of the March 6, 2002 , meeting were accepted.

             4.                  Discussion:  Status of Albany Public Library Re-Chartering Proposal  

Jeff Cannell updated the members about the status of the Library’s proposed re-chartering.  Individuals who wish to be elected as one of nine library trustees if it is re-chartered must present a petition of the names of 25 registered voters to the Library Board no later than April 22, 2002 .  On May 21, 2002 , voters will consider the re-chartering referendum.  An outline of the budget has not yet been made public; specifics will be available prior to May 21, 2002 .  The tax levy must be approved for the re-chartering to go forward, regardless of the outcome of the other items. If the library re-charters, other resources for income would become available including private and HUD funding, grants, gifts and state aid. It is unclear how STAR exemptions on the tax rolls will be accounted for when and if the budget becomes a school tax levy.


By re-chartering, the Library anticipates that it will enrich its services to Albany ’s neighborhoods and form new partnerships with schools.  Additionally, it is believed that a stronger library system may entice people to reside in the city.  Mr. Cannell indicated that since the City has not increased it’s funding of the Library in ten years, its resources are stretched to the limit and services may become stagnant.  Presently several library branches are located in buildings owned by the City.  The library will purchase those buildings at nominal cost.

 Members expressed concern about the timing of the referendum since a 12% school tax has been proposed and the fact that the voters may not fully understand that this is a restructuring of their taxes.  It was suggested that a serious campaign to inform voters be undertaked prior to the school budget vote.  Additionally, a forum for the trustee candidates to debate may be sponsored by CANA prior to May 21, 2002 . Association presidents are encouraged to inform and educate their members of the upcoming referendum.

5.                  Members were reminded to remit outstanding dues.  A fiscal report will be included with this month’s minutes.

6.                  Committees:


§         Community Police Council- Helen Black

Volunteers are needed to serve on the council.  It meets for one hour on the first Wednesday of each month at the Public Safety Building .


§         Committee on University and Community Relations-Tom Gebhardt

The next meeting will be at 7 PM on April 10 at the Albany Police Department, 526 Central Avenue .  The committee will discuss the “Spring 2002 Six-Point Plan” (safety, behavior, trash) and recent advertising campaigns.


§         Survey Committee- David Phaff

David was unable to attend the meeting but sent communication regarding the progress and status of the surveys.  There will be a meeting of the survey committee on April 11, 2002 , at 7:55 AM at Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Madison Avenue and West Lawrence Street . Members will discuss (a) whether to continue the survey on an annual basis or issue it every other year; (b) sources of funding; (c) resources required to get the survey out and compile, process and publish the results.  Last year’s survey may be available for distribution at the May CANA meeting.  The quality of life complaint/reminder form will be distributed at May’s meeting.


§         Reapportionment Committee- Marggie Skinner

The City’s Reapportionment Commission meets on Tuesday evenings (except April 14), from 6:00 to 7:00 PM .  A 90-minute public hearing follows each meeting.  The April 23 meeting will be held at School 27, and the April 30 meeting will be held at the Albany School of Humanities.  Members are encouraged to attend and request that the Commission keep neighborhoods in the same wards.   Maps were provided for members to review so that they may point out inequities to the Commission when attending hearings. The Commission is not aggressive about reaching out to the community, and citizens must attend to let their needs be known and prevent “political” redistricting.  Once the lines are drawn, there will be a short period of public hearings;   the Common Council must approve the plan.  Appeals will be hard by the Council. The following resolution was adopted:


RESOLVED:  The Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations urges the Albany City Reapportionment Commission to design it’s proposed new ward lines so as to keep Albany ’s traditional neighborhoods intact as far as practical. 


§         Lark Street Renovation Committee- Harold Rubin

The four Neighborhood Association presidents most impacted by the renovation of Lark Street met with Mayor Jennings.  It was felt that if they did not support the City’s proposal to transfer funding from the Lark Street renovation project to the Upper New Scotland Avenue project, there would be no Lark Street renovation.  Therefore, they supported the projects as presented by the City with the stipulation that residents and the public be involved in the planning with the design team of engineers and city planners.  The renovation will be endorsed by entity, not as a package.  DOT has indicated that power lines in Lark Street will not be buried.  Members who wish to have more information on the New Scotland Avenue project can contact the City Planning Department.


7.                  Other:


§         Spring Neighborhood Clean Up- Dominick Calsolaro

A resolution was introduced to the Albany Common Council on April 1 requesting that the mayor reinstate spring neighborhood clean up days.  The General Services Commissioner Bruce has stated that these clean up days cost the City approximately $150,000 in overtime.  The Common Council discussed several clean up options that may cost the city less in overtime expense.  However, the resolution was not voted on at the April 1 meeting.


§         Thursday evening tours of Albany ’s neighborhoods are being planned for September. Members are encouraged to call Claire Yates at 449-1160 to schedule your neighborhood and get details.


§         The Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association has received an invitation to attend meetings regarding its patterns of residency as they relate to the new middle school in Westland Hills Park .


§         A resolution was adopted regarding Public Access television:


RESOLVED:  CANA recommends that the City of Albany appoint a citizens’ committee to participate in the process of assessing the community’s needs for public access television in anticipation of a new contract in 2004.


§         The Neighborhood Resource Center will honor neighborhood achievements at their annual meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 .  Nominations for the Thomas J. Senchyna Neighborhood Service award and three Certificates of Recognition are due by Tuesday, April 9 at the NRC office.  Information and nomination forms were distributed.



§         A fiscal report will be included with the next minutes sent.


§         CANA ’s expenses for postage have been significantly reduced since more members have submitted their email addresses as the principal method of communication.  Additionally, neighborhood associations report that they forward CANA emails to their members.  Neighborhood association presidents were again urged to confirm that Howie Stoller has their correct email addresses.


The meeting adjourned at 9 PM .  






















April 3, 2002





Harold Rubin

Center Square

156 Chestnut Street

Thomas Gebhardt

University at Albany

UPD Bldg, University at Albany

Ethel R. Silverberg

Upper Morton-Lincoln Park

196 Morton Ave.

G.M. Mobray


400 Hamilton Street

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So. Allen Street

Henry J. Madej


194 Western Ave.

Kevin Vanoir

South End

289 Second Ave.

Alice Oldfather

Center Square

194 Chestnut Street

Joe Cunin

Lark Street BID

245 Lark Street

Ellen Bach


32 Hawthorne Ave.

Heather Barnett


4 Lincoln Square

Lynne Jackson

Lincoln Park

223 So. Swan St .

Tom McPheeters


14 Wilbur St .

PO Matthew Montesano

Albany Police Dept.

1 Morton Ave.

Stephen Winters

Second Avenue

227 Second Avenue

Dominick Colsalaro

Alby. Common Council

35 Claire Ave.

Elizabeth Griffin


391 State St .

Holly Katz


1 ˝ Elm St .

Colin McKnight


45 Elm St .

Mary Ellen O’Connor


66 Park Ave.

Helen Black

Arbor Hill

39 Ten Broeck Place

Fred Perkins

Pine Hills

11 Woodlawn Ave.

Keith St. John


135 Green St .

Mary Connair


68 Summit Ave.

Margo Janack


Martin Gawoski

West Hill

Bill Pettit

Washington Park

369 ˝ State St .

Anne Brewster


365 State St .

Sara Foss

Daily Gazette


Ruby Hughes


202 Orange St .

Pat Maxon

Upper Washington Ave

34 Victor St .

Marggie Skinner


49 Ryckman Ave.

Aimee Allaud


85 Melrose Ave.

Andrew Harvey


271 Myrtle Ave.

Donald Wardle

United Tenants

125 Dove St .

Joanne McElroy


663 No. Pearl St .