Make your own free website on



Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Meeting Minutes of September 5, 2001

Albany Public Library

  1. Howard Stoller, CANA Chair, called the meeting to order.
  2. Introductions
  3. Minutes: Minutes of the June 6 meeting were accepted as corrected.

GUEST SPEAKER: ASSISTANT CORPORATION COUNSEL TODD BURNHAM addressed the group and spoke about the City’s Nuisance abatement ordinance.

The City’s Nuisance Abatement Ordinance, which takes effect September 1, 2001, is designed to improve the quality of life of the City’s residents by holding landowners accountable for the arrests of tenant occupants for such offenses as drugs and gambling on their properties. When occupants of such properties are arrested, landowners accumulate points. If they receive 18 points within 12 months, they will be called to meet with Public Safety Commissioner Jack Nilsson to attempt to rectify the situation. Persistent offenders may have their rents confiscated by the city, be fined up to $5,000, have their properties forced to be vacant for up to one year, or face other enforcement actions. Noise offenses are not part of this ordinance, but may be added later.

It is not the City’s intention to intimidate landlords, bur rather to use the ordinance to as an enforcement tool to improve the integrity of the neighborhoods. Code violations are not included in the ordinance, and will continue to be addressed by the Corporation Counsel’s Office.

The following issues pertaining to this legislation were discussed.

  1. This ordinance does not make evictions easier; the laws of New York State are pro-tenant.
  2. Points are based on arrests, not convictions.
  3. Juvenile offences will probably not be cause for points, because these offenders are children, and cannot be considered as tenants.
  4. The City should consider training landlords to select tenants.
  5. Public Housing facilities have tools available to them to evict tenants; the same tools are not available to private landlords.
  6. Points are officially assessed by Commissioner Nilsson with input from the Office of Building Codes, Safety Division and the Corporation Counsel. The courts oversee these decisions. It was suggested the drug court also have involvement.
  7. Open communication and quality of life referrals are encouraged and should be directed to Counsel Burnham at 434-5050. He is available and welcomes the opportunity to speak to groups, associations, etc.


    1. The airport noise study does not include information about the neighborhoods in the City of Albany. A letter has been sent asking that the boundaries be extended.
    2. The issue of handicapped parking that had been placed on the agenda was resolved prior to the meeting.
    1. Committee on University and Community Relations – Tom Gebhardt
    2. The next Committee meeting will be held on September 12, 2001, at the Albany Police Department, 526 Central Avenue. John Giarrusso will present and update on the "Campus Master Plan." The "13 Point Plan" to prepare for the students return to the neighborhoods will be finalized. Materials regarding the "13-Point Plan" as well as the current advertising campaigns were distributed.

    3. Community Police Council – Lt. John Finn
    4. Sharon Hickman has resigned, and a new representative of CANA is needed. The Committee meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 5 PM in the Chief’s conference room. Lt. John Finn announced that DARE officers have been re-named "school liaisons." The Department has assigned two liaisons to the junior high schools and one to the high school. Drug education will now be part of the health cirriculum in those schools. Additionally, he indicated that there have been no applications by neighborhood representatives to access the records of convicted sex offenders. Maria Parisella announced the open house celebration for the new public safety building, 165 Henry Johnson Boulevard on October 13, 2001, from 1 to 4 PM. Information on the council was distributed.

    5. Quality of Life Surveys – Harold Rubin
    6. David Phaff needs assistance in transcribing the comments and entering data.

    7. CANA 25th Anniversary Party – Elfrieda Textores
    8. The anniversary party will replace the October CANA meeting. It will be held at the University Club on October 3, 2001, beginning at 6 PM. Tickets cost $25 each, and can be purchased through Elfrieda.

    9. Executive Committee – Howard Stoller

    There were three executive committee vacancies; one vice president and two members. To fill the vacancies, remaining members of the Executive Committee (Emily Grissom, Mac Mowbray, Harold Rubin, and Howie Stoller) met, and while no one stepped forward to take the vice president spot, the following three people agreed to join the Executive Committee: Henry Madej; Mary Connair, and Steve Winters.

    1. Swan Street Update – Helen Black
    2. On August 12, 2001, funding for Arbor Hill master plan was secured. The atmosphere in the neighborhood continues to be quiet.

    3. Albany Public Library – John Cirrin
    4. The members are urged write to Governor Pataki in support of funding for the Albany Public Libraries. The Library is about to develop a strategic plan; to take the next step in the planning, hearings will be held and focus groups formed this fall. The café will be re-opening under new management.

      On November 11, the Library will sponsor the Albany League of Women Voters’ meet the candidates night. Input from members of CANA is requested. A motion was made and adopted for CANA to sponsor a portion of that program or a separate event with the library and League that would involve the candidates for school board.

    5. Albany Citizens’ Police Review Board – Judith Mazza
    6. A status update and quarterly report were distributed as well as materials describing the complaint process and mediation program. Members of the Board are available to address neighborhood associations by contacting the Government Law Center of Albany Law School.

    7. Historic Preservation –
    8. JoAnn McElroy Moore and Colleen Ryan

      Five historic buildings are scheduled to be destroyed without input from CANA; they are Schools 16, 18, 26, 21 and Our Lady of Angels. Representatives will attend the November meeting. The City has not made data available to the public prior to scheduling the destruction.

      Six hands-on preservation workshops are scheduled on Saturday mornings from 10 AM to 12 Noon beginning on September 15, 2001. More information is available by calling 465-0876 or on the Internet at

    9. ARISE (A Regional Initiative Supporting Empowerment) – Reverend Joyce Hartwell

ARISE was developed to effect positive social, economic and political changes through the driven efforts of a united and organized membership. 37 members represent the Capital District Counties to address such issues as youth, education, and employment. A public meeting will be held from 7 – 8:30 PM on November 13, 2001.

Harold Rubin adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.








Howie Stoller


Harold Rubin

Center Square

Claire Yates

Center Square


Jim Tierney

Pine Hills NA

Betsy Shearer



Tom Gebhardt



Colin McKnight


Gene Solan

Pine Hills/WRC


Judith Mazza


Mary Connari



Patty Salkin

Albany Law School

Glen Bruening

Albany Law School

Colleen Ryan

Historic Albany Council

Helen Black


Emily Grissom



Maria Parisella


Mac Mowbray

Hudson Park


Holly Katz


Daniel Van Riper


Officer Paul D. Pierce

Albany Police-West


Kathleen Kearney



Ruth Rubin

Center Square


Pete Sheehan

Upper New Scotland Ave.

Pat Maxon


Matthew Montesano

Albany Police Department

Jeff Cannell

Albany Public Library

Margo Janack


Joyce Rambo

Center Square

Martin Gawoski

West Hill

Tim Close

Albany Police Department


John Cirrin

Albany Public Library

Elfreda Textores

South End NA

70 Third Ave, Albany, 12202

Fred Pukinb

Pine Hills

Joanne McElroy Moore



Rev. Joyce Hartwell

Life Craft Studio & Arise


Helen Desfosses

Albany Common Council


CANA Monthly Meeting

September 5, 2001 Attendees