Make your own free website on



Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Meeting Minutes September 6, 2006

Albany Public Library


1)     Introductions



Albany 's 2006 Tulip Queen Amanda Benincasa and members of her court announced a benefit children’s book drive is being held.  Proceeds will be donated to Parson’s Family and Children’s Center.  Books may be donated at the Albany Visitor’s Center, Libraries, City Hall, and the Times Union Building .  A flyer will be forwarded to the CANA chairman for distribution to members.



2)     Committee Reports


bullet CANA 30th Anniversary Celebration Committee

Flyers and emails have been sent announcing the celebration to be held Wednesday, October 4, 2006 , at the University Club.  To date, 60 tickets have been sold.  Volunteers are needed for check-in table.  The deadline to purchase tickets is September 27, 2006 .


bulletNeighborhoods Work Conference Committee

The 7th Annual Neighborhoods Work Conference will be on Saturday, November 18, 2006 , from 9 AM to 1 PM at 646 State Street , Albany .  This year’s topic is “Revitalizing Albany:  Strategic Planning and Implementation for Quality, Liveable Neighborhoods.”


bulletUniversity and Community Relations Committee

The next committee meeting will be held September 13.    Recent initiatives include the Mid-Town neighborhood watch—“Take Back Our Streets.”  A memorial for University President Kermit Hall will be held on September 18


3)     New Business

bulletRepresentatives of the Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association requested that the chairman be conscientious about following the published meeting agenda.  Members who have made an advance request to present issues have invested time and energy in their presentations, but may be cut short for last-minute presentations.


bulletAlbany City School Superintendent Eva Joseph is seeking to form a community advisory council, the purpose of which will be to establish a forum for the district to proactively communicate issues of concern such as the closing of Livingston . 


bulletLeonard Morganbesser presented statistics about gun violence in Albany .  Since September 2002 there have been 366 incidents involving guns.  15 people have been hit by gunfire.  He asked that CANA consider forming a committee to address this problem and/or redefine gun violence as a public health issue.  One issue that fuels the problem is the supply of illegal guns.  There seems to be little “traction” to this issue although the Common Council passed a resolution for the mayor to form a regional task force.  Mr. Morganbesser identified three reasons for the lack of community involvement in this issue; namely, people’s perceptions of the problem, people’s discomfort about the issue, and their willingness to leave the issue to law enforcement.


bulletMarggie Skinner suggested that CANA consider establishing an internet blog and asked for opinions and concerns.  One of the benefits would be to encourage people to attend CANA and neighborhood association meetings.  Another would be for residents to have the opportunity to comment on issues.  This issue needs to be researched and developed further.  Marggie will speak with Brian Nearing at the TIMES UNION about the possible benefits of placing a CANA blog on the TIMES UNION site.


bulletJoyce Gerasi spoke with the Common council about the CANA Codes Committee Report and a statement was read into the minutes.  There will be a meeting with the city officials and some common council members next Monday at 4 PM .  The CANA Committee was commended for their work, presentation and tenor. 


bulletGene Solan participated in a meeting of the Recapitalize Albany Project Neighborhood Revitalize Albany Initiative.  Neighborhood-related Issues identified included vacant buildings (negative impact on quality of neighborhood life and safety) and comprehensive planning (the City supports and wants to get underway).   A report about neighborhood revitalization, economic development and education will be generated by the end of this year.  Questions arose about the process of the Recapitalize Albany project--whether the meetings are open to the public, how effective can committee recommendations be without a land use master plan, etc.  


bulletJoe Cunniff from the Upper Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association presented information about Brighter Choice Charter School ’s proposal to locate a school (grades undertermined) at 60 Colvin Avenue .  The site would replace plans to locate at   Watervliet Avenue .  The footprint for the building does not include the adjoining park, but it appears they will use the park.  Residents have multiple concerns such as traffic congestion, snow removal, etc.  The Board of Zoning Appeals has not made a decision


·        Albany Department of Development and Planning - Rebecca Brownell provided


4)     Adjournment


The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM      


Submitted by

Deanna Colfels




September 6, 2006

Meeting Attendees





Lynne Jackson

Albany Bicycle Coalition

223 So Swan St

Daniel VanRiper

Lincoln Park NA

Jim Lyons

Melrose NA

Helen Klayson

West End NA

Joe Cunniff

Upper Washington Ave NA

Colin McKnight


45 Elm St

Marggie Skinner


49 Ryckman Ave

Peter Rinne

Park South

47 Morris St

Richard Conti

Common Council Ward 6

151 Chestnut St

Patricia Grant

No Albany NA

42 Bonheim St

David King

Metroland Magazine

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So. Allen St

Harold Rubin

Center Square

156 Chestnut St

Donald Wardle

United Tenants


Rev. Joyce Hartwell

Artists All-Faith Center

Rev. Mick Brown

Trinity United Methodist Church

235 Lark St

Pat Maxon


PO Kathi Rissberger


536 Western Ave

Tom Gebhardt

University at Albany

Howard Stoller


Leonard Morgenbesser

Buckingham Crestwood NA

219 Tampa Ave

Holly Katz