Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations
Minutes from January 5, 2000 meeting:
1. President M. Skinner opened the meeting at 7: 00 PM, with introductions.
2. Minutes. Amend December minutes: Police Council meeting minutes will be circulated and that will serve as the report, unless there is something to add. Brochures are ready- brought by Bob Wolfgang for distribution to neighborhoods. Clare Yates moved to approve the minutes as amended. Chris Lindsay seconded. Motion passed.
· A representative from the League of Women voters reported on a statewide
Project entitled, "Balancing justice," which is modeled after an Oklahoma
Program. The League is looking for volunteer participants in the program,
which will involve a two-hour session each week for three weeks beginning on
January 26. For more information or to volunteer, call Audrey Kibrick 465-5249
· Letter received re neighborhood opposition to a request to expand waste
services at the Port of Albany. Dominick Calsolaro explained his NA's opposition to the proposal. Approval of the expansion would result in 11 additional truckloads of garbage per day being transported through city streets to the port. Dominick moved that CANA support the opposition to the proposed expansion. Craig Waltz seconded. No discussion. Motion passed unanimously.
· Council of Community Services Community Residence Siting Group - statement
of Principles for the Siting of Community Residences- Tom McPheeters mentioned previous discussion of this issue and asked for volunteers to participate on his committee. Call him at 463-0679 for more information or to volunteer.
Q: Why do the principles ignore mapping and saturation of neighborhoods as factors to be considered in siting community residences?
A: Tom explained that the idea of mapping presumes a prior discussion of saturation. Talking about mapping at this point would stifle dialogue about larger issues.
A discussion ensued about the definition and impact of mapping. Tom explained the intent is to use a computer based data system.
Gene Solan acknowledged the rights of the clients of service providers to share our community. He encouraged CANA's participation in this project.
Marggie suggested that CANA should suggest improvements to these principles. This issue was tabled until a future meeting.
· Senior Services Center requested our support for their request for C.D. Block
Grant money to provide case management services. They have asked for funds for a case manager to ease what they cite as misuse of emergency medical services by seniors. Marggie suggested a letter of support for this project. Mimi Mounteer moved that CANA write a letter of support. Pat Maxon seconded. No Discussion. Motion passed unanimously.
4. Committee Reports
A. Nominating committee report. Gene Solan, chair of the nominating
committee, thanked the members of the nominating committee for their service
and presented the following slate of officers for the year 2000:
President: Marggie Skinner
Vice-pres.: Howie Stoller
Executive Committee: Emily Grisom, Elfreida Textores, Chris Lindsay, Mac
Mowbray and Dominick Calsolaro.
Mimi Mounteer moved nominations be closed. Craig Waltz seconded. No
discussion. The motion passed unanimously. A single ballot was cast for the slate.
5. Guest Speaker: Gerald D. Jennings, Mayor of Albany.
Mayor Jennings explained that Albany is in the process of increasing its tax base.
He described the budget process under the newly adopted city charter and explained the discrepancies between the printed document he submitted in compliance with the charter and his typed amendments handed out days later.
The mayor discussed landfill expansion and his attempts to keep private haulers out of the Albany landfill.
He reported on his plans to appoint a task force with a neutral leader to deal with the issue of a civilian police review board that is currently before the Common Council. He had asked former DEA chief Constantine to head the task force, but was turned down. Constantine recommended former Rochester Chief of Police Warshaw who will head the task force and try to bring the diverse interests together and suggest legislation. The mayor invited participation in this process by CANA.
Mayor Jennings described his continued pursuit of PILOT money from the State.
He noted with pride several new construction projects in the city. Among them are the new Comptroller's building and the new EnCon building.
The mayor mentioned his plans for neighborhood revitalization and described the proposed Proctor's/Palace joint management project.
Describing other construction projects throughout the city, Mayor Jennings said that the pedestrian bridge over Route 787, linking Albany's downtown with the riverfront, will begin in the spring. A "Buy a Brick" campaign will help to make up for the shortfall in financing this project. He also noted that Phase 2 of the Pearl St. project, from Pine to Livingston, will get underway this year, while Phase 3, including the area from Madison Avenue to the city line, should be initiated next year.
Pronouncing the general economic health of the region as good, and citing our low unemployment rate, the mayor mentioned a port proposal that is currently under consideration.
He said that city school buildings need attention. They are old and will require refurbishing or replacement that will cost a total of $300 million. The improvement is expected to take place in two $150 million phases, to be financed through bonding. The Mayor has also pledged to continue to work with the Urban League to insure the success of the New Covenant Charter School.
Mayor Jennings described the need to replace Albany's two main swimming pools: Lincoln Park and the pool at the former Mater Christi Seminary. The present pools will be closed after this summer and new pool construction will begin shortly thereafter.
The mayor emphasized the importance of a complete count for the upcoming census and he noted the formation of a complete count committee, chaired by Larry Miller.
Mayor Jennings mentioned his plans to bottle, market and sell Albany water.
He concluded his prepared remarks with a report on the downsizing of Albany's municipal government- down from 25 departments to 10.
Q: What happened to First Night? It was terrible.
A. Attendance had been declining- tried something new- smaller territory- name acts- cost more. We did sell more tickets than last year.
Q. Will Web Page ever get updated?
A. Eric Mower Associates are now in charge. Address www.albany.org.
Q. How can we get absentee landlords of businesses to be more responsible?
A. Turn up the heat.
Q. Why is our state school reimbursement so poor?
A. State formula sees us as a "rich" district- Perhaps we could take an idea from Niagara Falls- have private corporation build a new school and lease it to us- or inspire SUNY to "adopt" Albany High.
Q. Why do plans all seem to move Albany High away from the core of the City and out to the west?
A. High school needs 40 to 60 acres- hard to find in heart of the city.
Q. What was it with the super bright lights for Y2K?
A. Power grid out of our control. In case power went out, these were in strategic locations and on generators.
Q. Christmas lights in park were good! (dissenting voices from neighboring assns.)
A. Successful- 700 volunteers, 2400 cars from near and far participated.
Q. Are there any new ideas re; a) trash in neighborhoods; b) tourism; c) economic development?
A. Trash: need better enforcement; Others: There is an archeological group exploring options; State Museum has $69 mil renovation planned; IMAX- could offer 2 for 1 admission with museums; lighting downtown buildings
Q. What's with STAR tax relief- only for resident homeowners- not so good for urban areas?
Q. Waste Management's port proposal? We are opposed, are you?
A. City is opposed. They are powerful opponents.
Q. Budget contained less information than 5 years ago. Are we regressing?
A. It was hard to read. Mayor has asked Chris Hearley and Council Leaders to improve.
Q. What are yellow, green, red lines painted on sidewalks?
A. Something to do with NiMo, maybe. Bill Bruce should know- call him.
Q. Tax bills show an increase, why? Wasn't the budget a no tax increase budget?
A. Connected to shift between residential/commercial rates.
Q. Who's watching New Scotland Ave. between Park and Albany Med?
A. Have asked Univ Heights to include it in its plans. Housing for students
Q. What's with University Heights?
A. Doing things with loan from Martin Silverman- will have to pay him back. They have to raise revenues somehow.
Q. Is parking Authority making a profit?
A. Yes- those meters are gold!
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Cynthia Galivan for Sandra Thomas
Harold Rubin CSQ
Claire Yates CSQ
Kathleen Kearney HPNA
Tom Gebhardt Univ @ Alb
Christopher Lindsay BNA
Craig Waltz HELD
Dominick Calsolaro SANA
Donald Dugan HELD
Mary Connair DANA
Cathy O'Neill DANA
John Mounteer MANG
Gene Solan PHNA
Michael Trout PSNA
Margo Janack CDTA
Pat Maxon UWNA
Tom McPheeters MANS
Fred Perkins PHNA
Steve Winters SANA
Howard Stoller MEL
Don Wardle UTA
Cynthia Galivan MANG
Karen Phillips NewANA
David Phaff NewANA
Jeff Cannell CSQ
Derek Holtzlaw MANS
Anne Brewster WPNA
Dave Miranda UWNA
Roy Conrad SHNA
Holly Katz MANS
Colin McNight MANS
Henry Madej PHNA
Carol Saginaw LWV
Betsy Shearer PSNA
Dominic Colfati PHNA
Anne Erling PHNA
Andrew Harvey PSNA
Roger Markovics UTA
Karen Brown UTA/WHNA
Dep. Mayor Calderone
Police Chief Nielson