Wednesday, February 4, 2009

League of Women Voters... Kingston City Council Meeting... Notice re. Informal Discussion Mting on Obama's Economic Recovery Plan... You Tube...

["If I Had a Hammer"; Pete Seger / Peter Paul and Mary; as submitted to You Tube by slims86
on 11/7/06;]

The following video is presented as an example of some of the projects / discussions that the League of Woman Voters sponsors and/or gets involved with - both locally and across the country. The Mid-Hudson Region League of Women Voters will be holding a discussion on the pros and cons of the Electoral College in Feb. --- and anyone that is interested can access the local League via links (scroll down) on this blog.

["1 - Electoral College - Dr. David Rankin (SUNY Fredonia)"; League of Women Voters; as submitted to You Tube by LWVchautauqua on 11/19/08]

Notes on February 3, 2009 City Of Kingston Common Council Meeting:

At last night's (2/3/09) Kingston City Council meeting Council President James Noble and Alderwoman Anne Marie DiBella were absent / excused - with Majority Leader / Ward Seven Alderman William Reynolds filling in for Mr. Noble.

The planned "State of the City Address" by Majority Leader William Reynolds and Minority Leader Alderman Al Teetsel were "tabled" until the March City Council meeting.

The rest of the Agenda went forward, as per plan.

In regard to official business / Council "resolutions" / votes - most were passed, with a significant majority voting yes (7-0 / 6-1). These involved (as passed on through the various City Departments):

Resolution #13: A budget modification [$5,659.00 / Wastewater Treatment Plant budget (2008)] that reflects monies received in association with Quick Chek for "ground water removal."

Resolution #12: A 2009 budget modification ($5,630.90) that will reputedly be utilized for "trail markers" in association with the Heritage Area Visitor Center [see Agenda for additional details].

Resolution #17: An approval authorizing the City of Kingston to join the County of Ulster in applying for funds in association with the "NYS Shared Municipal Services Grant Program."

Resolution #15: An approval to utilize a "grant award" to put in a playground at Hutton Park.

Resolution #16: An approval for a change in property usage (there appeared to be some confusion about associated specifics) at 39-45 VanDeusen Street [this approval was also associated with a "negative declaration of environmental significance."]

Resolution #20: An approval authorizing "the sale of the paper street portion of Duflon Street to Feeney Land Company, Inc." [Also associated with a "negative declaration of environmental significance."]

Resolution #18: An approval to amend traffic flow, by "imposing a No Parking zone on the east side of North Street, between Delaware Avenue and Willow Street, from Nov. 1st to March 15th.

Resolution #21: An approval authorizing the lease of "Site B, Slip 1" [on the Roundout Creek] to North River Charters, LLC.

Resolution #22: An approval regarding the adoption of a "Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Incident Reporting" document, policy and/or program [these specifics were not made clear].

Resolution #19: An approval of the reappointment of "Ken Brett to the Board of Assessment Review" - with his term to expire on September 30th of 2013.

Resolution #23: An approval to appoint "James Rodden to the Board of Assessment Review" - with his term to expire on September 30th of 2012.

Resolution #10: Tabled until March [This had to do with "repealing Handicap Parking at 110 Gage Street" in order to amend the flow of traffic.]

Resolution #14: Tabled for further investigation. This resolution had to do with the potential "shift of operations of Empire Merchants North, LLC... into the Greene County Empire Zone" [Ulster County Legislative Chair, David Donaldson, showed up to speak on (against) this issue [turning in some documents / emails to the Council] - as did the Executive Director (pro) of the Green County (Industrial Development Agency) IDA.

In regard to the open speaking session, issues that were brought to the attention of the Common Council included:

1. One Kingston Citizen's opinion (Matthew Ryan /against) regarding the (proposed) hiring of a Main Street Manager. [This citizen apparently views this potential position as being in the province of the already existing Economic Development Committee and/or the Chamber of Commerce; and thus, an unnecessary expense / duplication of services that "should" be in place, through existing bodies, already...]. Mr. Ryan asked that the Council examine this matter much further before moving forward.

2. Another Kingston Citizen (Diane Reeder, Executive Director of the Queen's Galley) provided updates and her viewpoints regarding the activities of the galley, the number of people showing up for meals and associated programs - and the ongoing need for community support. [Ms. Reeder, who projects that the Galley will be serving well over 100,000 people [up significantly from 2008] in 2009, issued an open invitation for folks to stop by / check out what the organization (multifaceted, with links to other community organizations) is doing.]

3. Another Kingston Citizen [MaryAnne Parker; former Kingston City Councilwoman (six years / Midtown)] spoke about the "poor" condition of many of the City's streets; and about the necessity of making the safety and well-being of Kingston City residents a top priority during these economically stressed times.

4. Another Kingston Citizen spoke about his concerns regarding the condition of City Streets - (alleged) DPW negligence - and of the (alleged) fire hazard that exists [as a result of snow buildup] on some City streets.

5. Legislative Chair, Dave Donaldson spoke (as noted above) in opposition to Resolution #14.

6. The Executive Director of the Green County IDA also spoke (as noted above) on Resolution (in favor of) Resolution #14).

7. Another Kingston Citizen spoke in favor (if I'm not mistaken; this might have been sarcasm, as some digs were directed at the Planning Board) of the implementation of a Main Street Manager - and of his concerns for the health and well-being of the general populous, as well.

8. Another Kingston Citizen spoke, but I could not hear him clearly enough to catch his name or his topic...

9. I (Nancy Smith) spoke on the fact that the nonpartisan Mid-Hudson-Region League of Woman Voters was looking for volunteers / participation in their (my function being an example) "Observers Corp."

And I also spoke, as a City of Kingston resident:

a. In support of funding (This issue is supposed to come up at the next Finance meeting) for Kingston Area Public Access (Channel 23) Television.

b. About looking into the status of wholley (sp?) tax-exempt religious non-profit organizations - as a potential issue in regard to overall taxation problems [I sited the fact that having gone through just 1/3 of the applicable book at the Assessor's office in City Hall, I found three wholley (sp?) tax exempt religious organizations whose property holdings were assessed at $2,000,000 or above... along with one that was assessed at over 1.5 Million.]

c. About an upcoming informal discussion meeting (with an open invite to anyone that is interested in attending) - at the Kingston MuddyCup [this Saturday [2PM-3PM)] - regarding President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan, and how this plan might affect the citizens of Kingston, Ulster County and New York State. [The meeting, which I (Nancy Smith; see below for more details) am hosting, is titled, "From Hope to Reality."]

All told, I thought this was a good turnout (in terms of citizen attendence) for a City Council Meeting. The main issues of contention appeared to be around:

1. Resolution #14 (More information needed; this Resolution was tabled in order to examine the pros and cons, as put forward - along with other opinions / facts - more...)

2. Resolution #16 (Alderman Senor expressed concerns / was the only no vote]

3. The potential hiring of a "Main Street Manager.

4. The (allegedly) poor conditions of Kingston City Streets and the (alleged) potential fire hazard (the fear that firetrucks cannot make it through some of these streets) (allegedly) implicated by same.

5. Concerns about the economic state of the community and the needs of Kingston Citizens during these difficult (unemployment rates are up, etc.) times.

Please let me know if there are any corrections (name misspellings, etc.) that need to be made - or if I missed anything of vital importance. I apologize for not being more specific as to the concerns stated by one Kingston Citizen. I simply could not hear him well.

Please see a copy of the "February 3, 2009 City of Kingston Common Council Agenda" for additional references and (I have not attempted to cover the "Vendor" section here) details.

Respectfully Submitted by,

Nancy Smith

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice job and just about as objective as anyone could be. Please apply for a reporters position at a local paper.
Good Luck with everything.