Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tues March 3 2009 Kingston City Council Meeting Notes

[Photo by BF; Utilized with Permission]

As to be submitted - Early AM - 3/4/09 - to the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region:

Kingston City Council Meeting Notes 3/3/2009

Alderman-at-Large / K.C. Council President, J. Noble was Present

All K.C. Alderman were present (enough for a quorum) except Al Teetsel and Bill Reynolds

Corporate Counsel Representation was Present

1. Open Speaking Session:

Only one person (J. A.) spoke during the open speaking (public) session - this person representing the interests of "Empire Merchants North LLC" - and their relocation (with City of Kingston funding assistance) "into the Green County Empire Zone.".

J.A. stated that the company employs approximately 150 people in or near the City of Kingston - and that the company hoped to keep most or all of the employees (this would mean a commute) after the company's relocation to Green County.

J.A. stated that the company - which reputedly won't be making the move for a while (he was not specific) - was seeking to find a viable tenant for the building they would be leaving.

J.A. stated that theirs was a "competitive business" and that they needed to move in order to expand and modernize.

J.A. stated that the company needed SHIP monies in order to do so.

[Alderman Ron Polaco voted NO on this - and was quite passionate (he apparently sees this as "rewarding" a business to move out of the city) about doing so; Alderwoman DiBella had initially been opposed to this Resolution, but had since changed her mind due to the employment needs of the area; some side-discussions about the number required or a quorum came up --- but after some discussion, this Resolution was passed, 6/1.]

2. The List of Communications to the Mayor included (for others, please see the Agenda):

Appointment of Mr. Murphy to Pike Plan Commission [Not discussed]
Quorum for Common Council Action [there appears to be some unresolved issues re. the number needed for a quorum and/or vote (?)]
Public Access Operation by Friends of Public Access [Not discussed]
Support Continuation of NYS Empire Zone [Unanimously approved by Council]

[I have noted these four, in particular, because they appear to be relatively "hot" topics.]

Another "hot topic" appears to be a "Dock Lease Renewal" - which was included under "Communications" in reference to Capt. Feldman

Plus, there was a communications to the City Clerk re. the "2009 Quadricentennial Grant Authorization" (Fed) - which is sure to be a "hot" topic in the near future.

3. During the "Tentative List of Legislation" Section:

a. "Resolution #14 of 2009" - recommending the "approval of shift of operations of Empire Merchants North LLC into the Green County Empire Zone" (as noted above) was passed.

b. "Resolution #25 of 2009" - recommending the "approval of a one year contract with GAR Associates, Inc." was passed - however, Alderman Senor was upset about the situation and said he was voting "yes" because he had "no choice." Alderman Senor stated that he had gotten numerous complaints re. GAR Associates from his constituents - re "inconsistencies" - but that the Council had been given no opportunity to check into other options / bids in this regard. Alderman Senor said he was upset that it appeared as if "someone" [Alderman Senor mentioned the "Mayor" at a couple of points] at "City Hall" was "making decisions without [as has apparently been done in the past and was understood protocol...] "consulting the City Council."

c. "Resolution #26 of 2009" - recommending the "approval authorizing the Mayor to enter into a lease agreement between the City of Kingston, Hudson River Cruises and the Hudson River Maritime Museum" was passed. [The need for lease agreements and contracts to go before the City Council - and not just handled by Mayor Sottile - came up as a point of discussion again.]

d. "Resolution #28 of 2009" recommending "approval for a request for funding for replacement of City Hall steps" was passed. [Alderman Landi shared that one of his constituents - an architect from his Ward - had looked over the steps with him - and suggested that the wrong grout had been used - and that the front wall was "dangerous. [It should be noted that Alderman Landi also expressed concerns about the lease agreements, etc. - as mentioned in the Resolution (26) above.]

e. Resolutions "29 of 2009" through "43 of 2009" were bunched together and voted upon / passed. Most of these (the following) had to do with budget (2008) transfers to cover "year end shortages" and/or "correct year end bookkeeping":

City Clerk budget: $20,894.00
Economic Development: $249.00
Economic Development (2): $12,437.04
Fire Department: $75,875.00
Wastewater Treatment Plan: $40,592.00
Planning Department: $71.50
Comptroller's Budget: $81,077.00
General Budget: $202,587.00
Registrar's Budget: $5.00
Registrar's Budget (2): $152.14

[For Information Purposes - The above, on their own, add up to $433,939.68 [in "budget (2008) transfers to cover "year end shortages" and/or "correct year end bookkeeping" - PASSED]

f. I did not catch (perhaps due to the "bunching together?") the outcome of Resolution "#31 of 2009" - which recommended "approval for modifications within the 2008 Engineer budget in the amount of $1,136,00 to cover the cost of updating flow monitoring equipment....

g. I did not catch (ditto) the outcome of Resolution "#36 of 2009" which recommended "approval of modifications to the 2008 Human Rights budget in the amount of $300.26 to cover overtime worked for City Employees Sexual and Discrimination Harassment trainings."

h. I did not catch (ditto) the outcome of Resolution "#40 of 2009" which recommended approval for modifications "to the general budget in the amount of $60,612.25 to cover engineering costs related to the Kingston Pedestrian Waterfront Walkway Project."

i. Resolution "#44 of 2009" - which recommended "approval for modifications to the 2008 Recreation Department's budget in the amount of $129,902.31 to correct year-end bookkeeping was also passed. [Alderman Landi wanted this handled separately - and Alderman Senor got upset re. this issue, as well [Some of the other Alderpersons were stating that these issues should have been worked out before they hit the Council floor...] - with Alderman Senor stating - at one point that he felt as if his "freedom of speech" - "on the Council floor" - was being compromised. Alderman Senor mentioned a "fund balance issue" - and wanted to know "who is playing games here?"

j. Resolution "#45 of 2009" - which recommended approval for supporting the opportunity for the City of Kingston to participate in Hudsonia's Ten Month Biodiversity Program was unanimously passed.

k. Resolutions "#46 of 2009" through "#49 of 2009" were also (all having to do with traffic flow and such) handled - and passed - as a group.

l. Resolution "#50 of 2009", which recommended "approval for support for the continuation of the New York State Empire Zones Program" was passed unanimously.

4. A Second Council Meeting was set up for 3/19/09 at 6:15PM (during "Laws and Rules?") to deal with:

a. "Resolution # 24 of 2009" - "Local Law #3 of 2008" - Having to do with a "moratorium on billboards."

b. "Resolution # 27 ['pulled'] of 2009" - which "recommends approval for a lease between the City of Kingston and Michael Bernholz and John Lanzaretta (Hideaway Marina)."

c. "Resolution #38 of 2009" - which "recommends approval for modifications in the amount of $145.00 for sewer employees retirement."

Alderwoman DiBella also made a motion (passed) that the Majority Leader and Minority Leader Addresses be tabled until the April Common Council Meeting.

Closing Note: The quotes in this document are definitely close / sufficient - but are not necessarily 100% (I was not using a tape recorder) accurate. Additional information can be found in the "March 3, 2009 City of Kingston Common Council Agenda" --- and it is possible that more specifics (re exact statements) can be acquired via the City Clerk's office. Any emphasis in bold print is mine. If any errors are noted, please let me know, and I will check into it / make corrections as called for.

Nancy Smith, Observers Corp
League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region

1 comment:

N.S. said...

I should note here, from my own perspective (as in not affiliated with any particular group perspective...) that...

"Resolution #31 of 2009" - which recommended "approval for modifications within the 2008 Engineer budget in the amount of $1,136,00 to cover the cost of updating flow monitoring equipment...

"Resolution #36 of 2009" which recommended "approval of modifications to the 2008 Human Rights budget in the amount of $300.26 to cover overtime worked for City Employees Sexual and Discrimination Harassment trainings"...

And "Resolution #40 of 2009" which recommended approval for modifications "to the general budget in the amount of $60,612.25 [A BIGGY!!!!!] to cover engineering costs related to the Kingston Pedestrian Waterfront Walkway Project"...

Were most likely PASSED (as my husband, who was also present at the Council meeting, understands it)...

Which brings up the question as to whether these three resolutions should have been grouped in [these are of a different nature than the others in "said" group] with the others... ?????

What do you think?