Mayor Johnson Appoints Tourism Board Members
Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson announces new appointments to the Hudson Tourism Board. The appointments are the proprietor of Wm Farmer and Sons Boarding and Barroom Kristan Keck, writer and founder of Friends of Oakdale Tamar Adler, marketing professional Chris Mcmanus, and educator and small business owner Filiz Soyak.
"People enjoy visiting Hudson because of our diversity, authenticity, and commitment to equity,” says Johnson. “These appointees will build on our strengths and support projects that ultimately benefit everyone—residents and tourists.”
In addition to the Mayor’s four appointees, the Common Council appointed Hannah Black, Selya Graham, Sidney Long, and Kate Treacy to the Tourism Board. Alderperson Calvin Lewis will chair the Tourism Committee.
Tamar Adler is an award-winning writer, podcaster, and cook. Tamar founded the non-profit, Friends of Oakdale Lake, and is an enthusiastic supporter of a vibrant and inclusive Hudson community. Traveling for work, Adler has learned that the most exciting tourist destinations are those that support their communities.
“We need to invest in our city—in its children, its residents, its parks,” says Adler. I look forward to working to increase investments in those areas, which will continue to make Hudson the remarkable draw it is, and drive more, and more diverse, tourism, in the future.”
Chris McManus has more than 25 years of marketing experience. He has helped nonprofits positively change their narrative and businesses align their narrative to meet their business goals. He grew up in Columbia County and is passionate about empowering local businesses and developing solutions that maximize our local potential.
"Tourism presents both challenges and opportunities for Hudson,” says McManus “We can be mindful in our approach and actively manage tourism to benefit both visitors to our great city and also the diverse communities that make up Hudson. This is about more than attracting visitors on weekends. It's about solutions that improve Hudson for everyone and programs that preserve the unique, extraordinary character that attracts tourists in the first place."
Kristan Keck and her partner Chef Wm Kirby Farmer are the proprietors of Wm Farmer and Sons Boarding and Barroom. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Keck came to hospitality following a decade long career as a producer in commercial, television, and film production. She has served on the Tourism Board since it’s founding In 2018.
Filiz Soyak is an artist, educator, and small business owner. Soyak spent over 10 years in the education field—building award-winning curriculum and education programs promoting creativity, life skills, and career-readiness, for children and families of diverse communities. Her creative work has been exhibited and collected internationally. In 2019 Filiz co-founded Creative Citizen Alliance (CCA), a community organization with a mission to connect, serve, and advocate for the diverse creative community of Hudson. CCA provides a voice for local issues facing the creative sector, and actively seeks out innovative, actionable, and equitable solutions that benefit the local economy.
The Oakdale Plunge
The Oakdale Plunge returns with an ice-breaking crash on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, at noon.
Last year, 76 intrepid swimmers braved the frigid waters of Oakdale Lake to raise over $18,000. The proceeds were split between the Hudson Fire Department Water Rescue and Dive Team and the Hudson Youth Department. The all-volunteer Rescue Team does the crucial job of saving people who get into trouble in the Hudson River, while the Youth Department provides safe space and free enriching activities for our youth.
The Plunge takes place at Oakdale Lake, 132 N. 6th St., a public facility for swimming and recreation that is home to the Youth Department’s summer day camp. In 2019, 12 teams of whimsically costumed groups and individuals took the Plunge.
Prizes for Top Fundraiser and Best Costume will be awarded by a panel of judges including Mayor Kamal Johnson. Council President Thomas DePietro, Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides, and Alderperson Jane Trombley will be taking the plunge. Alderperson Dominic Merante is also supporting the event.
To make a splash as an individual or a team, or to donate, visit OakdalePlunge.Com
Conservation Advisory Council Seeks New Members
The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) advises the Common Council and Planning Board on matters related to the environment. By providing an informed perspective on land-use planning and decision-making, the CAC contributes to the conservation and improvement of the local environment and quality of life for residents.
The CAC has openings for new volunteer members and invite residents of Hudson to join!
A background in the environmental sciences, ecology, conservation, green infrastructure, city planning, green engineering, or environmental law is particularly useful, but there are no minimum professional qualifications.
Members are expected to devote time to CAC tasks, and should be able to work cooperatively with other municipal agencies.
Prospective members should attend several meetings prior to seeking an appointment to the council. This gives a sense of the type of work and time commitment that is necessary.
CAC meetings are held at City Hall on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm.
If interested contact Council President Tom DePietro.
Dunn Warehouse RepairsThe city of Hudson invites bids for Dunn Warehouse Roof Repair/Stabilization. For details, review the Invitation for Bids.
Learn more about the Dunn Warehouse and Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
Water Quality Grant for Oakdale Lake
Friends of Oakdale and the Columbia Land Conservancy received an Environmental Justice grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to map the Oakdale Lake watershed and study its water quality.
“We have an extraordinary asset in our 100-year-old, beautiful human-made lake, right in the middle of our city. But there’s confusion around where the water comes from, the clarity of the water, and what makes it into the lake from nearby properties,” says Tamar Adler, director of Friends of Oakdale Lake. “This is an opportunity to educate ourselves and our community about Oakdale and chart a course for how to improve the water quality, and how to protect it.”
This project will identify possible sources of water pollution near the lake, which could include old infrastructure, lawns, and/or commercial facilities. It will include citizen science and volunteer water testing. And, after identifying Oakdale Lake’s watershed and potential sources of pollution, partners will work together to create outreach materials to share information about how we can collaborate to protect and improve the lake.
Oakdale Lake is a 5-acre spring-fed lake with a small sand beach, located in Oakdale Park, a 14-acre public park in downtown Hudson, managed by the Hudson Youth Department. The park also offers walking trails and a small playground. All of the lands that drain to the lake make up its watershed, which includes properties surrounding the park, even perhaps several blocks away.
Friends of Oakdale Lake is collaborating on this project with the Columbia Land Conservancy, which is serving as a fiscal sponsor for the grant. CLC has an ongoing interest in protecting water quality throughout the county. In addition, CLC will provide educational programs working with Hudson youth that utilize the lake and surrounding woodlands at the park.
“Working with youth and our partners in the City of Hudson is a significant part of our commitment to connect people to the wonders of the natural world. We are thrilled to be able to facilitate this important initiative and will do whatever we can to support the work as it goes forward,” says Peter R. Paden, CLC’s Executive Director.
Public Space Improvements
Learn about the Downtown Revitalization Project (DRI) and how the city is moving forward to improve public space.
As part of the DRI, the city of Hudson is managing four projects:
- Renovate Promenade Hill Park and provide ADA access
- Improving streets and transportation for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists
- Stabilize the Dunn Warehouse and prepare for re-use
- Repurpose historic fishing village as a public park
“We need to ensure more people can access our public parks, our waterfront, and our streets. It’s great to be moving forward on these projects.”-Mayor Kamal Johnson
Stay up to date by viewing the newly created DRI Document Center. View meeting minutes and agendas, plus the 2019 annual report.
In January 2020, the city finalized the Master Agreement-Contract with NYS DOS. This enables the city to move forward on contracts and advance these projects.
Preserve Your Hudson River Access
Do you have a favorite spot for fishing, kayaking or spending time on the Hudson riverfront—or have a place where you’d like to be able to do those things?
Scenic Hudson is creating a comprehensive inventory of river access locations—formal and informal—so they can develop a plan to identify current gaps in access, recommend places for safe new shoreline access, and suggest ways to improve safety at existing rail crossings.
Tell Scenic Hudson how you use the river
Visit the public input map. The map lets you identify specific locations where you currently access the Hudson and make suggestions for new places where you'd like access to be allowed. You can also add comments listing the activities you enjoy on or along the river.
The map will be open for comments until January 31, 2020.
Our community stands together against anti-Semitism.
Statement from Mayor Kamal Johnson:
“I am deeply troubled by the recent incident at Congregation Anshe Emeth. The Jewish community deserves to feel safe at synagogue and throughout our community. We must recommit ourselves to creating a more equitable city and region. We must combat anti-Semitic hate with solidarity.”
City Receives Grant to Combat Displacement of Low-Income Residents
The City of Hudson has been awarded a New York State Anti-displacement Learning Network grant, by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) in partnership with the New York State Attorney General. Hudson was one of ten cities awarded the grant across New York State. The awarded applicants demonstrated an understanding of local causes of displacement, a history of collaborating, and a commitment to preserving and stabilizing neighborhoods facing high rates of displacement.
“This grant is an important step in addressing our housing crisis. I look forward to partnering with community leaders from Hudson and around New York State to create solutions.” -Mayor Kamal Johnson
The Hudson grant application was led by Council Member Rebecca Wolff. County Supervisor and Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides also worked on the application. Dan Kent from the Galvan Foundation provided technical support. The Anti-Displacement Project team also includes Council Member Calvin Lewis, service provider Serria McGriff, and Mayor Kamal Johnson. Several community organizations contributed to the application and expressed interest in collaborating on the project.
“Hudson’s low- and middle-income residents are being displaced in the current inflated housing market,” says Wolff. “This is a crisis of community that is negatively affecting the character and health of our city. The anti-displacement grant comes with a mandate to bring together elected officials, agencies, and impacted residents to identify and implement meaningful solutions to address the crisis.”
“Residents and local leaders have the greatest understanding of how displacement and related issues impact their neighborhoods,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “We are happy to work with the Attorney General’s office to provide communities with the resources they need to create and implement thoughtfully designed strategies so that residents can remain in their neighborhoods.”
In the first phase of the grant, the Anti-Displacement Project Enterprise will receive peer learning opportunities. During the second phase, grantees will work collaboratively with local stakeholders in affected neighborhoods to identify a high-impact anti-displacement strategy targeting the most vulnerable population(s)—particularly in low-income communities, communities of color, and renters—with the ultimate goal that successful outcomes will allow residents to remain in their homes and foster community stabilization. The program culminates in an additional grant application of up to $1 million to implement a strategy that will have a significant positive impact.
“When longtime residents are squeezed out of their homes where they have built their lives, their whole community and family suffers.”-NYS Attorney General Letitia James.
Mayor Johnson Appoints Planning Board Members
Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson announced his appointments to the Hudson Planning Board. The appointments are Larry Bowne, Clark Wieman, Stephen Steim, and Teresa Joyner. Betsy Gramkow will be the Chair of the Planning Board. The appointments have been involved in numerous community projects and have important experience that will inform their roles on the Planning Board.
“The Planning Board plays a key role in Hudson’s future and these members will help steer us towards a more equitable and sustainable city.” - Mayor Kamal Johnson
Larry Bowne is a registered architect who has designed dozens of projects, including commissions in New York City; the Hudson Valley; Cushing, ME; Austin, TX; Zurich, Switzerland; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an architect and former professor of architecture, Bowne has collaborated with colleagues and students on several community engagement projects, dedicated to providing design services to historically underrepresented communities. He has a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Bowne is actively involved in Hudson's civic and community affairs. With Peter Spear and others, he organized a series of events in the Spring and Summer of 2019 as part of Future Hudson, which engaged Hudson’s citizens in conversations about their city. He has also participated in outreach and engagement with Our Hudson Waterfront. With Angelyn Chandler, he has launched Hudson Public, dedicated to helping Hudsonians imagine improved circulation and access to important educational, cultural and recreational resources.
Stephen Steim is the executive director of the New Media Advocacy Project (NMAP), where he leads a team of narrative strategists that use visual storytelling, strategic communications, movement building, and cultural engagement to promote equity and justice. NMAP is the impact producer for PUSH, a new feature-length documentary that investigates how private equity and the financialization of housing is fueling the global housing crisis. NMAP is also mentoring a group of activists through its Rights Reframed program that are working on a range of creative advocacy projects about housing rights issues in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
Stephen is a filmmaker by trade and worked previously at Human Rights Watch and on the Obama Senate Campaign. He has a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from St. John's College and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Clark Wieman has over 30 years of experience as a real estate professional with extensive knowledge of architectural design and planning as well as building systems design and controls. He is the founder of Planet - Green Building Services, LLC, a real estate property management consultancy that includes mixed-use commercial and residential properties in Hudson. As owner and operator of 234-238 Warren Street, in Hudson, Wieman integrated upgrades of units, and management of workers, vendors, and contractors for a complete overhaul of a 10,000-square-foot residential and commercial space.
Wieman worked at Cooper Union where he oversaw zoning upgrades to Cooper owned properties, which set the stage for the redevelopment of 3 sites. As Director of Planning and Capital Projects, he also oversaw the planning, design, and construction of 41 Cooper Square academic building, a $175 million, 180,000-square-foot academic facility. He has a Master’s of Urban Planning from New York University. Wieman served on the Planning Board since 2017 and is being appointed to an additional term.
Theresa Joyner worked for the United States Postal Service and served as Superintendent of Finance and Germantown Post Office Postmaster. She recently completed a term serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals. She has also served on boards and committees for the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Hudson Lion’s Club, Columbia County Habitat for Humanity, Hudson Opera House, United Way Board, The Lions Club, Operation Unite Board, Shiloh Baptist Church, and All Nations Church.
Betsy Gramkow and her husband, Ted, are 15-year residents of Hudson’s First Ward. Gramkow has served as a Trustees of the Hudson Area Library, Hudson Hall, and Triform Camphill Community. As a member of Hudson’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Task Force, she Chaired the Waterfront and Transportation Committees.
Gramkow is the Development Director for the Preservation League of New York State, a statewide preservation non-profit in Albany that champions the essential role of historic preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of historic buildings and landscapes. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation and before that, Development Director at Triform. Gramkow has been a member of the Planning Board since 2018.
Gramkow will serve as Chair of the Planning Board. Planning Board Member John Cody will represent the Planning Board on the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency and the Industrial Development Agency. Cody is the former Common Council President.
Talking is Teaching
Mayor Johnson to speak at press conference.
Tuesday, January 7, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
1 North Front Street
Who: Columbia Opportunities, Inc., Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and the Clinton Foundation.
Brief remarks will be made by:
- Peter Taylor, President of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
- Kristen Rocha Aldrich, Associate Program Director, Too Small to Fail
- Serria McGriff, Senior Counselor, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood and Talking is Teaching Trusted Messenger
- Kamal Johnson, Mayor, Hudson, NY
Remarks and the unveiling of campaign materials will take place from 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm.
Visual opportunities will include public remarks, the unveiling of new Talking is Teaching materials including home book boxes, brochures, and posters. There will also be a mass distribution of books on that day to children ages 3-5 in Columbia County. The books are provided by the Early Literacy and Learning Network.
“Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” aims to give parents and caregivers the tools to talk, read and sing more with their young children from birth, increasing meaningful interactions that are critical to healthy brain and language development. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 60 percent of American children start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Research shows that during the first years of life a child’s brain forms one million new neural connections every second and absorbs information like a sponge. This is why simple, everyday interactions with young children-like describing objects seen during a walk or car ride, singing songs, or telling stories- can better prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for their social-emotional development, health, and lifelong learning.
Hudson InaugurationMayor Kamal Johnson, Common Council President Tom DePietro, City Council members, and appointees were sworn-in at a New Year's Day event.
Mayor Kamal Johnson Announces Appointments
Mayor Kamal Johnson announces commissioners, Executive Branch staff, and legal team.
“These appointments have the experience, vision, and commitment to help us achieve a more equitable city.” -Kamal Johnson
Commissioner of Police Peter Volkmann
Johnson is appointing Peter Volkmann as the Police Commissioner. Volkmann graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mercy College and received his Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. Volkmann retired as a police officer and an emergency medical technician with the Town of Ossining, New York Police Department. He served as Stockport Police Chief for four years before becoming the Chatham Police Chief. As Chatham Police Chief, Volkmann has initiated several innovative and successful programs, including the community engagement “Your Cop” program and the alternative to incarceration “Chatham Cares 4 U” program.
“I look forward to working with the Hudson Police, the mayor, and all of Hudson to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents.” -Peter Volkmann.
Commissioner of Public Works Peter Bujanow
Johnson is reappointing Peter Bujanow as the Commissioner of Public Works. Bujanow has been in the position since January 2015. During his nearly four years, he brought a commitment to good government, efficient purchasing and project management, and a collaborative approach. Bujanow supported city initiatives with his expertise in purchasing and effective spending. When the city was reviewing accessibility issues and the possible purchase of the John L. Edwards school, they turned to Bujanow to create the request for proposals (RFP). When the city’s youth department building needed repairs, city council members asked Bujanow to help create a long-term solution. Bujanow graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Sage Graduate School with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has extensive and diverse experience in both private and public sectors and recently retired from a New York State Public Authority where he was responsible for the supervision, management, and fiscal accountability of major capital construction procurement projects throughout New York State.
“Through my professional and government experience, I’ve learned how to manage projects, keep costs down, and get results. I’m happy to offer those skills back and contribute to our community.” -Peter Bujanow
COMMISSIONER OF YOUTH MAIJA REED
Johnson is appointing educator Maija Reed as Youth Commissioner. Reed has an 18-year history of working with youth and families in the city of Hudson. Her educational practice focuses on the individual learner even in group settings, acknowledging care and the development of trusting relationships as key components to life-long learning, knowledge-seeking, and community building.
“Children are our youngest citizens. Respecting and valuing young people as well as giving them voice and visibility is of paramount importance to me in all of the work I do.” -Maija Reed
Reed worked with a wide range of age groups and in a variety of settings. She has worked with young learners beginning in infancy, through elementary, intermediary, high school, and college, as well as continuing education and workshops for adults and seniors. She has worked in schools as an arts educator, in a host of community and arts organizations, at colleges, in private homes and has led education workshops at a variety of venues. She has a BFA from SUNY Purchase, Certificate of Completion Ateliersta Study Intensive from Reggio Emilia International, and Certificate of Completion Foundation Course in Infant Development and Care from RIE (Resources in Infant Educare).
COMMISSIONER OF FIRE TIMOTHY HUTCHINGS
Johnson is reappointing Timothy Hutchings as Fire Commissioner. Hutchings started with the Fire Department as an explorer in 1979 and became a full member in 1981 with J.W. Hoysradt Hose & Chemical Company #8. He served as a Lieutenant for nine years and Captain with Hoysradt Hose for seven years. He also served as Assistant Chief from 2001-2002 and Chief from 2003-2006. He has completed numerous New York State fire training courses as well as several Federal Emergency Management incident command classes. He was recognized in 1999 along with three other members for the rescue and resuscitation of a man trapped in his burning home.
He retired last year from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office where he served for 32 years in the capacities of Corrections Officer and Corrections Sergeant before transferring to the Communications Branch where he retired as a Master Sergeant.
He also previously served for 15 years with the Greenport Rescue Squad finishing his career as a Nationally Registered Paramedic.
COMMISSIONER OF AGING ROBYN WATERS
Johnson is appointing Robyn Waters as Commissioner of Aging. Waters worked as a community organizer for over twenty-five years in support of land conservation, disability rights, food security, and public education. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning and is dual certified in New York State to teach Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. She worked as an advocate for adults with disabilities and with the aging population establishing individualized care plans.
“My goal is to listen and act responsively to the needs of the elders in our community and create inclusive spaces that honor their contributions and provide support as needed. When individuals are given the dignity and care they deserve, communities are transformed.” -Robyn Waters
City Clerk Tracy Delaney
Johnson is reappointing Tracy Delaney as the City Clerk. Tracy has been a clerk since 1990 and has been the City Clerk since 2009. During that time she has taken on an increasing level of responsibility including overseeing the Parking Violations Bureau, improving and managing records management, and streamlining Freedom of Information Law requests.
Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides
Johnson is appointing Michael Chameides as the Mayoral Aide. Michael Chameides serves on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, Columbia County's legislative body, representing Hudson's 3rd Ward. He has worked on city initiatives and has also collaborated with state and federal elected officials and departments. He has professional experience with land use policy, education, communications, strategic planning, and operations. Chameides has been a vocal advocate for affordable housing, public transportation, immigrant rights, and increasing public access to public land.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to support Mayor Johnson and the city of Hudson. I am deeply moved by his commitment for an equitable city.”
Johnson is appointing Cheryl Roberts as Corporation Counsel—Jeff Baker, Victoria Polidoro, Zoe Paolantonio, and Dan Arshack will also join the legal team. The team has experience in environmental and land use policy, criminal justice reform, and municipal law. The team also includes three women, a first for the city of Hudson. While working together to create a more equitable city, each lawyer will have a focus area for the city of Hudson.
Roberts will be returning to the position of Corporation Counsel to help manage the City’s legal work and provide institutional knowledge as Mayor Johnson implements his agenda for change.
Cheryl Roberts is the Executive Director of the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice, a nonprofit founded by Francis Greenburger and Roberts in 2014 to advocate for reforms to the criminal justice and mental health systems. She is also a licensed bond agent providing pro-bono bond agent services to the Columbia County Bail Fund, a nonprofit community bail fund in upstate New York.
Roberts is a former town judge from Columbia County, New York, and became the first woman to serve as Corporation Counsel for the City of Hudson in 2012. Prior to becoming Corporation Counsel, Roberts served in various legal capacities for the City of Hudson including Special Waterfront Counsel and Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission, and Common Council between 2005 and 2011. Roberts also served as counsel to the Hudson Development Corporation from 2008-2015, and the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency from 2013 - 2015. Earlier in her career, she practiced environmental and land use law and served as a counsel to committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Roberts wrote major portions of the coastal consistency legal brief cited in New York’s State’s ruling against the creation of a major cement operation in Hudson, NY. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Planning and Design and a J.D. from Rutgers University.
“I was honored to be asked by Mayor Kamal Johnson to join his administration which is about change, fairness, and inclusion. Our diverse legal team reflects these values and together we are anxious to help the Mayor and Council achieve their legislative and policy goals.” -Cheryl Roberts
Jeff Baker will serve as Assistant Corporation Counsel. He will serve as counsel for the Common Council and Planning Board. Baker has been practicing environmental and land use law in New York since 1987. He was counsel to Friends of Hudson during the review of the St. Lawrence Cement project and subsequently was City of Hudson Assistant Corporation Counsel to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals from 2006-2007. He has served as a town attorney and planning board attorney for several towns as well as special projects attorney for a number of municipalities. Since 1991, he has been counsel to the Coalition of Watershed Towns comprising approximately 40 towns in New York City’s West-of-Hudson watershed. He is currently the Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals in the Town of New Scotland, Albany County where he lives. Mr. Baker received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
“I hope that I can provide my problem-solving abilities to the City and advise city officials on how best to address those challenges.” -Jeff Baker
Zoe Paolantonio will serve as Assistant Corporation Counsel. She will serve as counsel for the Zoning Board of Appeals and also represent the city on Code Enforcement issues at city court. Paolantonio is a family court attorney who has dedicated her career to working in the public interest. Prior to opening her Hudson-based solo practice in 2018, she served as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, as a public benefits attorney at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC and an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Northeastern University Domestic Violence Institute in Boston. Paolantonio got her J.D. from the New England School of Law, where she was published in the Law Review. She belongs to the New York Bar Association, the Columbia County Bar Association and is an active member of the Capital District Women's Bar Association. She has served as a Board member to WiseBodies and the Columbia County Family Resource Center.
“I look forward to working for Hudson with this progressive team.” -Zoe Paolantonio
Victoria Polidoro will serve as Assistant Corporation Counsel. She will serve as counsel for the Historic Preservation Board. Polidoro concentrates her practice in environmental, land use, and municipal law. She currently serves as planning board attorney or zoning board attorney, or both, for the Towns of Dover and Hyde Park and the Villages of Fishkill, Red Hook, and New Paltz. Ms. Polidoro was of counsel in Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, one of the first two decisions in the state defending the right of the Town to ban fracking for natural gas through the use of its zoning law, ultimately affirmed by the Court of Appeals. She was also of counsel in Gabrielli v. Town of New Paltz, which successfully defended the right of the Town of New Paltz to regulate its wetlands and vernal pools in the face of a constitutional and SEQRA challenge. This decision established that towns do not have to accurately map each wetland before enacting a wetlands law, nor do they have to forego regulating vernal pools, though they may exist for only two months a year. Ms. Polidoro got her B.A. from the University of Arizona and J.D. from Pace University Law School.
Daniel Arshack will be serving as Special Waterfront Counsel and will be the lead attorney on updating the Hudson waterfront plan. Arshack is co-founder of The Bronx Defenders. He was the President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a founding member and officer of the International Criminal Bar. For over 30 years, Arshack has handled high-stakes and high-profile criminal cases, civil rights cases, and complex commercial cases that require creative and aggressive representation and delicate negotiations. Arshack got his B.A. from Brandeis University and the University of Stockholm. He obtained his law degree from the Antioch School of Law and he completed post-graduate work in Medical Bio-Ethics and the Humanities at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Einstein School of Medicine. He is the President of the Center for Community Alternatives and has been counsel to Greenpeace and a member of the Natural Resource Defense Council for many years. An avid fisherman and kayaker, Arshack is committed to participating in creating a sustainable environment.
“I have children. Therefore, I am an environmentalist. Especially in the Hudson Valley, how we manage our natural resources and, particularly, our water resources, will determine the quality of life that all of our children and their children will have. Reasonable minds can find solutions to every challenge.” -Dan Arshack
City Releases Plans for City Hall to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities ActThe Mayor has announced the results of the City funded feasibility study for City Hall ADA compliance of These four plans range in cost from $131,000 for simple front door access to $3.14 million for a complete renovation of City Hall. The plans were developed by the design firm of Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson and the schematics designs for each option can be reviewed here.
ADA Feasibility Study Plans
Mayor Rector Suspends Meter Parking Fees For DecemberMayor Rector has suspended putting coins in City of Hudson parking meters for month of December to encourage business in our business district -- that is from December 1 thru December 31, all meters except those in the Amtrak Parking Lost. Have a Happy and productive Holiday Season!
Charge Your E-Vehicle in the Hudson Parking Lot -- Drive Green with $500 National Grid New Car Rebate
The City of Hudson now is open for E-Vehicle business. Six car charging stations are now active in the center of the City Parking Lot on Columbia Street between 5th & 6th Streets.
Plus, National; Grid is offering gifts of $500 to anyone who purchases a electric car before the end of December 2019. Do you have questions about electric vehicles? Free webinar on December 5th!
If you need a new car, or are thinking about going electric for your next car purchase? Curious about electric cars, but don’t know where to start? Drive Green with National Grid is a program to help you learn everything you need to know about driving on electricity.
There are lots of reasons to switch to an electric car: they’re more fun to drive, cheaper to fuel, and way better for the environment than gas guzzlers. Join us for a free webinar about electric vehicles to get your questions answered and learn how to get one!
What: Drive Green with National Grid Webinar
When: Thursday, December 5th, 12 pm or 7 pm
Get tickets: RSVP here
The folks running the webinar are Green Energy Consumers Alliance, the non-profit organization working with National Grid to bring you clean rides.
$500 is enough to cover charging for 12,000 driving miles, jumpstart the installation of your own at-home charging station, or go for a wintertime getaway in your brand new electric car. Learn more and apply for your gift card here. Call us at 800-287-3950 x 7 or email email@example.com with any questions you have about electric cars or this special end-of-year offer.
The Drive Green with National Grid discounts are in addition to the New York State Drive Clean rebate (up to $2,000) and the federal tax credit (up to $7,500). The Drive Green with National Grid web site has a wealth of information about the cars, incentives, charging, environmental impact, and more. Check it out at drivegreen.nationalgridus.com. To qualify for the program discounts, all you have to do is fill out this form.
K.I.S.S. - Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe
K.I.S.S. - Keeping Identities of Seniors SafeDATE: 12/2/2019 – 12/13/2019
TIME: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Location: Hudson City Hall
520 Warren St
Hudson, NY 12534.
The Columbia County KISS Program is once again available to seniors in every town in Columbia County. The KISS Program, founded by Columbia County Clerk Holly Tanner, stands for Keeping the Identities of Seniors Safe. It was designed to protect the identities of our seniors while assisting them in the shredding of their sensitive materials. Seniors are encouraged to contact their local Town Hall for hours of operation and more information on the program. Justin Weaver, Columbia County Clerk’s Records Services Manager, is overseeing the program and can also be contacted with any questions at 518-822-0143.
To view Item Retention Guidelines and Disposal click here.
New Rules for Dogs and People at the New Dog Park
For the purpose of these rules, owner means the person in charge of the dog or dogs at the park.
- The dog park is open from dawn to dusk.
- Use at your own risk. The City of Hudson is not responsible and will have no liability for the acts or omissions of dog owners and their dogs who use the dog park.
- Dog owners must immediately clean up after their dogs.
- Dogs must display a valid license and have up-to-date vaccinations. Puppies younger than four months, female dogs in heat, dogs that are ill or have a history of aggression are not allowed in the dog park.
- No person may bring more than 3 dogs at a time to the park. No more than 15 dogs are allowed in the large dog section at one time and 15 dogs in the small dog section. Small dogs (under 30 pounds) may enter the large dog section at their owners’ discretion, but large dogs (over 30 pounds) are NOT allowed in the small dog section of the park.
- Dogs must be removed from the park at the first sign of aggression toward a human or another dog.
- No food, dog treats, alcoholic beverages, or smoking are allowed in the dog park.
- Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Children are not allowed to chase or taunt the dogs.
- People unaccompanied by dogs and animals other than dogs are not permitted in the dog park.
City Seeks Sole Assessor
The City of Hudson, NY is seeking a certified experienced professional Tax Assessor who will be responsible for citywide assessment. Responsibilities include: working with outside consultant to complete citywide reval; annually valuing all parcels of real property citywide; all clerk duties; entering data in RPS systems, along with all property exemptions; updating all assessment records; and working closely with the city's building department. Candidates should have good knowledge of principles, practices and laws pertaining to Real Property valuation and assessment; be able to prepare and participate at all public hearings of the Board of Assessment Review. Establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with the public is essential.
This is an appointed, part-time position – 3 full workdays per week at $35,000 per year. The position is open until filled. Interested parties are encouraged to apply via email to Hudson’s Mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Meetings Live-Streamed On WGXC
The City Council has arranged with local, listener-supported radio station WGXC to live stream all open city meetings. What this means is you can listen live to all public meetings on your computer as they are taking place. Afterwards, the station eventually archives the recordings. This is an exciting new level of open government. With the WGXC app, you can listen on your phones as well. The attached link will take you to the live stream page--check meeting times to listen in to government in action. https://wavefarm.org/radio/partner-streams/schedule/3s3xd1
The red "broadcasts" button on the upper right is where you can access the developing archive.
JLE Building Adaptive Re-Use Feasibility Study PresentationJohn L. Edwards School Building Feasibility Study Presentation
Hudson Civic Center
Public Forum #2
September 30, 2019
City Clarifies Recycling Rules
Recycling in Hudson is changing to meet the environmental and economic challenges of our times. The City of Hudson's Department of Public Works has clarified the rules for regular pickup of recyclable material -- what is recyclable and what is not. We follow the guidelines of Columbia County's Solid Waste Department, which processes all Hudson's general trash and recyclables after they are collected by DPW.
What does this mean? Recyclables must be on The List (they call it a protocol) and if not on The List, then put those items into the regular trash. Also, recycles cannot be packaged in plastic bags -- they aren't recyclable. So put them out in metal, plastic or cardboard containers.
Here is Columbia County's explanation:
As many of you may be aware, a number of actions taken by China over the past months have begun impacting the recycling markets and state and local programs.
The new proposed standard quality limit is far more stringent than any existing international standard and unless there is an easing to some of the restrictions, market prices will likely be depressed, if markets are available at all. Our goal moving forward is to ensure the highest quality material that could be marketed by both domestic and international markets.
Columbia County like many other municipalities is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and our vendor Casella Recycling to assist in educating residents and looking at potential financial assistance and guidance through this crisis.
Although the US exports a significant amount of recyclables, domestic markets do exist and may expand, perhaps as a direct result of China’s actions. However, these developments might take time and communications are critical to maintain public trust.
Public Comments Sought on DRAFT Local LawsThe Legal Committee of the Common Council is currently reviewing the following Proposed Local Laws (FIRST DRAFTS). The Committee is seeking written comments from the public, please email comments to Common Council President Thomas DePietro (email@example.com):
Short Term Rental Proposed Local Law (DRAFT)
Sidewalk Improvement District Proposed Local Law (DRAFT)
Sidewalk Landowner's Responsibility Proposed Local Law (DRAFT)
UPDATE: President DePietro states the 2nd Draft Proposed Local Law regarding Short Term Rental is in progress and will be posted soon. (7/31/2019)
Resolution No. 7 of June 18, 2019Resolution No. 7 of June 18, 2019
The New York State Retirement System requires that all elected and appointed officials, who are members of the retirement system and are not in a time & attendance system; maintain records of activities for three consecutive months within 150 days of the start of a new term or appointment.
Resolution No. 7 of June 18, 2019
Hudson's Conservation Advisory Council Releases Natural Resources and Open Space Inventory
After four years, two state grants, and hundreds of hours of volunteer effort, the Hudson Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) presented the city's first natural resource and open space inventory to the Common Council at its meeting on Monday, May 13, 7 p.m., at City Hall, 520 Warren Street.
The inventory is a 56-page magazine-style report, including 14 specially created maps and a text explaining them. It provides a broad overview of natural and urban conditions within the city. The report is available free in printed form at City Hall and the Hudson Area Library, and online at the CAC's web page.
The inventory establishes a baseline of information essential to ensuring the health and well-being of Hudson's citizens, civic spaces and natural resources. The new maps show, for example, projections of future sea-level rise and waterfront flooding; the source of the city's drinking water; the presence of rare and endangered species; and where the city has — and lacks — street trees.
The maps and analysis are as accurate as possible, given currently available data and the CAC’s limited resources. However, natural and urban conditions are always evolving. The inventory is offered as a snapshot in time, and the CAC intends that it be updated periodically. It is descriptive, rather than prescriptive — not a planning document itself, but a body of knowledge to be incorporated into planning documents and decisions. It does not answer all questions about the city's natural resources, address political controversies, or initiate any enforcement action. But it does highlight important challenges Hudson faces. It identifies problems needing further study, and suggests possible actions to address them.
The CAC was established in 2015 to provide Hudson's governmental bodies and citizens with objective information about environmental concerns. There are currently several open seats; interested volunteers should contact Common Council President Tom DePietro.
Reminders for the New Year!As many of us use the new year to reflect and start new habits, perhaps it's also a good time to remind our residents about where they can find information about services in Hudson.
Our website has a useful Resident Information page where you can find a lot of the information you may need about living here in Hudson. From parking rules and regulations to when and how to get your refuse and recycling picked up-- you'll find it all!
**Please remember that residents and locals will have to pay for metered parking again as the suspension period is now over.
**Here's a quick link to the Holiday Schedule for 2019. Note: Your Christmas Trees can be put in the alleys and will be picked up by DPW until January 27, 2019.