Common Council Goes On Record

(Note the signature list of legislators)

 

From the Albany County Common Council:

The Black Lives Matter movement is sounding an alarm across the U.S., highlighting the disparate nature of how justice is inequitably administered in America. As challenges mount and tensions soar regarding community and police relationships across the nation, it has prompted us to look locally, here in the City of Albany, at our own challenges and areas in need of improvement. Without question, we must work together to find solutions.


Over the past several weeks, the Albany Common Council has heard questions and concerns from many people about the events that led to the tragic loss of Donald “Dontay” Ivy’s life. On Friday, May 15, Acting Chief Cox outlined a new policy on the use of Tasers and plans for body cameras in the future. These are meaningful steps forward after Mr. Ivy’s tragic death and the serious disabling of another resident. As our Police Department and District Attorney's office conduct separate investigations into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Ivy's death, we must keep the family and community in our prayers. We must also remain open to learning more about what happened and build a coalition dedicated to preventing similar tragedies in our city.

In late 2009, in response to the cries of neighborhood leaders and many elected officials in our city, the Albany Police Department changed direction and began to implement a community policing philosophy by working with residents throughout the city. We recognize the important strides that have been made by the men and women of our police department building trust in our neighborhoods. We also recognize that there is still more work to be done – particularly in our communities of color.

Read more: Common Council Goes On Record

AlbCo Efficiency Plan to Save $15.8 Million

From the County Exec:

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, County Comptroller Mike Conners and 29 local government leaders today announced that that county has completed the Countywide Government Efficiency Plan. The plan, as submitted to the state in accordance with the Property Tax Freeze Credit Law, was prepared by the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz under the leadership of Dr. Gerald Benjamin.

The report details how since 2012 Albany County and local governments have implemented efficiencies, mergers and shared service agreements that will realize $15.8 million in annual savings in fiscal years 2017-19.

County Executive McCoy noted that the county’s target for savings was $899,473 and that the savings the county is reporting is more than $6 million, over $5 million more than what Albany County on its own was required to achieve by law. The recent management changes at the Albany County Nursing Home account for approximately half of the savings.

Read more: AlbCo Efficiency Plan to Save $15.8 Million

DGS Announces Updates at Capital Hills

From DGS (and I don't know who he's got writing for him but this is a more lively press release that most! Nice reading!)

 

The Department of General Services (DGS) today announced new features of the city owned and operated golf course, Capital Hills.

 

"There’s no better way to spend a summer day than at an incredible city resource like Capital Hills," said DGS Commissioner Daniel C. Mirabile.

Golfers can now book tee times for up to four players on a new mobile, responsive website available at CapHills.com. Capital Hills offers discounts to city residents, juniors, and seniors, which are applied upon arrival at the course. Anyone who signs up for updates and specials through the Capital Hills eClub will receive a free golf cart rental within one week of their birthday.

Capital Hills hosts championships throughout the summer, including the 2015 City of Albany Championship from July 18 to 19. A fee of $90 per player includes greens fees, range balls, a sleeve of Nike golf balls, and prizes. The deadline for entry is Wednesday, July 16 at 6 p.m.

Read more: DGS Announces Updates at Capital Hills

"What an Expensive Dump!"

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing an awful lot of “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs. In my hood, it seems as if the entire block is constantly “For Rent.” Heck, I’ve had a new next door neighbor every month in one rather pricey apartment.

From the renters, I hear that they are paying too much to put up with the crap in Center Square and from the “Sellers” I’m hearing that they are tired of paying sky high taxes and getting minimal return. I don’t know what all the chatter is about, I mean, don’t my neighbors enjoy the  squatters drinking booze all night as they party and snooze on the stoop of the seemingly abandoned 261 State Street.

Like the renters and homeowners, these squatters migrate to the area that is the most comfortable for them. No high taxes, entertainment a-plenty, the food pantry is to the church at the right and the soup kitchen is across the street. Oh, the pleasure of being serenaded by a pack of Albany’s bums every morning. The yelping, back slapping and singing (some have even brought musical instruments) fills my senses with the joy of living in a “most desirable” neighborhood…and today the boys even had their female “groupies” with them awaiting the soup kitchen’s opening.

My block seems to be in the midst of hosting one of the largest and happiest growing population of bums…and now they seem to have nesting partners. Oh, the joy of bum parenthood…right there on the sidewalk with a little crack toast to celebrate.

As if my homeless neighbors aren’t intriguing enough, a daily walk at State and Lark leads me to ponder the fate of the long abandoned and soon to be abandoned businesses. An powerful anchor of Lark Street, John DeJohn’s restaurants shame the neighborhood as they hit the foreclosure auction block. DeJohn, always at the ready for neighborhood events and fundraising, was slapped down by the neighborhood progs who enjoyed the food and entertainment…but wanted DeJohn to shut the place down after their “senior” hours.

Interestingly those same progs complaining about all the “traffic” and “noise” they claimed was generated solely by DeJohn’s establishments began their online complaining about smashed windows, midnight graffiti, roving teens destroying decorative displays which flourished with the demise of the Lark Street night life. Now they are plotting to lure some “good” business into the buildings DeJohn had productively occupied for so many years until the progs railroaded him out of town. I ask my whining neighbors…if you want to what’s wrong with this hood…look in the mirror.

John, and a whole bunch of other business types are evacuating the declining population of Center Square…the one building being erected has stalled multiple times and has dragged into a multi-year stall. I’m betting they are fed up with selective restrictions in Albany.

John DeJohn, with his departure from Albany’s former “hot spots,” seems to have the right idea. Perhaps my readers can tell me…why would anyone, other than the homeless, chose to live in Albany?

And, if this isn’t enough to scare any potential homeowners out of Albany real estate, check out this google pic I found while checking out a Craigslist rental.

 (There is actually a kid standing in my cropped picture...right there "where the sidewalk ends. I'll try to fix it as time permits.)

St. Patrick's Parade Success (If Your Eyes Were Closed)

On Saturday afternoon, I took a 10AM break from my weekend chores to visit the normally staked out St. Paddy’s parade route. The route was empty except for a half-erected LarkStreet BID canapy. Later in the day, a fellow traveler, Carney, showed up and we explored the  parade route an hour in advance of the parade and then 20 minutes in advance of the parade…still, no spectators but our hopes were high as Albany had just pulled off a miracle win in basketball and the kiddos would need fertile party ground.

We camp in front of the deserted Subway shop watching the stationed APD patrol (or NOT patrol) for opportunities to ticket drinkers of the ales. I was quite entertained as each cheer from the arriving students brought a police officer to turn his back on the scene and smile. It appears, the ever creative student drinkers had disguised the gin and juice in Dunkin Donut Styrofoam cups (yes, that’s a double for Albany legislation…an open container and Styrofoam violation…be still my heart!!)

Read more: St. Patrick's Parade Success (If Your Eyes Were Closed)

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