Delgado joins Interfaith Council’s annual MLK service Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-19th) joined the Hudson Interfaith Council’s Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service at Shiloh Baptist Church Sunday, January 19. Rep. Delgado (r) presented the “Micah 6:8” leadership award to Pierre S. Jeune (l), a graduating senior from Hudson High School, whom the Congressman described as “an outstanding example of servant-leadership in this community and an exemplary young man.” He also said in a release that it was meaningful “to recognize this college-bound student on the eve of celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — a man who lived his life with unconditional love and service to all.” Pierre was the worship leader at the annual service last year. Photo contributed 

Chatham board’s not yet comfy with comfort dogs

CHATHAM – The Village Board tabled the discussion on a Police Department comfort dog at the regular meeting January 13.

Chief Peter Volkmann had given the board more information on the program between the December and January meetings. He told the board at this month’s meeting that an insurance rider for the dog is needed.

The board had many questions about the program. In December Chief Volkmann told the board that Deputy Chief Joe Alessi was attending a comfort dog training with his dog. The chief said there was no cost to the village and that, once trained, the village police could use the dog as a comfort animal. The board raised some questions at that time and Chief Volkmann provided them with more information. Read more…

New supervisor sees change ahead for New Leb

NEW LEBANON–Tistrya Houghtling, the newly-elected New Lebanon town supervisor, sees her mission as helping to effect change on the local level.

What kind of change? For Ms. Houghtling, a Democrat, it begins with citizen involvement: “The future of my children, of everyone’s children, really depends on getting people involved in the life of the community. That’s where change starts.”

Supervisor Houghtling has three children: Julian (9), Kaitlyn (7) and Harley (4), who, along with her mother, Judy Zimmer, and Deputy Town Supervisor Doug Banker, form The Echoes, a folksy, feel-good band with an inspirational bent. Years before children, and before entering civic life, Ms. Houghtaling managed touring bands and lived on a 40-foot bus, a different city every night. Read more…

Neighbors don’t applaud warehouse theater plan

This empty warehouse at 10 Canal Street belongs to the Village of Philmont, which is leasing it for a theater and arts center. A group of neighbors opposes the plan. Photo by David Lee

PHILMONT–A lot of water has rushed over George P. Philip’s dam in Philmont since it was built in 1845. The Agawamuck Creek powered the textile mills for which Philmont was known in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Philmont was sometimes called Factory Hill. But beginning in 1953 the mills went silent, the Philmont high school closed when the district was centralized in 1952, the last trains went through in 1976. Philmont’s population declined and for a time Philmont has been viewed askance by more upscale parts of the county.

One of the cavernous old mill buildings that remains is, for some, a source of optimism fed by visions of a revitalized village. Others say that plans to make the building into a theater and arts center don’t comply with village zoning and amount to “an accident waiting to happen.” Read more…

Dems: Help Wanted, full-time job, $65K

HUDSON—The two commissioners of the Columbia County Board of Elections—one Republican, one Democrat—are changing this year.

Historically, the positions, which are political appointments, have been part-time, renewable every two years. But last fall the county Board of Supervisors budgeted for and made the positions full-time, at a salary of $65,000 each. The changes took effect January 1, 2020, the start of the commissioners’ new term. The GOP has its commissioner in place. County Democrats don’t.

In the case of the Republicans, the transition seems to have gone smoothly. Former commissioner Jason Nastke of Valatie, “has full-time employment in the private sector,” Gregory C. Fingar, chairman of the Columbia County Republican Committee (CCRC), said in an email January 20. He “was not able to continue as the Republican commissioner in the new full-time capacity.” Read more…

Hudson school board meets new administrators

HUDSON–At the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting January 7, Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier welcomed two new administrators and a departing administrator offered an overview of preparations for the upcoming district budget.

The new administrators are Amanda Klopott, associate principal of the Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School (MCS) as of January 21, and Jesse Boehme, who will become the district business administrator February 10. Ms. Klopott replaces Lisa Ruud, and Mr. Boehme replaces Sharifa Carbon, both of whom have taken administrative positions in other school districts.

Ms. Carbon spent much of the meeting updating the board on the financial status of the HCSD, alerting members to requirements, expectations and uncertainties associated with next year’s budget. One uncertainty every year is how much state aid the district will receive. Another one this year is what the courts will decide about last year’s reassessment of property in the City of Hudson. Some property owners, unable to get their assessment lowered “enough” by the city, have taken their cases to court. The “worst case” scenario would be a court order that the district must pay back some taxpayer money. Read more…