No-shows show kids how not to govern

HUDSON—Hudson’s Common Council had to cancel its meeting Monday, July 13, because there were too few aldermen attending to make a quorum.

Of the 10 aldermen, only 3 showed up. And the reason that some were absent was to protest the choice of Alderman John Friedman (D-3rd Ward) instead of Majority Leader Alderman Tiffany Garriga (D-2nd Ward) to lead the meeting while Common Council President Don Moore is away.

When asked if a Common Council meeting had ever been canceled before due to lack of quorum, Mr. Friedman answered that not in the four years he has been in office.

Present were Bart Delaney (no party-5th Ward), Mr. Friedman and Rick Rector (D-1st Ward). Absent were Mr. Moore and Aldermen Robert Donahue (D-5th Ward), Henry Haddad (D-3rd Ward), Nicholas Haddad (D-1st Ward), Alexis Keith (D-4th Ward), Abdus Miah (D-2nd Ward), Ohrine Stuart (D-4th Ward) and Ms. Garriga.

Mr. Donahue, by phone July 14, indicated that Mr. Moore knew days in advance that he would not be able to attend the meeting. So he asked Mr. Friedman to serve as substitute president, sitting in the president’s seat during the meeting. Ms. Garriga believed that she, as Majority Leader, should have done so. So on the meeting day, before the meeting, Ms. Garriga “called a protest. She asked me to stay away from the meeting, and I told her I would,” Mr. Donahue said.

At the July 13 meeting that wasn’t, Mr. Delaney said he thought both Nick and Henry Haddad were on vacation.

The July 13 meeting was to be informal, for the public to bring up issues and concerns. And the seats for the audience were full. Over half the audience were youths from Operation Unite, who had come with a counselor to witness how local government operates.

When the 7 p.m. meeting time came, Mr. Friedman said, “Let’s get started.” He first asked the Operation Unite people to stand and praised and thanked them for their civic involvement.

But once their time to stand finished, he said, “Unfortunately, we don’t have a quorum, so we can’t conduct business. Doing so would be unfair to those wards not represented tonight. People came to this informal meeting with issues they wanted to raise for the Common Council to consider at the regular meeting next week. Now, their concerns will not be considered. People came here and wasted their time. This happened because of an example of adults acting like children. Thank you all for coming. But we can’t continue this meeting.”

And with that, he dismissed the gathering and people left.

The next scheduled Common Council meeting will take place Tuesday, July 21, at City Hall, at 7 p.m.

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