Efforts by village to fast track zoning proceed slowly

CHATHAM – Members of the Village Board reviewed proposed changes to the village zoning law at a special meeting last month.

Mayor Tom Curran and board members Lenore Packet, Gunnar Wordon and Mike Wollowitz reviewed the changes that Village Attorney Ken Dow made to several parts of a draft for the updated zoning law, including the definitions for the law for home occupations, the requirements for the site plan review and special use permits.

After about two hours of reviewing the changes, Mr. Wollowitz suggested that the changes be shared through a Google doc (online), with board members making comments there for Mr. Dow to review. Mr. Wollowitz pointed out that the board supported most of the changes Mr. Dow had made to the original draft created by the village Zoning Revision Committee. Read more…

Advocates for homeless back motel plan

HUDSON–The Galvan Foundation’s offer of rooms in the Galvan Civic Motel (GCM) on the border of Greenport and Livingston has drawn comment from social service providers and educators.

The foundation, which makes local grants and was founded by real estate developer T. Eric Galloway and Henry van Ameringen, wants the county to use the motel as emergency housing for people who need a roof over their head. The county would pay the cost for the room and the Galvan Foundation—which is currently refurbishing the motel–would use part of the revenue for on-site social services, including coaching people to help them find permanent housing. The motel would have enough rooms to house about a quarter of the people listed with the Columbia County Department of Social Services (DSS) as “homeless.”

Major priorities for the Galvan Civic Motel include child-friendly features and a public perception that it is a welcoming place for children. The DSS envisions housing families with children there. The motel is currently undergoing a major reconstruction by the foundation. Read more…

Florida tragedy spurs local concern

CHATHAM–Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting saw the members of the public come together to offer support to one another after the recent school shooting in Parkland, FL. Many of those who spoke expressed their concern for the safety of students in Chatham, but more so they pledged to assist the school district in any way they could.

“We have to stop pretending that this is not going to happen in our hometown,” said Lisa Light Rugen, a Chatham resident. “And we should do everything we can to protect our community.

Mrs. Rugen said she had no desire to spark a gun control debate, but that everyone needed to focus on things that the community did have control over, namely working together. Person after person stood up in the meeting to say they didn’t know what needed to be done, but they were there to help in any manner. Read more…

Protestors return to Kinderhook green

KINDERHOOK–Demonstrators gathered Monday, February 19, in front of the Kinderhook district office of Rep. John Faso (R-19th) for a “Not My President’s Day” rally. The event was organized by Indivisible Chatham NY (ICNY) in protest of the policies and agendas supported by President Trump’s and Rep. Faso.

Alan Gelb, president of ICNY, said Mr. Faso’s has “problematic” stands on a number of issues. “This is especially true with his support of the NRA, and we’re hoping to bring awareness to the public,” he said.

ICNY’s statement of purpose calls in part for putting pressure on members of Congress to “uphold the democratic ideals upon which our nation was founded.” Read more…

Candidates picked for special Assembly elections

Reprinted with permission from the Times Unioin

TROY – Two Rensselaer County legislators will run against each other in the April 24 special election to fill the vacant 107th Assembly District seat.

Cindy Doran (D-Troy) and Jake Ashby (R-Schodack) will compete for the job vacated by Republican County Executive Steven McLaughlin when he won the countywide office.

Ms. Doran will appear on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. Mr. Ashby has the Republican, Independence and Conservative ballot positions. They were selected by the party committees. Read more…