Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan

Since the release of The Leader Herald article entitled, “Group Wants to Update Gloversville’s Master Plan,” I’ve encountered some people who seem to think that, with all Gloversville’s problems, this is just another waste of time and money.

To those who feel this way, I really believe you have it backward.  It has been the lack of a plan, of a city-wide consensus, that has caused this city to spend decades lurching from one crisis to another.

Nothing exemplifies this more than the current Comprehensive (Master) Plan that collects dust unused, just like the 1995 and 1972 plans that preceded it.  These were created by committee with minimal public involvement, did not reflect a consensus of the population, and consequently were quickly forgotten and abandoned.

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New and Improved

One of the expectations I’d had for this blog from the beginning was to make it a resource for others to use.  I have finally figured out how to do that.

Over the next few months, I’ll be populating the new pages of this blog (found at the top underneath the blog name) with all of the material I’ve been scanning for the last few years.  The headers currently provided seem to work well for an organized breakdown of this information.  Still, I’m sure as this project grows the headers will change and the whole thing be made as detailed and manageable as possible.  Expect change!

As of now, I’ve only populated some of the months in 2004, just to get an idea what the whole thing will look like.  There is obviously much more to do (in the scanning and populating department) but hopefully you will all have an ever improving  searchable database in the near future.

I am willing to take submissions as well.  If you have materials that you can scan into .pdf format that you have not already been able to find on the site, feel free to forward them and I’ll upload them.  Specifically, I am referring to city documents that may add to a rich and in-depth research database for future area political leaders and those monitoring their actions.

If you have paper and no ability to scan, Derby printing is ready and willing to do this for you – for a price (and they are pretty reasonable actually).  In certain cases, I’ll consider doing it myself.  My only problem in accepting paper documents is that I have to avoid suddenly being flooded with paper.  I’ve been on a three year quest to scan 8 file boxes of paper.  I am not interested in crowding the house with more again.

Spanish born American philosopher George Santayana (not to be confused with the guitarist) is quoted as saying, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  Those words are very true, and just in the last 8 years of observing politics in this community I’ve found them to be startlingly accurate.  The goal of this database is to reduce the number of times those repeats happen, and to make any further repeats that must occur at least more informed so that forward progress is being made rather than spinning the wheels one more time.

Feel free to suggest improvements, categories, layout concept ideas and so forth.  This may be my blog, but the database needs to work for everyone.

Thank you

 

–Lance

 

Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 4:14 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Animal Holding Unit is not a waste of Money

In October 2005 as part of budget discussions, I casually mentioned some problems I had with the contract the city had at the time with the Brennan Humane Society.  The contract we had with them had morphed over the years and parts of it now referenced sections that no longer existed.  Basically, it needed to be rewritten.

At the same time, I was concerned that we were paying something like $15,000 for this service, but compared to the number of animals that were actually being transported out there our cost was amounting to several hundreds of dollars per animal.  Not only was the city’s fine structure not even close to capable of recouping that loss, but the rate seemed quite exhorbitant.  There was no accountability for the money we were paying.

In the end, council decided tacking that issue in 2005 for the 2006 budget was a bridge too far.  The issue was dropped and the contract re-ratified for another year as is.

That was the ONLY time I’d ever mentioned the topic.  Due to more pressing matters, it wasn’t even on the radar for budget discussions in 2006 for 2007.  That is, until one fateful day in early November 2006.  I was on the road to New York City with my family when Joan Neherbauer called me and started screaming at me for comments I’d made in a Leader Herald article – an article I had never been interviewed for and didn’t even know existed.

Ms. Neherbauer wasn’t interested in explanations, remained rude on the phone (people in the car could hear her screaming at me while I was using a blue tooth headset), and over the course of the next 60 days continued to ratchet up a one-sided war of words which culminated in face time in from of television news organizations by her.

We soon came to learn that Gloversville was not alone in receiving this sort of tough love from Ms. Nehrbauer, but we were determined to find some sort of compromise.  Therefore, forgoing sleep on a day I had to work nights, in late morning of Friday, December 29, 2006 (a date that will live in infamy), Cynthia Morey, Police Chief John Harzinski, and I sat in the lounge area of City Hall working on changes that would be needed to come to accomodation with  the Brennan Humane Society.  Later that same day, Mayor Tim Hughes attempted to deliver the amended contract to Ms. Nehrbauer for her consideration only to be turned away because of television crews filming her outrage over treatment received by the City of Gloversville.

That was the last straw.  It became evident at that point there were not two entities interested in negotiations.  There was the City of Gloversville with legitimate concerns about the condition of the contract and the cost of service, and then there was the Brennan Humane Society, whose leader was grandstanding on professed outrage but never actually working with us at all.  At that point we actively sought alternatives, one of which turned out to be Dr. Bluvas’ practice on Route 29.  The other was the idea of running our own shelter.  Gloversville used to have its own many years earlier, but for various reasons chose not to continue and contracted with the BHS.

Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 4:13 AM  Leave a Comment