For some time, I have not only been impressed by KURA (Kingston Uptown Residents Association) but am ever so grateful to have smarts like that on the case of some very pressing issues here in the city of Kingston. They have successfully hosted meetings to expose residents to important information while tackling the complications of such topics as Kingston’s Nuisance Abatement law, the city’s budget and the confusion of our citywide reval and tax structure.
I had the great pleasure to meet and listen to Gerald and Victoria at Ward 1’s community meeting this past February (by the way, if you haven’t yet seen Ward 1 Alderman Andi Turco-Levin’s blog yet, you must. She is doing an exceptional job at City Hall and in reaching out and listening to her constituents. I highly recommend you bookmark her BLOG.).
On Tuesday, April 20th KURA will host another public information meeting at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston (272 Wall Street) on “How To Appeal Your Property Assessment”. Guest speakers will be Ken Brett, member of the City of Kingston Board of Assessment Review and Mark Grunblatt, Real Estate Attorney in Kingston.
Of course, it must be noted that KingstonCitizens.org learned of Karen Vetere during the now defunct homeowners tax relief group meeting back a year or more ago. Before and since then, Karen has been extremely helpful in working with residents through the maze of making sure their house values and tax increases were correct. There are many who experienced a doubling in their taxes over the course of a year, almost taxing them right out of their homes in one fell swoop. In fact, it’s still a real possibility as things currently are.
Sometimes, the city of Kingston officials seem to work against its citizens with a lack of good planning. That’s not to say there aren’t good people working in city government. What I’m trying to get at here, is that in order for this all to work as it was intended, the citizens need to take an ongoing active role in it all. When it doesn’t work the way it should, it’s partially due to our lack of involvement and oversight.
We need to be paying close attention now and we need to stay the course on whatever issue calls us. Constructive changes don’t occur overnight.
Thanks to those mentioned in this post, and to all of the citizen groups new and old who are working to make the city a cool place to live while trying to incorporate every single one of it’s residents in its rich and diverse community.