Members of the Kingston Common Council have decided that it was in the publics best interest for a municipal lawyer to work specifically with the Council on matters when the Corporation Council does not cooperate.
With at least a year left under the current administration, it is unfortunate that the council is forced to go this route – but it’s important that they do. If you agree, please come to the Kingston Common Council meeting on Tuesday, December 2nd in support of their efforts.Kingston citizens, show your support with the Kingston Common Council allocating $25,000 budget line in the 2014 budget to hire a separate municipal lawyer to represent our Common Council whenever deemed necessary. Public comment starts shortly after the meeting begins at 7:30pm.
If you are not able to attend the meeting, please consider sending this letter or one of your own via email to:
SUBJECT: I support the Kingston Common Council Decision to Legal Representation.
To: James Noble, Alderman-at-large email@example.com CC: Matt Dunn, Majority Leader
firstname.lastname@example.org Deb Brown, Minority Leader
email@example.com Mayor Shayne Gallo
My name is xxx and I am a Kingston City Resident residing on xxxx.
I am writing in support of the Kingston Common Council placing $25,000 in the 2014 City Budget towards a municipal lawyer that specifically responds to the needs of the Council whenever they deem it necessary throughout the budgeted year.
The attached letter was written by Town of Woodstock Supervisor Jeremy Wilber who shares solid arguments as to why the DEC should be Lead Agency in SEQR for the proposed Niagara Water Bottling project. In contrast for me, it raises more concerns as to Kingston Corporation Council Andy Zweben’s recent letter also to the DEC. Where are his loyalties placed?
Luckily, Kingston’s Common Council are asking the same questions and will vote on a Memoralizing resolution in support of the COK being an ‘Involved Agency’ in SEQR on Tuesday, November 4th.
The Niagara Bottling Company’s proposal must be thoroughly evaluated for its environmental and economic impacts on our region. It is premature and irresponsible to agree to sell our water before due diligence is performed.
Kingston City Hall
The Kingston Common Council will vote to pass through two important memorializing resolutions. The first in support of the DEC as Lead Agency of the SEQR process for the proposed Niagara Bottling Company. The second in support of the City of Kingston being listed as ‘involved’ agency in the SEQR process. READ: SEQR: Interested vs. Involved Agencies
Recently, we reached out to the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) to see if we could receive a copy of the most recent Water Supply Permit by the City of Kingston. They asked that we FOIL (NYS’s Freedom of Information Law) for their records, which we did.
VIEW the post on KingstonCitizens.org VIEW the event invitation on Facebook
Kingston Common Council Meeting
WHEN Tuesday, October 7th at 7:30pm
WHERE Kingston City Hall
Council Chambers (top floor)
420 Broadway (across from the Kingston High School)
By Rebecca Martin
It’s great to see so many residents and neighbors planning to attend the Common Council meeting on Tuesday, October 7th to speak or to simply be present on the proposed Niagara Bottling Co. project.
As you know, the Niagara Bottling Co. project came out of the blue for most everyone with an early article in the Times Herald Record (September 10th) and shortly after, making front page news in both the Daily Freeman and Kingston Times. From the proposal presented by Peter Romano of the Chazen Company to the Town of Ulster Planning Board on September 16th, Niagara Bottling Co. expressed their desire to begin their build in 2015. In doing so, they would be using the City of Kingston’s Cooper Lake to bottle and to sell as well as scouting out other ‘spring’ sources in Ulster County and beyond. The project was approved to be sent for a SEQRA review with the Town of Ulster Town Board taking the lead. A resolution was granted on 9/18/14 – just about the time the public became aware by the media. Romano’s presentations were not on either agendas posted by the Town of Ulster.
Because of the swiftness of it all, KingstonCitizens.org prepared a Facebook event so that the public could go in front of the Common Council as soon as possible. Although our passion for the subject is a no-brainer, this effort also illustrates how important it is to the people for transparent processes to be a priority for all local municipalities. Local officials, take note.
(It may be necessary to do the very same thing at the next Town of Ulster Town Board meeting, too. Their next Town Board meeting is on Thursday, October 16th at 7:00pm. Public comment appears to occur later in the meeting. Stay tuned).
WHAT TO EXPECT. WHAT TO DO
1. ARRIVAL: We expect a very large turnout. The meeting begins at 7:30pm, so please plan to arrive early (7:00pm) so to find parking, to sign-up to speak when the list becomes available and to get a seat. It’ll be standing room only.
2. KINGSTON COMMON COUNCIL: It appears that the Common Council were caught off guard as much as we were. Many, if not most, are as concerned too. As a first step, lets work with the council in finding a solution by including an action that you wish the Council to take that is well within their jurisdiction and abilities. We want them to come back to the table with an action in response to the public’s requests.
In Kingston, those that issued the ‘will share’ was City of Kingston Superintendent Judy Hansen of the Kingston Water Department. As an independent board, The Mayor of Kingston is the only public official who is a member. Ward 2 Alderman Brian Seche was given the role as council liaison, though it is unclear if he ever attended a meeting. The council, unfortunately, was never alerted.
Suggested Actions to request:
– For the Common Council to organize a public hearing/debate with city officials and guest speakers (such as Food & Water Watch).
– That a resolution be drafted to protect groundwater and Kingston’s surface water (Cooper Lake) from being being sold to private companies to bottle and to sell.
3. PUBLIC COMMENT: The public is taking advantage of the council meeting “public comment” period where anyone is able to speak. On his evening, we will be discussing Niagara, the use of Cooper Lake, and other items. As per council rules, council members “are not allowed to engage in debate during this period.” If the project gets any further, there will be time for debate and more. That’s a promise.
3. COMMENT LENGTH: Because of the number of people who will want to speak on the 7th, we ask that you come prepared with a statement. What is typical is that a speaker is given 3 minutes each. Try to keep it to that length and as noted above, consider ending with an action that you wish the Kingston Common Council to make that is in their jurisdiction.
4. THOSE IN FAVOR…: Jobs will be the argument made by those who attend in favor of the Niagara Bottling Co. project. For those who wish to, please prepare facts to counter.
5. FILMING: The public comment period will be filmed.
If you have further questions, please send them along to Rebecca Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have recently created a Facebook invitation for the next Common Council meeting on Tuesday, October 7th. Please consider coming to speak during public comment (at the beginning of the meeting) on the proposed Niagara Bottling Co. plan to bottle and sell Kingston City Water.
The timing here is crucial, given that the group has apparently been in private talks with City officials for several months. Media reports say that they are planning to get moving as early as 2015.
KingstonCitizens.org to host a public educational forum and discussion, the second in its series, called “Exploring the Role of Kingston’s Common Council” on Wednesday, May 28th at the Kingston Public Library 55 Franklin Street, in Kingston NY from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Panel guests include Alderman-at-Large James Noble, Majority Leader and Ward One (1) Alderman Matt Dunn and Minority Leader and Ward Nine (9) Alderwoman Deb Brown.
Kingston, NY – The city of Kingston has a total of nine wards, each having a single representative to act on their behalf. The “Alderwoman or Alderman” (the role of the ‘common man’) carries a two year term and collectively, acts as the city of Kingston’s legislative body that is also as the “Common Council”.
KingstonCitizens.org is pleased to present, the second in an ongoing educational series on civics in Kingston, a public forum discussion called “Exploring the Role of Kingston’s Common Council” on, Wednesday, May 28th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Kingston Public Library located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston, NY. All are invited to attend.
Guest panelists include James Noble, Alderman-at-Large; Matt Dunn, Majority Leader (Democrat) and Ward 1 Alderman; and Deb Brown, Minority Leader (Republican) and Ward 9 Alderwoman. The group will discuss their roles and relationship to their ward, constituents, council and collaboration with those at Kingston City Hall.
The evening will be co-moderated by Rebecca Martin, founder of KingstonCitizens.org and Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Principal at Hone Strategic, LLC and the former Deputy Director of Planning at Ulster County.
This event will be streamed courtesy of Kingston News.
About KingstonCitizens.org: KingstonCitizens.org is a non-partisan, citizen-run organization focused on relevant and current issues about Kingston, N.Y and working to foster transparent communication by encouraging growing citizen participation. The founder of KC.org and evening co-moderator Rebecca Martin is a world renowned and critically acclaimed musician who has 25 years of experience as a manager, community organizer and activist.
About Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Principal at Hone Strategic, LLC: Berky, the evening’s co-moderator, has over 25 twenty years of experience in the fields of architecture, conservation, economic development, and urban planning in the non-profit, government, academic and private sectors. Prior to launching Hone Strategic, she served as Deputy Director of Ulster County Planning for over seven years, where she was the lead researcher and liaison to the Ulster County Charter Commission. Before moving to Ulster County, she worked in Washington, DC at the World Bank and Urban Institute, at the University of Rome (Italy) and as a project manager of design and construction for New York City’s major cultural institutions. Berky has lived for extended periods in Argentina, Chile, France, Israel, Italy, and Spain. She earned a B.A. in Art History from SUNY Stony Brook and Masters’ degrees in Urban Planning (M.Phil.) and Real Estate Development (M.S.) at Columbia University, where she is also currently completing a Ph.D. in Urban Planning on the subject of environmental economics.