Kingston Resident Changes NYSDOT Sites Statewide

WATCH/LISTEN: “Here is the audible improvement, the last of the three segments is where we are now. The birds are louder!” said Lisa Darling

This is such a great story!


Kingston, NY: Assemblyman Kevin Cahill’s office ensured positive change for neighbors of 60 NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) facilities throughout the state, an initiative stemming from efforts spearheaded by Kingston, NY resident and sound healing artist Lisa Darling. A few months after moving into her new home, Darling was stunned to hear the ongoing sound of a loud-piercing backup beeper throughout the night as the facility operated to maintain winter roads. When Darling approached the DOT, their response was that they were getting accolades for the good work they were doing, and they were not going to change anything”. They said, “this is how it has always been”. 

In her original outreach, after making calls to state officials with no response, Darling took the advice of a friend and reached out to, a local non-partisan citizen engagement organization. They provided a roadmap of Kingston’s local government, along with a direct introduction to Darling’s council member Jeffrey Ventura Morrel (D-Ward 1). Darling created a petition with her neighbor Chas Gritman and together, collected 40 names asking DOT officials to consider alternatives to the high-pitched alarms. Morrel involved Darling’s County Legislator Abe Uchitelle (D-District 5), and leveraging the petition, Uchitelle gained the attention of state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston)’s office. Darling also reached out to noise-reduction advocates, researched the link between noise and erosion of health, and looked for OSHA-approved alternatives, discovering that federal workplace safety rules offer options to traditional backup alarms. The equipment used by the DOT was in use for the simple reason that it came pre-installed on the agency’s loaders and other vehicles.

Staff at Cahill’s Kingston office reached out directly to the DOT, who agreed to pilot a less intrusive white noise reverse alarm, finally deciding to approve the alternative device at the Kingston location and at all DOT facilities statewide. 

“It’s thrilling to make a change in your local community and transform a problem at home and for communities throughout the state,” said Darling. “I hope that others can become inspired to work with their local officials. Being civically engaged really works.”

For more information, please contact Lisa Darling lisamdarling (at)

No Time to Waste: Zero Waste in Ulster County

By Rebecca Martin

With much emphasis on solid waste management issues in the Hudson Valley, what short term solutions are there to our current unsustainable consumption of stuff?

City of Kingston Recycling

The City of Kingston has a weekly recycling program where the materials are taken to the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA). It removes accepted materials out of the waste stream, but there are many gaps where we end up throwing much of what we consume away in the trash. From clam shells and toothbrushes to single use batteries and latex paint, in Ulster County, these are just some of the materials that end up in the Seneca Meadows landfill that is set to close in 2025 some 235 miles away from here.

Ulster County Recycling Oversight Committee and UCRRA

The Ulster County Recycling Oversight Committee is a committee that meets quarterly and has some authority in determining any new types of recyclable materials accepted in Ulster County. This becomes complicated, as the potential investment of equipment and capacity must also be accounted for for any new materials not currently accepted. This can be costly out front. However, the costs to travel our waste so far away and with tipping fees, or establishing a new landfill in Ulster County? How about calculating the environmental harms? What are those costs and in the long run, would they offset the needed investment? Imagine if companies were made to include the backend of disposing of their packaging? There are probably large lobbying efforts against it, because it would be cost prohibitive for them. But if lawmakers are serious about solid waste, then those brave souls who are in it for the public good come together and push back to succeed, it would certainly provoke a nearly immediate culture shift. (1)

Last I knew, the Zero Waste 2020 plan in Ulster County stalled in the Energy and Environment committee due to timeline differences between the legislature and UCRRA. UCRRA recently was selected as “one of eleven recipients of the 2020-2021 Community Grants Program, a project of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I). UCRRA will launch a county-wide community engagement campaign, the UCRRA Zero Waste Seminar Project, to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of single use plastics, and how waste reduction and reuse can be practical strategies for pollution prevention.” So it appears to be coming.

Out of site, out of mind

Meanwhile, the Ulster County Solid Waste Management plan was recently approved by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Written into it, an “emerging technology” known as BioHiTech that we lobbied against. BioHiTech is merely a Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF), first in collecting municipal waste. After removing any valuable metals, the plastic and fibers are dried and shredded into confetti.  They are then trucked away to cement plants where it is incinerated to supplement coal in creating energy. The remaining waste is dumped in unnamed landfills or garbage incinerators. It is unprincipled for materials to be trucked away as far as Pennsylvania where the output of the incineration is dealt by the neighboring communities several states away from where the waste was generated. Most of the time, these are environmental justice communities that lack resources or a voice to improve their circumstances. We mustn’t contribute to it.

Last year, reached out to Institute for Local Self Reliance who generously reviewed Ulster County’s Solid Waste Management Plan. They summarized the good and the bad, stating that “Citizens should request participation in the decision-making process used by UCRRA to determine how the Plan will be implemented. The City Council of Honolulu just passed a resolution calling for zero waste experts to be part of decision-making for the $2 billion of federal pandemic relief funds that have been allocated to the city. The County should develop a zero waste purchasing/procurement guidelines that are available from organizations. These programs reduce costs and reduce the County’s environmental footprint.”

Zero Waste now

In the meantime, there are a couple of local opportunities that can help.

In Red Hook, The Ozone Sustainability Center provide options, including taking in some of those hard to recycle items by partnering with Terracycle. (2)

They also accept single use alkaline batteries that are currently being encouraged to be thrown in the trash. This is partly due to the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act passed in 1996 that phased out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries, making them less of an issue when disposed in landfills. But this doesn’t mean alkaline batteries are not recyclable. The Ozone in Red Hook is the only place we’ve found within 25 miles of Kingston that takes them. The cost is $0.10 per battery, and a non-conductive clear tape must be used on the positive ends when they are returned to keep them from sparking. I personally haven’t felt comfortable throwing them out and I’ve kept a bucket in the basement for them for years. Today, we delivered nearly 200 of them and the effort and the cost gave me pause. It’s easy to understand why they will mostly end up in the dump.

In Kingston, the brand new Village Grocery & Refillery located at 2 Jansen Street in downtown Kingston has a fill-up station for laundry & dish soap, shampoo and all sorts of other household and personal items. Check it out.

We’ve got a “mountain to climb

Seneca Meadows’ mountain of trash is going to come to a screeching halt soon. Those who are passionate about this issue can reach out to the Ulster County legislature, who have direct oversight of UCRRA, to learn how to plug in. You can also contact your Kingston Council member and let them know that you want Kingston to do more on the zero waste front. It’s a problem that can only be solved when we are all involved.

ADDITIONS (7/5 @ 9am)

(1) The proposed “Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act” (Federal), offers some hope that we can stop some of the production of plastic and hold producers accountable.  Learn more and take action by clicking the link. (Thanks Tanya!)

(2) Unfortunately, Terracycle also sends materials to the incinerator.

Kingston’s Charter prevents checks and balances

By Rebecca Martin

In the City of Kingston’s Charter Article X section C10-1 (a)  it says that “The Corporation Counsel shall be appointed by the Mayor. The Corporation Counsel will serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.”

That means that the mayor can hire/remove members of the corporation counsel at any time, serving at their “pleasure”. They haven’t civil service protection.

In section (b):  “The Corporation Counsel shall be the primary legal advisor of the Mayor, Common Council and of all commissions, departments and other offices of the city. The Corporation Counsel shall conduct, supervise or monitor, as required, the prosecution and defense of all actions or proceedings brought by or against the city or by or against any of its officers in their official capacity and appeal from all such orders, decisions and judgments as he or she deems advisable.”

Building on that, the mayor’s counsel represents the mayor (executive branch) all boards, committees and commissions as well as the council (the legislative branch) and department staff too – who like everyone else at city hall, may or may not have civil service protection and can be hired/removed at the mayor’s whim.

Going further, in Article XV section C15-4 “other boards and commissions”

“…Successors to these other commissions, boards or agencies shall be appointed by the Mayor as their terms severely expire or as vacancies occur.”

In other words, the mayor has the authority to also appoint/remove all members of committees, boards and commission members, the community volunteers who we rely on to freely interpret our current policies and laws for the public good, are also guided by city hall staff. Going backwards, many of those city staff are beholden to the mayor.

That’s a whole lot of influence by one person and that’s obviously not a good scenario for a healthy democracy in Kingston. A monarchy is more like it.

The council understands that Kingston’s charter needs to be addressed in order for the legislative branch to provide its critical work in providing checks and balances to the executive branch. On June 17 of 2020, they invited Wade Beltramo, General Counsel of the New York Conference of Mayors – NYCOM to give a presentation and overview on charter reform. 

You can watch it from the start HERE

So what’s getting in the way of charter reform moving forward?   Ward 9 Alderwoman Hirsch, a “progressive” democrat, provides a clue. She is not alone in her concern of the public’s voice here. It’s a bitter pill for the old guard to contemplate losing an ounce of power that they have and that she is upholding.

As of late, the Kingston democrats have ushered in the Kingstonian PILOT for luxury housing, and initially worked against a censure for Hector Rodriguez’s reprehensible behavior in order to hoard power. But the recent Board of Education election and David Donaldson’s shocking loss of the recent primary to newcomer Phil Erner is proof that what once worked without question in Kingston isn’t going to work any longer.

If a holistic look at Charter reform is too much for Kingston right now, then how about amending the items we outlined above in a referendum including the council having mandatory training? It may not cost the community anymore then it does currently, as the mayor’s office has two full time corporation counsel staff. How about we move one of those salaries over to the council to hire their own?

DRAFT REFERENDUM Council Staff and Boards, Committees and Commissions

We’ve done the work for the council and the community to begin with a resolution that is ready to workshop. If the current chock-hold blocks the community from holistic charter reform, then let’s do it piecemeal and get the show on the road. Let’s bring the obvious changes that we all can agree to in the charter to referendum in 2022 and let the public decide


VIEW: How Kingston got its strong mayor form of government

KLDC hires lawyer to advise the transfer of public lands to Kingstonian developer

By Rebecca Martin

In May, there was a significant Kingston City School District Board of Education and school budget vote. In what was described as a referendum on the Kingstonian PILOT the turnout – nearly four times the number of what is typical from past years – overwhelmingly elected incumbents Jim Shaughnessy, Robin Jacobowitz and Herb Lamb who beat out candidates Milgrim and Branford.

Several days later during a regular monthly meeting by the Kingston Local Development Corporation (KLDC) the board continued to consider a transfer of title of 21 N. Front Street to the Kingstonian developers for a parking garage. It is now one of the final critical decisions to be made before the Kingstonian project as planned may proceed.

It might have seemed to the city that the KLDC handling a transfer to the Kingstonian project developers to be the most streamlined approach. However, with known questions and concerns as to how the Request For Qualifications process was handled, if the KLDC were to proceed and the process was indeed flawed, could the board be at risk for charges that its members acted in bad faith?

Article IX:  No Officer, Director, or Member of the Corporation shall be personally liable … for any of his acts, actions or omissions either to the Corporation or anyone else in the absence of bad faith or fraud.

That is perhaps why the KLDC requested an outside lawyer to review the 21 N. Front street transfer. After a selection process, Harris Beech was selected to advise the KLDC on its transfer of 21 N. Front Street. Bob Ryan from the firm was in attendance at the May meeting.

What follows is a loose transcription of the May KLDC meeting. Video is available by visiting the City of Kingston’s YOUTUBE channel.

Mayor Noble, who serves as the chair of the board of the KLDC, introduced attorney Ryan as having, “been able to look at all of the documents, policies and procedures” in order to provide some initial thoughts on the transfer.

Ryan’s recommendation for the city owned parcel was to create a three-way land development agreement between the city, the KLDC and the developer. This agreement would lay out and set forth all the terms and conditions for the transfer of the property as well as the development once that agreement was negotiated and developed. “Obviously we would come before the board with an authorizing resolution to consider in accepting the property and executing the land development agreement as well as make determinations that would be necessary under the Public Authority Accountability Act in addition.”

Once the land development agreement was authorized then the board could proceed.

“Why would a development agreement with anyone come before a discussion and a decision on whether or not to even accept the property into the KLDC?” asked Board member Hayes Clement.

“Because if you don’t like the terms and conditions you wouldn’t accept the property. I wouldn’t recommend that you accept the property without knowing the terms and conditions of the disposition of that property and the development of that property…” Ryan said to describe the KLDC as being implemented to be used as the agency to best advance the city’s project.

“When the Common Council approved to turn the land over to the KLDC was it to be used for a specific development?” Clement continued.

“It has a specific purpose in the city’s resolution to be used for public parking and a park…We would start by drafting the land development agreement and try to work with all the parties to come up with an agreement that is acceptable to all parties that would be reviewed by the board. If acceptable then the agreement would be authorized and take place prior to a fee title being transferred from the city to the KLDC. Once that agreement is developed and all parties are in agreement, the board would approve to execute it and issue a 90-day notice under the Public Authority Accountability Act. At which point we can work on the actual transfer of title from the city to the KLDC. The subsequent step would be transferring fee title from the KLDC to the developer pursuant to this land development agreement.”

Ryan recommend an appraisal of the property as a first step to be placed in the file of the disposition and also, because under the land development agreement there might be additional steps required by the Public Authority Accountability Act.

“Have you seen or personally had all the contracts that originated with the city and the developer starting from the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to know that everything is in order?” asked board member Glen Fitzerald.

“I believe I’ve seen everything.” said Ryan. “There may be stuff that I have not, but I do have the RFQ and the agreements going back a number of years.”

“The answer seems a little vague,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s been quite a bit of reporting that some contracts aren’t available or haven’t been seen and so our question is we don’t want to transfer something or get involved in something that is not precise right from being the initial RFQ. I would say that if you’ve seen it and had it in your hand it would be part of your file.”

Ryan assured Glen that by the time that a resolution is put before the board that he would ensure that he would have seen the entire record and would provide an opinion as to “the sufficiency of what took place”.

The board agreed to select an appraiser located out of the area. Board member Paul Casciaro asked whether the appraiser would take into account the value of the property at the time the RFQ was initiated, as in today’s market, it would likely be valued at ten times more than it was back then. Ryan answered that the original value of the property might not have been originally based on its highest value but rather on other goals that could take precedent such as parking. The appraisal that the KLDC would ask for of 21 N. Front Street would therefore reflect the fair market value at the current time it is transferred. Board member Feeney reminded the KLDC that it was not involved at that time.

It is significant to remind readers at this point that in the developer’s original application, the KLDC was not listed as an involved agency. The transfer of lands and Fair Street Extension was to all be handled by the Kingston Common Council. During the May Board of Education vote, the public sent a clear message that it understood the devastating impacts the Kingstonian PILOT could have on Kingston’s school budget. With nearly all of the Kingston Common Council members voting in favor of the Kingstonian PILOT last year, they are likely heaving a sigh of relief that they are not embroiled in negotiating more public assets during this years election cycle. Hopefully, the public will not forget the council’s involvement in the PILOT approval. The same is true for David Donaldson who is facing a primary for his seat (District 6) on the Ulster County Legislature on June 22 and who championed the PILOT process from start to finish.

Toward the end of the meeting, board member Miles Crettian asked Ryan, “Is it an issue that the original RFQ from 2016 was not and could not be awarded to the current Kingstonian developers (although the transfer was to JM Development Group, Brad Jordan’s Herzog Supply Co. was a partner and at the time served also served as a member of the City of Kingston’s KLDC and police commission) and in terms of the KLDC’s disposition, how can it know it is following the guidelines laid out in that RFQ if the original recipient of the RFQ was another entity which is no longer a party to this process?”

“We can certainly discuss these issues…and into the possible ramifications…but I’d prefer to do that in a non-public attorney/client privilege situation.” said Ryan.

The next KLDC virtual meeting is on Thursday, June 17 at 8:00am. WATCH on the City of Kingston’s YouTube channel or call in to listen:

Dial In: 1-646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 870 4145 8548
Passcode: 07008811


READ Hudson Valley Vindicator: “Kingstonian Saga Continues. Are KLDC Members Liable if They Gift Land in Bad Faith?” takes Comprehensive Plan Form Based Zoning Code on the road

Recently,’s advisor Tanya Garment appeared on two radio programs to discuss the City of Kingston’s upcoming Form Based Zoning Code process and why it’s important for Kingston.

For more information, community members are invited to email:

May 29, 2021: Speak Out! (starts at 1:02:25). Click on the image to listen. Tanya Garment and Rebecca Martin of

“Form based code is about how the public realm is shaped. It is more about how the buildings shape the public realm and the experience outside of the building, or the shared community experience. The needs of the community can be changed over time this way…It would allow for more incremental development. Form Based Zoning Code would allow more locals a chance to develop so that we are not left begging for all of these big developments by those who can borrow on a large scale. Right now, the zoning code doesn’t allow small changes, leaving us to give big developers land, PILOT agreements, all sorts of stuff so that it becomes a large bet, and we are not necessarily going to get what we need when it’s such a large bet.” – Tanya Garment,

May 2, 2021: Let’s Talk, Kingston! Click on the image to listen. With City of Kingston Council President Andrea Shaut and’s Tanya Garment

“Why do we have a traffic problem? Why don’t we ever seem to be able to solve our problems? Why are the processes given away? Seeing how power is brokered by some people who have specific ideas and narrow goals that think about people as collateral damage rather making changes that can serve the greater good…I’m thinking a lot about the history (of urban renewal) and how to repair the damage of the policies put into place over the course of the last century that have done so much damage to communities. ” – Tanya Garment,

Form Based Code is what Kingston needs

Click on image to watch the recent Strong Towns webinar about the City of Kingston’s zoning and Form-based code.

On Tuesday, April 6 at 7:30pm, the Kingston Common Council will vote on whether or not to invest in a critical form-based zoning code proposal.  Community members are encouraged to sign-up to speak in favor.

By Tanya Garment

You may have heard that the Common Council is considering approving a significant investment for the development of a new city wide zoning code.  It is wise as keeping with our current zoning and relying on spot zoning, which has been our band-aid approach for decades, would move us further down the inequitable road we are on.

What has been proposed by the Kingston zoning task force, a group of volunteers appointed by the mayor of Kingston, is a completely different kind of land use regulation than we have now. “Form-based code” that would cover the entire City and drafted by a firm of leaders in the field of planning and form-based codes. One of the leads grew up in the area, and members of the sub-consultant team are based in New York. The bulk of the work that the firm will perform is through public engagement, and that community input will lead to a code that is responsive to the needs of the whole community.

Here is a timeline of some of the events that led to where we are now:

  • The City of Kingston adopted a new comprehensive plan on April 5, 2016 that would finally replace our old 1961 Comprehensive Plan. This new plan is called Kingston 2025. Active members of the community made sure to get the public’s input into the Kingston 2025 plan, as unfortunately, the consultants did very little to facilitate this. Public input should be the primary focus of developing a document about the goals of the City, but with such a small budget ($50,000 for the Comprehensive Plan and $50,000 for the zoning work to follow, both by Shuster-Turner Associates), the amount to do such a big job was inadequate. (Shockingly, Daniel Shuster was the primary consultant for both of Kingston’s comprehensive plans in 1961 and then in 2016. The 1961 Comprehensive plan was created to secure funding for and ushered in Urban Renewal to Kingston).
  • After Kingston 2025 was adopted, a committee to produce a new zoning code, the rules that support the goals of the plan, was formed. The committee (also facilitated Dan Shuster) met sporadically over the course of approximately a year. They held some informational sessions and public forums (though public input was not reflected in any changes), and submitted Proposed Comprehensive Amendments to the City before Shuster-Turner’s contract concluded on December 31, 2017. That proposed zoning document was incomplete and only covered a fraction of what the comprehensive plan called for. What’s worse, it was still the same problematic type of zoning code that we already have. Use-based code separates the city into areas with “uses” with many restrictions as to what can be done or built in each.  Sprawl and cars are prioritized over housing. Accessibility, inclusion, and efficiency suffer without any sort of predictable result.
  • Around the same time, Mayor Noble stated that there was much rezoning work still to be done, and announced that a new group would be assembled to continue the job. In February 2019, a newly appointed Zoning Task Force began to meet and within nearly a years time, developed a request for proposals (RFP) to find planners to rewrite Kingston’s zoning code as a form-based code. Four proposals were submitted in reply to the RFP, and the task force chose Dover Kohl and PartnersDover, Kohl and Partners’ proposal for crafting new code for Kingston is available for review
  • In February of 2020, the Kingston Common Council’s Finance and Audit Committee voted unanimously in favor of funding the work of Dover, Kohl and Partners. However, before the resolution could be voted on at the April 2020 Common Council meeting, the COVID pandemic took hold and with all the unknowns then, the item was sent back to committee. Since that time, bidding wars on homes in Kingston have become the norm, the Planning Board has seen multiple lot line adjustment requests, and the Common Council has been asked to consider many band-aid style, site specific zoning code changes.
  • I belong to a group called Kingston Code Reform Advocates. We formed in late 2020, to encourage people to think about planning, and the importance of a clear, fair, and responsible code. We hosted a Strong Towns event in February which is now available on YOUTUBE.  Strong Towns wrote a great ARTICLE about the benefits of adopting a form-based code.  We’ve also been working with Ward 1 Alderman Jeffrey Ventura Morell and Common Council President Andrea Shaut. Our group’s email address is KingstonCodeReformAdvocates (at)
  • The Common Council ‘s Finance and Audit Committee met with Dover Kohl for the first time this March, to pose some questions, and get a better sense of what their proposal would include. At a second Finance and Audit meeting, the committee confirmed that the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process would be assisted by the firm as well – a big benefit – and voted 3-1 in favor of funding the creation of a new zoning code for Kingston. 

If we want to have a city built by many hands and that can result in a resilient and equitable community, then we must replace our current overly complicated and divisive zoning code with something that allows neighborhoods to grow incrementally from the ground up. Form-based code can do that.

On Tuesday, April 6 at 7:30pm, the Kingston Common Council will vote on whether or not to approve the form-based code proposal.  Community members are encouraged to sign-up to speak in favor.  To get the call-in number and directions on public speaking, please visit the City of Kingston’s FACEBOOK PAGE

Additional Resources

1. Form-based codes definition  
2. How Form-based codes designate zones  

Victory Over Proposed Athens Construction and Demolition Waste Facility

Project abandoned but other fights loom for neighbors up and down the Hudson River

Courtesy of Keep It Greene

ATHENS, NY—March 20, 2020  Yesterday, the Division of Materials Management Officer at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) confirmed that Athens Stevedoring and Environmental Development LLC had withdrawn its application for a proposed Construction and Demolition waste processing facility in the Village of Athens and was no longer interested in pursuing the project.

The project had only recently come to light when, in January 2020, Keep It Greene member and Athens resident Diana Abadie made an unnerving discovery. “There’s a spot right on the Hudson River adjoining the boat dock where I often drink my morning coffee,” Diana recalls. “I noticed a for sale sign and when I called, the owner of the property told me that he was selling to a barge and trucking company.”

A series of Freedom of Information Law requests revealed specific plans to import 8,400 tons of Construction & Demolition Debris (C&DD) waste per week that would be stored, processed (i.e. crushed and sorted), and then exported by hundreds of trucks six days a week from a 6.1 acre waterfront site in the Village. Keep It Greene worked with Friends of Athens,, Hudson Riverkeeper, and the Village of Athens Mayor and Board of Trustees to inform the community and encourage them to organize. After an outpouring of support from the public (an online petition garnered over 2,000 signatures in only two weeks) and support from State Assemblymember Chris Tague (R) and Congressman Antonio Delgado (D), Athens Stevedoring withdrew its application and abandoned the project.

“I am very proud of how our entire community came together to make their voices heard,” said Village of Athens Mayor Stephan Bradicich.  “I have no doubt that the large and unified opposition to this project played a large part in stopping the effort.”

Although the threat to Athens may have passed, the neighboring Town of Catskill is confronting another C&DD project from Peckham Industries: an unlined landfill on the shoreline of the Hudson River that would receive 600,000 tons of waste. Although Peckham’s application to the DEC was recently returned as incomplete, the community anxiously awaits further developments.

According to Geologist David Walker, Ph.D of Keep It Greene, it’s no coincidence that these two similar projects landed in the same vicinity. “Athens and Catskill are just pieces of a larger puzzle. There are idle quarries along the Hudson River awaiting some new purpose, and New York City is the source of an enormous C&DD waste stream (twice the tonnage of its municipal waste). With barging cheaper than trucking to transport tons of materials and the Hudson Valley located closer to New York City than alternative sites, such as Seneca Meadows or Rensselaer, the area has been—and will continue to be—targeted for many more of these projects.”

In the weeks and months ahead, the coalition of environmental and community activists who fought the Athens C&D project plans to reach out to other communities fighting similar battles. “Instead of playing ‘Whack-a-Mole’ as these threats arise, we need to organize and push for proactive, comprehensive C&D waste management,” says Catherine Censor, president of Friends of Athens.

It’s a strategy that Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper, endorses. “The system worked here because these communities got the facts and got active. This should give everyone in the Hudson River watershed the confidence to fight misbegotten projects like these in their own communities.”


About Keep It Greene and Friends of Athens

Keep It Greene: A non-partisan, grassroots, volunteer organization located in Greene County, NY.

Friends of Athens: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to historic preservation, civic improvement, and beautification of the natural and cultivated landscape in and around the Village of Athens, New York.

The Need for Charter Reform Becomes Obvious and Urgent

Editorial Board

In a surprise February 3 press release, Mayor Steve Noble announced a major proposal to restructure the Departments of Public Works (DPW) and Parks & Recreation, which would greatly expand the current role of the Superintendent of DPW to oversee both departments. The Mayor’s proposal also creates a new Deputy position who would oversee several divisions, including parks maintenance, recreation programming, environmental education programs, along with sanitation. He even had a person ready to provisionally fill this new position immediately: his wife, Julie Noble, who is currently a city environmental education and sustainability coordinator.

Not surprisingly,  his proposal has not been received well. There have been cries of nepotism and ethics charges have been filed. Members of the Common Council, who had little or no warning of this proposal before it was announced to the public, have expressed unusual hesitation. However, there may be a silver lining in this mess.

READ:’s “City Government is not a Mayor’s Oyster: The Restructuring of DPW, Parks & Recreation and Nepotism”

Kingston’s city charter in its current form gives the Mayor considerable power. He alone appoints all commissions and boards. He hires and fires officials, not all of whom have the credentials necessary for the particular role. The silver lining? His egregious heavy-handedness has a lot of people talking about the need for charter reform. The Mayor himself has supported charter reform in the past, and at the Common Council’s Laws & Rules Committee on February 19,  he admitted that the charter was outdated and expressed his desire to work in partnership with the Council to update it in a comprehensive manner.   

VIDEO of Laws and Rules Committee meeting on February 19, 2020. 

Why charter reform now?

According to the New York Department of State’s ‘Revising City Charters In New York State’ technical series, a city charter, …is the basic document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of the city government. It is comparable to the State Constitution and to the Constitution of the United States. The charter is, therefore, the most important single law of any city.”

Those who have followed know that for the last decade, reforming Kingston’s charter has been a major goal of ours.  That’s because in 1993, after many years of hard work by citizens with support from folks like the local Chamber of Commerce and League of Women Voters, there was a referendum to change Kingston’s form of government to a City Manager form.  It passed overwhelmingly. However, Kingston’s newly elected and popular Mayor, T.R. Gallo (who had also served briefly on the charter commission but stopped showing up some say in protest of the City Manager discussion) was unhappy with the new charter as it would diminish the powers of his office.  Swiftly, Gallo put together his own charter commission only a few months into the new charter’s passage. As Tom Benton describes it in his commentary “How Kingston got its ‘strong mayor’” in the Kingston Times, “As for the proposal itself, it was rather ingeniously constructed by taking the newly adopted charter and merely replacing the words “city manager” with “mayor” throughout. There were some other modifications, of course,  but that was the essence of it. And here was the effect: Under the adopted charter, the city manager was given very broad and powerful executive authority, the governmental check on that authority being control and supervision by the Common Council. Under the new proposal, an elected mayor would have the same broad authority, but would be entirely free from any such control or supervision by the council. Strong mayor, indeed!”   Kingston voters approved a “strong mayor” form of government by a narrow margin.  “…The city manager charter adopted a year earlier was consigned to history without ever having been tried and the era of the strong mayor was ushered in.”      This is the reason why—by design and by accident—Kingston’s executive branch has the power that it has without sufficient checks and balances.  

Charter reform introduced by Kingston Common Council in 2019.

As recently as  June 2019, Ward 9 Councilmember Andrea Shaut—who now serves as the Council President—introduced the subject of charter reform to the Laws & Rules Committee, which she then chaired. It was her desire that there be a collective effort to educate themselves and the community about the value of revising the charter to reflect the current needs of Kingston. 

While it was a welcome first step, her Council colleagues did not see a pressing need for action and the effort did not advance.  We are optimistic that its time has arrived.

READ:, “Education is Key. Common Council Takes Up Charter Revision Discussion”

Next steps

There are a host of reasons, all simple and sensible, why we have always thought that Kingston should return to a City Manager form of government.  Because it is unconstitutional to require that candidates for Mayor to have certain qualifications to hold the office beyond being a U.S. citizen and above a certain age,  our local government is led by individuals who learn on the job (hopefully) and who can restructure the administration to suit their agenda and biases. With a City Manager or administrator form of government, there are still officials popularly elected to represent the community.  The advantage of having a City Manager is that they have skills and experience specific to government administration. If they do well in their position, they can remain no matter who is elected. The same would be true for any department head.  

As practical-sounding as our opinion may be, it’s only one in a city of 24,000 people. To change the form of government is serious business. It has to be a community-based conversation guided by an unbiased facilitator. The product of this effort would be a revised charter for voters to adopt by referendum.  

We appreciate the Mayor and Council members’ support of charter reform. If they are at all serious about it, then we believe that the Mayor’s proposal to merge departments should be thrown out. An acting Superintendent of Parks & Recreation can be appointed and they can spend the next few months working with the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works to identify any tasks under Parks & Recreation that are better suited for DPW. Together, they can submit a list of recommendations to the Mayor for his consideration. 

It’s been 25 years since our city charter was last examined in a comprehensive manner. It is the responsibility of the community at large to insist that it happens. The time has never been more right.

The Kingston Planning Board Must Require the Kingstonian Applicant to Amend its Environmental Assessment Form to Reflect the Current Project

On Wednesday, November 6th at 6:00pm the Kingston Planning Board will hold a special planning board meeting on the Kingstonian project at City Hall in the Council Chambers.  

There will be an opportunity for the public to speak at the top of the meeting for any planning related topic. In the Planning Board’s agenda, the public is reminded that the Kingstonian is not listed as a public hearing.

This event will be filmed by The Kingston News and is brought to you by  

It is incumbent upon the Planning Board to conduct a thorough State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) on the Kingstonian application. The review must encompass the actual size and scope of the project as currently proposed. 

The Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) Part 1, prepared nearly a year ago in November 2018 by the applicant, describes a project that differs considerably from the project now before the Planning Board. Because the project has grown in scope and scale, the impacts are not accurately calculated in the EAF Part 1. The Planning Board must require the applicant to amend the EAF to reflect the project in its current iteration.

An EAF is “a form used by an agency to assist in determining the environmental significance or nonsignificance of actions. A properly completed EAF must contain enough information to describe the proposed action, its location, its purpose and its potential impacts on the environment.” 6 NYCRR 617.2(m) 

The applicant’s 2018 EAF states that the project will include 129 residential units. The latest announcement by the City touted 143 units. The EAF lists water use, energy use, wastewater output and solid waste output, which were presumably calculated based on the number of residential units. All of those figures must be revised to reflect the impacts of the current project proposal.

Further, the EAF does not accurately account for the new bulk of the project, which is essential to assessing its impacts on the visual environment, historic resources, and community character. The old EAF states that the largest building in the project will be 48 feet tall. The elevations submitted in August 2019 show the project to be six storiesor at least 60 feet tall. The changes announced in October would add an additional story, bringing the total to at least 70 feet (see the image above). 

Accurate statistics about the size and bulk of the building are essential for the Planning Board to determine whether it has the potential to create a significant adverse impact within its architectural context. SEQR regulations specifically call for an assessment of these types of impacts, including: “(iv) the creation of a material conflict with a community’s current plans or goals as officially approved or adopted; (v) the impairment of the character or quality of important historical, archeological, architectural, or aesthetic resources or of existing community or neighborhood character;” 6 NYCRR 617.7(c)(1)(iv-v) (emphasis added).

It has also come to light that the project will require one or more approvals that were not originally projected. In particular, the applicant has applied to the Common Council for a zoning amendment to extend the Mixed Use Overlay District to cover part of the project area. The zoning amendment is not listed among the necessary agency actions on the EAF. 

Failure to account for all components of the project can lead to illegal segmentation of the SEQR review. Failure to account for all impacts of the project risks producing a determination of significance that disables the relevant boards and commissions from addressing certain concerns in their subsequent reviews.

In sum, the lead agency must determine the significance of the proposed action based on a full and properly completed EAF. Given changes in the project and the failure to address the zoning change in the current EAF, the Planning Board does not currently have a full and complete EAF for the project as currently proposed. appreciates the developer’s recent inclusion of affordable housing. However, the increased building height in the revised plan only exacerbates the project’s adverse effects on what is an extraordinarily important historic district—for its history, its architecture, and as an economic driver. The State Historic Preservation Office has articulated strong concerns about these impacts. 

It is therefore even more important to complete a thorough and proper SEQR review. Once the EAF is revised to reflect the project in its current iteration, the Board must issue a Positive Declaration so that they can study—along with the community—potential mitigation of the significant adverse environmental impacts.

Additional Reading

READ: “Sign the Petition: Kingston Common Council must uphold its affordable housing mandate and provide constituents with a full accounting of Kingstonian public funds”

READ: “The Kingstonian to be Jointly Reviewed Tonight; State Preservation Office Finds ‘Adverse Effects’ in its Evaluation of the Project; Confusion about Historic District Boundaries”

READ: “SEQR Process for Kingstonian Project Possibly to be ‘Segmented’”

The Common Council’s Public Hearing on the Mayor’s 2020 Budget: Public Engagement Busy Work

By Hillary Harvey
Guest Editorial

LISTEN to Hillary Harvey on ‘The Source’: “What is the true purpose of the Common Council’s public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed 2020 budget?” (Starts at 52:09)

Standing in Kingston’s City Hall Common Council Chambers on September 24th, John Tuey, the City’s Comptroller, offered the roomful of citizens a general analysis of what a budget is and what it does.  This was the annual community budget forum – an initiative of the Noble Administration.  The City’s Comptroller is appointed by the Common Council but works with the Mayor on developing the budget.  After the forum, it was still unclear what the 2020 proposed budget contained.

Mayor Steve Noble then presented his proposed 2020 budget on October 17th.  The budget was available online the next day.  In his presentation, the Mayor primarily discussed what a budget generally does and offered basically a campaign speech about budgetary achievements of the past.  He outlined to the Common Council in a letter his highlights of the 2020 Recommended Budget: a 0% tax increase; the tax levy remains at about $17.65 million for the fifth year in a row; 0% increase in sewer rates; no layoffs; 12 full-time positions added or expanded including a full-time bilingual Clerk, a full-time Director of Arts & Cultural Affairs, three positions at DPW including a Tree Maintenance Technician; major infrastructure projects to be completed or underway in 2020; and a Low Fiscal Stress Score (6.7 out of 100). In the budget, the Mayor also proposed Wi-Fi in the Kingston parks, essential DPW equipment, a new fire engine, and a skatepark at Hasbrouck Park, among other things.  But the presentation wasn’t a line-by-line read of the 178-page budget document… thankfully.  

The line-by-line read began on October 28th at 6:30p when the Kingston Common Council’s Finance Committee held the first of several public meetings that week to discuss the budget and ask questions of departments such as the Kingston Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Kingston Fire Department, and the Parks & Rec Department.  But at 6p that night, before those discussions began, the Common Council held a public hearing on the proposed budget.  Not surprisingly, only five people attended.  Of those, only two spoke: the DiFalcos, a political-hopeful power couple.  Ellen DiFalco is running for Mayor on the Republican and Independence Party lines.  Joe DiFalco is running for Ward 3 Alderman on the Republican and Independence Party lines.

The Common Council’s public hearing on the Mayor’s budget proposal was originally scheduled for Thursday, October 24th – the same night as the final Mayoral debate.  It was then rescheduled for Monday, October 28th.  The public notice in the paper was incorrect.  The notification on the City’s website initially didn’t mention what the hearing was on, and the agenda for it was blank.  When I asked the Council members about that, I was told that the hearing was on the budget, as the agenda indicated.  And when I pointed out that the agenda was blank, I was told that was because it was an open public hearing.

Here in Kingston, we have ample opportunity for public engagement busy work: surveys that don’t allow for comments and don’t relate to the topic specifically; participatory workshops and charrettes with facilitators who don’t buy into it and where the public feedback is never seen or discussed again; local committees whose feedback is used to simply justify an outcome that’s been predetermined by top-down leadership; and public hearings which happen before all the information on something is revealed.

How many people really know how to read a budget?

To make a truly informed comment during the Kingston Common Council’s public hearing on the Mayor’s proposed 2020 budget, prior to those more detailed discussions which will continue at the Council’s Finance Committee throughout the month of November, a member of the public would need to be skilled in reading a budget, knowledgeable about previous city budgets, and able to anticipate the future discussions, the Council members’ questions, and the forthcoming answers that will be happening throughout the Council’s public budget review process.  In short, they’re asking the public to achieve an unattainable level of understanding for a layperson and a measure of potentially supernatural foresight.

In my experience following the civic issues of Kingston, I have noticed that the citizens of Kingston have a diversity of experience, knowledge base, and interests which, when they can participate in the public discourse in a meaningful way, result in informed and intelligent discussions which can sometimes be challenging but also offer outside perspectives and considerations that can broaden the understanding of an insular group, like elected officials at City Hall.

Perhaps the public hearing on Monday was meant to get a sense of the concerns and needs of the Council’s constituents.  Something that could be achieved in Ward meetings, and calls for constituents to reach out directly to their alderperson.  

The Council should hold a second public hearing on the budget after their in-depth public discussions, so that they can benefit from the input of a fully informed public.  And if they prefer to hold only one public hearing on the budget, in the future that should happen after the Finance Committee’s discussions of the budget so the public can be as informed about the proposal as the Council itself is.  

A Question

What is the true purpose of the public hearing on the proposed budget?  And if the true purpose of the public hearing on the budget is to hear from an engaged, informed public, then how does the current process support that?  

As it stands, the Council’s public hearing process on the budget is like so many other processes we see in Kingston government: backwards – requiring that the lay citizens of Kingston have an expertise that many of the City officials and staff themselves may not have.  If the Council was seeking to simply check a box that they allowed the public an input period where they could feel heard, then that was achieved on Monday.  But if they’re seeking to actually hear from the public, then the public needs to be at least as informed about the proposal as the Council is itself.  And that will only come after the public discussions in the Finance Committee.  

The Council should reconsider this (perhaps historically so) flawed process and update it to be truly transparent and inclusive of the informed civic engagement that the citizens of Kingston have proven time and again they will participate in.

The Kingston Common Council’s Finance Committee will meet again at City Hall, 420 Broadway, on November 4th at 6:30p to discuss the Kingston Fire Department and Building Safety Budget, on November 6th at 6:30p to discuss the Parks & Rec budget, on November 18th at 6:30p to discuss the City Hall budget, and on November 25th at 6:30p to wrap up budget discussions before the December 3rd vote.

Hillary Harvey is a journalist who hosts, The Source on Radio Kingston, a civic issues show focused on hyper local news and politics to inform civic engagement.  An audio version of this editorial aired on November 1st and is available on the archive at (linked above).

VIDEO: New Dual Stream Recycling Procedure in Kingston Begins April 1st.

By Rebecca Martin

The City of Kingston is switching from Single Stream to Dual Stream recycling come April 1st. Julie Noble, the City of Kingston’s Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator,  hosted a recycling educational forum to explain the transition.  Their materials are available both in English and Spanish.

Read more…

PUBLIC HEARING ON THURSDAY 6/14. Request Agency Postpone Vote on Increase in Single-Stream Tipping Fees.

CITIZEN REQUEST.  Please request that the UCRRA board postpone its vote on Resolution No. 2446 that proposes a single-stream recycling fee increase (intended to begin on July 1st) to allow time for discussion, to budget appropriately and consider alternative options.

You can also call your City of Kingston Ulster County Legislator representatives to request that the county reinstate the Recycling Oversight Committee:

City of Kingston District 5, Lynn Eckert 

City of Kingston District 6,  David Donaldson

City of Kingston District 7, Brian Woltman

On Thursday, June 14th at 5:00 pm,  the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) will host a public hearing at the Ulster County Legislative Chambers located at 244 Fair Street, 6th floor (VIEW our Facebook Event) on the following resolutions:

Resolution No. 2445 states that UCRRA will no longer accept single-stream recyclables effective at the close of business December 31, 2018.

Resolution No. 2446 authorizes and approves the modification of the 2018 Tipping Fees and other Charges, to take effect July 1, 2018.

The event will be followed by UCRRA’s regular board meeting to vote on the proposed changes less than two weeks from their public hearing on Wednesday, June 27th at 12:00 pm at their offices located at 999 Flatbush Road in Kingston (VIEW our Facebook Event).

According to Resolution No. 2446, “…the Agency hereby approves the modification of the 2018 schedule of the tipping fee and other charges as it relates to single stream recyclables raising the tipping fee for single stream recyclables from $20.00 per ton to an amount set each month by the Executive Director, by calculating the average rate the Agency was charged to remove single stream recyclables in the previous month, plus a $15.00 per ton fee reflecting the Agency’s cost of storing and handling such material….for single stream recyclables will be adjusted the first day of each month commencing July 1, 2018 based on the rate calculated by the Executive Director.

A fluctuating increase in single-stream recycling tipping fees from month to month would make it a real challenge for our community to know what to anticipate. Given Kingston is in the midst of its already adopted 2017/2018 working budget with recycling tipping costs accounted for, how is this change mid-year in the best interest of 24,000 Ulster County residents who will bear the brunt?

“What is the financial impact on the taxpayers of Ulster county?”
– City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

“We can’t pass laws, there’s no flow control on recycling.  The vast majority doesn’t come to us. The impact on taxpayers, hardly any difference at all.” 
– Timothy Rose,  Executive Director, UCRRA

“Just us.”  
– City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble

From UCRRA’s Informational Meeting, May 2018 VIEW
Mayor Steve Noble’s Quote begins at 34:23

How did we get here?  There is still much that is not understood, such as:

1. During UCRRA’s Informational Meeting last month, board members stated that a change in the Single-Stream market was known in or around October of 2017.  In April, an article in the local paper announced UCRRA’s plans to discontinue single stream by 12/31/18 and to also raise rates to take effect on 7/1 until single-stream would conclude at the end of the year. If the Ulster County Legislature has oversight of UCRRA, at what point were they notified of this change?

2. The Ulster County Legislature has a “Recycling Oversight Committee” that is charged to look at the changes in recycling trends and materials for the county has been inactive having  “…only met a few times over the past decade.” according to Manna Jo Greene .  Without it, how has the legislature used its oversight responsibilities to make any recommendations to UCRRA or impacted communities prior to proposed legislation being drafted?

3. Were there any communication made by UCCRA and the UC Legislature to the City of Kingston regarding these proposed changes prior to April, 2018?

There will be many questions posed during the public hearing on Thursday afternoon. The public deserves time for all parties to respond, discuss and deliberate before changes are made to UCRRA’s single-stream system or rate changes are made.  A postponement of Resolution No. 2446 is a reasonable request.


Kingston High School Junior Kira Milgrim Organizes Peers in Support of Resolution on Stricter Gun Laws.

City of Kingston High School Junior Kira Milgrim is taking a stand against gun violence.

“I’ve been involved in the Kingston Democrat Committee since the Election of Trump. I’ve come to love politics, discussion, and the fact that one voice can make a difference when heard by the right people. People coming together to speak about their thoughts and views is the definition of democracy.  But recently our democracy has been challenged by another force. The NRA has time and time again over-ruled common sense in favor of money, and corrupt politicians have followed suit. People don’t feel safe at school, or at events of any sort. Many students at Kingston High School have been eager to take some sort of action.”

Tonight, the Kingston Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee will vote to pass to the floor a memorializing resolution “Calling on State and Federal Elected Officials to Act Now to Eradicate the Use of Firearms in Mass Shootings and Unlawful Acts of Violence”.   Milgrim’s effort will help to engage Kingston youth in civics and in support of stricter gun laws.

“As students who cannot vote, it’s important that we take part in our local government in any way possible – such as attending Laws and Rules committee meetings. It’s such an incredible statement for students to show up at a government event, and let our presence take the place of the votes.  We are excited to stand up for what we believe to be the moral thing to do. We’re tired of feeling anxious in school – that another student could get angry at us one day and replicate the horrors of the school shootings we now hear about on a daily basis.”  says Milgrim. “I’ve finally found something that can give me hope. I feel as though my voice is being heard with this stricter gun law memorializing resolution.”  

The Kingston Common Council Laws and Rule Committee will be held on Wednesday, March 21st at 6:30pm at Kingston City Hall (420 Broadway) Conference Room #1, top floor of City Hall.  The memorializing resolution is being proposed by Ward 3 Alderman and Majority Leader Rennie Scott-Childress.

VIEW the facebook event.

Kira also enjoys participating in the weekly Kingston of the Democratic Committee meetings where she has volunteered time to work on the committee’s website.

“It’s because of local government, and the adults in this community that are supportive beyond belief that I can go to Democrat breakfasts and meet the congressional candidates and get these awesome opportunities. Every student should have these same oppertunities. Everyone’s voice should be heard. There’s a whole reservoir of thoughts that is constantly being shunned from society; we students have ideas that are never shared because we have struggled to jam our foot in the door and be taken seriously.” says Kira.  “Now that we finally have, the door is flying wide open.”

VIDEO: 2/22/18 Public Scoping Meeting – Proposed Lincoln Park Gas-Fired Power Plant in the Town of Ulster.

By Rebecca Martin

There was a full house on Thursday night of concerned citizens giving testimony to improve the Draft Scope of the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a gas-fired power plant in the Town of Ulster.

NEXT STEPS:  Please join us during a full day Public Scoping Brainstorming session on Sunday, March 4th from 10am – 5pm at the Senior Center in the Town of Ulster (located at 1 Town Hall Drive in Lake Katrine).     VIEW Facebook Event

Citizens will have the opportunity to work together with experts and draft strong comments of concern for study for the project to submit to the Town Board and applicant before the March 22nd deadline. A full list of experts who will be on hand that day to be announced. 

The TENTATIVE work schedule is (TBA):

10:00 am – 11:30 am
On air quality and noise.

11:30 am – 1:30 pm
On community character, community services and cultural Resources.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
On vegetation and wildlife

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
On water (surface, ground and wetlands), storm water and waste water.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
On socioeconomic and fiscal (can also include alternatives to the proposal)

Please join us. Food will available all day. This event is open to all citizens, NFP and municipal leaders wanting to contribute.

Sponsored by with support from


                                          Video #1:  Click on image to view


3:50 – 7:00
Chazen and Companies

7:01 – 20:15
PowerPoint Presentation
Peter Rood, GlidePath



20:30 – 22:54
Sandra Pierson, Ulster Gardens Court
Air quality and seniors with compromised breathing issues.

22:56 – 26:20
Jeffrey Anzevino, Scenic Hudson. VIEW Testimony
Alternative analysis, Visual Analysis, Climate Change and GHG Emissions, Other Air Emissions, Fiscal Impact, Cumulative Impacts, Threatened/Endangered Species, Project Purpose and Energy Benefits, Compliance with Zoning. 

26:30 -29:50
Regis Obijiski, Legde Road 
Safety and Emissions

30:13 – 33:27
Judith Carpova, Kerhonkson
Concerns of project/precedent setting for Ulster County.

33:28 – 35:15
Vicki Luckerini, Ledge Road (@ ground zero)
Zoning laws

35:17 – 38:15
Lowell Thing, Ledge Road
“No additional pollution to my air or anyone elses.”

38:35 – 40:55
Suzanne Thing, Ledge Road
Availability of alternative sites to include alternative sites, not just for proposed project but an all battery alternative. What other sites might be possible? 

41:00 – 43:03
Vince Guido, Old Flatbush Road
Table proposal until NYS has updated battery storage regs.

43:14 – 46:55
Susan Gillespie, President, Citizens for Local Power
Possibility of viable alternative and economic feasibility of project.

48:30 – 51:42
Dan Furman, Riesley Street
Diesel fuel, Emissions, Noise, Odor

51:44 – 55:00
Gloria Waslyn, Main Street, Ruby
Concerned about home value decrease and air quality

55:07- 57:14
Marie Dolores Gill, Fox Run (23 year resident)
Air emissions, climate change, use and conservation of energy

57:31 – END   VIEW  Video of full Testimony
Laura Hartman,
Emissions, home values. How can Town Board represent its constituents as Lead Agency?



                                       Video #2:  Click on image to view


00:00 – 4:06     VIEW  Video of full Testimony
Laura Hartman,
Emissions, home values. How can Town Board represent its constituents as Lead Agency?

4:33 –  6:15
Fred Neeson, Ledge Road

6:31 -9:54
Karen Smith-Spanier,  Lakeview Avenue
Potential impacts from EMF (Electro Magnetic Field), Financial impact on home values and accountability to the residents, Town Board to host a meeting to share the financial benefits from GlidePath….since this apparently such a lucrative project, so much so that someone from Chicago is coming to the Town of Ulster to create it, can the Town of Ulster make a renewable project in a different location and profit instead? 

10:03 – 12:15
Brian Cahill, Town of Ulster (35 year resident)
Partial use in sync with Town of Ulster Comprehensive Plan? In the application, it requests being run 24/7 even though it’s a Peaker project. How many days do they plan to really run?

12:37 – 14:10
Sue McConneccy,  Reisley Street
Lights on all night? Concern for nocturnal animals.

14:14 – 15:35 
Valeria Gheorghiu, Attorney in Kerhonkson (office in Kingston)
Cumulative impact analysis, Tax assessments of homes near proposed project, Community Character

15:45 – 17:25
Wayne Spanier, Lakeview Avenue
Why would we want to continue to support fracked gas that would cause harm in other parts of the country when in our state, we have banned fracking? 

17:36 –
Supervisor James Quigley
Closing thoughts
“Laura, for the organization you put into the process here reflects good on the community. The questions were direct on the issues…you’ve made some good points.  What I’m hearing is “You don’t want more carbon. I get it.”

Meeting Adjourned

VIDEO & POWERPOINT: SEQR and the Scoping Process: Lincoln Park Power Plant Project

Click on IMAGE to download powerpoint.

On Friday, February 9th Environmental Advocacy Director Hayley Carlock and Land Use Advocacy Director Jeffrey Anzevino of Scenic Hudson joined close to 50 Town of Ulster residents and two Town Board Members (Morrow and Secreto) to discuss the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center’s SEQRA process and why public participation in developing the scope for the environmental impact statement is important.

“Public involvement reduces the likelihood that unaddressed issues will arise during public review of the draft EIS. From the public’s perspective, scoping is important because it offers an opportunity to ensure the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is as comprehensive as possible to minimize the project’s environmental impact on the community. It also increases the likelihood the project will be consistent with community values.”

Presented by Scenic Hudson. Sponsored by in partnership with CAPP-NY, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Riverkeeper and the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

Thanks to The Kingston News for filming this event, brought to you by

WELCOME! wishes to welcome our new sister organization, a non-partisan, citizen run organization focused on increasing citizen engagement and creating a better Town of Ulster, NY.   VIEW


1. Town of Ulster Citizens should attend the next Town Board meeting on Thursday, February 15th and request a longer public comment period (90 days).  VIEW

2. The public and municipal leaders are invited to attend the upcoming educational panel “Battery Storage, Climate, and the Grid: An Educational Forum hosted by Citizens for Local Power” presented by Citizens For Local Power on February 13th.  VIEW 


1. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th at 7pm “Battery Storage, Climate, and the Grid: An Educational Forum hosted by Citizens for Local Power”. VIEW

2. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15th at 7pm:  Town of Ulster Town Board Meeting. Citizens should request for a longer public comment period in the Scoping process.
VIEW  Petition Language

3.  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd.   Public Scoping Meeting, Town of Ulster   VIEW

4. THURSDAY, MARCH 22nd.    Deadline for written comments.


1. Draft Scope for Lincoln Park Grid Support Center.   VIEW

2. Concept Plan: Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. VIEW

3. Full EIS Part 1. VIEW

4. Full EIS Part 2. VIEW

5. FEAF for the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. VIEW

Read more…