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Location: Albany, New York, United States

CONSERVATIVE ROW C FOR MAYOR CITY OF ALBANY NY November 5, 2013 Election U S Navy Veteran BS Geography, U Wisconsin (Korean GI Bill) MA Geography, U Minnesota (National Fellowship) 30 years as founder and president, Buckingham Pond/ Crestwood Neighborhood Assoc. maintaining/improving neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life. Leadership resulted in creation of Buckingham Pond Park in 1993-94, as well as many other open spaces. See for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: see also:

Thursday, January 04, 2007


The neighborhood is changing, but, alas, not for the better. Expect a continued decline in neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life...unless you
take interest and become actively involved in your neighborhood association.

* increased volumes of speeding traffic and associated noise, litter, congestion and air
pollution, will only get worse with expansion of Albany Medical Center, St Peter's
Hospital and Center for the Disabled, including construction of numerous parking
* the City Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Board are rushing to approve
condo/cluster housing proposals for Friebel Rd at Krum Kill Rd, the 7.2 acre
parcel on Krum Kill Rd, opposite Ohav Shalom, and the 8-10 acres of woodland
Whitehall Rd at New Scotland Ave. Based on factors such as location, site conditions
traffic flows, selling prices, annual fee structures and substandard construction, these
proposals are likely to fail , with the developers seeking to be bailed out by rentals as
Section 8 housing. These poorly crafted proposals will only change the single family
zoning and character of the neighborhood, devalue existing homes, and further erode
the property tax base, adversely impacting support for the city schools and city
government services.

* Piecemeal urban redevelopment projects, like Park South, will only result in shifting
problem populations to declining rental units like the Hackett-Weis Rd apartments
in our neighborhood. The blight of North Allen St is a stones throw from S. Manning
Blvd and Marion Ave sections of our neighborhood.

* The City of Albany has no rational comprehensive land use plan created with the
participation, advice and consent of neighborhood associations and residents. The
City Zoning Code is routinely circumvented by the Board of Zoning Appeals
approving use variances, which are nothing more than back door zoning changes.
The Common Council has behaved no better. Exhibit A is the December 2005
rezoning of 3.5 acres of land on Holland Ave, as "Highway Commercial" to allow
for construction of an unneeded, big box store, on an already congested emergency
routeway to Albany Medical center facilities. This measure was sponsored by now
Common Council President Shawn Morris, who has aspirations to succeed Mayor
Jennings. It is only a matter of time until the big box store proposal for Krum Kill
Rd at New Scotland Ave, resurfaces. We defeated this twice in 1999 and 2000, but
with the precedent of the Holland Ave "Highway Commercial" rezoning, it will be
more difficult to defeat a big box in our neighborhood.

* We are "represented" by Common Council Members and County Legislators
who really do not represent us, and who do not take the lead in standing up for
the best interests of this neighborhood. They remain silent, or even act as shills
for the developers. Mayor Jennings behaves no better. It will not be long before
this neighborhood resembles his former boyhood home of North Albany.

* The City has no effective emergency/disaster plan, with the spectre of future terror
attacks, hanging over us, like a dark cloud. Neighborhood churchers, synagogues
schools, businesses, and most individual households are not prepared to survive
a man made or natural disaster or terror attack.

* Violent crime, home invasions, break ins, car jackings, drug dealers and gang
bangers are a growing threat to law abiding neighborhood residents. Earlier in
2006 our neighborhood experienced a number of daylight break- ins. We rallied
and expanded our neighborhood watch. The APD responded and together we
got the word out that this neighborhood is off limits to criminals and crime -
for now. Interest and participation in the Neighborhood Watch has waned. It
will not be long before the crime and criminals return. Today's graffiti artists
are tomorrow's gangbangers.

* Buckingham Pond Park is in dismal shape. Consult earlier posts for problems and
corrective actions.

* If all of the above were not enough, library and school construction spending
referenda will be held in February and our home revaluations announced on
March 1. A school property tax hike and another construction bond act in May?

* Day One brings hope and aspirations for reforms and positive government actions at
the state level. But, don't look for any benefits to trickle down to our neighborhood
anytime soon.

The Reality is we are on our own and must take actions to survive whatever may come
our way in the year ahead.

What to do? Begin by reading the November 2005 entry in this blog's archives. The
Association history, goals, achievements and objectives for 2006 are clearly stated.
Those objected remain largely unrealized. Why? Because neighborhood residents
are too apathetic, disinterested ,or otherwise occupied, to make them a reality. The
Mayor, Common Council Members and County Legislators who purport to serve us
do not. Just shut up and pay your taxes!

First, and most important, take immediate responsibility for your own survival and
that of your loved ones. Develop a personal emergency/disaster plan. Set aside water,
food, medications, flashlights, radios and batteries. Keep your car gas tank full and
be prepared to evacuate your home and city. Have go bags packed and ready. Begin
by consulting and the American Red Cross website.

Second, be alert and watchful in the neighborhood and elsewhere. Call the APD at
458 9148 or Anti-Terror Hotline 1 866 SAFE NYS(723 3697) when circumstances
warrant such calls.

Third, be prepared to defend yourself, your loved ones and home. Get legal firearms
and ammo. Learn how to effectively use, and safely store these. Learn essential fire
fighting skills/actions and first aid. Don't expect that police, fire and EMT services will
be available in event of a major disaster or terrorist attack. You will very likely be on
your own. Don't look to your neighborhood churches, synagogues, schools or businesses for assistance, because they have failed to prepare.

Fourth, as far as the land use, open space, housing, traffic, road salt abatement objectives contact Mayor Jennings to support these objectives: by mail (paper trail) at City Hall 12207. Keep a copy of your correspondence. Or call in on his weekly radio show to support these objectives, or any of your own. WROW 590 AM, Fridays 9-10 AM. Call 476 5959. Lots of people listen and the Mayor will respond.

Fifth, actively participate in your neighborhood association taking on responsibilities
related to land use planning, open space protection/improvement, Neighborhood Watch/Security/promoting emergency/ disaster preparedness, monitoring and interacting with local and state government..and more. If everyone plays some role
our neighborhood and personal lives will be the better for it. Call me: 438 5230

Watch this blog and
for periodic posts.

Pass the word about these blogs to family, friends and neighbors. They will largely replace newsletters that used to be hand delivered to your door. Share copies of blog downloads with your family and neighbors who may not have computers.
Thank you. Best wishes for 2007.
Joe Sullivan, President BPCNA



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