BuckinghamPondCrestwood NANEWS

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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 bpcnanews.blogspot.com for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: bpcnanews.blogspot.com/ see also: albanycityconservative.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The fine Oak tree that stood at the
entrance to the Stewart's shop on
New Scotland Ave, at Whitehall, is
no more.

I had that tree planted about two
decades ago, and  saved it from
being cut down several years ago.

At last year's neighborhood meeting
on the proposed Stewart's expansion
I asked that Stewart's either spare
this oak, or move it across the street
to the 3/4 acre parcel which is to be
a pocket park. Assurances were given
that my request would be addressed.

Terribly disappointed in Stewart's
action. The Oak was cut down two
days ago, the stump remains to mark
the spot where that fine Oak stood.

At last year's meeting, I also pointed
out that expanding the number of
gas pumps and islands was not a wise
move when gas would soon become
very costly, and then not available
at any price.

Stewart's has made two bad decisions
that  adversely impact our neighborhood.

By pushing for clean up of the abandoned
gas station site and opposing commercial
rezoning of that site, we contributed to
making this Stewart's shop one of the
most profitable.

This is the thanks our neighborhood

Another brownfield in the making?

                                    Joe Sullivan

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Street trees add to property values
by beautifying your property and
neighorhood. In addition, street
trees absorb carbon dioxide and
emit oxygen which helps cool the
air and combat air pollution. Street
trees protect sidewalk pedestrians
from out of control vehicles. Trees
are great air conditioners. Conifers
serve as wind breaks reducing home
heating costs. Trees provide privacy.

Street trees in our hood and citywide
are negatively impacted by vehicle
emissions, road salt, sidewalk and
street excavations, improper pruning
and lack of care.

Road salt, in particular adversely
impacts street trees resulting in the
decline and death of trees.

Homeowners should select salt
tolerant trees for planting at curb
sides where exposure to road salt
is greatest.

Trees planted on front lawns
beyond the sidewalk or curbside
stand a better chance of long term

This Spring take the time to care
for  curbside trees that have been
subjected to road salt.

Read the following:

Plant a salt tolerant tree or shrub
at curbside, or better yet on your
front lawn. Care for existing trees.

For more information, including the
city shared cost tree planting program
go to:


Small tree stock can be obtained from
the county soil and water conservation
tree/shrub sales being held this Spring.
Refer to earlier post this site re:
Buckingham Pond Park.

Note of caution. Before you dig to
plant a tree/shrub, check with utility
companies to determine if buried
lines exist where you plan to dig.

                                  Joe Sullivan

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


May 17 city voters will go to the polls
to vote on a yet to be announced school


It had better contain a zero percent
property tax increase, and all regular
polling places open to allow for maximum
legal voter participation.

Also on the ballot, should appear the
following questions:

1. Shall the city schools be consolidated
with the city government?

2. Shall one property tax roll  established
to finance both?

3. Shall the Mayor be responsible and
accountable for the operation and
performance of city schools?

4. Shall the Mayor and Common Council
be responsible and accountable for the
operation and performance of city schools?

5. Shall the City of Albany return to a
k-8 neighborhood school system?

6. Shall all city schools be designated
charter schools  with more local control
over curriculums?

The property tax payers of the City of
Albany can no longer support two
separate forms of government each
with their own large budgets and
two separate property tax rolls/dates.

The city school population comes
largely from households that pay no
property taxes to support the city
school system. Many come from
households on public assistance
including section 8 and other public

A complete review of the Albany
County Social Services needs to be
made, with the goal of reducing
the growing property tax burden
that is related to the growth of
the dependent populations in the
Cities of Albany, Watervliet and

Less than one third of housing
units in the city are owner-occupied
by an aging population on fixed

Uptown Albany neighborhoods pay
the lion's share of the property taxes
that support city government and
city schools.

These interrelated  phenomena must
be examined and addressed if the City
of Albany government and the city
schools are to continue to exist and
to serve the needs of all city residents.

The current 2 percent property tax
cap legislation  being promoted at
the state level is nothing more than
a guaranteed property tax increase
each year, In 10 years that amounts
to a 20 percent increase.

That is not property tax relief!

The most effective way to proceed
is to mandate a freeze on property
tax increases for three years and
for the state to remove all unfunded
mandates on city schools.

The State Education Department
needs to be significantly reduced
in size or eliminated.

State Ed skimmed off half the
Race to The Top federal funding
recently received by NY State.
That 3 billion dollars should
have been allocated to school
aid rather than to financing
a bloated bureaucracy.

Top heavy, highly paid school
administration need to be trimmed.

More locally devised and controlled
curricula, geared to the real needs
of students are needed.

Attitudinal and behavioral changes
are required of students and their

When learning is not valued , no
motivation , no effort to learn and
conducive learning environment is
lacking, learning will not occur.

Parents with children in city schools
need to participate in the education
of their children and need to share
in paying the costs of operating the
city schools.

Consolidation of city schools with
city government, creation of one property
tax roll to fund both, return to a K-8
neighborhood school system and
making the Mayor or Mayor/City
Council responsible/accountable for
city school operation/performance would
be a major step toward reducing school
spending and property taxes in the City
of Albany.

Would it be too much to expect to
make maximum use of the expense and
effort of holding a school budget vote
on May 17 that puts these questions
before  all city voters?

If these questions were to appear on
the May 17 ballot, the voter turnout
would  far exceed the usual 7 per cent
of eligible voter turnout.

Should city voters answer the above
questions in the affirmative,  local
state legislators, who represent the
City of Albany could introduce the
necessary legislation to amend state
law accordingly; the Common Council
could issue the requisite Home Rule
Request to the State Legislature.

The State Legislature could act
to provide for the above changes before
the Legislature leaves Albany in June.

                              Joe Sullivan