Welcome to KingstonCitizens.org!

KingstonCitizens.org is a non-partisan, citizen-run organization focused on relevant and current issues about Kingston, N.Y.

Our aim is to help to foster transparent communication via citizen participation. Check out our archives for past stories and insights about New York’s first capital.

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KC.org Founder Rebecca Martin Interviewed on Vantage Points with Calvin Carter

Unknown KingstonCitizens.org founder Rebecca Martin was recently interviewed by Calvin Carter of Vantage Points. The discussion touched upon KC.org’s beginnings, civics, Kingston’s common council, recent educational panels including city manager and the COK’s  comprehensive planning process.

Part One: KC.org’s beginnings, city charter and strong mayor and city manager forms of government.

Part Two: More on Kingston’s city charter and Kingston’s common council.

Part Three: Kingston’s comprehensive planning process (Coming Soon)

KingstonCitizens.org presents “Exploring the Role of Kingston’s Common Council” on May 28th at 6:00pm.

 

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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.

For more information, contact Rebecca Martin at: rebbytunes@earthlink.net

VIEW: “Lessons in Civics” by KC.org:  What are City Manager / City Administrator Forms of Government? 

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Our Moderators

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.

 

 

HOLD THE DATE! “Exploring the Role of Kingston’s Common Council” on May 28th.

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We are pleased to announce our next Educational Forum to occur on Wednesday, May 28th at the Kingston Public Library from 6:00pm -8:00pm. Our topic that evening will be: “Exploring the role of Kingston’s Common Council” with special guests Alderman at Large James Noble, Majority Leader Matt Dunn and Minority Leader Deb Brown.

Kingston Times: Mayor or Manager?

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“What the manager doesn’t do – can’t do according to ICMA Ethics Rule – is engage in politics. Strome said that separating politics from day to day city business avoids favoritism – like say when areas represented by the minority party get plowed last after a snowstorm – and creates a stable class of professional city employees who don’t turn over with each new administration.  “Just because somebody worked on somebody’s campaign, somebody might feel like they owe somebody a job,” said Strome. That doesn’t happen in a council- manager system…Ellen Difalco (the Mayor’s personal secretary) said Kingston would be unable to afford a city manager. City Managers, according to the ICMA, make a median salary of about $101,000.”

- An excerpt from “Mayor or Manager” in the Kingston Times this week by Jesse Smith.

But, according to City Administrator of Beacon, NY Meredith Robson during the forum in response to Difalco’s comment reminded the audience this:
(view the VIDEO and listen in at 50:33):

“…There is an expense side of the budget and a revenue side of the budget and you’ve got to look at both sides.  Yes, there might be a salary that you pay that you’re not happy about paying, but what the professional brings into the community may save you so much more…..for example…. I worked with three unions to get an overhaul of our health benefits program estimated in savings of about $300,000 a year….we changed what was comp providers, and saved $125,000 doing that.  After an audit of our electric and telephone bills and got $250,000 back. These are just three quick things….in order to get someone who is really going to do the job you are going to have to pay for it…and what they do for a living and what they will bring to the community I suggest would be well worth it.”

 

Professional Managers: Good Reads for Educational Panel on City Manager/City Administrator Forms of Government

Please enjoy these links that explain the different aspects and functions of professional management (City Manager/ City Administrator Forms of Government).

1. Supporting Elected Officials

http://lifewellrun.org/professional-managers/supporting-elected-officials/#.UzG51jkQfcM

2. Key Facts about Professional Local Government Managers.

http://lifewellrun.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/12-147-LWR-Key-Fact-Sheet2.pdf

3. Description of five forms of local government in the US.

http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/9135/Forms_of_Local_Government_Structure

 

KingstonCitizens.org Upcoming Educational Panel in the Kingston Times.

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VIEW: KC.org Presents “What are City Manager and City Administrator Forms of Government?”

Thanks to the Kingston Times for their article today on the upcoming ‘educational discussion’ that features information on City Manager and City Administrator forms of government.

We are pleased to announce that the event will be streamed live thanks to Kingston News, and that we will hopefully be able to accept your questions via twitter at https://twitter.com/KingCitizens

To clarify, this opportunity IS NOT A DEBATE as written in the article. Our efforts are to offer the public a chance to learn about Beacon, NY’s City Administrator form of government (City Administrator/Mayor/Council) and New Rochelle, NY’s City Manager form of government (City Manager/Council).

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