Category Archives: Announcements

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.

SPREAD THE WORD: Download Flyer for Educational Series and Share.

Help KC.org get out the word on its upcoming public informational event.

Please print and share this flyer. Help more of Kingston Citizens to be in attendance!

DOWNLOAD FLYER: KC.org City Manager/Administrator

KingstonCitizens.org Hosts Public Educational Forum and Discussion on City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government on Tuesday, March 25th.

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KingstonCitizens.org will host a public educational forum and discussion on “City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government” on Tuesday, March 25th at the Kingston Public Library 55 Franklin Street, in Kingston NY from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.  Panel guests include Meredith Robson, City Administrator of the City of Beacon, NY and Chuck Strome, City Manager of New Rochelle, NY. 

Kingston, NY -  For the past twenty years, the city of Kingston, NY has what is known as a ‘Strong Mayor’ form of government, where a mayor is elected into office based on popular vote to manage the city’s $36+ million dollar budget, departments, committees, commissions and an aging citywide infrastructure.

KingstonCitizens.org is pleased to present a public educational forum and discussion on two alternative forms of government titled “City Administrator and City Manager Forms of Government” on Tuesday, March 25th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Kingston Public Library located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston, NY. All are welcome to attend.

Guest panelists include Meredith Robson, City Administrator of the City of Beacon and Chuck Strome, City Manager of New Rochelle, NY to discuss their roles and relationships with the public and elected officials.

The evening will be co-moderated by Rebecca Martin, founder of KingstonCitizens.org and former Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust and Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Principal at Hone Strategic, LLC and the former Deputy Director of Planning at Ulster County.

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

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Our Panelists

Meredith Robson, City of Beacon Administrator:   Meredith Robson has served in a variety of governmental positions for over 26 years.  She has served in all levels of government, except County government, and her career has spanned three states.  She is currently the City Administrator for the City of Beacon. Ms. Robson has been very active in professional associations throughout her career, including serving on the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials Executive Committee and in her current roles as President of the New York City/County Management Association and Northeast Regional Vice President for the International City/County Management Association. Ms. Robson is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and has a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  She has participated in numerous professional development programs, including the following leadership training opportunities:  Wallkill Valley Community Leadership Alliance, Leadership Greater Waterbury and Pace University Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program.

Chuck Strome, New Rochelle, NY City Manager On November 12, 2002, the City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Charles B. “Chuck” Strome, III as City Manager. Mr. Strome served as Acting City Manager since March 2002 and as Deputy City Manager since 1995. Prior to that, he served as Director of Emergency Services from 1989 through 1992, and then became Assistant City Manager / City Coordinator. 

Mr. Strome has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and a Masters of Public Administration-Government from Pace University. 

Before joining government, Mr. Strome held positions at Hudson Westchester Radio where he was News Director, Vice President, and Program Director. 

Mr. Strome is a member of the International City Managers’ Association, and former president of the New York State City / County Managers Association. He is also past President, Vice President, and Secretary of the Municipal Administrators Association of Metropolitan New York.

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.

 

County Executive Sends Release Regarding Sophie Finn Elementary School Transition to SUNY Ulster Satellite Campus.

Below is the Press Release issued from UC Executive Mike Hein on a public meeting regarding the transition of the Sophie Finn Elementary School into a SUNY Ulster Satellite Campus.  The details are below.  Is an opportunity to hear a presentation from the key players on the proposal for re-development.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
May 2, 2013
Contact:  News@co.ulster.ny.us
845.340.3800

ULSTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE MIKE HEIN INVITES COMMUNITY TO DISCUSSION 
OF SUNY ULSTER’S FUTURE SATELLITE CAMPUS AT SOPHIE FINN 
 
Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 8th at 7 PM at Sophie Finn

Kingston, NY – Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and SUNY Ulster President Donald Katt invite the public to discuss proposed plans for the conversion of the Sophie Finn School into a SUNY Ulster satellite campus.  The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 at 7 PM at Sophie Finn: 94 Mary’s Avenue in Kingston. Officials from the County, the City of Kingston, SUNY Ulster and the Kingston City School District are expected to attend.

Converting Sophie Finn into a SUNY Ulster satellite campus in midtown Kingston is part of County Executive Hein’s Strategic Taxpayer Relief through Innovative Visions in Education (S.T.R.I.V.E.) Project.  S.T.R.I.V.E is designed to improve educational opportunities for local Kingston area students, support revitalization of midtown Kingston, and provide financial savings for taxpayers. Through the S.T.R.I.V.E. Project, the County Executive is creating the foundation for an educational corridor with a modern community college campus right in the heart of Kingston.

Officials from the City of Kingston, Kingston City School District, and SUNY Ulster will discuss the goals of the S.T.R.I.V.E. Project, and SUNY Ulster’s architectural consultant, CSArch, will explain the design.  The meeting is also intended to provide an opportunity for neighborhood residents to discuss the project with SUNY Ulster, County, Kingston City School District, and City of Kingston officials while the planning and design phase is in its early stages.

S.T.R.I.V.E. related documents can be found at: http://co.ulster.ny.us/strive.html.  For more information, please call Chris White, Ulster County Deputy Director for Planning at 845-340-3338 or cwhi@co.ulster.ny.us.

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An Ode to Farmer Jesica Clark.

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Photo by Dion Ogust

Over the past seven years, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people. But none as dear and few as great as Farmer Jesica Clark.

I met her years ago, when she approached me to help as a consultant to the Kingston City Hall Victory Garden back in 2007, a project that was a 10×10 foot raised bed organic garden on City Hall grounds –  pretty unprecedented  - with the support of then Mayor Jim Sottile and former city clerk Kathy Janeczek who sadly passed in 2009.

Jesica was a young first generation farmer , who was working as the head farmer of Phillies Bridge Farm Project in Gardiner, NY – and I was so pleased to have her support and to pick her brain on how to make this project successful then. Allyson Levy of Stone Ridge also volunteered at that time, who has since become  a master gardener through the Cornell Cooperative Extension program and is co-owner of Hortus Conclusus. With such help, I couldn’t go wrong.

When I took post at the Kingston Land Trust as Executive Director back in 2010, Jesica got in touch with me again – as she was moving to Kingston and was looking for land to farm hoping for 10 acres. All I had then to offer was a small 1/4 acre parcel in the midtown area thanks to Binnewater Ice who had donated the land and a partnership with the wonderful Diane Reeder and the Queens Galley.

The space came with a free water source,  and I convinced her that creating a ‘farm’ on a small parcel could help Kingston to learn the benefits of urban farming.

She ran with it and moved away from her desired farm space and within a few weeks, Jesica had a three year business plan and a fundraising platform on Kickstarter. Very soon after, we negotiated a lease, a sublease – and she raised almost $6,000.00 to make the ‘farm’ concept a reality. The South Pine Street City Farm was born.

…and it was completely Jesica’s invention.  A space that grew over 150 varieties of vegetables with an educational component. In addition, she took on the task of developing ‘The Dig Kids – an Urban Farm Program” with me that in the past two years has successfully worked to transform the Everette Hodge Center garden and new garden plots at the Van Buren Street playground that not only educated each of us, but also dozens of children and their families in farming practices with the invaluable help of Megan Weiss of Kingston Cares who is someone else I hold in the highest esteem.  She started a farm stand (that Hugh Cummings built for free) selling her beautiful produce to the community three days a week at the farm, got involved with the Kingston’s Farmers market’s in uptown and midtown – and also developed a farm to table program providing vegetables to local businesses all over Kingston.

Jesica is one of the most hardworking people I know. But on top of it all, she has a deep understanding of how things work and is a savvy business woman. What’s more is her ‘can-do’ attitude that makes the impossible possible, with a personality that all of us have simply fallen in love with.

But her vision in being completely sustainable through farming a larger parcel is her dream – and she found such a space across the river. Although I am very happy for her, it is also with great sadness for me to see her leave Kingston.  She and her husband Daniel Clark (of Prime Print Shop in Poughkeepsie, who has also been essential and generous to our efforts) are the kind of residents that you  lose with a heavy heart.

Jesica Clark has put Kingston on the map on the Urban Agriculture front – something that is critical for us in this current climate. She has helped to remind us all something that our grandparents knew but has been lost in only two generations. We must grow our own food, help one another and do so with grace, beauty – and simplicity.

Her additional gift to our city is that she attracted another first generation farmer to Kingston – Kaycee Wimbish and her family – who will take over the South Pine Street City Farm, the Dig Kids Program and work towards a new and larger farm at the YMCA.  Because of Jesica, we will continue to pursue urban agriculture to benefit our community and continue to be a model for other Hudson River cities.

Thank you, Jesica.  For all of your hard work and in helping to make us more healthy and thoughtful citizens.

Rebecca Martin

KingstonCitizens.org – every now and then…

Friends,

Although KC.org retired years ago, we periodically like to bring something to your attention as you have seen here and on our Facebook page.

We hope you enjoy them when we do.

Thanks.

RM

O + Festival Donates $1,000+ to Charities in Kingston TONIGHT (12/10)

By Alexandra Marvar

Tonight, towards the conclusion of the Uptown Holiday Open House, The O+ Festival will present more than $1,000 of their first-year proceeds to two local charities in Kingston. The amount represents a 10% gift that O+ board members agreed to disperse to charities on an annual basis. This year, O+ will recognize Angel Food East, a hot meal program for people living with HIV and AIDS in the Hudson Valley, and the Queens Galley, an Uptown-based program that provides awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America, for their contributions to wellness in Kingston and the Hudson Valley, and their active commitment to fostering healthier communities. Representatives from all three organizations will be present for a brief & informal ceremony under the Christmas Tree on Maxwell’s Patio, commencing at 8:10 p.m. Please join us!

The remaining 90% of O+’s 2010 proceeds are currently going to support the 501-c3 application process for non-profit status, the O+ book project, a music/health event in spring 2011 (more info to come!) and the second annual O+ Festival, Columbus Day Weekend (October 7, 8, 9) 2011.

Director Maciek Godlewski recently completed a 4.5-minute mini-documentary of the first annual O+ festival — watch it on Vimeo!

Keep up with news at O+’s recently relaunched website at www.opositivefestival.org (which touts a great feature on the fest in the current issue of Businessweek magazine ) and follow O+ at www.facebook.com/opositivefest.

Thanks for your support in 2010. And please join us tonight in thanking Angel Food East and Queens Galley for making a positive difference, and Uptown for a very great year.

NEW Department of Public Works Schedule for Citizens of Kingston


By Rebecca Martin

Here is a link to the new DPW Refuse/Recycle schedule for 2010/2011.

Thanks to Ward 1 Alderwoman Andi Turco-Levin for alerting us.

Click on this LINK to view and print a copy.

 

Public Hearing on Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan Scheduled.

By Rebecca Martin

A little over a year ago, Kingston resident and KC.org contributor “Wilbur Girl” wrote an exceptional piece on her “Environmental Focus on Kingston” series titled “Give me an “C”, “S”, “O”! laying out the city of Kingston’s troubled sewage treatment problems.

She writes, “On average Kingston receives 47.48 inches of rain a year, with May being the wettest month. This summer alone (2009) we’ve been deluged with roughly 17 inches of the wet stuff. While my friends are all bemoaning the loss of blight ridden tomatoes, I’ve been worrying about a problem that runs a little deeper. Yup, I’ve been thinking about combined sewer overflow systems (CSO’s).

Kingston’s antiquated sewer system is a CSO. They were all the rage and considered the newest and greatest in waste flow management along the eastern sea board following the Civil War. The EPA defines these types of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems as “remnants of the country’s early infrastructure and so are typically found in older communities.” They estimate there to be roughly 772 CSO communities in the US today.

A CSO was designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage and industrial wastewater all in the same pipe. This slurry of toxic sludge is transported to a sewage treatment plant. Periods of heavy rainfalls or quickly melting snow exacerbate the volume of storm water runoff so that it exceeds the capacity of the system. Excess, untreated wastewater instead empties directly into nearby bodies of water – in our case, the Rondout Creek. Also, because of their age, CSO’s often fail or collapse at an accelerated rate.”

I’ve included the link to her piece in full up above and encourage you to read it as a refresher. Here’s why:

Please be advised that the Office of the City Engineer will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 6:30 PM in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall.  The hearing is for the purpose of discussing the recently completed Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on November 1, 2010.

All interested persons are invited to attend and express their views.

A copy of the Plan is available for review in the Office of the City Engineer, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

Please notify the City Engineer’s Office twenty-four hours in advance of the Public Hearing should special accommodations be required.

The plan is available at the Kingston Library also.

What are Combined Sewers?

Combined sewer systems (CSS) are sewers that are designed to collect storm water runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe. During rain events, when storm water enters the sewers, the capacity of the sewer system may be exceeded and the excess effluent will be discharged directly to the receiving water. A combined sewer overflow (CSO) is the discharge from a combined sewer system that is caused by snow melt or storm water runoff.

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