Midday Common Council Meeting

A Special meeting of the Amsterdam Common Council was held today at 12:30pm to speed up the process of replacing about 250 feet of floating docks at Riverlink Park that were destroyed by last summer’s flooding. City Recreation Director Rob Spagnola pled his case to the Council stating the docks were covered by insurance, that the City was already reimbursed for $50,000 for flood damages. The lowest estimate received was $65,000 and if approved the docks could be replaced in May, in time for boating season. The resolution to authorize bids limited to the floating docks was unanimously passed by the Council (Alderman DeRossi was absent from meeting).

Spagnola went on to state that the docks were the only part of Riverlink Park that was covered under flood insurance. Damage to five decorative light posts is estimated at $15,000. There was also damage to the concession building that was under three feet of water. An adjacent supply shed was also destroyed by the flood.

The only other piece of legislation presented at the meeting was an introductory resolution to place stop signs on Florida Avenue at the intersection of Bridge Street in both directions. A public meeting to discuss this ordinance was scheduled for next Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 7:20pm.

Also absent from the meeting were the Amsterdam Police and Fire Chiefs as well as City activist Diane Hatzenbuhler (there was no public comment segment in today’s meeting). Reporter Ed Munger covered the meeting for the Daily Gazette and Jarrett Carroll covered the meeting for the Recorder. I was the only City resident in attendance that was not a City employee.

Categories: Amsterdam, Politics | Tags: , , ,

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7 thoughts on “Midday Common Council Meeting

  1. diane

    Hi Jerry,

    Sorry I was not there, I had a previous appointment. I did not know about the change until mid morning. Hope you had a good time…….what are all the faces on DD for anyway?


    • I felt like your stand in today! As I mentioned before, I was the only one in the peanut gallery for this meeting.

      Dybas was upset that procedure was not followed to get the bids for the new docks, but understood the need to get the docks in as soon as possible to avoid loosing revenue from docking fees.

      • diane

        So were the docks already bought and this was an after thought?

        • No, according to Spagnola, he sought estimates from three companies and went with the lowest bid. That company is also able to build and install the docks in May. The resolution sought the required Council approval before a contract could be issued.

  2. diane

    Thanks Jerry. The mayor thought she had problems with Bill Wills, the next two years are going to be difficult for not only the mayor, but the council:) On the county board he voted no or abstained for his votes and was not considered a team player……..and now the city has to deal with this sour puss. Oh well, the power of the vote. Fun, Fun.

    • I don’t believe Council members are legally allowed to abstain from voting unless there is a verifiable conflict of interest. This conflict according to the Ethics section of the Charter has to do with a financial interest in a corporation with which the City is awarding a contract. Other than that the Aldermen must vote, according to the Charter provision describing voting procedures for the Common Council.

      Definition of Interest:
      INTEREST Editor’s Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
      A direct or indirect pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a municipal officer or employee as the result of a contract with the municipality which such officer or employee serves. For the purposes of this chapter, a municipal officer or employee shall be deemed to have an interest in the contract of:
      A. His spouse, minor children and dependents, except a contract of employment with the municipality which such officer or employee serves.
      B. A firm, partnership or association of which such officer or employee is a member or employee.
      C. A corporation of which such officer or employee is an officer, director or employee.
      D. A corporation, any stock of which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such officer or employee.

      Common Council Procedures C-28 Section C states:
      Voting shall be by voice vote except that any member may request a vote by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes. A majority of the authorized number of Aldermen shall constitute a quorum of the Common Council, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members, in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the Common Council. No action of the Common Council, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the authorized number of Aldermen. No Alderman shall be excused from voting on any matter except by unanimous consent of all other Aldermen present.

      From here it looks like the Aldermen must all agree if anyone is to be excused from voting.

      Voting is defined as stating aye or nay, not “I ABSTAIN”.

  3. diane

    Thanks again Jerry. I had not read that part of the charter in a while.

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