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HDC accused of being undemocratic, opaque in its dealings

Sep 21, 2018 7:15 am
Amanda Purcell is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media some Hudson residents are requesting the Hudson Development Corporation conduct its monthly board of directors meetings at a time when more people can attend. Currently, HDC holds the meetings at noon on the fourth Tuesday of the month. The residents argue it is not feasible for those who work during the day to attend at that time. As of late September 19, a total of 86 people had signed an online petition at Change [dot] org calling for the meeting time to change. The creator of the petition, Hudson resident Charlie Suisman, said HDC is undemocratic. “Development corporations began decades ago because citizens felt that local governments were excluding them in important decision-making processes,” Suisman said. “As time has gone by, development corporations have been criticized for exactly the same thing..." Residents and members of the HDC board recently clashed over a perceived lack of transparency, specifically around the $20 million development of the former Kaz warehouse site in the city's First Ward. A noon meeting allows for HDC members with families to be home at 6 p.m., HDC Board of Directors Chairman John Gilstrap said. Suisman alleges the HDC failure to be open and above board in its dealings with the public go beyond its meeting time. “They have invoked executive session far too often, defying open meeting laws. They have tried to block valid FOIL requests...," he said. Gilstrap denied there was a lack of transparency. “I don’t know how much more transparent we could be other to have them come in to my living room,” he said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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