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HDC chooses John Friedman to fill vacancy

Jun 24, 2021 5:45 am

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media despite saying that it was looking beyond the usual suspects for its recent member search, the Hudson Development Corporation June 22, voted 9 to 3 to add former city alderman and attorney John Friedman to its ranks. The vote was anonymous; there was one abstention. Board Vice President and Nominating Committee Chairman Nick Haddad and board and committee member Christine Jones said diversity in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation was a focus during the process, but that candidates eventually withdrew their names from consideration. Hadded said it was because of time commitment and scheduling issues. Neither Haddad or Jones would identify the candidates they considered. Friedman said he looks forward to joining the board and that the subject of diversity needs to be addressed. “I am happy to join the HDC board as it enters into a new phase of its existence,” he said. The committee made the search known during the board’s meetings and encouraged board members to recommend candidates to reach out to about the position, but the board does not flyer for positions, Haddad and Jones said. Haddad said the search for new board members is largely through word of mouth. Mayor Kamal Johnson, an ex officio member of the board, said prior to the vote that he was willing to help reach out to communities they needed help reaching in the city. But Jones said Johnson did not suggest any names during the three-month-long search. Johnson said he did not suggest anyone during this search, but he did propose a candidate before the process began. That person was interviewed, put on hold and forgotten about. Johnson said he would hope the HDC board could reflect the local community. Board President Robert Rasner spoke to Johnson's concerns, assuring everyone an effort was made. At the same time, he begrudgingly acknowledged the need for diversity. "We look old, male and white and that needs to be changing. I got that," he said. Note: Johnson is a WGXC volunteer programmer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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