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Hudson Common Council adopts 'a new style' for 2021

Jan 19, 2021 6:00 am

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media in an extraordinary move, Hudson Common Council President Thomas DePietro has eliminated council committees for 2021, significantly altering the structure of city government. In lieu of separate committees populated and managed by the aldermen, department heads will now report to the full Council at its informal meeting. Ad hoc committees will be created to address specific issues that need more time and public debate. DePietro said the change is experimental. The changes mean all resolutions and laws will go through DePietro, who will set the agenda and lead the ad hoc committees. Representatives of the Hudson Development Corporation, the Hudson Community and Development Planning Agency and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee will also report directly to DePietro. “Centralizing all these things will lead to greater participation and openness of government in the long run,” DePietro said. None of the 10 aldermen chose to discuss the changes at the organizational meeting last week before they unanimously voted to accept the rules of order, despite many not knowing about the planning advance. In 2020, the Council had nine committees each made up of four members including the committee chair. Zoom meetings have gotten out of control with online attendees misunderstanding them as public forums, DePietro said. The structure will bring something different for the new year, Majority Leader and 2nd Ward Alderperson Tiffany Garriga, who chaired the Housing and Transportation Committee, said. “A new style, if you will, for 2021,” she said. The council will see if the set-up works to decide whether or not to continue it for 2022, she added. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.