Resolved

Here is the Recorder story on the termination of the Chalmers agreement via a resolution to be introduced and likely passed next week (here). Through some well placed contacts, I was able to acquire the resolution itself.  Here it is:
Let it be resolved on this day of Tuesday June 30th by the Amsterdam Council on the matter of the Chalmers building the following:
1) whereas developers see opportunity for residential development and adaptive reuse of historic, architecturally significant buildings within the city, we proclaim such development to be unwanted and undesirable.
2) whereas we decry the ever growing local tax burden on property owners coupled with an underperforming housing market, we reject any and all development which may reverse this decades old trend. We embrace this trend.
3) whereas developers envision projects to attract a younger demographic, we see no need for retention of nor attraction of youth  to our local community and in fact, see growth through a continuing attrition of a younger demographic.
4) whereas legal agreements rely on a level of good faith effort by both parties and in cases where legal agreements may be less than clear, we will interpret that as strictly bad faith on the other party notwithstanding our less than good faith efforts
5) whereas the public may hold us accountable for the consequences of this action, we claim no basis for such accountability
6) whereas successful and viable communities foster positive relationships with private developers and industry, we see no such need.
7) whereas other developers and investors will interpret our actions against Mr Kaufmann as a community hostile to development by radically raising the financial risks of development, we do not consider financial risks as relevant to policy making.
8 ) whereas Murray Gould expressed an interest in Esquire and whereas he sees our actions against Mr Kaufmann as risky and whereas we may lose another adaptive reuse project, we reject any possibility of negative consequences of our actions.
9) whereas the site was known prior to demolition as the Chalmers building and whereas the site will be demolished, we will erect a lifesize monument of the sponsors of this resolution. Such monument will be engraved with the following: “In recognition of the Leggiero-Wills-Isabel-Roth Resolution passed on June 30, 2009. Architects of a bleaker tomorrow than today”.
Let it be so resolved.

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42 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Great stuff flippinamsterdam. I agree with you. What developer or investor in their right mind is going to want to do business in Amsterdam.

  2. awish4Amsterdam says:

    One giant step backwards for Amsterdam.

  3. F.George says:

    I do not agree with the statement that it is a step backwards. What I believe is a step backwards is creating duplex rentals out of old homes in Amsterdam. I like converting them back to homes.

  4. awish4Amsterdam says:

    The topic was Chalmers agreement.

  5. NobleFire says:

    1 Whereas, it is important when creating contracts with developers to create such a contract in a way that it protects the developer and not the city,
    2 Whereas, we will not do a credit check and seek a business stress level like the rest of the known world,
    3 Whereas, we will ignore if said developer allows a company to ilegally remove debris from said building and asks that “my bad” be acceptable for such actions,
    4 whereas, we will ignore his marketing study which states that he should not at all expect people to come from Albany and Saratoga to live in said Apartments,
    5 Whereas, We will ignore the fact that he is NOT a developer with his own money to back said project but merely a speculator,
    6 Whereas, we will ignore that said contract states he is to pay $50,000 upon one year to continue in another year if he just shows us that he applied for the money and we will ignore that he doesn’t have $50,000 to put into the project nor any of his own money to do a project of this magnitude,
    7 Whereas, we will ignore that outside counsel with no interest in this project states that his hud application coupled with hisoric credits would mean low to moderate income housing,
    8 whereas, said project is to be funded with 90% state and federal funds and we feel that the redevelopment by other REAL developers who have approached city officials within the past month with all private funds is a better avenue,
    9 Whereas, Ann Thane is boxed into a corner and her supporters are now bitter- This will not suffice in changing the opinions of the PEOPLE,
    10 Whereas, We do support the redevelopment of the chalmers site after the old building comes down,
    11 Whereas, we recognize that developers like Murray Gould do not get involved in political discussions and has done such not because it has changed his mind but merely to get political on behalf of the mayor,
    NOW BE IT RESOLVED, that we members of the council understand that Uri Kaufman is not a developer with complete capability to do this project and we do listen to THE PEOPLE we represent and we do declare that the Chalmers building is to be torn down and site redeveloped by a real developer with a contract that protects the city.

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      whereas point 8 suggests that behind the scenes public officials receive third party interest on Chalmers and whereas public officials seek to terminate or seek to influence terminating said contracts based upon such third party interest should be deemed at the least unethical. I think the press would find it an interesting story if any fact to it.

      • Alex says:

        Public Officials entertaining secretive backroom deals is a very serious matter and is considered a fraudulent act. Has anyone investigated this so called real developer with so called private funds?

    • MJD says:

      I want to thank Noblefire for his concise rendition of almost every myth, lie, half truth and paranoid delusion we’ve been subjected to about the Chalmers project.
      It’s this constant stream of misinformation that created a political climate where Common Council members switched their votes. Word of mouth, blogs and local radio stations have been used by opponents of the project to push this nonsense into the mainstream. People, like Noblefire, actually believe Kaufman came here to loot the building for scrap material, or he’s planning to build low income housing, or that he’s a fly-by-night dreamer who won’t be able to fund the project, ect, ect.
      The most ironic thing is that the biggest orchestrators of the proliferation of these rumors are the ones who have been ushering in criminals and dead-beat dreamers for years. The Isabel-Chiara-Dandreano-Going clan have recruited, and welcomed as heroes, the guy who burned down the Mohasco buildings for the insurance money, the guys who were going to make ethanol from grass clippings, the guy who thought the middle of our city would be the perfect place for a landfill, the guy who was going to give a house away to a needy family but never did, and, my personal favorite, the delusional and broke Aussie felon they simply signed the Mohasco building over to so he could start an eye-recognition security equipment company (then had to go to the Mongomery County Jail and beg him to sign the building back over before he was extradited). The people who brought us those gems are the same people who created a sense of distrust towards Kaufman among many in this community by spreading these falsehoods and half-truths.
      The worst offender, in my opinion, is WCSS. It’s like a rumor incubator. Mr. Isabel desperately wants to be mayor and his lineup of talk show hosts reflect that.

      • P. K. Dick says:

        The cold light of truth! Going and Chiara might crawl back under the refrigerator!

      • F.George says:

        The cold hard truth is the Mayors prom is over … time to put out or go home alone … again!

      • P. K. Dick says:

        Forecast – more whining and personal attacks as sacred cows are slaughtered, deadbeat employees fired and good old boys put out to pasture.

      • F.George says:

        Maybe you can assist the Mayor in clearing out these deadbeat employees Dick. Or some of the good ole boys that are in office. Who exactly would you mean by your statements? Are you referring to Supervisor Barone with his cash cow being the golf course, how would YOU go about doing that Dick. Do you speak of DiMezza and his no show paycheck? Where will you begin and what are their names?

      • ilovethesun says:

        “Has anyone noticed there’s a global financial crisis out there?” – Ann Thane
        How can you even say that with a straight face…
        Obviously Ms. Thane you did not realize that there is a global financial crisis out there or you would have thought twice before spending the taxpayers hard earned money on office renovations, and pretty new decor. Once again you insult the intelligence of the taxpayers. You throw the global crisis issue around when it suits your needs and forget about it when you are spending money on new office furniture for you and Mr. Tonko! It seems that you are not only clueless, but shameless too!

      • Alex says:

        How the heck can F. George say Tom DiMezza has a no show paycheck. Tom has been an excellent Police Officer and have shown tremendous results.

      • F.George says:

        It’s easy Alex. I’m sure he was a good busdriver too.

      • Charlie Kraebel says:

        The “prom” comment is completely out of line.

      • Alex says:

        F. George bus driver? Not sure what you mean by that. I also agree with Charlie. That prom comment is completely out of line.

      • MJD says:

        ilovethesun hits the nail on the head. Why worry about $1,200,000 in additional annual revenue, year after year, when you can save $40,000 by never fixing anything in city hall?
        Simple economics. Or what Republicans like to call “common sense”.

      • ilovethesun says:

        MJD- there is a big difference between “fixing” things at city hall and renovating, purchasing new furniture and decor. No need to have to explain myself after the letter that was sent to our illustrious mayor by the NYSOSC. I honestly don’t think anyone has to say anything more about the mayor…the front page of our local newspaper pretty much spells out her level of incompetence. After receiving such letter, (which refers to obvious overspending)she goes on to blab that her big idea to fix the budget…is to spend more by hiring a consultant to do the job her and her little friends are already being paid to do? Yes, it is simple economics MJD…save more, spend less. So far we have had to hire outside counsel for Chalmers (as our corp counsel cannot be trusted to make a decision that is in the city’s best interest), now outside consultants for the budget, a confidential aid, the list of ridiculous spending goes on and on and on! The govt is firing incompetent CEOs of major privately owned corporations, yet, no call for our incompetent CEO to resign! Does the city have to face bankruptcy first?????
        And to address your comment about the $1,200,000 in revenue from the Chalmers project…during the global economic crisis, don’t you find it hard to believe that people will be spending outlandish amounts of money to live in luxury apts in Amsterdam and commute 40 minutes to work in Albany? During a global economic crisis most people are trying to be conservative with their spending…I know that the word conservative is hard for most of the people on the Ann Thane train to grasp! Why do I have a feeling your train will come to a crashing halt after the next election. All aboard?

      • Alex says:

        City Hall looks great and that spending was done with-in the constraints of a budget. Hiring the outside counsel was approved by the alderman so how in the World can anyone just blame the Mayor. As far as an election it is 2 1/2 years away. In the mean time the Mayor will continue to advocate for development and projects that will bring much needed revenue into this City.
        In tough fiscal times communities need to remain competitive in order to attract business and residents. For example the extra $ 50,000 in our school budget is essential to maintain modified sports in order to maintain and attract residents.

      • P. K. Dick says:

        People reading the Recorder should remember that spending is done by the common council and financial information is provided by the controller.

      • MJD says:

        ilovethesun, the global economic crisis won’t go on forever, many economists say it’ll be over by the end of this year. So I really don’t think it’s going to be much of a factor, the Chalmers project is a multi-year project. But what I really would like to understand is why is the idea of someone working in the Capital District and living in Amsterdam so odd to you? I know dozens of people who have done it. My father did it for decades. Amsterdam is full of people who work, or worked, in the Capital District. But so what- that’s not our problem. A private entity is building them- it’s HIS problem. The location, the price, the smell from the river, the noise from the trains- all his problem. Yes, he’s getting some government help. So is Beechnut and Hill & Marks and Amsterdam Printing & Litho and lots of other enterprises. You guys don’t seem to hand-wring over every aspect of their business plan. Nobody is running through the streets screaming “What if Beechnut can’t control production costs sufficiently to compete in the worldwide baby food market against imports from lower wage countries!?! What if todays infants decide they won’t accept strained peas!?! Agggghhhhhh!!!”

      • ilovethesun says:

        Your response is that city hall looks good? Whew, I am sure the tax payers will sleep much better tonight knowing that Ms. Thane and Mr. Tonko are comfy sitting in their new office furniture and that everything “looks great”. And it was done within the constraints of a budget? Have you failed to see the front page of the local newspaper? We are looking at an $800K deficit!!!!!! As far as the common council approving outside counsel…It is obvious that we cannot trust our corp counsel to make a decision in the best interest of the city. That being said what choice did they have other than to retain outside counsel who obviously retained the information they learned in business/contract law 101.
        I commend you efforts to come to the mayors rescue, I am sure you are a loyal friend, but the argument that the Mayor plays no role in this $800K deficit or the sad state of our city is beyond weak!

      • F.George says:

        When you folks are finished stroking each others ego and wallowing in your own dung,the eventual realization will be that no matter whether you are a dem. or rep. you are still two sides of the same coin. You think growing government is creating jobs and fiscal reality doesn’t apply. Truth is,everyone in this administration is skimming off the taxpayer.If you serve it should be as a volunteer. By the time you get done butchering me about a prom comment,noteworthy could very well be closed and liquidating its inventory and yes it would include the new machine purchased to help it compete in todays economy. Roll that one around in your mouth. More business gone…forever!!!

      • Alex says:

        Actually I am informed citizen who read the report. If you read the report you will see that the majority of the deficit is due to capital projects and increase personnel cost due to settled union contracts. I said the Mayor is 1 vote out of 7 in the budget process. The other 5 are alderman and the final one is the controller. This budget committee will work to address the State Comptrollers report. Your tirade against the Mayor on this particular case is not backed by any logical facts. And yes I believe that City Hall and a Congressman’s office should have a professional look.

  6. Ann Thane says:

    The sixth comment posted here is rife with misinformation, which is unfortunate. This project is too important to our community to repeat fallacies over and over again in an attempt to make them true.
    Facts:
    – the City is protected in this agreement.
    – extensive background checks, both financial and legal, were done(evidently,not a practice of past administrations or AIDA Boards).
    – nothing was taken from the building (except for the years of illegal plundering that had gone unchecked over tens of years before this administration took office).
    – the marketing study was done by the developer to determine whether or not the project is viable. This developer is confident enough to want to move forward.
    – this is a development company, much like the Gordon Companies or the Merlin Development Company. Few individuals strike out on their own, using personal assets to finance projects of this magnitude.
    – the outside counsel’s opinion is non-committal at best and does not indicate that the developer must pay the city $50K at this juncture, or that this will end up a low-income housing project. Our agreement precludes this end; the developer would have to turn the building back over to the city should the finished project tract in this direction.
    – most projects of this magnitude take advantage of public development incentives to make the financials work – it is why county, state and federal governments offer them – to inspire private investment.
    – there is no other developer out there that has indicated they will develop this site, demo’d or not. I’ve asked the County, AIDA, URA and the EDZ to bring me anyone indicating the slightest of interest. There has been no one to date. Has anyone noticed there’s a global financial crisis out there?
    – Murray Gould has no political interest in what happens here. He merely indicated to this Council that he is not interested in attempting a development project that is inherently difficult to begin with when the local politicians treat another developer with such disdain. Despite his investment of time and money over the past year in the Esquire Building, he has decided to spend his time and money elsewhere, in a community that welcomes the interest of outside development. This is exactly what THE PEOPLE should fear most. The actions of this Common Council to nullify an agreement that they voted to enter into last year sullies an already damaged reputation of a community that is very much in need of progressive economic development. Someone needs to think of the consequences of these actions. We will be saddled with these results for years to come.

  7. F.George says:

    It deserves to fail, Amsterdam deserves to fail the Mayor deserves to fail. Nothing will change until all the good little citizens pack up and leave. The people who cash in on Amsterdam can have it. The out of town landlords to be specific.

    • P. K. Dick says:

      The power of positive thinking!

    • Karin Hetrick says:

      F.George should be the first one to pack up and leave Amsterdam. Let us start with the haters. Why live here if you dislike it so? There are many of us who see a great future here, I am one of them. The Mayor is doing the best she can for what she was handed to her from the past administration (who were all a bunch of crooks, egomaniacs and perverts). Let the Mayor do her job and start packing, “Mr. Failure”. Let me know if you need any help, Lord knows you can’t expect a man to do that kind of work, that would be the womans job!

  8. awish4Amsterdam says:

    The prom comment shows your ignorance and obvious disdain for women.
    Your bus driver comment shows you need to take your meds.

    • Karin Hetrick says:

      What is with the “Grumpy Old Men” in the city of Amsterdam? Isn’t it about time they retire and move on to old people territory(Florida)? They (the grump on this blog, Mr. Going, Mr. Chiara), should act more like gentlemen instead of cavemen! When will they learn that women have the SAME opportunities as men. As OLD as they are, you would think they would eventually get it! The burning of the bras happened a long time ago, remember?

  9. ilovethesun says:

    MJD- I am not denying that people have made this commute for years and God bless them for doing so. I am sure back in the day your when father was commuting gas had not reached $3-$4/gallon. Today people take the price of fuel into consideration, wear and tear on their car, oil changes, tolls, ez pass, etc., people consider even smallest expense now when opting to purchase a home or choosing a location to live. I actually made the commute for a good number of years, including parking it was almost $5-$6K per year for me to commute to and from work! If you take that amount and add it to the 4K and some odd dollars I pay for in taxes to live here, it adds up to a huge expense to live in Amsterdam rather than an area closer to Albany. It is not like Amsterdam has such wonderful attractions that people would take drastic steps to move here. I think that we just have to be honest with ourselves. Maybe this plan for luxury apts. will work in the future, but in today’s economy it does not seem feasible. And to put all of this $ into a whim and a prayer that the economy is going to bounce back next week or even next year is unfair to the taxpayers. Please do not forget that the Good Lord above does not send down “grant” money from above, and we should not have to foot this project!

    • P. K. Dick says:

      This project is funded by a private money loan (like any FHA or VA loan) that is guaranteed by HUD as an incentive to private lenders to extend credit. Additionally, the project takes advantage of available tax credits on the state and federal level that were created and have existed for decades as an incentive for this type of development. I have traveled extensively to other areas and redeveloped mill sites are common; I have always wondered why the idea hadn’t caught on in Amsterdam. Now I know why.

      • ilovethesun says:

        So what happens if Mr. Kaufmann defaults on the loan? This is not unheard of in today’s economy. Does the HUD money come from above or from tax revenues?

  1. June 29, 2009

    […] Judge Report.” You can follow the comment threads on Flippin’ by clicking HERE and HERE, and the Judge thread by clicking HERE. What’s most interesting to me is not necessarily the […]

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