Developing Backwards

Most important point you need to accept: There will be significant new development in Hudson. If you can’t accept that, I can’t help you and won’t argue with you, because you’re one of the Ostriches I referred to in another blog post, and you just haven’t been paying attention as our expenses have tripled, our population hasn’t changed and our infrastructure crumbles while we defer debt repayment.

We’re so far past the point of being able to just cut expenses to not develop that the only thing we really need to discuss is how we develop to build a better Hudson if we can save Hudson. And we’re horribly out of sync with the MRC and MMC densification mandates, we never liked those alphabet soup overseers much did we?

Pine Beach is water under the dam, it’s going to happen.We have non-negotiated ourselves against a cliff edge against far superior forces holding more cards. The developer will get it approved by a this Council or the next, because there’s too much at stake and we’re holding no aces and have no chips left.  Wasting breath arguing or trying to change it will lead nowhere, Council should seek reasonable accommodations and make it happen quickly.

We have a planning department. Sue me, but the facts say we big spend piles of money annually to plan, yet we don’t yet have a plan. That’s not a planning department problem, our planners are good enough to get raises, so let’s call it  a leadership and community visions problem through successive Councils and DGs. We’re years behind on drafting, submitting and getting a PMAD plan approved by the MRC, we ask for and miss extension after extension. PMAD is important to what Hudson looks like in the future, but we’re not having visible public consultations and discussion so one day we’ll have to rush one through.

We’ve got a desire to build on the Green and Sustainable cachets, but we don’t have a viable plan to get there. We’ve got a casual interest in hobby sized community sustainable farming but without a plan and some funding to make it enhance the revenue or value of Hudson it’ll be a distracting vanity illusion of progress leading nowhere.

I think we’re reacting rather than acting, being blown by the winds of many mouths, and I know we need to change the way we’re doing things to ever get results.

We need to stop waiting for the right solution to find us and get out and find the right partners to build what we want our future to look like. Start at the end we want to get to and work backwards:

As a community, let’s quickly spend some significant effort shopping for, finding and understanding some great development projects in other places that are best case examples of sustainability, accessibility, community building and quality of life. We have some great passionate citizens who understand planning and sustainability, if not the financial constraints or marketability. Merge some of those ideas with a bit of reality and we could find some winning ideas.

The potential solutions should span the range of downtown Hudson redevelopment to ruralish proximity to sustainable farming. The Scandinavians could be a great inspiration, as would the Dutch and other small communities in Canada. They need to be price competitive within their market, or have valid cost justification when transplanted to our market. We have worldly citizens who might provide insight into places they’ve seen in their travels.

Face it, if we don’t have a plan and can’t agree on what we want, developers and builders won’t waste their time here. So nail that down and once we know what we want, let’s seek some builders and developers interested in building a model small community of the future project as a toe-hold into the Canadian or Quebec market. This excludes 90% of the builders in Canada, but doesn’t preclude some interesting semi-custom modular home builders like Bonneville who might like to push their envelope of sustainability.

Let’s welcome and help any such builder find good land in Hudson, bust our asses to rezone it, and help them to seek Federal and Provincial funding for energy and water efficiency and sustainability.Wind, solar, community geothermal and every other showcase technology could have a place.

It’s really hard to move forwards when you’re doing things backwards. Let’s change how we’re approaching development, understand that we need development and try to do our best to shape that development into something we’d want to live in, a town of the future with a deep rooted past.

Warning, I have the keys to this blog and I’m not afraid to use them. I will aggressively delete any arguments or discussion that simply deny the need for Hudson to develop, no flat earthers needed here today.

35 thoughts on “Developing Backwards

  1. I firmly believe that Hudson needs more development so long as it is “sound and sustainable”.

    I disagree that the “Pine Beach” project is a done deal. At this point, we do not know if this development is sustainable. The amount of water that the municipal wells is currently able to produce is not sufficient to permit existing residents to water their lawns during the summer months (witness last summer’s ban). And recently, the town’s Director General was quoted as saying that there would not have been enough water for residents had their been a second fire occurring at the same time as the one in Como.

    The town was repeatedly warned going back almost three years that the newest well was in jeopardy and in risk of failing. The Mayor & Council chose to ignore those warnings until recently.

    Is it not irresponsible for this council to adopt a zoning change that would permit a greater density on Sandy Beach before first securing a new source for potable water? And who should pay for it? Do they know for a fact that a new potable water source would not only provide an adequate supply for existing residents but would also be capable of supplying an additional 15-20% increase in population? Until this question can be answered, they should delay adopting any zoning change.

    In exchange for permitting a greater density on Sandy Beach, what has this council asked for in return? To the best of my knowledge – they have asked for NOTHING!

    In the late 90s, Nicanco came to council requesting a zoning change – we negotiated a servitude in perpetuity in favor of the Town for public access to the beachfront as well as acquiring ownership of significantly important wetlands on-site and public pathways. (Note that these wetlands were cited in the town’s 2008 wetland audit as the 2nd most important.) TPAC played an integral role in these negotiations. Has this TPAC been asked for their recommendations? – I do not believe so ………

    I believe the deadline for conformance to PPMAD was two months ago, i.e. January 31, 2017. Hudson cannot conform until it gets our train station (owned and operated by the Hudson Village Theatre for the past 17 years) declassified as a “TOD”, i.e. transportation hub!

    To not do so, would demand that the town permit an even greater density for Sandy Beach (400 units +) as well as for other areas within its urban perimeter. This council promised to argue the case that there should be no TOD designation within its borders.

    Planning as always is challenging, requiring foresight, patience and determination. It can never just be development for development’s sake……………………

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Liz, your comments carry the wisdom of actual experience steering the ship.

      If we limit development by not having enough infrastructure then we’re terribly short sighted and probably open ourselves to lawsuits by a developer with zoning already approved.

      My read of PMAD was that we missed the boat a long time ago and should have immediately protested calling one train per day a Transport Oriented Hub. I’ve been told that the CIT buses also count, anything publicly funded, and it’s not the station itself that matters. In any case, we’re remiss in not yet having a plan nailed down and approved by now.

      Sandy Pine Beach will require water, no doubt and we need to resolve a long term supply as a priority for the existing population and the required development. And we need to establish a protocol for how developers buy into that infrastructure, or if we deliver that at current taxpayer expense.

      The current strategic plan acknowledges the need for growth, but no significant infrastructure has been planned to handle it. Imagine the law suits if we couldn’t fight a second fire? Once that knowledge is publicly stated we MUST act on it, or we’re negligent if we get bitten.


      1. But we had enough water for the retirement home uptop of Oakland for the King Saviour of Hudson? R– whatever the number is. Hey has anyone heard from that guy who was going to develop the top of Oakland– or is his number still out of service?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kevin I don’t think there was any knowledge of a water problem when the retirement home was being planned. Could have been but I wasn’t involved in politics then. liz is right this present council was told, by us, the previous council and by way of a notice of motion in sAugust or September 2013, for a new well as one of our wells was silting up. We basically handed them the football but they chose to sit on it, I guess not seeing the importance after all it case from “those that came before”! 3 years later there is a water ban actually starting in the Spring, on April 29 to be exact. How can you plan or try to push through development without solving that water issue? How can you even base a whole strategic plan on development growth of 20%+ and sweep that issue under the rug? Highly irresponsible and I hate to sing that old song again “where’s the water that was promised to the west end?” If town council is working hard to solve those issues, that they at least have a plan, please tell us before we all feel irrelevant and vote with our feet. All those feel good initiatives, fair trade, culture, growing veggies, etc. That’s what you do when all the necessities have been looked after, like icing on the cake.
        Look into a small water treatment plant across from Thompson park. What is it going to take, perhaps the 80 homes in the west end should have a class action suit against the town for ignoring our right to have access to town water? After all we do pay our taxes. Need to light a fire under their little bottoms or surely elect new people who have a good dose of common sense. If they happen to have other credentials like MBAs it will just be a bonus.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. An interesting precedent occurred in the planning and building of Whitlock West. The developer knew going in he had no access to a sanitary sewer system He decided on installing a communal treatment facility for his 40 or so residences. If he was doing it today he might well (with our current water situation) have provided his own well and treatment facility too. It did cost him and he assumed that cost and planned for it in his marketing strategy. Consequently the Town took over ownership and from what I know it has fulfilled its purpose. Mr. Muhlegg is able to hook-up w/ease to our Town sewers but shouldn’t he have to pay as Mr.Shubert did for his share of the sewage treatment plant proportionate to how many people he wishes to hook to it. If the brick shithouse cost 5 million (pipes are not part of the calculation here) and he’s planning on using 20% of its capacity doesn’t it seem right he might get a bill for $ 1 million from the Town.
    As for water it seems the adage” h2o, h20 everywhere and not a drop to drink” applies . Ottawa River is right there. Maybe he installs an intake , filtration , and piping sufficient to his needs and turns it over to the Town when it’s up and running much as Whitlock West did with its sewage facility or Mr. Rodrigue and Mr.Norris did in their developments. Frankly,I don’t see the difference in the situations. OK , if you guys all agree w/me (and you should really think hard about that) let’s fire up the dozers — Brian Grubert

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian, In a previous thread I roughly estimated something like $3.00/Habitable Square foot as a fair enough price to add capacity to Hudson’s Brick Shithouse. At today’s construction costs that’s about 1% of selling price and should not make or break the deal on $300-400K condos and $500K+ Townhouses..

      Frankly I don’t are if it’s a shared thing, but it’s the principle of leaving enough capacity to expand without additional debt. But over the whole project it might be a million dollars once fully built, which would reflect the real cost of replacing capacity.

      I don’t care if the developer, builder or first owner pays, but I’d make it a condition of sale and occupancy.

      Muhlegg could draw water from the River, he’s right downstream from the Brick Shithouse Underwater Outlet though. Water I see as a shared project with Piney Beach paying probably 25-30% of the cost of a pumping and treatment plant.

      But it’s not my call, I’m just talking out loud hoping to spark thinking so we don’t just do it without thinking.


      1. I guess I was more or less addressing Liz’s question about “What Has the Town asked in return for the higher density request on the table”. $1 million cold hard cash from Mr. Muhlegg for sewer hook-up and a trial run at sourcing our drinking water from the river would be a start. I don’t see that Sandy Beach being downstream from sewage outlet is a game stopper. Intakes can be positioned according to needs. If the filtration plant at the top of Cameron is an indication of size needed for 4500 citizens then I’m thinking a treatment facility 25% that capacity shouldn’t be a game changer for Mr. Muhlegg’s budget. These discussions are down to specifics at this point so let’s be specific. Sustainability , possible environmental damage , and Town purchases have left the station. He already has approval from 2002 , so now we need to make the best deal possible as per his new request.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin, Thanks for asking. I always try to promote discussion but these are my real central beliefs. We need to proactively manage development for the future.

    I do believe that we need a pile of development and to best do that we need to seek Hudson appropriate developers and builders as a better option than approving zoning without a builder and then having the developer sell off stages of a project to any old builder. Find some interesting sustainable builders and we’ll have far less pushback that if we accept the commonplace cookie cutter factory.

    I hope people come out swinging some big ideas and plans for the future, we need imagination and most of all we need to dream big and work hard to make the big dreams happen by recognizing that it’s the combination of ideas and priorities that binds a community to action.

    This is a call to the valued inputs of Chloe and Jamie and those who very correctly drive us towards sustainability and minimal damage to our environment. That’s who we really are at heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kevin R-55 is currently owned by the company that gave the fly by night developer a huge mortgage on the land flipped from the Hudson group. Asking a lot of money in absence of a good developer and plan. If the guys with crooked sticks find us some new water capacity, I’d like to see us rezoning it for a mix of housing because it’s ready for sewers. That won’t be popular, but it is realistic and a good use of the land. Not sure the senior’s place was ever viable, think it was a crooked non-developer’s dream come true.


    1. I agree Peter, rezone it. These retirement home developers are building everywhere but Hudson. Now if the owner of the land would reduce his price (Not sure if the Rosenberg Foundation would do that, if there was a plan to make it more attractive to a developer (3 stories?) maybe.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If we want senior friendly housing to keep our aging population close to home we should allow 3 or 4 stories in multi-unit developments.

        The rationale is very simple: At three stories an elevator is essential and at four stories it is more economical on a per unit basis. Two story buildings will avoid elevators and that makes them difficult for seniors to commit to.

        Four stories in R-55 would not block any existing views or sight lines and the same number of units would occupy a smaller footprint and allow more green space between buildings. Or more density with the same green space, if that’s preferable.

        If we look back at Hudson’s zoning history, much of what we have dictated by restrictive zoning and TPAC dictates has limited development. That includes 30,000 square foot lots, styles and limiting heights.

        Let’s just get this out: The reality is that we’ve been purposefully anti development for decades as a growth limitation strategy.

        That attitude needs to change and as we solve our fiscal problems we need change that we need that change to have a clear vision of the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m just thinking that I’m woefully short on knowledge in more than a couple of areas, but these stand out in this discussion:

    1) What really is sustainable development, how do we get there and what is the impact on marketability and cost of homes? A million questions why it’s not the defacto standard withotu understanding the real meaning. I’d love to see some resident experts who may or may not run for council hold an educational informational session for those Luddites like me who wish to become more informed.

    2) The subtleties and nuances of Hudson’s varied land and potential future uses are tied up in the locals who grew up here wandering the woods even before the discovery of fire. They would have valuable input into what land and areas would fit development well, especially if they had some agricultural experience.

    How do we form informed opinions?

    Perhaps time for a Hudson Sustainable Development Club moderated by some of our knowledgeable residents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Peter, I’m sure you have heard the definition of “sustainable development”. It goes something like this. “It is council or citizens making decisions today to meet their needs without hampering future generations’s ability to meet their own needs”. Not quite word for word but I think you get the gist of the meaning. You are right though in feeling confused about what it is. Sustainable development seems to me to be an oxymoron as the more you develop the more you need infrastructure, services, a bigger footprint etc. The government wants us to reduce our green gas emissions. I get that, but at the same time, the developping countries keep coal furnaces going 24/7 and pollute to no end, they clear cut the rain forest in Brazil for the trees. Who can blame them though when they are just trying to reach prosperity like the west.
      You are right by saying that we should develop backwards kind of. When I attended a conference on Sustainable Development Plans hosted by Bromont, the method used was the town looking at how they envisioned their town in 20 years, then looking at where the town stood now. But it is not only regarding development and unfortunately most people think it has to do only with development of housing. There are 3 pillars, one is economic, one is social and at the forefront to me, the environment. The social aspect for one, means that everyone should have a roof over their head (affordable housing), access to a job, the ability to have access to good food and I’m sure lots of other things. The economic aspect especially for towns is having enough revenue to supply services to its citizens. One town in the states did their sustainability plan and the key action they were going to take was build the infrastructure for their existing industrial park. They owned the land but without needed infrastructure they couldn’t grow the park. If they did it would supply much needed revenue. Lots of small towns are investing and revitalizing their Main streets, making them visitor and resident friendly and thus creating a thriving business core which brings in much needed revenue for services.
      So basically, a sustainable development plan, is not only about development, it’s about Health, (will you have enough doctors in your area to treat your population? thank goodness we have a great Medi-Centre), Education (if your population is young, will you be able to have enough space in schools to accommodate them? think St. Lazare with a population around 30%? being under 14. Will you have higher education available when they get to that age? if you have a population getting on in years, will they be able to stay in their community? are your streets/lighting senior friendly? Just check the latest census figures I think as par as population specifics it comes out in May). Environment, do you want to have more green space? then protect it now for the future generations, Transportation (are you supplying alternative transportation other than cars? Are you doing anything to keep the population active with sports facilities, bike lanes,?). There are so many other issues to think about.
      The main problem I see in Hudson is that the population doesn’t want change, sure they want security and better services, like proper roads, snow clearing and reliable garbage pickup. other than that do they really want it to change in density? Do they want to grow to 7,000 residents? I personally believe some development is good but don’t agree with high density, especially if your resources are stressed to the limit like Hudson’s are.
      Anyway, just google sustainable development and you will get tons and tons of articles. It seems to be the new buzzword and unfortunately some politicians, and that’s everyone, are using it to push development projects through, crying that they need all that extra revenue for services. Is bigger actually better? Actually I think the extra revenues will go into a bigger bureaucracy.


      1. Politics93, I agree with what you state here. I think many would rightly extend these concepts to minimizing impact of development on the environment by demanding maximum protection for sensitive land and maximum efficiency.

        Those extra demands add cost and reduce marketability of developments to a subset of the population willing to put their money where their environmental mouths are.

        Exactly the kind of people we need to attract to Hudson, for the long term in my opinion.

        We’ve had, to my knowledge, one small group of such houses, (UK-??) and our TPAC and zoning laws make different harder to do than it should be. Modern energy efficient houses might look different to accomplish the goals.

        The challenge is to find a quality builder of such homes with a proven track record and make it attractive for them to build in Hudson.

        Otherwise we will get V-D style slap em up, sell em fast and move to the next development. Maximize speed and profit.

        That’s my real meaning behind develop backwards, find builders who would make us proud and then help landowners attract them to Hudson.


  6. Well then Peter, If that is your honest opinion, I am on board and what you said is extremely factual. It hurts my heart, I won’t lie. But you are absolutely right. HUDSON NEEDS TO CHANGE. I’m really not sure what I can add to what you have written, however, I realize you have the keys to the blog– But I would be interested in hearing from the opposite spectrum without fear of deletion. This is one of those threads I’m going to watch develop in lieu of adding my opinion which is identical to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin, I am unlikely to use the massive power of the keys to the blog to cut discussion on NOT developing or LIMITING development, that would be too much like threatening to sue those who comment.

    So long as those comments about limiting development include specifics on which budgets they would cut to limit the need for development while still repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

    My main point is that those who state we should just buy Sandy Beach, or not develop anything haven’t educated themselves on the fiscal limitations, infrastructure deficit and rapid growth in spending.

    There’s no point in discussion without facts and reality. But Hudson is famous for never letting facts get in the way of opinion or a good juicy rumour.


    1. I agree Peter. We certainly don’t want “build them fast, paint them bright and sell them hard” type of housing. If hat makes us “snobbish” so be it. The UK-2 project did have some innovative housing but I think maybe timing wasn’t right as it really never took off. Now though, young people, the ones in their 30’s, 40,s who are home buyers love clean lines. Heck they are actually fighting over their relative’s old Danish furniture from the 60’s, you know like the teak wall units we all purchased when we could afford it way back when. I remember a few years ago giving to charity my late aunts teak furniture that was sitting in her country house. Didn’t think my kids would want it. They sure were upset I had given away Danish furniture they so coveted. I guess mt timing sucked.
      Getting back to different housing styles or projects I think our Urbanism department should be proactive rather than reactive but that would mean council would have to let the he urbanism do her job. She could research award winning residential projects and bring such to TPAC for discussion. Results of these discussions could be used to engage with builders as to what the town was looking for. My only year on TPAC was spent in frustration given that there was no direction at all.
      You want to tell me why the Whitlock west project was done.? I find it a very classy project although not innovative as far as style, it’s, a mix of country-ish/crafstman and fits in well with the surroundings. Why was this developer able to bring his project to fruition while the Ellerbeck and Norris projects stalled. I am sure there were all kinds of hurdles for Mr. Schubert to overcome as well.
      Why doesnT the urbanism department start talks with the Rosenberg Foundation? Maybe a mix of senior and other housing, if well planned, would be agreeable to surrounding neighbours, providing it was EXPLAINED well by council. That would mean being able to answer all questions that came up. If the town wants to promote something they have to own that presentation. Every single question….cost to the axpayers, traffic studies, marketability, taxes, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think that Sandy Beach is a done deal. We had a meeting exploring the idea of an implementation charette. I will be holding another one so that we can reach a larger audience. I think there are a range of solutions. Transfer of Development rights (TDR) might be very attractive to Nicanco if the parcel offered is easier to service and fits in better with the idea of the TOD concept. I do agree with Liz that as it currently stands the train station doesn’t qualify as the centre of a TOD. The next council will have to seriously push the AMT to put their money where their mouth is. Their document Vision 20/20 calls for electrification of our line. Ask Jim and Louise about trains and their viability if they are done properly. The council should push the AMT to think differently. But we do need growth and density to make it viable.

    Its not good enough just to express the political will for growth and density. Thats a recipe for disaster and conflict, something we can all agree that Hudson needs less of. The Master Plan in 1994 was a great start but it was 23 years ago. An official community plan needs to be renewed every 5 years with citizens engaged at the front end. A town wide design and implementation charette is the perfect tool to decide where growth should occur in the town and allows all stakeholders at different levels of government to work out policy contradictions (believe me there are plenty!). Following that a clear path to update to strategic and policy documents opens up for council. Growth areas are designated. Maybe we would decide to grow the traditional transit nodes with existing commercial (like Como @ Bellevue) or other areas. Once those areas are designated you can attract new developers because the path to development is clear or you can do TDR (Transfer of development rights) to speculators who want to develop in places that citizens want to conserve.

    The sky isn’t falling. Lets all take a collective breath and get some altitude on a collective vision for this town. An implementation charette is one of the first things the town would do if I was steering the ship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All great ideas. Let me be realistic for a moment:

      Has Nicanco actually expressed interest in accepting a TDR?

      Does the Town of Hudson have land that would somehow replace the NET development value of Sandy Beach for Nicanco?

      Were either the Town of Hudson or Nicanco involved in your meeting?

      I love the idea of what you call a Charette for future development, but stand by my opinion and feeling that Sandy Beach is just too far down the development path to change direction without some angel investor with deep pockets.

      Hudson has deferred debt repayments to control growth of taxes while continuing to expand payroll and costs. The Prevost government rightly identified that we needed development and now 40 months in hasn’t enabled enough to keep the ship from sinking further. Steer where you wish, but reality says the next administration will have its hands full both reducing expenses and increasing revenue expeditiously.

      Municipalities are not allowed to budget or run deficits, so taxes must rise, revenue must expand, or expenses must drop. We can’t drop enough expenses to fix our infrastructure and pay our debts, so we don’t have a lot of time.


      1. Peter, in 2014 the town announced a surplus of $770,ooo+; in 2015 a surplus of over a million dollars. Figures from Ron Goldenberg. All I have heard from mayor prevost, who has been quoted numerous times on this, is that the the town is in dire financial straights, so which is it??? When the new council gets in the financial committee will need to see all the items in the 2016 budget to see where they can cut. Not the condensed budget that Is presented to citizens,but the actual expenses in each department, like the confidential copies I was given as a councillor, all itemized.


      2. Peter, until the new council’s finance committee along with a proper treasurer, if we do get a new council in November that is, has a look at all expenses not just everything lumped in under a specific department, only then will they have “l’heure juste” or the real facts on where cost cutting can take place.


    2. The sky indeed is not falling. We’ve been mulling this thing on and off for 40 years and wringing our hands and then forgetting it when brinksmanship levels out and the status quo = nothing being done in the lulls resumes. Tough one ,Jamie , to find a TDR . Maybe the answer lies right on the piece of property. Maybe he’d agree to pull back towards the tracks (which will I’m sure someday qualify as a TOD if west and south of us like Rigaud and St.Lazare continue to grow and sprawl. A higher density and higher altitude (views) development along the Royalview spine while leaving a wide forested riverside park of real ecological value seems a compromise but may be just one of many solutions to be considered . People need to get involved and think about this while the perfect stall of not enough water and sewage capacity carries forward. I need to see one of these dang charette things at work. I’m starting to like the idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed Brian. In terms of a TDR, I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be hard to find an equivalent. A town wide charette could certainly resolve all these issues. Have the regulators, planners, elected, citizens, NGOs with Nicanco, Rodrigue, Ellerbeck, Norris, et al. at the table to iron out how to proceed. Completely doable.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Jamie Nicholls in simplistic terms, I understand a Charrette would involve all the town stakeholders, not only council but the urban planner, the. Citizens the different developers. Everyone gives input of their own particular vision. The town or urbanism department would wade in about particular legal/mrc/agriculture lobby group etc. Developers their vision of their own project and citizens their vision of their tow.n Everything gets thrown into the “wheelbarrow”‘ all is discussed to come to a consensus. I am trying to explain this type of “workshop” to a few people. In a nutshell can you describe it to me, also how it could apply especially to entice a developer in participating who has already spent mega bucks on his own vision.


  10. Has anyone talked to Nicanco and Muhlegg face to face on changing the planning of this development?

    With or without the Town?

    I don’t expect the Town to do any legwork on changing this development proposal. My prediction, Council will unanimously pass it, hold a registry, then push it to referendum if need be and Nicano wins.

    Hudson is too often a hotbed of hypothetical and hyperbolic pondering of incredible possibilities that just don’t materialize.

    In this case I believe that no matter who steers the rudderless and engineless ship you need Nicanco to have reasons to want to spend the money to change.


  11. A comment on Politics93’s Surplus questions, because I was baffled by Ron Goldenberg’s explanation of surplus at the revision of the revision of the 2017 taxes meeting.

    Councillor Goldenberg referrered to a surplus as measured against budgets, not necessarily against revenues in versus revenues out.

    If we’ve really had surplus totalling $1.7 million over two years, why were we NOT PAVING anyway when we were denied the borrowing bylaw because we had no inventory of and plan for infrastructure?

    Or why did we not PAY DOWN $1.7 Million in DEBT repayments that we’ve now deferred in the drama I call The Twice Cooked Budget Hot Potato?

    Perhaps some of this penchant for nuanced presentation of “facts” would explain the discomfort of multiple Treasury Staff who have left Hudson, but the details and reasons for those departures are highly confidential Human Resource issues because Citizens just Can’t Handle the Truth.

    I’m sounding cynical because while we struggle for facts and clarity things are being done daily that will challenge the next Council. We need a solid plan we can get behind, and a leader who can honestly convey the reality of the present as well as the reality we can achieve in the near future.


  12. Peter, you weren’t paying attention. We haven’t paved any roads because we’re not sure which ones we own…………………and all those pesky treasurers who we were lucky to get in the official line from the politburo and then mysteriously disappeared . Has anyone checked on where they really are as a result of their not wanting to perform Commissar Goldenberg’s spin dance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. let me see….sylvain bernard is now coteau du lacs treasurer, ramin is at a company in vaudreuil, serge im not sure but it was not his idea to leave apparently. he liked and was proud of his job in Hudson, not sure where the tax girl went nor the last assistant treasurer. seems to me to be career suicide to accept a job in this department because no matter who leaves, its always the employees fault. it really begs the question wt….it is abnormal that 6 employees have left the job, whether treasurer, assistant treasurer, or taxation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mistake, my bad, my list was incomplete, how could I forget Ashley, the girl who was hired after CH left, the one who used to work with Councillor Goldenberg at Green Tower’ and was hired on his recommendation. The one who is still there. Now that employee I never did figure out where she fit in. She started out on taxation? Accounts payable?, somewhere in finances of the town. Then the town hired the lady who came highly recommended by the mayor as she came from Westmount no less!, but she quit and went on to greener pastures when Ramin left, so Ashley got promoted to “Treasurer” Or was it Asst. treasurer, (forgive me if this is confusing and hard to follow), then the town hired Serge Raymond and then Ashley got demoted to accounts payable or was it taxation again or maybe even assistant treasurer, then Serge left, we don’t know why, maybe he couldn’t work with someone or some other reason, so the town hired mrs, Groulx or Giroux as assistant treasurer? She had a couple of days training before Serge was out that revolving door. Then Mrs. Giroux left, leaving the town with no one but who? Ashley? The one who had been demoted out of the treasurers/asst. treasurers job previously? Now the question that begs for an answer… Who has been making financial decisions, including on the last budget or make that the last budgets plus rewrites!, when there has been no accredited treasurer to put his stamp on it. Ron Goldenberg and Ashley? Not sure which chair she is sitting in now, talk about musical chairs! Considering what has happened in the past when there was no separation of DG and treasurer’s responsibilities, this should not be happening. Scary!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. In a special council mtg. Feb.20,2017 Mz. Ashley Etelka Dishzazy was named Assistant Treasurer and given signing authority in the Town’s financial interactions with the Banque National and power of attorney to represent the Town in Quebec Government dealings through Cliqsecur. So as of about a month ago she was the Asst. Treasurer . That’s a long reign by our Town standards. A month. Probably time for a change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Missed that special meeting as I was away. So, let me get this straight, Mrs. Dishzazy was assistant treasurer, then treasurer, then the town felt the need to replace her with a Mrs. Groulx or Giroux as assistant treasurer for some reason. Now when Mrs. Groulx left in January/Feb.? and there was also no treasurer, council went back to Mrs. Dishzazy and named her assistant treasurer AGAIN, with control of the Banque National chequebook???


  14. I’ve said it before, Treasury is a mostly mechanical job of presenting facts, processing bills and paying suppliers, contractors and employees. They don’t control the agenda or results, just report the good or bad news.

    When companies and or municipalities change Treasurers, in absence of negligence, malfeasance or criminal action, the story behind the numbers is of real interest.

    Damned facts are just so hard to live with sometimes. I’m not sure we have the facts we need to understand the Town’s finances, they are truly behind walls, smoke and mirrors.

    The number of fiscal messengers who have jumped ship or perhaps been pushed tells us that the news is probably not good, and perhaps is being publicly spun in ways that do not reflect the Treasurer’s viewpoint accurately.

    Let’s hope the next admin understands that the public needs facts to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

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