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City Hall Communications with Mayor Steve Gold

I have been getting genuine value out of reading posts here in BCN-world and on more than one occasion it has resulted in taking constructive action. I want to continue to respond to stories/news items as I read them throughout the network, but I was also thinking someone may want to address me directly, hence this page. I will respond to positive comments focused on improvements, suggestions and creative ideas. Thank you in advance for taking the time out to be involved. We have a better city because of it.
Thanks,
Steve

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Many people appreciate your participation here, Steve. Thanks.

Here's a request: a public square somewhere on (or just off) Main St, much like you find in many towns like Beacon. Woodstock has a great one, full of people around a drum circle every Sunday. I'm sure I don't need to articulate the benefits of such a place: to bring folks and energy to Main St, create spontaneous gatherings, bond the community.

The empty lot at Cross and Main would make a fine (albeit small) one. Or a part of one of the municipal parking lots. Or part of that huge parking lot across from Homespun, most of which is unused (and which I believe is private).
I live near the falls so, selfishly, I think the East End is a great idea for the reasons Floor One states. But my gut says that something more centrally located on Main would have more impact. And certainly the middle dead zone (which is becoming less so) could use some help (or maybe I'm thinking selfishly of BEAHIVE?).

Anyway, any place along Main would be better than nothing to create a more walkable, living, lively town. It's one of the things I think many miss about the city — though you don't have to be a city-lover to appreciate a town square.

Floor One said:
What about here on East Main Street, Scott? I know it's a bit off the beaten track, but it would be nice to have the "square" on the East End, as to have people come all the way down Main Street. There is also grassy areas near the Beacon Falls that would make a great Main Street park area....if the trees were able to be cleared, and the shrubs trimmed....
Could someone please identify the blocks along Main that are considered the "Dead Zone." I walked the length of Main and back on Second Saturday, and I didn't see anywhere that could really be considered a dead zone. There are no boarded up blocks. There are no blocks without businesses. The middle of Main Street has a grocery store, a dry cleaners, a dollar store, the shipping place, Mr. V.s, a dance school, a kung fu school, Beehive, hair places, an ice cream shop, the library, Subway, a card shop, a pizza place, a travel agent... and I am sure I missed a few things. What's the deal? Do people just want to see this area restored so it looks like the west end?

I hate to sound like a naysayer, because public spaces are great and would serve the community well during the day, but wouldn't it just become another place for loitering and drug dealing at night?
Some (many?) people consider the middle area a "dead" zone because of 1) the architecture and 2) its appeal to visitors. There has often been discussion of connecting the west side of Main with the east side, because as unfamiliar visitors walk Main from the west, once they get past a certain point there's nothing to entice them further. The new signage helps in that regard — but of course does nothing for the middle. (This did, in fact, play a minor consideration in my opening BEAHIVE there — that is to breathe a little life in that area, however small the breath may be.)

As far as loitering and drug dealing in a public square at night: I suppose that could be a concern BUT NOT if the police do their job. I would think it would be much less enticing in a centrally located public place anyway. They're a staple in many other towns, and they're all over the big, scary city.

Andy Brown said:
Could someone please identify the blocks along Main that are considered the "Dead Zone." I walked the length of Main and back on Second Saturday, and I didn't see anywhere that could really be considered a dead zone. There are no boarded up blocks. There are no blocks without businesses. The middle of Main Street has a grocery store, a dry cleaners, a dollar store, the shipping place, Mr. V.s, a dance school, a kung fu school, Beehive, hair places, an ice cream shop, the library, Subway, a card shop, a pizza place, a travel agent... and I am sure I missed a few things. What's the deal? Do people just want to see this area restored so it looks like the west end?
I hate to sound like a naysayer, because public spaces are great and would serve the community well during the day, but wouldn't it just become another place for loitering and drug dealing at night?
Hi Steve,
I really appreciate that you have made yourself available in this way--I have been asking around incessantly without success about University Settlement and the barn that used to be available for rent before the city took over. It is a wonderful event space, and I know a number of people, including myself, who would be interested in renting it out for a family party, etc. Are there any plans to make this available for rental? It might be a great source of income, if the price was right.
Thank you all for your partisipation.

Scott, I agree with you about a public square on Main Street. We should have several. The Comprehensive Plan recommends them. I think they refer to them as “pocket parks”. Along with your suggestions I really like Veterans Place (adjacent to the post office), or the parking lot in front of Key Foods. I hope when the Council is finished with waterfront and Fishkill Creek zoning we can focus on Main Street. I would really like to see them too.

Andy, the area you are referring to is called the “transition zone” in the Comprehensive Plan. The plan suggests incentives for replacing some of the poorly designed buildings with new construction by way of tax relief and permitting a fourth story (which is not permitted for new construction on Main Street).

Also Andy, you are not the only person who is concerned about the misuse of pocket parks on Main Street. Your concerns are justified but I think there is a lot more to gain by having them. Also public places are easier to control than private. That’s because laws don’t permit the police to arrest people on private property for things like drinking with open containers (unless the property owner files a complaint). And if signs are posted that the parks are closed at dusk, the police can chase them away without violating their constitutional right to loiter. Keeping it well lit up at night will also help.

Maryalice, I think you are referring to the “theater” at the University Settlement Camp. It surly is available for rent. In fact we’ve had several weddings there. Call city hall and ask for Mark Price our recreation director. He will give you the rates. And yes it is a terrific place!
Hi Steve,

I've been reading about the Edgewater project in the TOD discussion, but I'm not sure what that is. Can you point me to info about that, or briefly describe it ?

Thanks - and this is a great discussion posting !
Philomena
I agree with Andy--the unfairly labeled "Dead Zone" is simply the untrendy, working class business part of town, which is not only necessary but desirable, in ambiance as well as practicality to anyone with a soul. To me, the "Dead Zone" is the row of brick-red painted plywood-covered Civil War-era buildings that fill up E.Main Street near the dummy light. These have been boarded up, wasted, viable commercial storefront spaces at least since I moved here in 2000. And that was when this was "the happening" end of town.
Mayor Gold,

I would like to see more the mayor and city council focus their energies on lowering taxes. I would like the city council to stop financially supporting any and all private entities (like pop warner football, etc). I would like to see the city get out of the rental business (ie. University Settlement). I would like to see the city council and mayor give all of their attention to the infrastructure of the city - police, fire, water, roads. Other than that, I would like to see the city government do everything that it can to lower the taxes in Beacon (or, at least, curb the ongoing increase). Of course, this might mean less energy being devoted to kitty cats, dogparks, and bicycles...but it will result in an improvement in the government's role the lives of its citizens.

I think these are very creative ideas that will result in wonderful improvements...

Good luck with these!!
Morgan! You're back!
Irwin Wurm said:
Mayor Gold,

I would like to see more the mayor and city council focus their energies on lowering taxes. I would like the city council to stop financially supporting any and all private entities (like pop warner football, etc). I would like to see the city get out of the rental business (ie. University Settlement). I would like to see the city council and mayor give all of their attention to the infrastructure of the city - police, fire, water, roads. Other than that, I would like to see the city government do everything that it can to lower the taxes in Beacon (or, at least, curb the ongoing increase). Of course, this might mean less energy being devoted to kitty cats, dogparks, and bicycles...but it will result in an improvement in the government's role the lives of its citizens.

I think these are very creative ideas that will result in wonderful improvements...

Good luck with these!!
:)
I knew it!

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