Schenectady Councilwoman Barbara Blanchard has resurrected a couple of her worthy but politically unpopular ideas and is trying to attach them, along with a couple of new ones, to the city’s comprehensive plan. It’s not a particularly welcome maneuver, more because of the process than the relative merit of the ideas.
The city has been working on this comprehensive plan — a 15-year blueprint for the city’s goals and priorities — since 2005. It’s time for the council to act on it so it can be implemented before the people who helped create it — citizens as well as politicians — don’t move, change their minds or start dying. Enough already!
The time for incorporating these ideas into the master plan has long since past. To do so now, properly at least, would require notifying the affected parties. That would include all the merchants on Jay Street, where Blanchard wants to create a new historic district; owners of satellite dishes, which Blanchard wants to restrict placement of; and homeowners in historic districts who have unpainted pressure-treated lumber on their property — Blanchard thinks it should be painted.
Well, it would be probably be many months for these people to be heard from; and to do an end-around, without consulting them, would be wrong.
As for the issues themselves: They’re controversial, and frankly unlikely to garner sufficient support for the council to include them in the comprehensive report in any hurry. In fact, the council has already rejected the Jay Street historic district (twice) and the satellite dish regulations never even made it to a vote.
She needn’t drop these issues — we supported her on the Jay Street plan — but she shouldn’t try to hold passage of the comprehensive plan hostage with them. They can be brought up at any time.