Commissioner Madigan’s Email Lights Things Up In The World Of The UDO

It seems that Michele Madigan’s email to Mayor Yepsen about the UDO has had an impact.[see “Comm. Madigan Weighs in on UDO oversight” in previous post]  Not only has Mayor Yepsen responded defending the UDO process but more interestingly, today the UDO website has been reborn.  The site had been moribund since December 9th .  Today they have added a few comments and published the notes from their original public meeting in October.  Of particular note is that the original schedule is gone and in its place is a new much revised schedule.   The “diagnostic review report” will now be published in March instead of November as originally promised.  Public input now begins next week, not October, and the process is to be completed in January, 2017. The original contract, as I understood it, was to begin when the City Council approved the agreement back in August and was to run for twelve months.  As far as I can tell, there has been no discussion or vote by  the Council to change the contract dates.

Here is a link to the UDO web site.

Below is Mayor Yepsen’s response to Commissioner Madigan along with my response to Mayor Yepsen.

From:             Joanne Yepsen []

Sent:              Wednesday, January 27, 2016 9:08 AM

To:                  Michele Madigan

Cc:                  Christian Mathiesen; Skip Scirocco; John Franck; Lynn Bachner; John

Kaufmann; <>; Kate Maynard; Joseph Ogden

Subject:         Re: UDO Contract And Workshop Revised

We have been providing updates regularly, have had Beehan in to Council meetings, held an open meeting and now look forward to kicking off the public engagement with an all day and evening workshops. We hope you can all attend. It’s a very technical process but an important step for our city and all cities to take after a comp plan update. NYSERDA grant was secured and accepted by the Council and now we must follow all their requirements which we are doing. I’ll ask our Planning staff to send out the schedule as it’s been coordinated to date. This will also appear on my agenda again on February 2.  If you still have questions, please feel free to email them to Tina who is working closely with Beehan Planning.

Thank you.


From:             John Kaufmann []

Sent:              Wednesday, January 27, 2016 6:07 PM

To:                  ‘Joanne Yepsen’

Cc:                  ‘Michele Madigan’; ‘Christian Mathiesen’; ‘Skip Sciroco’; ‘John Franck’

Subject:         Re: UDO Contract And Workshop Revised

Joanne—Thank you for “ccing” me on your latest correspondence regarding the UDO. I was surprised, though, that you claimed that you have been “providing regular updates.” Until today there have been no updates on the UDO cite since December 9, and I am not aware of any updates having been provided on your agenda at regular Council meetings. Behan Planning and Design representatives did indeed attend one Council meeting when the contract was approved last fall but not since to my knowledge. There was one open meeting on October 22 to give the public information on the UDO process. The “Meeting Notes” from this event were just posted today on the UDO site.

I noticed also that a new Project Schedule was posted on the UDO site today. This is interesting in a couple of ways. First of all, you mentioned in your email that you were looking to forward “kicking off the public engagement.” On the original schedule, which has now disappeared from the website, this was to happen in October and November. The new schedule now has pushed the whole project forward into January 2017. My understanding was that the Behan contract was for one year and so would end in September 2016. Has the contract now been extended and if so when was this voted on by the Council?

Still left unanswered is the question of what happened to the Advisory Committee that was to have oversight on this project.

I look forward to your clarification of how and when this contract with Behan Planning and Design was changed. Please let me know if there were any discussions at Council meetings, other appearances by Mr. Behan at Council meetings, or any other updates that I have missed and I will be happy to take a look at records I may have missed.


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