Saturday, October 24, 2009

Register Star endorses William Hughes Jr.

Hughes Endorsed for another term as 4th ward Supervisor

In the Fourth Ward race for supervisor, William Hughes, the incumbent, is being challenged by Samuel Santiago. Hughes first served the Fourth Ward as an alderman and is running for a second term as supervisor because he enjoys being an advocate for the people of Hudson. He is proud of being one of the most vocal opponents to the county’s plan to move DSS out of the city. Once Hughes gets involved in an issue, he doesn’t let go. He hopes to work with city and county officials to keep spending and taxes down. He also wants to work on redeveloping the lower half of Hudson.

Hughes’ opponent also did not bother to fill out a questionnaire, nor did he come to our office for an interview.

Hughes’ passion for the city and its residents is obvious to anyone that comes in contact with him. We see no reason why he should not be returned to office.


We’re disappointed that some candidates did not take the time to fill out our simple questionnaire or come in for an interview. We’re left with questions that go unanswered. But perhaps that’s what they wanted — to not be asked the tough questions. If so, they’ve only done themselves a disservice.

My words:

Being an elected official representing the citizens of the 4th ward is a privilege that should not to be taken for granted.  For someone to seek office without giving people of the Ward a glimpse of what they stand for and a look at their background is unfortunate.

The fact still remains, as a politician you must be willing to answer the tough question when asked.  I feel the people of the Ward, City and County deserves that.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Answers to Register-Star Candidate Profile Questionnaire

Candidate Profile Questionnaire

Name: William Hughes Jr.
Age: 43
Place of residence: 307 State Street, Hudson NY 12534
How long you’ve lived in the county: 43 years
Office being sought: Supervisor 4th Ward Hudson
Incumbent? Yes
Party affiliation: Democrat

Endorsements received: Hudson City Democratic Committee, Working Families Party, Independence Party, Conservative Party.
Previous elected offices:
Supervisor 4th Ward 2007 - 2009, Alderman 4th Ward 2003 - 2007

Education: Hudson High School Graduate

Occupation: Retired/ Columbia Co. employee
Years in that occupation: 10

Ever been convicted of a crime? No
Family: Wife: Adebola (Deb) Hughes, Senior Strategy Consultant, IBM

Current member:
  • Shiloh Baptist Church.
  • Columbia Co. Empire Zone Committee.
  • 103AD Judicial Delegate.
  • City of Hudson/Columbia Co./NYS Democratic Committeeman.
  • Monthly payroll contributor to the United Way.
Past member:
  • Chairman, Columbia Co. Youth Advisory Board.
  • Hudson Youth Advisory Board.
  • Columbia Co. Minority Task Force.
  • Hudson Development Corp.
  • Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency.
  • Hudson Industrial Development Agency.
  • Board of Directors of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club.
  • Award: 2005 NAACP’s community service person of the year award
What do you think are the top three issues facing Hudson?

Taxes: Continue to work with City and County officials to lower City and County taxes by keeping spending down. Increase Hudson’s taxable property/housing stock, by helping private developers build new housing. Work with Mayor Scalera and other elected officials to make Hudson more attractive for capital investment. Work with and encourage municipal cooperation from other towns and villages that would save taxpayers money.

Housing: Hudson has a great deal of boarded up homes not on the tax rolls. I will continue to work with Mayor Scalera, public and private developers to get these properties fixed up and back on the tax rolls. Continue to work toward redeveloping our low-income and affordable housing stock, by working with City, State and Federal officials to build new better quality homes.

Jobs: This is the biggest issue residents of Hudson are facing. If re-elected I will work hard over the next couple of years to redevelop the lower half of Hudson. Hudson is in need of capital investments that would revitalize its economy. Developing the Waterfront is a big part of that, but not the only part. The development of Club Helsinki, Opera House and Cannonball Factory in the 4th Ward is crucial to the revitalization of Hudson’s economy. Understanding this, I have been and will continue to work with Mayor Scalera and other elected officials to address the needs of these facilities. One of which is parking. I have been working hard to address this problem, by writing a congressional appropriation for the construction of a new parking garage, which will be crucial once these businesses are operating at full capacity. Developing a working Waterfront and a vibrant city will work toward all of the issues of importance I have outlined. It will increase the need for affordable housing, help lower taxes, create jobs and encourage future capital investments.
    If you are the incumbent, what are you most proud of accomplishing?

    The thing I am most proud of is, I redrafted the County’s Ethics Policy and had it pass the Board of Supervisors with a unanimous vote.

    Fought alongside my fellow City, County and State elected officials to keep the Hudson Correctional Facility open.

    I led the fight on the County level, for the City of Hudson to get additional sales tax revenue. As a result, the City of Hudson was able to get $75,000 additional dollars, above the additional $40,000 per quarter negotiated by Mayor Scalera several years ago. In 2008 Hudson received a total of $1.4 million in sales tax revenue, which was used to keep Hudson’s 2009 taxes from going up.

    I am proud to have led the fight on the County Board of Supervisors and to be one of the loudest opponents against the movement of DSS out of the City of Hudson. I believe, this move would be a financial and social blow to the City of Hudson.

    Was able to encourage several changes in the County’s youth employment program. Although each Supervisor gets one spot, I was able to work with my fellow County Supervisors to get seven youth from the City of Hudson hired into the program.

    I’m proud of the fact, that because of the hard work I did during my first term as a County Supervisor, my fellow Democrats voted to appoint me Deputy Minority Leader of the Columbia Co. Board of Supervisors.

    A New Vision of Affordable Housing


    A New Vision of Affordable Housing Here

    Link to the original story in the Register-Star

    Bliss Towers on Second Street between Columbia and State streets in Hudson.
    By Jamie Larson Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
    Published: Saturday, September 26, 2009 1:16 AM CDT

    City and Hudson Housing Authority officials met with residents of the Bliss Towers low-income housing complex Thursday night to discuss the future of affordable subsidized housing in Hudson. The plan involves creating numerous smaller housing units throughout areas of the city and eventually demolish the problem ridden high-rise and low-rise at the intersection of Columbia and Second streets.

    Officials said the plan to create up-to-date, more comfortable and convenient housing will increase the quality of life for those living in the Housing Authority run apartments. Though the plan is in its infancy, officials wanted to meet with residents to lay out their intentions and alleviate any concerns that those living in the complex would be displaced. “This will be a benefit to Hudson, but most importantly it will be a benefit to all of you,” Supervisor William Hughes told residents at the meeting. “We want to eliminate the fear factor immediately.”

    According to New York State Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards, officials said, any new housing project would have to provide at least the exact same number of units currently provided by the Hudson Housing Authority. Nearly every official who spoke at the gathering stressed repeatedly that not only would no resident be displaced, but their rent would not be increased beyond the Section 8 subsidy standard of one third of a resident’s monthly income.

    At the outset of the meeting Hughes said that nothing about the project is set in stone and tenants are encouraged to get involved and give input on all aspects of the process. Housing Authority Executive Director Jeffrey First said everyone needs to have a clear understanding that it may take years just to find the funding for the project and perhaps a decade before it could be completed. “We went through this 10 years ago and it was very uncomfortable,”

    First said, “because everyone thought the high-rise was coming down in two weeks.”First said that starting the process to plan for new housing now is imperative so that something can actually be accomplished in the future, whatever the final shape of the project may look like. First spoke bluntly to the residents, who he works with closely on a daily basis, calling Bliss Towers a “money pit.” He said the Housing Authority has spent $11 million in the last 10 to 15 years trying to maintain the building. The complex was built during the Urban Renewal project of the 1970s. First said the standards then just are not sufficient to meet the needs of residents today.

    First said that past plans to create low-income housing had to be abandoned when revenue sources through HUD were pulled by the government during the administration of President George W. Bush. Now however, President Barrack Obama has shown renewed interest and support for improving the quality of subsidized housing. Much of the Housing Authority’s plan hinges on whether or not The U.S. Congress passes the Livable Communities Act. The legislation would bring back the type of HUD funding the Hudson project needs.

    The Housing Authority has hired Omni Housing Development, LLC, to develop the city’s new housing plan. At Thursday’s public meeting Omni Chief Operating Officer Duncan Barrett broke down the few absolutes about what the project would entail if it moves forward, and tried to emphasize the importance of the notion that residents will be able to help sculpt the process. Barrett said that HUD looks for funding requests from projects that have a high level of community involvement, so the more that Bliss residents can do to make the plan a ground-up process the better.

    “This (tower) has been lived-up beyond its useful life and is functionally obsolete,” Barrett said, adding, “these things take a long time. You shouldn’t expect immediate results here, but you should demand good results. And no one has to move until we have built you a new house, it’s as simple as that.”

    Many of the questions involved the costs and amenities of the potential apartments. Barrett said those details are flexible and are the kinds of things his company will be looking to discuss with the community in the future.

    Some of the proposed housing will be in the footprints of where the high-rise and low-rise now stand. The idea of seeding Section 8 housing throughout the city to create economic diversity was well-received by the crowd.

    Barrett also said that, as opposed to the current system, senior and family unit would be separated in the new one to four unit structures. This way senior specific, and handicapped amenities can be provided to those who need them.

    Hughes said that while this proposal should bring hope to Bliss residents everyone needs to be patient because the speed that the project will move forward will depend completely on acquiring funding. He said residents need to call the offices of their political representatives to show that they want this. Hughes says he has discussed beginning an advisory committee with Mayor Richard Scalera, Jeffrey First, city officials and Housing Authority residents to ensure the project doesn’t fall to the back burner.

    The numerous other officials in the room, including the residents representation on the Common Council, Second Ward Aldermen Wanda Pertilla and Abdus Miah, said they are available to answer their constituents questions and concerns, and hope the community can come together to push the project forward as well as continue to spread the word that not one resident will be displaced.

    My words:
    As promised, this story substantiates the fact that I'm working hard to improve the housing conditions in the City of Hudson. Mayor Scalera and I along with other elected officials have embarked on an ambitious project that would redevelop the lower half of Hudson, including the Bliss Tower's area. It is our belief, that with the redevelopment of the lower half of Hudson, we will make the City of Hudson more marketable to capital investors, creating jobs as a result. Obviously, this will not happen overnight. Mayor Scalera and I have put a 3 - 5 year time-line in place to get the project off the ground. Getting funding for a project of this magnitude will take a lot of hard work and dedication from all involved. If we are successful with the development of the Waterfront, Bliss Tower's area and implementation of a County wide transportation system, the City of Hudson will be the benefactor. As a result, I believe, we will be able to lower taxes, create jobs, and make Hudson the place to be in Columbia County.
    William Hughes Jr.
    4th Ward Supervisor
    City of Hudson
    Col. Co. Bd. of Supervisors
    " Let experience work for you"

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Accomplishments and Goals

    Given my previous government experience, I was able to be effective during my first term as County Supervisor. I immediately hit the ground running, fighting for my constituents of the 4th Ward in the City of Hudson, as well as those who live throughout Columbia County.


    • Fought along side Mayor Scalera, Fellow County Supervisors and others to keep the Hudson Correctional Facility open.
    • Rewrote Columbia County's Ethics Policy, adding the Employee Bill of Rights
    • Wrote recommendations for a County Labor Management Committee, a committee that has since been instituted.
    • Fought for Hudson to get a larger share of County sales tax distribution. Was able to get an additional $75,000, which brought Hudson's portion of sales tax monies to $1.4 million. These additional funds were used to keep Hudson's taxes level for the tax year of 2009.
    • Fought to keep the County from putting a homeless shelter in the middle of the City of Hudson's business district. Now sitting on the homeless shelter oversight committee, to make sure the program is properly installed in the properties offer to Columbia County, by the City of Hudson.
    • Wrote several Congressional appropriation proposals. One of which is a proposal for a parking garage on 4th and Columbia St. Adding a parking garage to this area would help promote several new businesses in Hudson, namely Club Helsinki and the newly renovated Opera House.
    • Took advantage of the County's new Youth Summer Employment Program. Personally helped 7 youth from through out the City of Hudson get hired.
    • Took the lead on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, fighting against the moving of DSS (Dept. of Social Services) out of the City of Hudson. This is a fight with the help of many others, we were able to win. I'm happy to say, "DSS is staying in the City of Hudson".
    • After my first year on the Board of Supervisors, I was named Deputy Minority Leader by my fellow Democratic Supervisors. I earned the respect of my fellow Supervisors by having a good understanding of the issues before us. Also by working hard to facilitate a manageable resolution to the problem.

    I am proud that during my first term as County Supervisor, I have been part of changing the business as usual attitude in our County government.. I take my job as County Supervisor very serious, making sure I ask the tough questions when they need to be asked. Taking the time to fight for constituents on a personal basis. My model is "No problem is to small to investigate, no person is to insignificant to help".

    County Level

    • Work with my fellow County Supervisors, State and Federal Legislators to help streamline the DSS (Dept of Social Services) process, saving the County money and making the process easier for clients.
    • Working to make Columbia County more inviting to businesses that would provide crucially needed jobs.
    • Help Supervisor Doug McGivney, Chairman of the Legal Committee get a County alternative to incarceration program started.
    • Continue to look for ways to streamline County government, saving County taxpayer's money.
    • Make sure that clients who use County services get treated with kind, courteous services. 
    City Level
    • Work with Mayor Scalera to continue developing the waterfront. 
    • Help create more affordable housing in the City of Hudson. 
    • Work with Mayor Scalera, City Treasurer and City Alderman to lower taxes. 
    • Help develop a plan to refurbish and get old homes back on the tax rolls. 
    • Work on a 3 - 5 year plan to redevelop the lower half of the City of Hudson.

    I'm currently working on the Bliss Tower project with Mayor Scalera, Congressman Murphy's office and other elected officials that would redevelop portions of the lower half of Hudson. This project would be the largest project to happen in the City of Hudson, since urban renewal in the early 70'. If this project was to come to fruition, the City of Hudson would become much more marketable, possibly creating jobs and lower taxes as well. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information on this project.

    Let Experience Work for You

    Re - Elect
    4th Ward Supervisor
    William Hughes Jr.

    Sunday, August 23, 2009


    Current Member:
    Columbia County Board of Supervisors - Supervisor/Deputy Minority Leader
    Member of the Empire Zoning Board
    New York State Democratic Committeeman
    Columbia County/City of Hudson Democratic Committeeman
    103AD Judicial Delegate
    Past President of the Columbia County Youth Advisory Board
    Past member of the Columbia County Minority Task Force

    Past Member:
    City of Hudson's Common Council (4th Ward Alderman)
    Youth Advisory Board
    Industrial Development Corporation
    Hudson Development Corporation
    Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency

    Past Award:
    Recipient of the 2005 NAACP's community service person of the year award.

    Over 14 years of volunteer community service in the City of Hudson.

    Re - elect
    4th Ward Supervisor
    William Hughes Jr.

    "Let Experience Work for You"

    My wife, Deb Hughes and I

    Deb and I have been married for 6 years. We have no children as of yet, but we are planning on it.

    I, William Hughes Jr. was an employee of Columbia County for 10 years, I retired in 2008. I also served on the City Council for 4 years as Alderman of the 4th Ward. I am now at the end of my first term as 4th Ward Supervisor. I have volunteered in my community for over 14 years, serving the youth and senior population.

    My wife, Deb Hughes is, a graduate of Albany State University, with a Master degree in Information Science. Deb also has and MBA from the Lally School of Business, at RPI. Deb currently has the position of Senior Strategy Consultant with IBM.

    Deb and I, are both a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church at 14 Warren St., Hudson, NY, where the Reverend Ronald Grant is the Pastor.

    Together, my wife and I are a formidable team working toward making Hudson a better place to live for all.

    Re - elect
    4th Ward Supervisor
    William Hughes Jr.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Hughes kicks off campaign

    Hudson’s own, 4th Ward Supervisor, William Hughes Jr. and his wife, Deb Hughes, stands with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, just before the start of President Obama’s inaugural ceremony.

    As 4th Ward Supervisor, I worked hard to help Senator Gillibrand get re-elected. Senator Gillibrand is someone who has shown a great deal of passion and caring while fighting for the citizens of Columbia County on the Federal level.

    It is that same kind of passion and caring that I display, while fighting for Hudson on the County level. I have lived in Hudson, specifically the 4th Ward for 35 years. The 4th Ward and the City of Hudson as a whole is near and dear to my heart.

    During my childhood, I have watched Hudson flourish with jobs, while families lived in a close knit community setting. Now I watch as our community struggles with unemployment and the lack of quality, affordable housing. This is not the Hudson I remember and this is not the condition I intend to leave it.

    As County Supervisor, representing the 4th Ward, I have fought and will continue to fight to keep taxes low, increase our affordable housing stock and once again help Hudson get back to being the economic engine it once was.

    Hudson has a lot of issues it needs to tackle; infrastructure, employment, housing, taxes, and the redevelopment of the lower half of the City. I will continue to work closely with Mayor Rick Scalera, Congressman Scott Murphy and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to address current and future problems plaguing our beautiful City.

    “It only takes one to change a community”

    Re – elect
    4th Ward Supervisor
    William Hughes Jr

    “Let Experience Work For You”