HUDSON — Sole Hudson mayoral candidate Rick Rector, invoking the city’s Fair and Equal Initiative, declared Tuesday that his campaign theme will be “One Hudson.”
Rector, who has lived in Hudson for 10 years, held his second meet-and-greet in the 3rd Ward on Tuesday at House Rules Cafe on Columbia Street.
Although fewer than 20 people attended the meeting, Rector’s enthusiasm ran high. He said he will stand for unity and praised the Fair and Equal Initiative, which created five wards of balanced population in the city last year.
“It’s something I truly believe,” he said. “Fair and Equal was one of the most eye-opening experiences in the world of politics and it’s an indication of what’s happening in Hudson.”
“Everyone has a seat at the table and I want to work with everyone in this community,” he told the audience.
The issues Hudson faces, according to Rector, include economic development, parking, housing and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a $10 million state grant the city received in August.
A 23-person committee was announced last week, which includes Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton as a co-chair. The committee will spend six months fleshing out the projects outlined in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative application, collect ideas for additional projects and decide the final projects that will be implemented over the next two years.
Rector said he’s unsure at the moment what his role with the DRI committee will be.
“Our current mayor will take it until the beginning of January,” he said. “There will be a conversation about it, so we’ll see where that goes.”
Rector said issues that are important to him include the people and youth of Hudson, businesses, waterfront development, affordable housing and modernizing the city.
“We walk into City Hall to pay our water or tax bill and the fact that we can’t do that online amazes me,” he said. “These are questions I’d like to address and plan on having conversations with the community.”
Rector said he plans to meet quarterly with the supervisors in each of the five wards.
“I want to engage the five supervisors in this city, because seven gives us more strength than one,” he said. Rector included Tom DePietro, who is running unopposed for Common Council president.
DePietro asked Rector how he anticipates their relationship will work given the city’s history of acrimony between the Common Council and the mayor.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the potential of us both having a similar mentality on how we approach things,” Rector said in response. “It won’t be everyday that we agree, but we’ll have those conversations and I’ll help as much as I possibly can.”
DePietro said he’s looking forward to working with Rector.
“We share the same inclusive view of the community,” he said. “Having a good relationship with the mayor could also give the Common Council a better chance that what they bring forward will move forward.”
Hudson resident Dan Jacoby told Rector that he’s concerned about parking around Columbia Memorial Hospital and abandoned buildings.
“Parking is one of the biggest topics in Hudson, especially by the hospital,” Rector said. “Parking permits would hopefully resolve that and I’ll continue to pursue that.”
“I also wish there was a parking garage for employees, so I’ll push to see if that would be a possibility,” Rector said.
As for abandoned buildings, Rector said he wants to see them back on the market for development purposes.
“I’ll look into what the city can do to get the buildings back on the market, which could take a little pressure off everything else,” he said.
Jacoby, who lives on Rossman Avenue, said he wants a good quality of life in Hudson.
“[Rector] addressed my concerns head on,” Jacoby said. “I want a good quality of life in Hudson and I hope that these are two good years coming up.”
Rector wrapped up the meeting by encouraging attendees to go to meetings in the city to give their input.
“Please come to meetings and have these conversations with us,” he said. “You can have a big part in what will happen in this city.”
Rector is hosting additional meetings on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Crosswinds at Hudson, 15 Rogers Lane, and the 2nd Ward on Oct. 30 at the Chamber of Commerce at 1 N. Front St.