Albany City Commission tables Cutliff Grove discussion

Commissioner Ivey Hines asks for more information on apartment complex rate modification

New Nativity Village apartment building at Cutliff Grove on Mission Court in South Albany.

New Nativity Village apartment building at Cutliff Grove on Mission Court in South Albany.

ALBANY — The Albany City Commission voted Tuesday to table planned discussion of the Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center’s request to modify payments on the Nativity apartment complex the group bought from the city of Albany in 2008, spurring heated exchanges between commission members.

Cutliff Grove, which provides low- and moderate-income housing at the 40-unit complex, asked the city to modify its $6,324.06 monthly payments so that it could make needed improvements on the complex that would keep it in HUD compliance. City and Cutliff Grove staff were on hand at the commission’s work session Tuesday morning to discuss the matter when Ward II Commissioner Ivey Hines recommended tabling the discussion.

“I’d like to ask the board to table this discussion until more information is obtained from Cutliff Grove staff,” Hines said, and when he made the request into a formal motion, it passed 5-2. Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell and Ward IV’s Roger Marietta voted against tabling.

Postell asked to speak on the matter, and Mayor Dorothy Hubbard reluctantly granted permission, noting that procedure dictated no discussion of a tabled matter.

“It’s a waste of our time, and it’s demoralizing to Cutliff Grove for us to keep tabling this discussion,” Postell said. “I don’t know if somebody (on the commission) has to go to work or has a date or whatever, but the people of Cutliff Grove deserve to be heard. We just spent 45 minutes discussing (an alcohol license issue) before voting to table it, but we’re not even giving these people a minute of our time.

“This (action) is just adding insult to injury. And some of us (on the commission) are Johnny-come-latelys who are speaking about an issue they know nothing about.”

When Postell’s comments took a personal turn, Hubbard intervened.

“I understand you have a disagreement with the action taken, mayor-pro-tem, and I’ve allowed you to express your dissension,” Hubbard said. “But now it’s time to move on.”

Postell interrupted Hubbard’s comment.

“I’m not through talking,” he said.

“I gave you the courtesy of allowing you to speak when I probably should not have,” Hubbard said. “I try to show respect to all of the commissioners. But the motion to table passed, and it’s time to move on.”

Hines asked that the matter be brought up again at the commission’s December business meeting on Tuesday.