Saturday, August 01, 2015

TESTING, TESTING

Is anyone out there?


Saturday, October 11, 2008

A FUN RIDE

Well folks, it been a fun ride.

We decided to end this blog after three-plus years of covering area politics.

When we started this blog, there was a Republican governor, Republican DA, Republican Congressman, Republican Assemblyman and a Republican-controlled Troy City Council.

Things have changed and it is more fun shooting up than down.

We may or may not return in the future so please check back occasionally.

Thanks to all of our readers, supporters and detractors as well as the areas elected officials. Without you, this never would have been a successful venture. In the world of local blogs, we think it was successful:

1- over 350,000 visitors;

2- over 4,500 comments;

3- Mentions in The Record, Times Union, Metroland + City Council meetings;

4- Comments from political candidates;

5- 3 indictments but no convictions;

6- 2 communicable diseases.

But, again, it was you, the reader, that made it all possible. So, thanks. Take care, be safe and always question our elected officials, even if its just to knock them down a peg. It's our duty it's fun and it's fat free.

A special thanks to the area print media, including people like Jim Franco and Chet Hardin. They always gave us a fair shake and did not dismiss the potential of this new medium.

Sincerely,

Democratus



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

VACATION TIME

The Troy Polloi is on hiatus for the next week or so.

Talk amongst yourselves.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WHAT'S ON THE VERIZON

The Mayor of Troy has called a special meeting for August 20th to discuss leasing the Verizon building as a temporary home for City Hall while something happens on the waterfront. What that something is, no one knows...yet.

We have no problem leasing the 30,000 square foot Verizon Building as a temporary home for City Hall provided:

1) The lease is contingent on Troy actually getting the money from the State. We think that is suspect in light of what is going on in Albany at this time. Albany just lost a ton in aid which may prompt lay-offs;

2) Judge must disclose Judge Development's operating agreement and we need to know who the real parties in interest are in the group that sold the building to Judge. The Verizon Building has been the center of this issue. It was sold to Judge at a time when it looked like City Hall would be moving there. The City needs to know who benefited financially when the building was sold to Judge with the expectation that the City would then rent the building;

3) Judge must renovate the building for the new tenants, at Judge's expense. If we're forking-over more than 25k a month, the building should be in move-in condition;

4) Relocating should be put out to bid. If there are no other viable options, no problem. But again, Harry seems obssessed with handing money over to Judge Development, without inviting others to the table;

5) Lower the rent. 25k per month is too high. Please. It's not like people are tripping over themselves to rent the Verizon Building.


Monday, August 11, 2008

MORATORIUM

A moratorium has been placed on this blog. Time constraints will make it difficult to post for the next few days.

Feel free to engage in polite conversation.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

REGAN CLAIM DISMISSED

The New York State Division of Human Rights has dismissed Colleen Regan's claims of sexual harassment. Regan claimed that high-level GOP functionary, Richard Crist, had made numerous sexual advances which, when turned down, led to Regan's termination as a GOP staffer for the County Legislature.

According to The Record:


The division found that of the 20 alleged incidents claimed by Regan only two were within the statutory period. And, it found, Crist was not her supervisor, as Regan had claimed.

So, what happened? It looks like 18 of the allegations occurred too long ago to be acted upon. More importantly, the Division of Human Rights determined that Crist was not Regan's supervisor.

See, in legal terms, you can only properly harass someone if you have some type of authority over that person. Sexual advances made towards a fellow co-worker, no matter how inappropriate, is not harassment because the 'harasser' can not retaliate against the harasee. In the case of co-workers, such behavior is consider 'acting creepy' or, in some rural places, 'going a courtin.'

The Division of Human Rights obviously ignored the political reality in county government, where politics blurs the chain of command. They also ignore the fact that many women do not report this conduct for fear of being fired or labeled a troublemaker. The lesson here is report the conduct to the appropriate person, in writing, close in time to the incident. If no action is taken, move up the chain of command. If there is retaliation for making the report, that retaliation can form a seperate basis for a suit.

The Troy Polloi did not cover the harassment side of Regan's story. Unlike some, we refuse to accuse someone of sexual harassment without any evidence. Regan had her side of the story, Crist his and only those two know the truth. Those who claim "Crist didn't do it' or 'Regan is telling the truth,' are merely guessing.

Crist said he is keeping open the possibility of suing Regan for making the false claims against him but added "there are more important things for us to focus on."


Crist won't sue Regan. He'd face the same problem Regan faced: He said/She said. Regan can still sue as well. She won't.

We're far more interested in the following:

In an unrelated matter, Regan charged that Crist, Mirch and others used the county office building and county employees to run their own political consulting business. Albany District Attorney David Soares was appointed special prosecutor but there is no new information on the case.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

BUSINESS AS USUAL

The Troy City Council has been sued over the one-year moratorium against so-called 'Mini-Dorms." Background can be found here. The basis of the suit is that the moratorium discriminates against little (or mini) people.


According to sources, the Mayor has prohibited Corporation Council from representing the City Council in the matter. Under the City Charter, part of the duties of the Corporation Council is to defend suits against the City, City Council etc.


This is an odd move, even for Tutunjian. Perhaps he fell off his Segway and struck his noggin (feel free to make up your own caption for the photograph that accompanies the link).


The suit seeks equitable relief. If successful, it would abolish the moratorium against 'mini-dorms.' As far as we know, no money damages are sought. So, what has the Mayor accomplished:


1) Violated the Charter;


2) Placed his own Corporation Counsel in a very bad position;


3) The Council will now hire it's own attorney, a sort of mini-patronage gig for a Democratic attorney;


4) The Democratic attorney will be paid with funds likely coming from the Corporation Counsel's budget;


However, the last point seems unfair. If the Mayor has ordered the Corporation Counsel to not defend the Council, then maybe the cost should be born from the Mayor's budget.


The Democrats could bring an Article 78 compelling the Corporation Counsel to appear and defend the Council. They would be successful. But why bother when Tutunjian has given them the opportunity to get their own counsel.

It's a win-win for Democrats but sets a poor precedent for the future. The Corporation Counsel is legal counsel for the City, not the Mayor. There's a distinction but we suspect that distinction is beyond the current occupant of the 2nd floor.


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