Saturday, August 29, 2015

Q&A THE MEN WHO WOULD BE MAYOR

OK, settle down kids and take out your number 2 pencils

Here's the first part of our multi-part series were we examine how the mayoral hopefuls answer questions posed by citizens.

Troy mayoral candidates recently responded (in writing) to questions submitted by the voters. What a novel concept. The Times Union has the goods.

Question#1 - How to stop burned-out, building blight and random acts of alliteration.

Madden gets points for substance. You can tell the guy knows this end of things. How? Our eyes started to glaze over by paragraph 17. He does speak in specifics and in this type of forum, that is fine. We hope he can distill these thoughts into a more concise statement for actual debates. GRADE: A (as a sedative, A+).

Everett's answer had promise but he jumped straight to 'allocating' more money. That money has to come from somewhere. Does it come from the existing budget or from a tax hike? GRADE: B

Like Everett, Gordon's answer has promise but misses some key issues. The city has 20,000 properties that need to be inspected. How many code officers are there? Four? How many can read? The other issue is investment properties that have fallen into disrepair. Many are owned by LLC's etc. They can ignore delinquencies, bills, penalties and just declare bankruptcy. No single person or persons are responsible for the property. Still, it shows promise. GRADE: B

Rodney failed on this one. We are disappointed and expected more from him on such an important topic for this city. More details Rodney. GRADE: F (or an incomplete, but we will mark him down one letter grade for each day he is late).

Jack Cox had some intriguing ideas as well, although there could be legal hurdles in the idea of aiding neighbors in tearing down adjoining properties. GRADE: B

We applaud all the passing grade candidates for at least adding to the conversation. Wiltshire needs to step-up his game. He has a very real chance to wrest the nomination from the Democratic establishment. If he can do that, we think it could be a blow-out in November. We need more than two-sentence answers from a man that has a real chance of being mayor. Rodney has a reputation for being lazy and these answers, or lack thereof, reinforce that reputation. We want to hear what he has to say or know that he has something to say.

Question#2 - Improving Regional Transit in the City

This was an unfortunate question* as seen by the answers. Are we talking about ease of travel in the city or making travel from and to Troy, easier?

Madden spent way too much time explaining why the question was poorly phrased. GRADE: C

Cox had the same problem but actually answered the question and it made sense. GRADE B+

Gordon referred the reader to another of his answers which we didn't bother to look at. We won't grade him. We don't want him angry.

Wiltshire. Another haiku answer but an answer. Damn, man. More substance and don't speak in acronyms and if you do, explain it. REDC? Not everyone is going to know REDC. GRADE C-.

Everett. Uh, bike lanes in our major corridors? That sounds dirty. Anywho, maybe. Some day. Right now, an emphasis on improving road quality and making Troy a parking-friendly city would be more useful. Bikers are a pain-in-the-ass for commuters. Especially in Troy, with it's many narrow, one-way streets (and their stupid shorts and shirts and goofy helmets, god we hate those mother....sorry, pause for a station break). GRADE B.

There's not much vision here.** Perhaps that's the nature of the question or perhaps it reflects the candidates. Years ago, and we're fuzzy on the details, John Hedley proposed a high-speed rail between downtown Troy and Albany. It was to run on a track adjacent to the banks of the Hudson (ie. over the water) so very little land would be needed. Imagine, two or three stops in Troy and then right to downtown Albany. Yes, there are many issues. The State and the Feds would need to be involved and it would be a longshot. But it is the type of big idea were are missing in today's politics. Plus, it would be way cool.

We will do part II soon, if we can keep our eyes open.

*Regarding poorly phrased and/or stupid questions: In the future, the candidate that answers such a questions- Shut the fuck up, that's stupid - gets our valued endorsement.

** Not one candidate mentioned George Jetson-like flying cars! Really?



Thursday, August 27, 2015

HE JUST DOESN'T GET IT

Harry just doesn't get it. He's still posting his inane tweets. Jesus Christ! It's like trying to deal with Fredo.

                                                         "I'm smart! I can do things!"

Lets talk about spikes in crime. Remember this oldie but goodie. Yes, crime rates wax and wane. Why is the former mayor fanning the flames? Does he want someone else to get hurt? We guess he just can't play the elder statesman.

Why have we decided to dedicate some posts to our old pal? He is having problems letting go. Unlike former Mayor Pattison, Harry can't let things go. He wants desperately to be relevant. The faded, garish Tutunjian sign still sits on Hoosick Street, just over the town line, the ghost of Harry's glory days, He has to insert himself into the dialogue and, based upon our Gordon campaign informant, is trying to turn GOP mayoral candidate Jim Gordon into a Tut-Bot. In the small, dark hours, Harry dreams sweetly of a third term. This is not healthy. Harry, help us help you. Help us, help you.

As for the Tutunjian Administration's support of the Troy Police, remember the Brian Owens story*? No? You can find it here and here. Cop overseas, fighting for his country: Fuck 'em.

*Not to be confused with the Brian Piccolo Story.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SOME CALM AND COMMON SENSE

Two Troy Police Officers were shot. The shooter was killed by the police. One hundred percent of the objective evidence establishes that the killing was justified. If something comes out that contradicts that, so be it. We wouldn't hold our breath, though. Lets face it, the Troy Police Department isn't perfect. No force is perfect. However, compared to other local departments, they have been able to avoid major scandals and do not have a reputation for racial bias, unless one believes shooting an African-American who is shooting at them is racially biased.

The outpouring of support for the two officers, and the police, has been overwhelming. As well it should. This might remind a few people who bitch and moan about overtime or contracts that policing is a dangerous job.

On the other hand, a handful of people, have raised questions about the shooting. Their questions are not based on any facts or evidence, but are more like knee-jerk reactions. Family and friends of the dead man are angry and sad. That's understandable. They weren't present and they did not do anything wrong. It's natural to morn for a friend or family member. It's useless to criticize them for doing so. Human nature is human nature.

Events like this have a way of getting out of hand. The spark could be anything, even some tiny event that normally would be beneath notice. We need cool, calm leaders and we need to let the anti-police voices (no matter how unjustified) vent for a while, and not engage in a petty back-and-forth.



Someone sent us a link to Ben Brucato's Twitter page. We don't know Mr. Brucato. We wouldn't invite him over for cocktails. He has a right to voice his opinion and we have a right to disagree. But why engage with him and the few like him? Why Tweet and re-tweet this nonsense? Why give him more attention? A human being is dead. Two police officers could very easily have been killed. Some reduce all of this to tweets? Is that what we've come to.

Based on Mr. Brucato's tweets* we don't expect much in the way of rational thought. We do expect more from a former Mayor.


This is what the former Mayor of Troy is reduced to? What about you Harry? Will you be holding a rally to oppose violence against our Troy Police Officers? How will you address this matter? Is the extent of his support a tweet? And yes, he has a few more in there that are petty, silly and do nothing more than call attention to a few jackasses.

And who can forget Harry's war on the Troy Police, whether it was the O'Neil - Centanni fiasco (remember how that turned out?), the Fitzgerald cluster$&*k (how much did that cost us?), and Harry trying to take credit for John Comitale's good police work. There are other stories as well. Harry may talk a good game but his actions, when it counted, speak louder.

You may say, 'Harry hasn't been mayor for four years.' And you'd be right. But as long as he pokes his head up and comments on these things, we'll bitch-slap him. For old time sake.

* Yes, we're guilty of re-posting a few. We're never above hypocrisy.


Monday, August 24, 2015

PLAYING POLITICS

No one should play politics with the recent shooting of two of Troy's finest. That won't stop them though. The Troy Polloi has long been a supporter of the rank-and-file officers, arguing that the residency requirement was ridiculous as well as defending them against the tyranny of the previous administration and the behavior of their chief. We won't stop now.

We are not going to say that the rise in shootings is anyone's fault or that one candidate would magically bring everything under control. Why? Because that's bullshit. Spikes in crime have little to do with who is or isn't in office. There were spikes under Tutunjian and there is a spike under Lou. It happens.

What we will point out is the transparent hypocrisy events reveal about candidates.

This started back in 2014, when the police were called to a little club called Kokopellis. Before the dust cleared, Rodney Wilshire and 4th District Councilman Bob Doherty were all but blaming the police and accusing them of racism and civil rights violations. This, based on selective videos rushed to the press. Doherty even threatened to aid the owners when they went in front of the State Liquor Authority to defend their liquor license.

And now...

There are cases of police brutality and excessive force. It happens. The police and police agencies are not perfect (remember the BCI scandal years ago?). Jumping to defend the Kokopellis crowd shows disrespect for actual cases of civil rights violations. It also makes the recent outpouring of support from members of Team Troy appear less than authentic.

Wiltshire and Doherty were not there when the police needed their support. Now, with the overwhelming support for the TPD on this incident (they just happened to profile a man that not only had a gun but used it?) they don't need your support. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

We believe Doherty is sincere, merely misguided. Wiltshire on the other hand is proving to be a professional at capitalizing on anything that puts his face or his quotes in the papers.


Sunday, August 23, 2015




Saturday, August 22, 2015

NO, YOU'RE NOT HALLUCINATING...

We have found common cause with Jim Gordon.

Last Wednesday, District 1 Councilman Jim Gordon had some issues. He e-mailed Council President Wiltshire:

Rodney

Today is
Wednesday. I have yet to receive my packet from last Friday.
In addition to my agenda it also included several pieces of
mail that I needed for meetings yesterday and today.              
              
              

I stopped at clerks office Monday morning
and they told me it was just mailed because Adam gets to
pick and choose who he delivers to. Apparently I am not on
that list. Apparently Rhonda delivers Deans packet.
 

What is going on? I am not too happy or
appreciative of this method of conducting business. I have
been embarrassed twice this week because I haven't been
as prepared as I need to be due to failure by a certain
council employee.

What has Adam been working on these days
that prevents the simple act of delivering my packet as we
were guaranteed would be done?

Jim
Gordon
Councilman, Dist.1
              
              
That is a perfectly reasonable request. A council member needs information in order to represent their constituents.

Adam did respond:

On Aug 19,
2015, at 12:06 PM, Adam.Sanzone <adam.sanzone@troyny.gov>
wrote:

Everyone, 
I am sorry for this to occur. Last
Friday I didn't have the car and had to be somewhere at
a later time and because the packets are sometime ready late
in the afternoon, it's hard with timing. So, with my
bike, I delivered the packets to members in South Troy -
Eastside since there's a direct route to my house. Some
Friday's can be difficult. 
If I knew it would have taken this
long for the packets to be delivered via mail I would have
delivered them Monday when I was able again. Very sorry
again. 

Adam J.
SanzoneLegislative
Assistant Office of the Troy City
Council___________________________Troy City
Hall433 River Street, Suite
5001Troy, New York
              
He followed-up after Sullivan-Teta said she had not received her packet either with:

              
On Aug 19, 2015 12:08 PM,
"Adam.Sanzone" <adam.sanzone@troyny.gov>
wrote:
Lastly, I would like to
apologies for not informing everyone who the packets were
mailed to of this. I lost track of time and never thought
the packets would not be deceived by now.

Adam J.
SanzoneLegislative
Assistant Office of the Troy City
Council___________________________Troy City
Hall433 River Street, Suite
5001Troy, New York


              
Finally:

On Aug 19, 2015, at 12:29 PM, Rodney Wiltshire < wiltshirefortroy@gmail.com> wrote:
Everyone, I'm going to leave my Friday afternoon - evenings completely available now for packet days so everyone will receive theirs. I will also deliver on weekends, if that is the case, but this inconvenience should not have happened. 

Sorry again. 

Adam J. Sanzone
Legislative Assistant to the Troy City Council
________________________________________
On behalf of Rodney Wiltshire, JR. 
President of the Troy City Council
Gordon responds by pointing out that Sanzone is addressing council business and using his legislative title from a Wiltshire campaign e-mail account. Again, a perfectly reasonable observation.

Now, we don't know Adam Sanzone from, well, from Adam. Nor do we believe this is a major issue in and of itself. Sanzone* should perform his legislative duties and keep them separate from his Team Troy endeavors. However, this is a second example of the Wiltshire Campaign flouting laws and rules. His people have repeatedly placed signs on public property. Now, a person who owes his job to Wiltshire and is part of Team Troy is not giving the GOP mayoral candidate legislative packets in a timely manner. He also stiffed Sullivan-Teta, a Wade supporter.

We are not blaming Wiltshire for these specific transgressions. He does need to manage his people and in that he seems to be failing. Further, we have dealt in the past with administrations that misuse public time and resources for campaign reasons. We don't need that again.

* Adam Sanzone is the brother of Record reporter Danielle Sanzone, a fact that we have not seen her disclose in any campaign reporting. If we missed such a disclosure, our apologies.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

TEDESCO BLAMES MEDIA

Following the shooting at Old Sixth and Hutton Street, an angry crowd gathered at Samaritan Hospital. Torches were lit and pitchforks were at the ready. The police were called, it was a scene. Troy Chief of Police John Tedesco called for an investigation and has apparently come to the conclusion that the......media is to blame? Why else would a local news director be getting a Teddy-Gram?

This is so Teddy (he of  "The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" fame)*. News Flash, Teddy: the media covers news stories. A shooting and a murder is news. It may not make your job any easier but that's not the media's job.

The media even seeks interviews when doing so might be dangerous. Reporters have, yes Teddy, died, covering news stories, wars etc. To blame the media, who deny instigating anything, is a cheap move. It was a charged situation, no doubt. If the media backed off every charged situation and refused to cover controversial situations we would have...The Record.

What did leak was the fact that the 14 year-old survivor was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital. We'd look in to that issue. How is it that the public is told where a 14 year-old is taken for treatment. A fourteen year-old that many blame for the murder. Given the charged atmosphere, could it have been possible that someone might stroll in to AMCH to look for the young man? Not saying it was Teddy's fault. We're just saying it might be more beneficial to formulate a policy to avoid this in the future.

Meanwhile, the three candidates for the Democratic nomination for Troy Mayor attended an anti-violence rally. Naturally, Republican nominee Jim Gordon wasn't there.

* Remember the good-old days when Teddy wanted to implement a policy that would mandate female officers tell him when they became pregnant? We know there was a draft version somewhere but cooler heads prevailed and the policy  never materialized.


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