The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Monday, May 09, 2005


Joseph's House has decided to sue the city because the City Planning Board rejected a proposed shelter for homeless people with mental disabilities. The proposed shelter would be at 202 Fourth Street, Troy, New York.

The Complaint alleges that the City Planning Board required Joseph's House to report on the environmental impact the shelter may have on the neighborhood. The Complaint also alleges that the same Board allowed a developer to convert commercial space into luxury condominiums without requiring a similar report.

Without debating the actual merits of the case, the Planning Board decision smells fishy. We understand the concerns the neighborhood may have about a nearby homeless shelter. We all want to be open-minded and compassionate. However, the fact remains, shelters for the mentally-ill homeless raises legitimate worries for neighbors and the neighborhood. Even the most compassionate soul might feel uncomfortable with a shelter next door or just down the street.

If that's the issue, and we contend that it's a legitimate one, say so. Don't strain credulity by expecting us to believe the shelter will have any environmental impact on the neighborhood. Especially in light of the fact the luxury condominiums apparently don't cause any impact on the environment.

Now, the usual crowd will wail about people suing the city and wasting taxpayer dollars. Those same people won't complain about other ways in which tax-payer dollars are spent:

1- Creating a position for Jeff Buell at the tune of $39,000. Any outrage from Republicans? No!

2- Appointing two deputy mayors (whatever happened to Jim Walsh anyway?); Outrage from the small government crowd? No!

3- Allowing the Carignan Agency to do the heavy lifting, then giving another agency the commission. Did they really think that wouldn't result in a lawsuit?

4- Corporation Counsel salary increases, from $75,000 to $80,000.

5- George Rogers and his $20,000 pay increase.

We're sure that's not an exhaustive list. Republicans are the biggest herd of hypocrites in politics. They preach smaller government but it's just talking points for the masses. Their ideology is power and patronage.

In the near future, we'll list the Republicans that collect paychecks from two, sometimes, three municipalities. Ironic, when you think about it. The Republicans like to accuse Democrats of being socialists when so many of their own members lead socialistic existences: salary, pension, healthcare, all paid for by the taxpayer. Now that it socialism.

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