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

Monday, February 27, 2006


Yesterday, the Troy Polloi celebrated its First Birthday.

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Thanks for all the cards, gifts and gift certificates to the Union Street Bed & Breakfast. Most of all, thanks to Bob Mirch. He knows why...wink, wink.

Here's an article that escaped our attention last week. It looks like Troy's Renaissance Prince hasn't been paying his bills. Lorenzo the Magnificent he ain't.

If you listen to Paul Vandenburgh, that's all well and good, we do too. However, the guy really is a tool. From the Albany Eye. Who's retarded here, Paul?

Sunday, February 26, 2006


UPDATE: We thought we had scooped everyone on this but The Record article can be found here. As expected, Crawley attacks Fitzgerald but not Owens. This bodes well for contract negotiations.

No. Not Joseph's House, the Brian Owens Federal suit.

According to the May 13, 2005 Record article, damages were alleged to be approximately $2000.

The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount, but the total allegedly being withheld is estimated to less than $2,000."They want to offer him a pro-rated amount for time he was working as a police officer and not the time he was deployed," said Troy Police Benevolent Association President Robert Fitzgerald. "We are embarrassed for the city that Brian has had to go this route."

Last May, after the story broke, Councilman William Dunne introduced a resolution to authorizing the city to pay Owens the money being withheld. The resolution did not make it out of the Law Committee. Dunne was accused of being partisan and doing nothing more than looking for headlines.

Also, according to the article:

"Hank Bauer is dealing with the problem, and he was listening to us. But for some reason the city opted to not have him handle the case any longer."

So, Dunne is ignored and Bauer is pulled off the case. That's all well and good because now the case is settled (we wonder where Mitchell's "No pay position" was on this case).

Owen's attorneys, Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea will receive $7,500:

Owen's will receive $7,500.

Let's do the math!

$7,500 + $7,500 = more than $2,000.

Finally, we'd like to hear Deputy Dan's take on all this. Recently, he had this to say about Joseph's House suit against the city:

If Joseph's House is suing the City of Troy, the only people who will pay are the people who own homes, and the taxpayers will get hurt." - The Record, February 24, 2006

Let's see what words he has for Brian Owens, a police officer that sued the city.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Alright, kids, unfortunately we have to lay down some ground rules. If you don't listen, well turn this blog around right now and you'll be grounded.

Recently, a number of people who comment here have used the names of real people. Those comments are obviously not from the person they claim to be from. They're obviously done in jest. That's fine. If you want to post a comment from Dick Cheney, feel free.

However, some comments may contain information that make it appear that they were posted by the person who signed the comment. For instance, we have it on good authority that a recent comment regarding "Rooming Houses" was not written by anyone in Code Enforcement. The information in the comment was good: attributing that comment to someone who's livelihood might be placed in danger because of the comment was not good. It was bad....very bad!

Please, do not sign a comment with an alias that may get someone into trouble.

Secondly, we will not be attacking family members of politicians. If a family member holds office or is an appointed official, fine. They can be criticized for their public actions. What we don't want to see is someone attacking Harry's wife or Chappy's wife or any family member who is an innocent civilian. Capiche?

Hey, these things have to happen every ten years or so. It gets rid of the bad blood.

Check back later today or tomorrow for some lawsuit updates. It'll be pretty good.

Friday, February 24, 2006



With Governor Pataki and Congressman John Sweeney both stricken with unknown maladies the question must be asked: who benefits?

Police are not giving out much information but according to sources, someone has been named a "person of interest".

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Recently, City Spokesman Herr Buell made this comment about 3215 Sixth Avenue:

The configuration led the city to classify the building as a "rooming house," which is not legal in the city, said spokesman Jeff Buell

However, an alert reader actual read the City Code* and points out that Buell is wrong.

According to the Code, a Rooming House is defined thusly:

ROOMING HOUSE Any residence building, or any part thereof, containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to more than four persons who are not members of the same family. (See "dwellings," "boardinghouse.")

In the following section, we learn that you can operate a "rooming house".

§ 176-27. Rooming houses.

Every person who operates a rooming house, or who occupies or lets to another for occupancy any rooming unit in any rooming house, shall comply with the provisions of every section of this chapter, except as provided in the following sections....

So, where exactly does it state that a "rooming house" is illegal?

No big deal really but it makes you wonder, what else do they get wrong and why people take what they say as gospel?

*For an updated version of the City Code of Troy, go here. Do not go here, to the City Page. Their version is from 2003 and still lists Pattison as Mayor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Looks like City Hall is changing it's image. And there's no better way to change your image than....Stick People Porn. About the paintings:

One is a large painting at the top of the first flight of stairs that clearly shows a red person performing a sex act on a blue person while the blue person does the same to the red person.* The second is a smaller painting about half way up the stairs of two stick figures that are anatomically correct below the waist.

We like it! We're also glad to see that age-old taboo about blue and red race-mixing is finally ending. About time those stuffy Republicans got into the swing of things.

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If City Hall's 'A Rockin', come on in and join
the Republican Party

*The writer seems unwilling to assign a numerical value to this position

Monday, February 20, 2006


Last week, the City of Troy shut down 3215 Sixth Avenue for code violations. The address is one of the properties owned by Vesta, one arm of Father Peter Young's Rehab Empire. The City's pretext for shutting down the home was code violations. However, the address also housed four sex offenders (2 of them level three sex offenders). This was no secret. The NYS sex offender website contained this information and it was even discussed here, a few posts back, in the comments section.

So lets talk about what happened here: Harry wanted to look tough by rousting four sex offenders. The idea that this was about code violations may convince someone as sophisticated as Bo & Luke Duke, but we know a PR event when we see one. If it was just about code violations then the next building boarded up by Code Enforcement would be City Hall.

Afterward, there's headlines and Harry looks like a guy that "gets things done."

We have sex offenders in Troy, in Rensselaer County, in the region. They have done their prison time and live here. It's not nice, it's not comforting, it is a fact. This is not about whether they are evil or sick, it's not about whether they should ever be let out of prison. This is about doing our best to ensure they will not harm anyone again.

Until Harry's little PR show, four of the offenders could be found at one location. As one parole officer said to us, "that was great for headlines but it makes our work a lot harder." Now, they're scattered about the city and region.

The other fact is that sex offenders are 50% less likely to repeat offend if they are monitored and in a program. That does not make good headlines for politicians and it's not viscerally pleasing to the large portion of our population that is as politically sophisticated as Ernst Rohm.

This wasn't about code violations. This was about headlines. It makes law enforcement's job more difficult and all of our children less safe.

If you want to get angry, perhaps you should look at who is selling property to Father Young and Vesta. Lead by example? Not if a hefty profit is involved.

Thursday, February 16, 2006



New elected county legislator Laura Fasoldt has a good idea:

Newly elected County Legislator Flora Fasoldt, (D) District 4, together with Minority Legislators, today filed a Local Law to amend the Rensselaer County Charter's budget process to prevent any future post election pay raises for elected officials, as occurred after the 2005 Legislative Elections.

According to Fasoldt, "This local law will force any proposed salary increases for elected officials to be specifically identified in the tentative budget released by October 20th and then subject to two public hearings."

Fasoldt, whose term in the Legislature began January 1, went on to state, "While I was not part of the Legislature when these raises were approved, I believe elected officials must have the courage to tell the voters BEFORE an election that they are supporting raises for any and all elected officials. The manner in which the Majority avoided public review and comment is simply wrong and should not be allowed to happen again."

Fasoldt worked with Minority Counsel, Thomas Kenney, in preparing the charter amendment language that adds to Section 5.03 (A) (3) "Such tentative budget shall include all proposed increases in compensation for all elected officials. No increase in compensation for elected officials shall go into effect unless it has been specifically identified as a line item in the tentative budget."

Recently re-elected county legislator Neil Kelleher has a really good idea. A committee! Damn, that's exciting. The committee will have five members, three from the majority and two from the minority. It will be called, "Task Force 5" and each member will be given special super powers.

Neil, give us a break. You can reform the legislature tomorrow if you wanted to. First, retract your noses from the trough and rescind the pay raise. Second, get rid of that un-American requirement that you must register by 2:00PM on the day of a meeting if you want to address the legislature. Third, stop violating the Open Meetings Law by allowing Mirch to Caucus with the Republicans. You violate the law every time you caucus and you're going to talk to us about reform?

We love your new-found virginity but you're so full of Mirch your eyes must be brown.


Awhile ago we mentioned that you can't claim fiscal health when you're dependent upon state and federal grants. Looks like that may come home to roost.

Troy may take a hit and Albany could lose $1,000,000.


According to Fred Dicker, Assemblyman Pat Manning, a GOP hopeful for the governor's office is leaving his wife and kids for one of his campaign staffers. Always fun to watch the Family Values Party at work. However, Manning's private life is not our business (although it looks like business is good for Mr. Manning). The real fun is that he's accusing former Assemblyman John Faso of blackmail. According to Manning, a Faso staffer has told someone on Manning's staff that unless Manning withdraws from the race, Faso will make Manning's private life an issue.

Life is not without a sense of irony. Faso and Manning are competing for the same voter niche, conservatives. Although, one could argue that infidelity and blackmail are two traditional American values.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006



According to yesterday's Talespin, Councilpersons Dunne and Collier engaged in a bit of hi-tech back and forth over last weeks resolutions.

Dunne e-mailed a variety of people indicating that by tabling rather than referring Resolutions 1 and 2, Collier essentially stalled the process for bringing the CDBG money 'in-house' (currently it is 'out-house').

Collier then referred Dunne to the "Am Not, You Are" provision in Roberts Rules of Order (Chapter IIV, Sec 2). Dunne responded by invoking the "I'm Rubber You're Glue" motion.

Collier, safely ensconced behind her computer, also told Dunne to stop hiding behind his computer.

Good Times!


Our condolences go out to the Madden and Jimino families. John sounded like a decent man.


Ever notice that Republicans need a scapegoat? Their scapegoat DeJour lately is public housing.
In a speech at RPI, Harry admitted that he wants to reduce Public Housing by 50%. Where everyone will go is your guess.

He has a point and it's a good one. With all the great jobs flooding Troy, there's no reason why anyone should be using public housing. Especially those damn seniors.

The best line was, "Public housing is supposed to be a temporary phase in someone's life and not a permanent way of living," Tutunjian said. "That's what we've got to move back toward."

You have to love these politicians that leach off the tax payers lecturing other people about leaching off the tax payers.

Home ownership is grand but how many people in Public Housing can qualify for a mortgage and pay Troy taxes, especially after all of Harry's tax hikes?

Monday, February 13, 2006



John Faso wants to be our next governor. The former GOP Assemblyman and Assembly Minority Leader is being set-up as the "conservative" alternative to former Massachusetts Governor William Weld. Faso ran for Comptroller against Hevasi in 2002. Hevasi won easily but the race was closer than many thought it would be.

Lets flashback to 1998. Joseph Cavallaro was a motel owner and a Greene County resident. Cavallaro wanted the installation of a State Park sign hastened. He believed it would help his, and other, businesses in the area. So......he phoned his Assemblyman. That was his first mistake. He phoned a few times, then some more.

Cavallaro was later interviewed by Dan Lynch. We don't have the transcript but wish we did. Cavallaro said he was treated quite poorly by Faso's staff and in particular by staff director Nancy Linehan. All in all Cavallaro made a dozen or so calls to Faso's various offices in a Quixotic attempt to beg an audience with his elected representative. Good help is so hard to find these days.

Since he couldn't get through to Faso, he called Faso's home (Faso's number was in the telephone book). Mr. Cavallaro stated that Mrs. Faso was very pleasant and agreed to pass the message along to Faso.

Cavallaro was then arrested, charged with Aggravated Harassment and hauled before Albany City Court Judge David Duncan.

We all know what happened here. Cavallaro became frustrated that he wasn't allowed to speak with Faso. Perhaps the dozen or so calls were overdoing it a bit, but Faso was a Republican in the NYS Assembly. How busy could he have been? What was he doing, drafting legislation that would never see the light of day? He should have called the guy back. But, that's not what makes John Faso a tool. Faso was so impressed with his importance that he failed to calm things down so they didn't get out of hand.

Do you ever get the feeling that all these guys stick together regardless of party? Instead of putting a halt to this nonsense, Cavallaro was prosecuted for aggravated harassment. The trial occurs over the course of two days and some of the taped phone calls are introduced. Sounds like a trial perfect for a young DA cutting his/her teeth, right? Who shows up to prosecute a misdemeanor in Albany City Court? Future District Attorney Paul Clyne. That's right, one of the DA's top trial attorneys shows up for the case.

The case was dismissed after the prosecution rested.

Republicans (once they have cleaned the vomit from their clothes, completed rehab, divorced their first spouse and completely alienated their children) like to talk about character. Faso has none. He's a two-bit punk that forgot he was supposed to work for the public. We bet he'll return calls if you're writing a check for his campaign. And remember, if he is elected, don't bother him too much. One man's constituent inquiry is another man's aggravated harassment.

Faso, an alleged reformer, now works for the lobbying firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

Friday, February 10, 2006



We finally watched Mayor Tutunjian's State of the City Address on that cable access channel. A few observations.

- Public speaking often tops the charts of anxiety studies. It also tops the charts in polls of what people most fear, often beating out death as the number one fear (which must make eulogies a bitch*). Harry is clearly uncomfortable speaking in public. He looked like a fifth grader about to spoil his pantaloons while delivering a book report. He obviously dislikes speaking in public. We don't know if it's because he's bad at it or if he's bad because he doesn't like it.

Harry, from the heart, a few tips:

1. Where's the fire? No pun intended. We're sure that 90% of the people present were there to hear your speech. Slow it down, take your time, have fun with it. Those people weren't there to watch the City Council meeting. That was, if possible, more dull than the speech.

2. Make eye contact. Stop reading the damn speech. This was your chance to communicate with an audience of actual people. Talk to them, not at them. If you're going to read the speech you might as well have copied it and handed it out at the door. Example: That story about the couple from New Jersey. You know that story, you don't have to read it. Have some self-confidence and tell the story.

3. Three words: Hooked-On-Phonics.


On the grants: as we said earlier, we think bringing the grants 'in-house' is a promising idea. Removing layers of bureaucracy is rarely a bad thing. It looks like CEO and TRIP have some things to say about the administration and it won't be pretty. Still, Harry has asked HUD for permission to bring funds "in-house" and their answer will probably not depend upon the efficiency of CEO or TRIP.

We know they're doing it to consolidate power, dole out patronage jobs and pad the budget but that doesn't mean it won't be more efficient. That's the sad part.


Back to the 'Couple from New Jersey' story. Nice story, good plot, happy ending. Except, the entire premise is wrong. People are not moving to Troy. Don't believe us, check out the projected Census data from 2004. It has been projected that Troy now has less than 48,000 people. Troy, Albany and Schenectady continue to lose population. East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Brunswick, Saratoga Springs etc. keep gaining population. Troy is not the place to be. Alas, the northeast is not the place to be. According to actual facts (as opposed to political cant), Arizona, Florida, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico are the places to be, or at least the places where people are going. Why wasn't this hard truth addressed? For every "New Jersey" couple, there are many more stories of people leaving. Plus, we're not sure we want people from New Jersey moving to the area. Have you seen the way those people drive?

This leads us back to the TRIP-CEO issue. What seems lost in this picture is the fact that people are not debating how to spend new revenue created by a blossoming private sector. They are debating how to spend money gathered by the state or feds through taxation. That's particularly alarming. Instead of finding new revenue sources, local municipalities are merely grabbing what they can from other layers of government. That's a strong step towards socialism. Would Troy be able to balance the books without grants from the State or Federal government? No.

Yes, Troy has wonderful architecture. So do other places. Troy is in many ways a wonderful place to live. Well, there are hundreds of other wonderful places to live in the northeast. They're dying too.

Harry should cheerlead for Troy. That is part of the job. Just don't take it too seriously. Troy needs visionary leaders that are prepared to discuss hard truths about where the state and city are headed. They also need leaders that understand that things must change if Troy is to to do more than merely survive. As long as we keep electing political lighweights who appoint political hacks, Troy is going nowhere. Maybe it's time to turn to those in the private sector for leadership. People who haven't spent one minute leeching off the tax payers.

*We may have heard that one on Seinfeld.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Looks like the Feds found some problems in the way CEO was administering Federal grants within the City. The City followed up, so as not to be caught with their pants down (sorry for that disturbing visual image). After all, who's minding the store? Franco has the story, or what looks like just the beginning of the story.

Now we expect the blame-game to begin. We'll wait and see how this shakes out. It does underscore what is likely a nationwide problem. How many cities have had the same problem? How much of our money was involved? Why do these programs seem so unwieldy, so complex, so laced with bureaucratic nonsense? More to the point, was there nonsense above and beyond the typical problems faced by these agencies? We've all learned that just because this administration says it's so, don't necessarily make it so.

Harry wants to bring these grants "in-house", to be administered by the city. In theory, we think it's an idea worth pursuing. In practice? How many people will they hire to 'administer' the programs? What will they be paid, how much in pensions, benefits etc? What percentage of the grants will go to administering the programs as opposed to actually filtering down to the people who are supposed to be getting the money? Will they hire experts or hacks? Right now it looks as if approxiamately $480,000 will go to administer $580,000. Not a very good bang for our buck! We are willing to reserve judgment.

In fact, regardless of any "problems" with CEO (Harry's hand-picked agency) or TRIP, a good argument can be made that this is an experiment worth trying.

Has they City actually reviewed all relevant documents? Frankly, we just can't trust an administration so bent on concentrating power in it's beefy fingers. What they say and what's true may be quite different as it so often is with this crowd.

As an aside, how many of the people eligible for this aid (regardless of who administers the program) are eligible for a mortgage?

Monday, February 06, 2006


We apologize for the lack of posting. That trip over to Union Street in Schenectady really wears you out.


Looks like Carolin Collier and Dave Mitchell combined for one of those "Steve Urkel" moments.

The centerpiece of Mayor Tutunjian's State of the City Address was bringing "in-house" certain Federal grants designed to aid low income homeowners or those aspiring to become homeowners. It's a promising idea, in theory.

After the Mayor's State of the City Address, two companion resolutions were brought to the floor. These resolutions pertained to the CDBG* money Harry wants "in-house".

Unfortunately, City Council President Bauer introduced the resolutions and then asked for a second, rather than referring the matter to a public hearing. An amendment was offered by one Council member and it was then withdrawn.

Corporation Council Dave Mitchell swung into action, passing a note** to Carolin Collier which Collier then parroted back.

For some odd reason, Collier tabled the resolutions. Now, the resolutions cannot be acted on until next month's meeting, when they have to go do it all over again. Seems an odd way of doing things, especially since Mayor Tutunjian made this the centerpiece of his State of the City Address and it is not a bad idea.

So, why is Mitchell scripting for Collier? Who did we elect?

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Did I do that?


As for the Mayor's State of the City....O'Brien had a good piece leading up to the speech. The State of ....anything speech is nothing more than a PR, media event. Nothing important is ever really said and hard truths are never discussed. That's not to single out Harry, it goes for mayors, governors and presidents. The only thing we will add is that it seemed that many of the accomplishments mentioned occurred in 2004, not 2005. We really liked the part....about.....zzzzzzzzzzz. Actually, more on the State of the City later this week. And our opinion may surprise you.


North Greenbush is simply the best. Better than Peyton Place. What do you get the town that has everything....Stalking.

* If it wasn't CDBG money forgive us. This crap gets complicated. It was some type of grant money

** The note stated, in part, "I know somebody who likes you."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


*Welcome, City Council members, County Legislators and distinguished guests. After 11 months of blogging, our ability to offer up a complete State of the Blog Address is much stronger than it was 11 months ago. For almost a year, coming to this blog each and every day has been a joy and we want to begin today by thanking each and every one of you that has made this blog the most popular one in Troy.

It may sound ridiculous to some, but we give you our word that the state of this blog is positive. But, the Troy Polloi faces a crossroads. One road leads to complete sarcasm and the other to complete satire, let us hope we have the wisdom to choose the right path.

First, a Blog is nothing if it doesn't have the proper staff. We'd like to thank our Action Team who have been responsible for the great upkeep of each post. No matter the weather, the posts are always free and clear of snow and ice. The Action Team is also responsible for keeping the posts clean and our blog posts have never looked better. Thank you Action Team!

What have we accomplished in this first year? We have had over 44,000 visitors, more than Troy and Schenectady combined. In November, we tipped the charts at over 5,000 visitors. During the week, 160-170 people visit. During the weekends, 70-90. Some people are even bringing their families, making the TP a family destination.

Under a new pilot program, we have condemned over 30 area politicians and have demolished over 15 politicians that have refused to stay up to code. In addition, we implemented an absentee politician registry and are working diligently to penalize negligent, absentee politicians.

Although we can't please everyone (a few have likened our work to canine feces), feedback has been positive. Other area blogs have taken the time to recognize the Troy Polloi (see, Upstream, Albany Eye, Albany Girl....). We even coined a new word, 'Schenectoid', that received NYCO's prestigious Word of the Week Award.

Finally, the TP has appeared in Talespin twice as well as the Times Union.

We have accomplished all of this while only raising the price of this blog 8.5%, most of which was necessary due to healthcare costs, overtime and pensions.

Most of all, we want to thank the area's public officials: without you, this blog would not be possible. Thank you and God Bless.

- Democratus

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* Sorry, but we are mandated by the Code to give this address