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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Three-Job Bob Says Let Them Eat Cake (Only if the County Doesn’t Have to Pay for It).

By Politicus Ebonus Abyssus

With a nearly 26% budget increase proposed for the Rensselaer County budget, three-job Bob has suggested that all county services be eliminated other than the county jail. Forget for a minute that many of services are mandated by the State, Mirch is suggesting that we cut needed services to the most vulnerable of the County’s population.

While Mirch and his wife make well over $150,000 combined and have their health insurance paid for by our tax dollars, he has no problem eliminating the Health Department who provides flu shots to senior citizens and lead screening to our children. While Mirch and his wife own a vacation hide-a-way in Lake George, he has no problem cutting programs that support senior centers, eliminating the only socialization and recreation time that many of our senior citizens have. As long as Mirch continues to live off our tax dollars until retirement, he can act like Marie Antoinette and tell the peasants to eat cake. Just remember Bob, the peasants eventually revolted and helped Marie take a little off the top.

Eliminating such services as sheriff’s patrols and maintaining county roads, as Mirch suggests, only shifts the responsibility for those services and the tax burden to the towns. Robbing Peter to pay Paul may absolve Mirch in his mind of the mess he helped create, but it does not help the overburdened taxpayer.

Mirch has taken no responsibility for this problem. Mirch and the Republican controlled County Legislature approved the use of over $29 million fund balance dollars during the last five years to support the general budget. Rather than ensuring that expenditures did not exceed annual revenues, the Legislature used the fund balance to support rampant increases in expenditures. Any true emergency now could only be addressed through another tax hike or borrowing. Mirch and company are not the only villains here, however. Jimino did nothing to curtail expenses and proposed using the fund balance to balance the budget, just not to the level that the county legislature approved.

Both Jimino and the legislature played fast and loose with our tax dollars. Now we have to pay the piper, to the tune of 25.9%.

And folks, don't forget our own Martin Reid. He now wants to bring his pay raise, tax hike experience to the State Assembly. There's no better way to climb the political ladder than through incompetence and failure. Go Marty!

Also, a brief note. There's a very interesting item on the agenda for the November 2 Troy City Council meeting. It raises a number of questions and we'll be talking about it later this week or early next week.

Good luck out there and hold on to your wallets, it's budget time.

Monday, October 30, 2006


DA's OFFICE SUED....FOR $52,000,000

Jeremy Phillips has sued the Rensselaer County DA's Office for a tidy sum. Phillips was held in jail for nearly a month based on an extradition warrant issued by our District Attorneys Office. When Phillips finally got to Rensselaer County, the Grand Jury failed to indict him.

When a Grand Jury fails to indict the case can, at best, be described as weak. Usually, the case is non-existent. Not knowing both sides of the case and not having consulted our legal staff, we defer to others the merits of the cause of action and the defense to those claims.

Of more interest is the fact that Phillips attorney is Warren Redlich. As many of you probably don't know, Redlich is the Republican* challenging Democratic Congressman Mike McNulty.

Of more interest is that Redlich has a blog. Redlich has posted the complaint. He has also discussed the case on his blog. In fact, last April, in a post, he characterized First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Ahearn as "Evil." Ahearn responded by rotating his head 360 degrees and vomiting a pea-green substance.

Redlich later apologized for the comment. A classy move in our book.


This matter may have legs. In fact, we have come to learn that there may be a memorandum out there that conveniently disappeared. The memorandum was written by another police officer and given to a higher-up before Mr. Rosa kicked up a stink about his interrogation . That's just a rumor, of course. Right now, we have seen nothing to suggest that this event was anything other than an aberration in an otherwise decent police force.


Recent polls have been mixed. Siena has Sweeney leading by 14% Another poll has Gillibrand up by a decent margin. Our Lucky 8 Ball says, "Try Again Later."

The Siena Poll sounds more realistic. Can Sweeney win by 14 points, you bet. The nature of incumbency and the congressional district makes this a hard fight for Gillibrand even in the best of circumstances, which we now have.

However, the 20th's Guestbook shows that this may be a very tight race. Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Clinton are not going to campaign in a race where it's believed the Democrat far behind. Also, First Lady Laura Bush is not being sent to districts where the Republican incumbent is a shoo-in. In fact, Mrs. Bush was scheduled to campaign in Idaho's 1st Congressional District, a fact that may make Sweeney uneasy.

This will be one of the most interesting races to watch on Election Night. If Gillibrand wins or it's tight, the Republicans are in for a long night statewide and possibly nationwide. What's a close race here, we'd say Gillibrand getting 46% or more (depending on how the third-party candidates run).

Friday, October 27, 2006



The County GOP never seems to stop giving. They gave themselves pay hikes last year and now we can expect them to give us a nice tax hike. Not just a tax hike, a 25% tax hike. That's like what....adding almost a quarter to our tax burden. Thanks, small government, conservatives. Much appreciated.

This explains the tidy little sum they voted themselves last year. How can our legislators expect to pay their taxes in RensCo without a pay raise?

We'll have more on this outrage later. In the meantime, lets down some bran muffins and have a good Bob Mirch (hereinafter BM).

BM had this to say:

According to Robert Mirch, a Conservative who serves as majority leader for the Republicans, it's time for drastic changes, including the elimination of Sheriff's Department road patrols and the county Health Department, privatization of the Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home and, as a last resort, the elimination of county government altogether with the exception of the county jail."

My opinion is, county government cannot continue as we have for years and years and years," Mirch said. "The taxpayers can't take any more, they just can't."

Gee...Bob...where you been for the past thirteen years? What, waiting for a leadership position before you can get something done? Too busy with your other public payroll jobs? Too busy counting your pay hike from last year? Too busy taking over the WFP? At least you've finally admitted your failure as a legislative leader. That's the first step.

Friends and family of the county need to set up an intervention. We care about you, Rensselaer County. We hate to see you spiraling out of control.


Ugh....we almost didn't bother. She just looks and sounds so whipped lately. Yes, even the New York State Court of Appeals has called Trish's behavior "deplorable."


A sincere thank you goes out to The Record. Last Saturday, The Record ran an interview with Democratus. We'd like to thank them for that opportunity. It was a pleasure working with The Record on what might be the most significant interview of the year.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



When the crime statistics were released earlier this month, we heard nothing from our fearless leader in the mayor’s office regarding Troy. If you remember, Democratic city council candidates were relentlessly pummeled during last year’s campaign by the Republican city council candidates, genuflected to the god of Harry who, since elected, had reduced crime in Troy.

Lo and behold, crime in Troy in 2005 is up, with both violent and property crimes increasing over 2004 levels. According to the FBI statistics, which can be found at, crime increased by 2% between 2004 and 2005. Specifically, murder, assaults, larceny/thefts, and motor vehicle thefts all rose between 2004 and 2005. More worrisome, however, is that the rate of crime increased by over 3%. The number of crimes increased while the population in the City of Troy decreased. Not a good combination when talking about the quality of life in Troy, which Harry continues to tell us is one of his top priorities for the City of Troy.

While the statistics have shown an increase, they do not represent the true nature of crime in Troy. Throughout the City, there have been numerous incidences of vehicle damage, such as tires slashed, windows broken, or damaged side mirrors. Multiple vehicles but one incident both under counts the crime and under estimates the true financial damage to the taxpayers of Troy.

Let’s review recent or not so recent history. Harry claimed that the Guardian Angels were not needed because crime was not a problem and under control. A killer went free because City detectives violated his rights. And there are still questions about the residency of a number of police patrolling this City. Harry, campaign on this next year.

Politicians tell us what we want to hear. Leaders tell us what we need to hear.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Brunswick) sounds panicky. At a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the College of Saint Rose, Bruno essentially tried to blackmail voters into keeping the Senate in Republican hands.*

The region, Bruno said, could lose out on the millions of dollars in pork barrel spending he has generated since he took the Republican Senate's reins in 1995.

"I was there for 18 years watching dollars flow to New York City and flow to Long Island," Bruno said of the period before that. "What did we get here? Pretzels."

Joe's animosity towards salty, baked goods is well-known. More incredible is his honesty. Not that we ever saw Joe as a particularly dishonest politician. At Saint Rose, he cut right to the chase. It's all about pork. This region has been treading water for the past two decades, surviving on state grants and gifts. We're hooked and Uncle Joe has been our main dealer. It's going to end soon, either this year or in two years. We may as well get used to the idea and go cold turkey.

Every few months we're treated to one of Harry's proclamations. Troy will get this or that (not that any of it has actually come to fruition) and "at no cost to the taxpayers." Right. Everything is bought and paid for by the taxpayers. Where the hell do they think state grants come from?

It's time to face facts: Our Sugar-Daddy will be gone, this year or in two years. Then we'll be able to judge the fiscal stability of area municipalities. It won't be pretty.

Or maybe Joe just needs more fiber in his diet.

*Bruno also took three hostages but they were later released, unharmed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It's simply too damned tempting to not write about our exemplary Corporation Counsel.

As you all know, Public Officers must live in Rensselaer County. Does Mitchell?

We don't know where he lives and, according to sources, he's refused (illegally by the way) numerous demands to turn over his Annual Disclosure Statement. That statement could tell us a lot. For instance, where does he own real property?

What other facts lead us to believe Mr. Mitchell is not a RensCo Resident?

1) He's registered to vote in Saratoga County (although he hasn't cast a ballot since 1999);
2) He sent Harry two $1,000 money order campaign contributions. Unlike checks, money orders lack an address;
3) He won't tell people where he lives;
4) He ignored a court order in the Carignan case and refused to be deposed.

We can only conclude one of two things: He's not a Rensselaer County resident or he's in the witness protection program.

Number four bears some consideration, especially in light of Mitchell's self-described exemplary service to the city. Mitchell disobeyed a discovery order in the Carignan case and failed to appear for a deposition. Counsel for the City did not seek to extend the discovery order. The implications could be serious.

The Carignan suit is scheduled for trial on December 4, 2006. Suppose Mitchell has information that could help the city. Can he testify? Presumably, Plaintiff's counsel will seek to preclude Mitchell's testimony on the grounds that he ignored a court order. Our in-house counsel tells us that Plaintiff's counsel will likely prevail and Mitchell will be precluded. Ouch! Absolutely exemplary.

Speaking of Carignan, on Tuesday, The Record ran a Jim Franco* story on the suit (could not find a link). Franco secured an interesting quote from the city's attorney, Brian Kremer.

"It's similar to shopping for car insurance--just because a person gets a quote from one company--does not preclude them from...calling another company for a quote." one said it did preclude them from getting another quote. Kremer's a fine attorney and we believe he does excellent work in the Labor Law field. His quote here is inexplicable. The obvious follow-up questions are:

1) Why did Comptroller Witkowski testify that there was only one quote?
2) Why did she testify that the one quote came from Carignan?
3) Why is there a letter from Nicoll & MacChesney stating that they (N&M) were unable to secure a quote?

Here's another fun fact from the Carignan saga. As every lay person knows, truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim. Carignan claims they were defamed when Harry said the city saved $64k by switching brokers (a lie). What you may not know is that Truth, as a defense, must be pled as an Affirmative Defense. The City did not plead Truth as an Affirmative Defense. Why?

So much fun, so little time. Remember, the first person who can identify where Dave Mitchell lives wins a free Troy Polloi tote bag.

*The article mentions Mitchell ignored a deposition subpoena and refused to testify. We can only imagine Mitchell's reaction when he read that bit of exemplary reporting.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Does anyone know the real story behind Dave Mitchell? What he did before becoming Troy's bestest Corporation Counsel ever?

He obviously wants people to think he lives in Troy, or at least in Rensselaer County. But where exactly does our boy reside?

Word is it's in King Street in Saratoga Springs....or McMaster Street, at number 62.

Mitchell's residency issues also explains why he would not appear to be deposed in the Carignan suit. As you all know, the second question at almost all depositions is, "where do you reside?"

Even more interesting is what little history we could piece together. Mitchell was a Village Justice in Ballston Spa but mysteriously resigned. From the Saratogian:

"Following the resignation of Village Justice David Mitchell Thursday, acting Village Judge Richard Fox will be appointed at a special board meeting this morning to fill the remaining 12 months of the term.

Records obtained by The Saratogian indicate that from April 1999 to April 2000, Fox responded to 25 calls from the Ballston Spa Police Department when Mitchell was unavailable or did not return calls to his pager.

Mitchell's surprise resignation, which came on the heels of a state comptroller's audit indicating disarray in parking bureau and village court financial records, was not disclosed to Fox before it became public."

Did the resignation have anything to do with this?

Days after appointing new village Judge Richard Fox, village officials have revamped the accounting procedures for the village court.

A state comptroller's audit report, dated April 7, found a lack of complete, reliable information both in the recording of parking tickets and in record-keeping in the court. Six days later, village Justice David Mitchell resigned from his post. Fox was selected to serve out the remaining 12 months of Mitchell's term.

And lets not forget all the other fun stuff Mitchell was up to:

Meanwhile, in a bizarre twist, village of Lake George Mayor Robert Blais revealed this week his municipality is named in a lawsuit filed by David and Joseph Mitchell. The suit seeks $50 million in lost profits allegedly occurring on the weekend of Sept. 10, 1999. According to the papers, filed Dec. 10, part of the public highway known as Canada Street was blocked to exclude the public from the Mitchell's business, Zachary's Barbeque.

There have been other incidents involving Zachary's and village of Lake George officials, Blais said. A large maple tree valued at $3,000 planted in front of the establishment was sawed through, causing permanent damage, and Blais said there have been other minor violations with the operation of the bar.

David Mitchell launched a lawsuit against Romano and the village of Ballston Spa in February claiming harassment, slander, libel and defamation, following statements made by Romano at a public meeting. That lawsuit does not list a dollar amount sought for compensatory and punitive damages.

No wonder Mitchell had to come to Harry's Home for Wayward Judges. Boy, Harry, you can really pick 'em.

Why did he resign with a full year left on his term of office? Was he really a high school wrestling star in Camden, NY? Did he get his $50,000,000 in lost profits?

So, if you know where Mitchell actually lives or how he came to be our Corporation Counsel, drop us a line. We're dying to know more about the man who is leading Troy into a new renaissance. Mitchell obviously values his privacy. We can't have that now, can we?

Thursday, October 12, 2006



We completely missed one of the most important days of of the year on Monday. For those of you who may not know, Monday, October 9, is a day set aside by the Federal Government to honor the first European to set foot in the New World. No, not the two-bit spice salesman from Genoa. October 9 is Leif Ericsson Day.

Yes, thanks to President Ford, October 9, is Leif Ericsson Day. When signing the proclamation, Ford said that "Ericsson landed in the America more than two hundred years before an Italian explorer first went ashore in the Dominican Republic."

Never mind that it was San Salvador, Gerry meant well. The brave Norwegian beat the Italian by a few hundred years. The Norse even colonized North America. So lets dump Columbus Day. Lets stop honoring the man who came in second and go with the First Place finisher. When will Troy get it's Leif Ericsson statue? How much longer do we have to wait?

Speaking of statues, on Monday The Record had a nice photo of our own ugly statuary being cleaned and buffed. The Uncle Sam statue is easily one of the ugliest statues around. Isn't it time to melt that thing down? Note to The Record: Sam Wilson conducted his war profiteering during the War of 1812, not the Civil War.

If we really want to honor Sam Wilson (and where but Troy would one honor a meat packer) how about a statue of Wilson in garb that a man of the early 1800's would have worn? For those of you who may not know, Wilson didn't walk around looking like a refugee from Fire Island.


This story is ludicrous. One hundred and twenty hours? Listen, the $100.00 an hour rate is fine. But a $12,000+ bill to prosecute, and lose, a misdemeanor and a violation?

We've consulted two attorneys on this and they gave us a pretty liberal breakdown of what this should have cost. They've erred, so they told us, on the side of the Special Prosecutor:

Interview a few people (if necessary) 5 hours;
Review any documents 5 hours;
Research the statutes and case law 8 hours;
Miscellaneous stuff 10 hours;
Coffee and donuts 4 hours;
Court time 10 hours.

That's a liberal estimate, very liberal. It comes to 42 hours. Now, no ADA is spending even 42 hours on this thing. That's good money that could have been used for pay raises for our legislators. Shame on you Tim!

Monday, October 09, 2006


The saga surrounding the fate of 99 former city employees and their healthcare benefits has taken an intriguing turn.

Initially, we took the realistic view that people who are not entitled to benefits - shouldn't receive benefits. The fatal flaw in our reasoning was soon apparent: We believed the Administration. We know, we know. Even we make mistakes.

Now, there's a Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter MU) and at least one Union contract that could very well cast doubt on the Administration's veracity. No shocker, that.

Last Thursday, at a Council meeting well-attended by some pissed-off old people (hereinafter POOPS), the Democrats and Marge wanted to extend the cut-off date for "the 99" from November 1, 2006 until December 31, 2006 (because many of the programs used by the retirees end on 12/31). They were criticized by their legal counsel, Mr. Mitchell, who said such a move would be "illegal." Then, Tutunjian extends the cut-off date anyway.

If we've learned something by taking a close look at this Administration it is this: If they say A, do not simply take their word for it. They have a knack for lying and/or not knowing what they're talking about.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the Retired Firefighters is at the center of one potential lawsuit. According to the agreement, 19 firefighters should receive healthcare benefits and live happily ever after. They, along with the other 80, will have their benefits taken away in a few weeks. Initially, the City took the position that the Memorandum of Understanding was invalid. Now, according to sources, their latest line is that the city does not have the original MU on file. The implication being that the MU is a forgery. That argument, so patently ridiculous, will be laughed out of court.

There's also an issue with former crossing-guards who may also have an agreement that belies the city's position.

This move now makes much more sense. Harry had to hike taxes again. How much more of a hike would there have been if "the 99" were still getting benefits?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
A retiree comments at last Thrusday's meeting

This should be interesting.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The Sweeney Campaign is using County Computers to campaign and raise money. According to our Corp. Counsel, that's against the law. However, as we've already learned, around here, laws are merely suggestions, to be followed or ignored at the discretion of our public officials.

City Hall in Troy is also implicated. Emily Hartnett e-mailed the following invite to someone at City Hall. The e-mail was then forwarded to all Council members? Good move, that. Here's the original:

From: Emily Hartnett []
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:41 PM
Subject: Dinner with Laura Bush & Congressman Sweeney - PDF Invite attached

Here's the forwarded e-mail:

From: Citycouncil.
To: Carolin Collier \(E-mail\); Clement Campana \(E-mail\); Flora.O'Malley; Henry Bauer \(E-mail\); Marge DerGurahian \(E-mail\); Mark McGrath \(E-mail\); Mark Wojcik; Peter Ryan \(E-mail\); Robert Krogh \(E-mail\); William Dunne \(E-mail\)
Date: 9/27/2006 4:10.18 PM
SubjectDinner with Laura Bush & Congressman Sweeney - PDF Invite attached

It's a pretty invite. Very understated, with soothing earth tones. Less than an hour turn-around time, too. Not bad. A pity potholes don't get filled that fast after a complaint.

We await the findings of the City Hall investigation into these activity.

On to the County: Here's a few examples.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2006 7:14 PM
To: Legislature - Minority

Subject: Rudy Giuliani - John Sweeney Event

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 5:39 PM
To: Legislature - Minority

Subject: Giuliani/Sweeney Rally: Come Meet and Greet Rudy Giuliani and Congressman Sweeney In Glens Falls

-----Original Message-----

From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:19 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: IMPORTANT CHANGE: Giuliani/Congressman Sweeney Meet and Greet

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:04 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: REMINDER: Giuliani/Congressman Sweeney Meet and Greet

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:15 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: August 22, 2006: Congressman Sweeney Update: Outpouring of Labor Support Continues

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 7:35 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: August 29, 2006: Congressman Sweeney Update

-----Original Message-----
From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:01 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: Congressman Sweeney Update: Congressman Sweeney recieves* Important UTU Endorsement and Campaigns at Local Fairs

We really wanted to see something like this:

-----Original Message-----

From: Sweeney for Congress []
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:01 PM
To: Legislature - Minority
Subject: Congreshman Sweeney Update: Congreshman Shweeney(hic!) Parties at Area Frat Housh (hic!)

We're sure that Sweeney updates are positively riveting reads. Still, he shouldn't be using public property to campaign and raise money. Please, stop abusing our property, Congressman Sweeney. You should not be campaigning via our computer system. For a guy who writes laws you sure have trouble following them.

Will the County call on Sweeney to stop sending e-mails or will the abuse continue?

* probably should read 'receives' not 'recieves'.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell has been asked to investigate another instance of computer abuse. His own. Fortunately, though he's abused his computer, he hasn't sprouted hair on his palms or gone blind.

Last week, Mitchell e-mailed a City Councilman after the Councilman made a legitimate inquiry of the Comptroller's Office. Mitchell's response fairly bristles with uncontrolled anger:

Councilman Dunne,

"In your eyes,..."

Therein lies the answer to the continued problem within the culture for which you desire to maintain in this City. Rather than focusing your efforts in assisting to make this City a better place to live, work and visit for all, your mindset is centered solely on a world as seen in "your eyes." You are foreclosed to others view points and perspectives.

You are- unfortunately - trapped within a venomous culture of obstruction, controversy and partisanship that has for far too long been part of this climate. I will not participate in that culture and will continue too try to change that mindset in an effort to re-focus your efforts on optimism and a positive future.

I have now know you as a Councilman for almost three years and I know you are committed in what you believe. Unfortunately, your beliefs are flawed and they are counterproductive to making this City a better place to live, work and visit. Great things are happening in this City and you are invited to participate in an era that historians will most certainly regard as significant in the rebirth and renaissance of the City of Troy.

Additionally, I will assume you intended to say "opinion" not "option" and certainly, I would expect you to contact me with any question regarding a legal "opinion" that involves the City of Troy. However, you will contact me with any question regarding the entirety of Law Department, for if you do not, your question will not be answered.

Finally, as a City employee, and given my exemplary performance record as the Corporation Counsel, I expect a modicum of appreciation from you- but once again- you disappoint.

You now have some juicy rhetoric for your website, have fun.
Should you have any further questions, please stop by anytime.

Thank you,

David B. Mitchell
Corporation Counsel
City of Troy

The e-mail was sent on the afternoon of September 21st, from City property. And yes, reading between the lines one does sense a certain Helter-Skelter tone (not unlike Paul's letter to the Corinthians).

Franco did an outstanding job of pimp-slapping Mitchell in last Monday's Talespin. But, lets give credit where credit is due. So, what's wrong with this picture?

Dunne requested information from Comptroller Witkowski. Dunne asked a simple question: Was Thomas Spargo being paid as an employee or consultant? A question most people would consider a payroll/human resources question. Witkowski violated the charter by not responding to Dunne. Instead, she forwarded the request to Mitchell. Why?

Mitchell responded with the answer and then told Dunne to refer all legal questions to him (Mitchell). Then, we have the emotional breakdown, by e-mail, set forth above.

Mr. Mitchell, we would suggest that any exemplary Corporation Counsel should really read the City Charter.

§ C-22. Requests for reports, information or estimates. [Amended by L.L. No. 6-1979, § 1]

Any officer of the City is required to furnish reports, information or estimates to any Councilor of the City of Troy.

§ C-60. Office of City Comptroller.

A. There shall be in the Office of Management and Budget, the office of the City Comptroller. The office of the City Comptroller shall be responsible for the overall financial administration and operations of the City and be organized into such offices and bureaus as determined by the City Comptroller.

B. In addition, the office of the City Comptroller shall:

(9) Prepare and administer the payroll of the City.

Pursuant to the Charter, Witkowski must provide the information to any council member. Mitchell cannot serve as a gatekeeper. That's if you follow the law. We know they don't.

Also, we suggest Mitchell read up on his job description.

§ C-76. Department of Law.

C. Duties of Corporation Counsel. The Corporation Counsel shall act as legal advisor to the City Council and to the Mayor...

Sending warped e-mails to council members is noticeably absent from the job description.

Any exemplary corporation council should be aware of his duties and responsibilitiesties. They should also be aware that there are certain things they cannot legally control. Council members, pursuant to The Charter (the law) have certain privileges that cannot be legally diminished. An exemplary corporation counsel understands this and follows the law.

Mitchell has repeatedly demonstrated contempt for the residents of Troy by failing to abide by the law. He refuses to answer questions posed by council members, he obstructs access to information and he has directed department heads and other officers to do the same. The system cannot work to the advantage of the citizens if the opposition does not have access to information.

Mitchell works for the Council and the Mayor (according to the Charter, in that order). It's time that Council President Bauer stand-up for the Council as a sovereign entity and demand that Mitchell perform his legally assigned role and conduct himself as an employee of the Council. The Mayor should warn Mitchell against using the city's e-mail system for personal attacks against council members.

The Charter exists for a reason. It must be followed. The failure to follow the law leads to lawsuits. You can blame the Plaintiff's for bringing suit against the city, but that doesn't alter the reality: public officials that abuse the law are the one's that cost us money.

Drozd resigned, before being fired, for misusing city property. Another employee was fired for the same offense. They looked at porn. Mitchell represents a greater danger than Drozd ever did. Mitchell obstructs the opposition from it's proper function, that is, acting the part of the watch-dog.

Later this week, we'll look at more abuse of government property and we'll try to figure out where Mr. Mitchell resides.