Troy City Council races are typically short and brutal, with the outcome hinging more on partisanship, minor party lines and who is "a nice guy." That's no way to pick a City Council. Troy is at a cross-roads and this could well be the most important election since the last election with the next 'most important' election two years from now.
How would we pick a City Council? The only rational way is to balance experience, professionalism and intelligence with the ethnic origin of the candidates last name.
TROY CITY COUNCIL
Geography: District 1 covers the most northerly part of the City of Troy. Due to it's location, the weather is often harsh with temperatures sometimes falling into the sub-zero range for weeks at a time. For six months out of the year there is daylight for only 2.3 hours daily.
Incumbent: Mark Wojcik (R,C,I)
Challenger: Vic (Bud) DeBonis (D)
Hot-Button Issue: Cook or Peary? Who was the first man to reach District 1?
Endorsement: Frankly, this is a tough one. While we recognize the need for more Italian-American representation on the City Council, we owe Mr. Wojcik a personal favor. Our neighbor owns a pit bill (Mr. Jammers). Since the passage of Mr. Wojcik's pit-bull legislation, Mr. Jammers has turned his life around. He is now friendly, cuddly and we haven't found pieces of our cat strewn throughout the neighborhood in months. Wojcik also fought vigorously against introducing sharks to Grafton Lakes. Mr. Jammers gets it and so do we. Therefore....we endorse Mr. Wojcik!
Geography: The Crack Basket of Rensselaer County, District 2 is conveniently wedged between District 1 and District 3. District 2 is a hot-bed of extra-legal entrepreneurship and the beneficiary of the commercial growth now taking place in Troy. Cheap crack and cheap hookers are a thing of the past in District 2, having been replaced by moderately priced crack and moderately priced hookers.
Incumbent: Mark McGrath (R,C,I)
Challenger: Mary Sweeney (D,WFP)
Endorsement: It's tough not to like McGrath. He's spent a lot of time with youth groups, turning street gangs into hockey teams and vice-versa. We have our doubts about Sweeney. Why were the Troopers called to her house? Why won't she authorize the release of the incident report? Why did her husband call .....sorry. Wrong Sweeney. We're going with Sweeney.
Prediction: Too close to call. Internal GOP polling has this race tight. Any edge must go to the incumbent.
Geography: Rolling hills, middle-class homes and highly educated, rolling mid-level state workers. If Troy was New York City, Sycaway would be Westchester County, which isn't part of New York City so forget all about that. Think Brunswick-lite. Sycaway is a Japanese word meaning, "I don't have to say I live in Troy."
Incumbent: Peter Ryan (D)
Challenger: Mark Balistreri (R,I,C)
Hot-Button Issue: What's with the house with a Ryan sign and a Balistreri sign?
Endorsement: We need more Irish-Americans on the Council. Ryan is one of the few Council members that work in the private sector. We have enough county/state emploeyes on the council.
Geography: If Troy were New York City, District 4 is Manhattan. This comparison soon breaks down when one discovers that Troy isn't New York City. Often called "The Business District" because of the businesses located there, District 4 is the place to go to open and close a business.
Incumbent: Bill Dunne (D,WFP)
Challenger: Beverly Traa (R,C,I)
Endorsement: Although we'd like to see an African-American woman on the Council, we're going with Dunne. We need Irish-Americans on the Council. We think Traa is Dutch or Belgian or, god-forbid, Luxembourgian. We know what the Dutch are all about, don't we? Legalized drugs, legalized prostitution, dikes, more social programs....
Prediction: Traa, in an upset. Rallying Troy's Dutch, Belch and Luxembourgian population (centered in Troy's Little Antwerp) Traa trounces Dunne. If Troy doesn't have a Little Antwerp, disregard this prediction.
Geography: District 5 has it all: a bustling night life in the heart of the revitalized South Troy, a jail, quiet, tree-lined streets on the East Side...If Troy were a moderately-sized city in the industrial northeast, District 5 would be South Troy. A resident can imbibe at a local common room, break into a house on a tree-lined street and find themselves down at the jail: All without leaving the confines of District 5. It's one stop shopping.
Incumbent: Bob Krogh (R,C, I)
Challenger: Ken Zalewski (D)
Hot-Button Issue: Was there a President Ida? Was he elected before or after President Canal?
Endorsement: A tougher choice than District 1 made all the more difficult because neither candidate has an Irish or Italian name. We think Krogh's a German name. If not, what is Krogh? What's he hiding? Is he pushing some radical, white, male heterosexual agenda? We have nothing against white, male heterosexuals, we just don't want it thrown in our faces. The challenger's name has a lot of consonants all in a row so we think it's Polish. We're endorsing Ken Zalewski (pronounced Z-a-l-e-w-s-k-i). We think Krogh's German and the Council will already have Bauer. No need to make everyone jumpy.
Prediction: Krogh by a hair.
Geography: The southern-most part of Ilion. Balmy days and tropical nights are the hallmark of District 6, also known as the Rensco Riviera or the Gateway to Menands.
Incumbent: Carolin Collier-Skriptshak (the hyphen is silent) (R,C,I)
Challenger: Gary Galuski (D,WFP)
Hot-Button Issue: Does the Menands Bridge go from Troy to Menands or Menands to Troy?
Endorsement: Another difficult one. If Wojcik and Zalewski win, do we need Galuski. On the other hand, Collier sounds suspiciously French. We don't know what Skriptshak is, Eastern European? We did have a Skriptshak removed once. It was benign. Roll call please....Galuski.
Prediction: Collier... by a Skriptshak.