What must an outsider think when he or she drives through Troy and sees this year's political signs? Balistreri, Campana, Ciccarelli, Talarico, DeBonis?
Current Position: City Council President. He is running for his second term. He is a former City Court Judge. Started out running molasses into Canada with Mikey's father.
Strengths: Survived so long because he always makes money for his partners. Realizes that blood baths are bad for business.
Bauer has the proper demeanor for a City Council President. He presides over sometimes cantankerous council meetings with a calm, thoughtful, deliberative and respectful manner. Everyone has their moments but we cannot recall Bauer ever taking a cheap shot at a colleague from either side of the aisle. Wanted to expand into the DA's Office but thwarted by Jack Casey.
Weakness: Bauer has the power to do good but chooses not to. He plays it safe at times when the Council needs not only a parliamentarian but a leader. That he has the ability to lead the Council as an autonomous branch of government is unquestioned. That he will do so is another story.
Current Position: City Councilman, At-Large.
We like Clem Campana and it's not just because we like saying Clem (although it is soothing, C-l-e-m). Try it and put the emphasis on the 'm'. Campana has a tough dignity that we admire. Like Bauer, he doesn't bad mouth his colleagues and tends to be a voice of reason. Despite all that, we're supporting Campana.
Strengths: Clem resides in Woodrow Court, a street of one and two family homes, in close proximity to one another. Woodrow Court is an authentic Troy neighborhood. The people are solid, hardworking citizens, the type of people that make Troy a great place. They understand what it takes to be a good neighbor. You cannot swing a dead cat on Woodrow Court without hitting a Campana sign or supporter, and God knows we've tried. If he's good enough for the people of Woodrow Court, he's good enough for us.
Weakness: Reluctant to order hits on political enemies.
That leaves one open At-Large seat and four candidates. In no particular alphabetical order:
John Brown (D)
Vito Ciccarelli (R,C,I)
Wayne Foy (D)
Maria Talarico (R,C,I)
Strengths: Young, smart energetic and his record as a dedicated abolitionist is second to none. The Democrats did a smart thing in bringing Brown into the fold. Brown's campaign has placed an emphasis on police and crime issues (Brown is against crime). The Council desperately needs new blood and whether it's this time around or next time, Brown is the real deal.
Weakness: Hasn't made his bones in electoral politics. Lack of vowel at end of surname may prevent him from becoming a made man in Troy politics.
Current Position: Assistant to the Council Boss. Driver for Tutunjian when Pauly calls in sick.
Strengths: Loyal foot soldier. Well-known in Lansingburgh.
Weaknesses: Doubts about whether he's ready to run his own Family. When Riley jumped into the race, Vito was placed under the protection of Moe Green and sent west in order to learn the casino business.
Current Position: Owner and operator of Capital Concierge Inc., a personal concierge and assistant service.
Strengths: Bosses neighbor. Has people in police department. Unparalleled ability to ignore crime statistics.
Weaknesses: Angered some of the Under Bosses when she started her current business. Told by one Under Boss: "I don't want it near schools and I don't want it near kids. Keep the trade in the upper middle class. Let them lose their souls."
Strengths: Smart and tough, but not a hot-head like Sonny. Has experience as a Councilman.
Weaknesses: Doubts about whether he's running or actively campaigning.
We don't know Foy's plans but would like to see him be the next City Chair for the Democrats.
Who knows? Minor Party lines are more important in the At-Large race than district races. This gives the GOP slate an advantage. Our best guess is Bauer, Campana and Brown. A different outcome would not surprise us.