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

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Did the GOP lose it's grip on the Troy City Council because of the City Hall deal? The Record's Jim Franco thinks so:

One reason I can come up with is voters are smart. Another is City Hall and the plan to swap it with the Verizon building on Sixth Avenue. Not necessarily a bad plan or a good plan, but the mayor pitched it as the only plan and people don't like being told they only have one option.

One thing the mayor's plan does not do is put City Hall out to bid to see if the city was getting the most it could get for the property. Any no bid contract just reeks of corruption and back room deals and paying off pals.
Franco's reasoning is sound and we agree with much of it. A few observations:

1) Franco notes: "Any no bid contract just reeks of corruption and back room deals and paying off pals." Franco goes on to say: "But people don't like it when an elected official sells their stuff without putting it out to bid to see who else may be interested. It's an obvious safeguard against elected officials undercutting everyone else and selling stuff to their friends."

Franco states twice that he is not suggesting Harry is corrupt or selling stuff to his friends. This seems like a "Some of my best friends are black" moment.

We agree that the City Hall Sale felt like a turning point in the election. Odd, that something so popular could have dealt a death blow to Harry's chances of entering a second term with a friendly City Council.

The other potentially fatal issue was crime. Not whether violent crime was on the rise but the GOP's flaccid reaction to this visceral campaign theme. Tutunjian's response and the response of the GOP Council candidates as a whole was inconsistent. Proving he is not quick and agile enough to play defense, Tutunjian initially denied the Division of Criminal Justice Report. Later, he amended his denial and admitted to a 'spike' in crime. Wojcik (Dist. 1) admitted crime was an issue in his neighborhood. Bob Krogh (Dist. 5) did as well. Meanwhile, Maria Talarico (At-Large) assured people that crime was down. Later, it was amended to, "crime is down in September." Not a great October campaign theme.

Franco likens the 'City Hall fiasco' to former Mayor Mark Pattison's attempt to end term limits. It's all about the arrogance:

The voters saw no reason to boot him out of office. But, they also saw him getting just a bit too strong handed, even arrogant, in the way he and his administration, governed. And for that they gave him a check and balance, a City Council majority of a different party.

In that sense, the City Hall fiasco was merely the bacon bits on the potato skins. There is a long list of arrogant, heavy-handed behavior by Tutunjian and his henchmen. This time, however, his penchant for press releases may have hoisted Tutunjian on his own petard.

Feel free to weigh-in and vote in our new poll over on the right. Just watch out for that petard.

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