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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007



Mayors from across the state met in Albany to encourage/beg the state and federal government to pump more money into their communities. One mayor was absent. Perhaps Our Joe summed it up best:

"Where the hell is my mayor (Tutunjian)? laughed Bruno. "That's why (Albany Mayor) Jerry (Jennings) gets all the money ... he's here."

According to City Hall, Mayor Tutunjian's car was still plowed-in and he was unable to attend the meeting.


The mayor's absence could explain this....

The city has not paid Rensselaer County to dispatch its police and fire departments in 14 months, forcing the county to tell Troy it will end the communications service unless there's a new contract.

"Will work for 911 money."

Police, fire and ambulance calls in Troy account for nearly half the county dispatch center's activity, according to county statistics. The city paid $285,000 annually to the county under a 10-year contract for dispatch services that expired on Dec. 31, 2005.

In a effort to raise more revenue to pay for the services it uses, the Mayor has announced that all residents have to get paper routes.

Of note:

Jimino said previous efforts to get a new contract with the city have been fruitless. She said that since a meeting in September 2006, there had been no response from the city.

This isn't the first complaint that the administration doesn't return phone calls. Bruno's people make the same complaint. Twenty percent of Troy's budget is welfare from the state and federal government. When another municipality wants to work with you, you may want to return a phone call. Jennings probably returns calls and maybe that's why he gets the money.

Mayor Tutunjian has turned Troy into "that guy." The one who orders more than anyone else at the table and then announces he forgot his wallet....but he'll pick-up the tab next time.

Lets not be that guy.

Monday, February 26, 2007

We here at the Troy Polloi love a political scandal. Nothing is better than public figures involved in a salacious, sex-lies-videotape scandal. The following promises to contain none of those things.

According to The Record, a former compliance auditor with the Temporary Commission on Lobbying will seek legal redress for being terminated by her boss, David Grandeau. Grandeau also happens to be a former Troy City Manager.

Patti Wade, a RensCo resident, was fired recently after a reporter from New 10 showed-up at the Schenectady Curling Club (the top-rated curling club in the Schenectady area) and asked Grandeau about his curling during work hours. Grandeau asked the reporter who tipped him, the reporter, off. When Wade returned from vacation, Grandeau sacked her. The Franco article indicates that Grandeau admitted to curling on state time. He also admitted the game was deadlocked at four-all.

Wade denies being the whistle blower.

To make things more ironic, Grandeau wants to be head of a future ethics/lobbying grand high council that will probably be created by the legislature sometime this year.

This is an extremely disturbing story. When elected or appointed officials are caught with their pants down, the pants should be down. Ice and brooms should not be involved (or hardly ever involved). No respectable scandal should ever, ever, involve curling. For those of you who are unfamiliar with curling, it's like ice-shuffleboard, only more boring. Hence the name...curling.

For those of you unfamiliar with David Grandeau, he was Troy City Manager in the early 1990's. Grandeau's fourteen-month reign is generally referred to as the Pax Grandeau, for the quiet, non-controversial tone of his tenure.


On Thursday night, the Troy City Council awarded the Frear Park Restaurant contract to M&M Enterprise over Michael LoPorto. LoPorto is the colorful uncle-in-law of Mayor Tutunjian.

If accepted, LoPorto's proposal would have meant more money going back to the city. LoPorto was also going to invest more money in the proposed project. LoPorto also owns and operates a successful Troy restaurant. So, it's obvious why the Council went with M&M, whose restaurant experience is considerably less than LoPorto's.

We wish M&M success in their new endeavor.


In Friday's Record, Mayor Stratton apologized for criticizing the snow removal efforts of Troy and Albany. If you recall, Stratton stated that Schenectady's snow removal was head-and-shoulder better than Troy's (not hard to imagine) and Albany's efforts. Now he's apologized.

He also helped haul Harry's ass out of the fire over HUD money. I think we're square.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Please welcome Vespasian.

Representative Kirsten Gillibrand is doing something no other Representative is doing: she’s publicizing her daily schedule. It can be found on her website. (You can also get a high-resolution photograph of the Congresswoman as well – much better than the Barney Frank hi-res photo.) According to the Washington Post, she is one of only two members of the US Congress to open their schedule to public scrutiny. The other is the newly elected Senator from Montana, Democrat Jon Tester.

A quick review of Ms. Gillibrand’s site reveals only one entry. Perhaps a slow start. I hope to see greater detail in the weeks and months to follow.

Greater transparency in government is usually a good thing – although one should keep in mind the old Bismark proverb – laws are like sausages, you’re better off not seeing how they are made (although lobbyists are generally better dressed than meat grinders). Indeed, too much do-gooderness can be a bad thing. The Federal government is big, complicated and confusing, much like the menu in a fancy French restaurant. And, like a menu in a fancy French restaurant, it’s best not to order something you can't pronounce. Accordingly, we must elect public servants that are not the equivalent of snotty Frenchmen waiters. Senator Tester and Representative Gillibrand, by allowing us a glimpse into their activities, are providing a means to make sure we don’t order dog pooh warmed in a light pastry shell and smothered with mushrooms and capers in a red wine sauce.

Would our local magistrates do the same? I would enjoy reviewing Three-Job Bob’s daily routine, as long as the scary parts were edited. And what unsavory activities would be avoided by our local politicos if their daily activities were available for public review?

Fortunately for Troy Polloi readers, my imperial spies have uncovered the daily diary of Mayor Tutunjian. It’s entries are revealing. Here’s the February 13th entry:

8:30 a.m. The usual. Ate breakfast while watching Saved By the Bell. Must try to be more like Mr. Belding.

8:45 a.m. Stopped by Stewarts for cheese Danish. Saw 3-Job getting a cup of joe after shift three as Bruno’s constituent liaison.

9:15 a.m. Napped at my desk.

10:00 a.m. Took call from 3-Job about job as Mayoral Liaison to County Legislature Liaison Office.

10:30 a.m. Had screaming match with Mitchell when I suggested Proust's transcontinental sentence structure contribute to the appearance of a motionless plot in most of his work. Mitchell disagreed and said the gap between young Marcel and his older incarnation, the Narrator, creates a stereopticon effect, by means of which Proust's works spring to four-dimensional life. When I disagreed, Mitchell said I was a motionless plot. He is so bourgeois.

10:50 a.m. Fell asleep talking to Mitchell.

11:30 a.m. Woke up and had city employee wipe drool off desk. Thought about fresh candies.

12:00 noon: Went lunch with 3-Job to discuss new job as head of Dept’ of Troy Enterprise Centers (note to self – is there a Dept’ of Troy Enterprise Centers?)

2:00 p.m. Flipped through the new Cosmo and clipped pics of hairstyles for CC.

2:21 p.m Mirch called about tonight's storm. Said he just did a maintenance check on all equipment. Suggested I use one of the old, industrial snow blowers if I wanted to help out.

3:00 p.m. Thought really, really hard about new revenue.

3:01 p.m. Got headache.

3:15 p.m. Began new list of people to blame.

3:21 p.m. Senator Joe called. Told him I wouldn't call a Snow Emergency. As usual, asked if I ate paint chips when younger.

3:30p.m. Reviewed and approved editorials for The Record

4:00 p.m. Complained about Bill Dunne to no one in particular.

5:00 p.m. Tired, went home.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007



This is just so Troy, NY!

According to Tuesday's Record (Ryan Fitzpatrick):

"An out-of-control industrial snow blower obliterated two utility poles on Middleburgh Street late Monday afternoon, knocking out power to multiple houses surrounding the site of the accident."

The vehicle came to rest after smashing into a porch.

It seems that the 40-year-old machine stalled, causing it to lose it's power steering. In the finest traditions of captains everywhere, the driver abandoned ship and lept to safety. No one was injured.

The Mayor noted: "We'll definitely be buying a new one pretty soon." Ya' think?

On a related note, we heard 3JobBob on Vandenburgh's how the other day. Schenectady Mayor Stratton made a statement that Schenectady's snow removal performance was much better than Troy's or Albany's. 3JB wondered, rightly so, why a mayor would want to pit municipality against municipality? It's a good question and one Stratton hasn't answered. We're with Mirch on this one.

Of course, Stratton's giving us a million bucks of HUD money so maybe we shouldn't press the issue.


Friday will mark the first, "Troy Night Out." More than 50 businesses will stay open from 5PM until 9PM (hookers and crackhouses will remain open until midnight) in an effort to get people to walk around Troy for four hours.

Visitors can walk or utilize the city's remaining industrial snow blower which will be available for transportation.

We're on board. In the spirit of cooperation, the Troy Polloi will stay open until 9PM on Friday night. Stop buy and say hello.


Rumor has it that former Councilman Wayne Foy has expressed interest in running for Troy City Council as a Democrat. Foy had previously represented the 2nd Election District before being defeated by Jack Mahoney.

Rumor also has it that Troy Democratic Chair, Frank LaPosta is luke-warm to the idea of Foy running as a Democrat. LaPosta remains suspicious of party-switchers and isn't sure whether Democrats should embrace someone that has once run with Republicans.


Looks like some has (or will) made a complaint to the State Board of Elections.

It has come to my attention that for the "Friend's Of Harry Tutunjian" periodic filing of January 2007 there is a $1,000 contribution without the address listed. This contribution was given by David B. Mitchell on Sept. 26th 2006 in the form of a Money Order.

It is my understanding that pursuant to section 14-102 of the NYS Election Law, any contribution exceeding $99 must have the address listed. Mr. Mitchell is currently the City of Troy's Corporation Counsel under Mayor Tutunjian.

I am requesting that per your authority you seek compliance of section 14-102 of the NYS Election Law. I look forward to your response.

Don't know where that's going but thought we'd share.


A day without North Greenbush is like a day with sunshine.

The NYS Association of Towns Meeting is being held in NYC this week. The meeting runs from February 19 to February 21. The NGB Supervisor, entire Board, Town Clerk and the Building Dept along with their Spouses are attending. The price tag should be north of $10,000 for the event. The group is staying at is the Hilton on 52nd St. where the nightly room rate is $265 + taxes (actually not a bad rate by NYC standards). Parking is an additional $40/night per car. There will of course be meals and drinks in there somewhere as well as mileage to and from and a $100 fee per person for the meeting.

Query: Who is flipping the bill?


We finally have one version of why our police do not have a new contract. It's a fun read.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We didn't know Crawley fixed leaks too.

Our favorite parts of the letter:

A blog? A leak?

We'd love a copy of the other letter. Not sure how well crayon scans but if anyone has it, be sure to send it along.

Could the above explain this?

It's obvious that the City wants to take it's chances in arbitration rather than in negotiations. Why not say so and move on.

We also apologize for the distraction this blog has caused the administration. We only wish they had come and talked to us.

Monday, February 19, 2007


According to reliable sources, by late Thursday, heads were rolling in City Hall. Mayor Tutunjian was outraged that someone forgot the 'removal' portion of his snow removal policy.

The reviews of Blizzard 2007 are in and it's unanimous: Troy's snow removal plan was an abject failure.

As we perused the news on Blizzard-Eve, the one Mayor that made sure to have his face on television was Mr. T. Given the conditions of Troy's roads on Wednesday and Thursday, that television face time could have been spent in a more productive manner.

One could say that it was a nasty blizzard and that all areas had their problems. All true. Yet, as of Thursday morning, it was quite easy to determine the boundaries of Troy. It was where the white was.

On Thursday morning, Route 2 in Brunswick was merely wet and, in some places, actually dry. At South Lake Avenue, Route 2 turned into a white, slippery mess. The same holds true for Route 7. Reports from Fourth, Second, Ferry, Congress and People's were abysmal.

Conversely, reports from East and North Greenbush evidenced a competent snow removal job.

Troy has a Snow Emergency Policy. The Mayor could have ordered Odd/Even parking. That would not have resulted in perfection, but it would have given the DPW workers a better opportunity to perform their work.

If the Valentine's Day Blizzard did not justify calling an emergency, under what circumstances will an emergency be called? Odd/Even parking is a pain in the ass for a day. The failure to utilize it creates a three, four or five day pain in the ass. Two-way streets are now the width of one-way streets. Now, after nearly 2 feet of snow, the administration is ordering people to move their cars. Cars are plowed in and when those people dig out, you know where the snow is going. If the weekend weather wasn't so mild, things would have been worse.

The area media took pains to let us know that the mayor took his turn behind the wheel of a plow. The village peasants eat that type of PR up.* Perhaps, instead of plowing, the mayor should have taken his turn at leadership, declared an emergency and recalled that the really important part of any snow removal plan is the removal.

*A recent study showed that the same percentage that fall for these pr stunts also believe Punky Brewster was the funniest comedy of the 1980's and the Morton Downey Jr. Show a production of a great social significance.

Friday, February 16, 2007


News Alert - Just In!

The North Greenbush Democratic Party has a chairman.

By a vote of 9 to 1, Mr. Spain is the new party chair of North Greenbush.

Rensselaer County Legislator Kevin Harrington nominated Mr. Ashley.

Mr. Ashley was not present and did not vote by proxy. His garage voted for Spain.

There were five abstentions.

There were no reported casualties.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


According to The Record (Franco, p. 7, 2/13/07), Mayor Tutunjian's Uncle-in-Law, Mike LoPorto wants to operate the Frear Park Golf Course restaurant.

Last November, after another bidder withdrew their bid, LoPorto was the only remaining bidder. Instead abiding by the rules, the mayor put out another request for proposal. This time, there are two bidders, LoPorto and M&M Enterprise.

Despite the close family connection, LoPorto maintains there is no conflict of interest because, "I don't like the guy."

Under the Tutunjian bidding rules, the mayor is allowed to 'Carignan' the matter. That would mean that M&M is awarded the concession using LoPorto's bid and Holmes & Watson has to pay LoPorto.

On a side note, LoPorto, who winters in Troy and summers in Brunswick, announced he would run again for Troy City Council in the 7th District (Brunswick).

Monday, February 12, 2007


Things get curiouser and curiouser in The Bush.

At Thursday's meeting, where the propriety of Mr. Ashley's subdivision was discussed, Supervisor Mark Evers was slapped with a lawsuit. The suit seeks to unseat Evers, alleging misfeasance, malfeasance, governmental improprities and leaving the room without turning off the lights.

The lawsuit states that Evers illegally cut a check for 83-large to Casale Excavating without appropriate town board approval. The suit was commenced by Robert Price and the papers were served by Edward Dickinson, an associate of Ashley and CB Smith.

Meanwhile, attorney John Aretakis has filed suit demanding that at least one Aretakis story appear in local papers at least once a week.


Board of Ed candidate Ilene Clinton lost her appeal for a "do-over". Clinton claims that she lost a seat on the Troy Board of Education last year due to a faulty voting machine.

A voting machine in Clinton's home district of Brunswick registered only two votes for Clinton. That could say more about Clinton than the machine. All agree, however, that the machine was defective.

Clinton lost her appeal, according to her, based on two technicalities (or, as we like to say, relevant legal procedures). Clinton failed to hand-deliver her petition to Board President Michael Pollack who, at the time, was doing a fairly good impersonation of Harry Houdini. Clinton also failed to petition the other candidates who may have been affected by a revote.

Our take on this is too bad: Everyone agrees a problem existed with the machine. Some type of revote seems justified. However, for someone who wants to sit on the school board, Ms. Clinton needs improvement in following directions.


Carroll Hill Elementary will host it's first meeting on slaughterhouses on Tuesday. The meeting, hosted by Mayor Tutunjian and Councilwomen Collier will discuss the proposal to operate a slaughterhouse at Helmbold's, on Indistrial Park Road.

Who in their right mind would ever anticipate a slaughterhouse being operated on a street named Industrial Park Road?

"A lot of the zoning in the city is so outdated it needs to be changed to fit the current economy and the future of Troy. A good example of outdated zoning is this particular area which is currently zoned industrial but is mostly residential now," Collier said.

And the Council and Administration has only had three years to address the issue.

Guests are asked to bring their own stunners and cutlery if they want to participate in the demonstrations.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


For the other masochists that follow the doings in North Greenbush:

1) The North Greenbush Democratic Committee has scheduled a meeting to pick a chairman. The date: Friday, February 16, 2007 at 6:30. The place: Democratic headquarters in Troy.

Reserve your seats now.

2) Dan Ashley's infamous garage will be one of the subjects at tonight's town board meeting. Mike Carey, an Ashley neighbor (with attorney Tom Spargo*) will be there. The issue: Is the Ashley garage actually on Dan's property? Or, perhaps, a problem with Mr. Ashley's subdivision of his property.

Never has one garage done so little for so many.


The January 25 Town Board meeting featured a round of Guess Who's the Jew. The week's lucky contestant was Lillian Parsons, a 77 year-old homemaker from North Greenbush.

During the public comment period of that meeting, Lillian Parsons, a 77-year-old regular speaker who has been attending town meetings for more than 40 years, made comments about a resolution to change a meeting date because it came during Rosh Hashana, the three-day celebration of the Jewish New Year.

Parsons, in a loud voice, asked why the change was made, then questioned whether any of the elected officials are Jewish.

Town Attorney Joshua Sabo, who is Jewish, was offended that anyone would ever think any of the board members were Jewish.

To get the full-flavor of the game you have to watch the cable access video. The question actually posed was: "Are you Jew?"

Tell her what she's won!

*It is not known if Mr. Spargo will be asking people for money

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The hearing that will decide the fate of three Troy Detectives has been adjourned to March 5, 2007.

No one seems to know the reason for the postponement. According to Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell, the officer's attorney requested the adjournment.

However, according to Jim Franco's article in The Record (no link available), the officers did not request the adjournment. For one thing, if the request came from the officers, their unpaid suspension would continue. If the city seeks a delay, the unpaid suspension will end after thirty days.

Our guess? The the officers are ready to go and would not extend their unpaid suspension. More than likely, the city's case against at least one officer is falling apart.

You have to wonder why the administration treats our officers so poorly.

Poor Fredo. This wouldn't have happened if The Don was still alive!


Here's something you've all been dying to talk about. We're a bit late, but better late than never.
The City of Troy caved and gave Marian Drozd another $41,000 job. This one at the water plant. Drozd was fired three months ago from the personnel department but....was offered a job with the Police Department (Corporal?). She declined that offer and is now at the water plant.

We can't make heads nor tails of this story. Drozd is accused of falsifying documents (but if her daughter left a city job to attend HVCC the daughter wasn't terminated from the job and therefore the documentation was an error). So, Drozd is fired but offered a different job at the same salary which she declines. She's then offered another job which she accepts.

Sounds like another Fredo special.

How many times did Paulie call in sick this year?

The fights are ugly in local politics because so little is at stake.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Troy's hopes for an economic comeback were dashed last Thursday night when the City Council voted 9-0 for a moratorium on slaughterhouses. Previously unaware of an outbreak of slaughterhouses wishing to open in Troy, we still find the Council's decision puzzling.

This was a $7,000,000 project that would have stimulated the economy as well as provided jobs to out-of-work sledgehammer technicians, a large voting block in the Collar City. The slaughterhouse was not only an excellent economic opportunity, it would have enhanced Ms. Collier's own neighborhood, with opportunities like Family Fun Night and Make Your Own Steak Night.

Mr. McGrath's vote was of particular interest. For a man that heralds a new Dunkin' Donuts as major economic development, we thought he'd jump on a $7 million dollar deal.

Granted, the idea of a slaughterhouse pales when compared to Harry's Hotel. Yes, at the State of the City Address, the Mayor let slip that a developer was possibly interested in thinking about maybe building a hotel next to City Hall. The hotel, when built, will:

1) serve as temporary housing for the Industrial Roadway construction crews;
2) host meetings of the Blue Ribbon Water Selling Panel;
3) get the first tax credit for new infill construction, Columbus, OH style;
4) provide competition for Joe Bruno's hotel.


If all goes as scheduled, the Centanni, Bouchard, O'Neil hearing will begin on Wednesday. There may be a request for an adjournment as well as separate hearings for each officer. This is going to be a bumpy ride. The fact that O'Neil faces termination has soured a majority of TPD on the administration. If O'Neil is terminated, that rift will only grow and may have repercussions in the upcoming election.

Don't forget to cast your vote in our name that hotel poll, over on the right!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Although the presses are still down, a friend was generous enough to let us use his computer. Thanks Jeff, and good luck with the sports radio program. We guess you were serious about hedging your bets.

A former Rensselaer County staffer has filed a complaint with the Division of Human Rights claiming her boss, Rich Crist, fired her for rebuffing* his sexual advances. Colleen Regan worked as the confidential assistant to the chairman of the legislature from January '06 until October 20, 2006.

Looks like a 'She said, He said' deal. We believe Regan can file suit even if the complaint lodged with the Division of Human Rights is dismissed. If the complaint is founded, that give a legal suit a lot of teeth. Attorneys, feel free to comment on the implications of the DHR's decision.

Obviously, no one knows the truth here besides Regan and Crist. What is interesting is the fact that two Rensselaer County legislators thought it appropriate to comment on the merits of Ms. Regan's complaint.

3 Job Bob announced that the allegations were, "B.S." Since he slings so much of it, maybe he's better at recognizing it. Neil Kelleher called the allegations, "nonsense."

Two guys that did not believe it was proper to alert Rensselaer County citizens about the legislative pay hike in '05, feel it's appropriate to comment on this matter? How do they decide what they will talk about?


The City Council retained former Supreme Court Judge Patrick Monserrate to conduct the Bouchard, Centanni, O'Neil hearing. Good choice. Monserrate has a fine reputation and few political ties to the area.

Always a fine idea to retain a solid judge in situations like this. It makes the O'Neil witch-hunt a little less odiferous.


More NG news! Check should not have been issued, political conspiracy, grassy knoll, little green men, cats and dogs, living together.....The NG's impersonation of the Weimer Republic continues.

*Oddly, the Division of Human Rights has no recorded complaints of sexual advances being 'buffed', only rebuffed.