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

Thursday, January 31, 2008


It's with great hesitation that we write this post to discuss the Mayor's recent assertions in The Record. We say that we hesitate because unlike the Mayor, we don't want to embarrass the Mayor for our own personal gain.

From the Pulse of the People:

First, the title - Trail of Deception, Ineptitude.

We'll give him that one. That is an accurate description of his actions, abilities and the legacy of his Administration.

"It is with great hesitation that I write this letter to discuss the first month of City Council inaction. I say that I hesitate because unlike my legislative branch counterparts, I do not want to embarrass the city for my own personal gain."

Inaction? The Mayor may not like the action taken by the Council but they have passed several pieces of legislation. As for not "embarrassing the city for my own personal gain," where was that sentiment in December when the Mayor gained personally by a post-election, $10,000 pay hike?

"Perhaps the City Council is in need of a history lesson. Back in 1994, Troy residents, the same ones that elected them, voted to change the charter and transform the government from a city manager-run, council-controlled entity, to a strong mayor leadership role. I am elected by the people to make decisions every day. I suggest you give the City Charter a read for the job duties you hold."

Relax, Mayor. You're so tense. How about a backrub? You are a big, strong Mayor. You're our big, strong Mayor. Now, lets do what the Mayor suggests:

§ C-21. Powers of City Council.

A. All legislative power of the City shall be vested in the City Council, except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter. Specially, the Council shall have power:

(1) To determine all matters of City policy, subject to the powers of the President to determine such policy as provided in § C-48 herein;

(2) To amend this Charter by local law in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law except that any local law which abolishes, transfers, or curtails any power of the Mayor shall be subject to mandatory referendum.

(3) To act by local law under the provisions of any optional state law authorizing the City to assume additional powers or duties;

(4) To adopt and direct the enforcement of penal ordinances;

(5) To direct by ordinance the construction of any public or local improvement and, in the case of local improvements, to fix the percentage of the total cost to be assessed against benefited property and the district within which such percentage shall be assessed, which such percentage shall be assessed;

(6) To appoint and to remove the City Clerk, Bingo Inspector and the Administrative Assistant to the City Council and to set the salaries of the Council members, the President, the City Judges, the Police Justice, the Mayor, the City Clerk, and the Administrative Assistant to the City Council; [Amended 10-3-2002 by L.L. No. 8-2002]

(7) To authorize the issuance of bonds or notes of the City in accordance with the provisions of the Local Finance Law and in accordance with applicable provisions of the General Municipal Law;

(8) To adopt or to amend and adopt, subject to the veto powers of the Mayor, the annual budget of the City;

(9) To make all appropriations and, except as otherwise provided herein, all reappropriations of City funds, subject to the powers of the Mayor as enumerated in §§ C-48 herein; [Amended 10-2-2003 by L.L. No. 5-2003]

(10) To adopt and to amend a capital budget, subject to the line item and general veto power of the Mayor; [Amended 10-2-2003 by L.L. No. 5-2003]

(11) To fill any vacancy in any elective office of the City except as limited by § C-7.

B.This enumeration of powers shall not operate in any way to restrict the general powers granted by §§ C-4, C-36 and C-38 of this Charter.

You know what else the Council can do? And this is really cool:

§ C-22. Requests for reports, information or estimates.

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

§ C-23. Investigative powers.

This Council may make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any City department, office, or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. Any person who fails or refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the Council shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

The Council can also order new furniture and the President gets to choose where they get take-out.

So, when the Mayor says:

Earlier this month, the Council transferred budget funds without the request of my office. They cannot do that.

He's either lying or misinformed....unless budget amendments can't .....amend the budget.

OK, that's enough for today. We'll try and finish up tomorrow. Unless Code Enforcement stops by and we have to use the safe house.

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