We're out of here until Monday but will check in to publish comments from time to time.
STATE OF THE CITY
Mayor Tutunjian will deliver his State of the City Address tonight. If you've ever watched the Address on Cable Access you'll know why we like to call it Harry's Annual Hostage Video.
The Charter doesn't really call for an address to the Council and there is no authority for this free public relations spectacle. The Charter merely requires that the Mayor deliver a report to the Council on the State of the City.
That reminds us: After the Democrats took control of the Council Deputy Mayor Dan Crawley told the Council that the City would no longer pay an employee overtime to video the Council meetings. It will be interesting to see if this rule applies tonight.
We can't figure out why the Administration wants to deny those residents who cannot attend meeting the opportunity to see those meetings. It must be a part of their open-government agenda.
We also believe the refual to film the Council meetings violates a 1994 law.
COUNCILMAN QUESTIONS $26,000 PAYMENT TO CORPORATION COUNSEL
Many of you may not know that Corporation Counsel Dave Mitchell is also the attorney of the Industrial Development Agency. The IDA passed a resolution retaining Mitchell at a salary of $1,000 per month. The IDA does have the authority to retain counsel of it's choosing.
Previous Corporation Counsels have represented the IDA but have forgone payment. Instead, the IDA reimbursed the City for the Corporation Counsel's time. That's what the IDA does for Comptroller Witkowski's time. Mitchell takes the money. As far as we can tell, that's all perfectly legal.
However, at a December IDA meeting, Republican Councilman Mark Wojcik questioned a $26,000 payment to David Mitchell. We have questions as well and we'll follow-up as we get more information.
You can read Libby Post's account of the Menands incident, here. Inflammatory remarks aimed at any group other than pedestrians and mimes will not be tolerated.