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

Friday, February 01, 2008


We continue with our autopsy of the Mayor's recent Pulse of the People Letter.

This month, they have sought to change the way freedom of information requests are handled. The motivation is complaints, say the Council, yet at three meetings they have failed to produce one valid issue beyond that of a gadfly and complaints from this paper. To change this policy would be a change in the mayor’s powers, which this council has no right to pursue without a mandatory referendum.

Oddly, the Mayor admits to at least two valid complaints: one from a "gadfly" and one from The Record. Reporter Jim Franco can verify that this Administration has repeatedly violated the Freedom of Information Law. As for the valid complaint from a gadfly? We didn't realize that gadflys (or the media) were exclusions under FOIL.

Needless to say, the Mayor's assertion is demonstrably false. Improper denials occur frequently and an enterprising reporter may want to FOIL all the FOIL requests during the previous twelve months. Choose a random sampling and contact the people making the request. Pay particular attention to those filing law suits or perceived political enemies.

Isn't it enough that a reporter FOIL'd Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell's disclosure form only to be ignored. Meanwhile, the Administration sent Mr. Dunne's disclosure within days to that same reporter. Ironically, the entire purpose of those disclosure forms is to disclose.

That said, even a deficient clock is correct twice a day. We don't believe that the legislation violates the charter. It's not displacing the Mayor's authority to select a compliance officer and it doesn't touch the immediate appeals procedure. The legislation merely adds another appellate layer to the process. There is room for debate on that point and it's a debate that should be had.

This past week, City Councilman Clem Campana, who remained virtually silent during his first term as councilman but has turned into a regular Silence Dogood this month, attempted to change the charter and the city clerk’s powers through a memo. When called out on this dishonest notion, Campana only muttered that they wouldn’t do it.

OK, we all know Silence Dogood was the alias a young Franklin (Ben, not the black kid from Charlie Brown) used when submitting letters to his brother's newspaper. 'Nuff said. Although, being compared to the Charlie Brown kid would be neat as well.

Finally, to wrap it up:

At the finance committee meeting Thursday I alerted the council to the ways they would be violating the charter. Though I doubt any of them have read the document, I hoped it would give them pause. Apparently it has not, despite the fact I have issued three vetoes.

Listen, the Troy Polloi has spent almost three years documenting the way in which this Administration has beaten, tortured and left for dead the City Charter and City Code. We've documented it well and you have to forgive the Council, or anyone else, for eyeing Harry's interpretation of the Charter with suspicion and derision.

Next week will show you an example of an outright lie from the Administration. It's there in black & white for you to read. Really. We're not kidding.

Eurasia is at war with East Asia. Eurasia has always been at war with East Asia.

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