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

Thursday, March 27, 2008



A Civil Rights attorney has sent a FOIL request to the City of Troy. Let us know how that works out for you, Mr. Henner. As we all know, the Freedom of Information Law get as much respect in Troy as the First Amendment. Here's the specifics of what they're looking for:

1. All records in the possession of the City of Troy, or any of its bureaus or departments, including but not limited to, the Department of Public Works, Office of Code Enforcement, Engineer's Office, and Fire Department, that relate or pertain to the building located at 3361 6th Ave, which is the home of the Sanctuary for Independent Media, including records that may have been generated by the City, received by the City, or are otherwise in the possession of the City, since January 1, 2005. This request includes copies of all correspondence, including e-mails, inspection reports, notices of violation, and complaints, by either private citizens or public officials.

2. To the extent that these documents are not included in ¶1 above, all records pertaining to complaints about activities and/or code violations at the Sanctuary for Independent Media that have been received by the City, specifically including but not limited to any complaints that were received between March 7, and March 10, 2008 regarding the Sanctuary's code violations, and/or regarding the Sanctuary's intended program "The Night of Bush Capturing."

3. All records of communications, including e-mails, written correspondence, memoranda, notes, leaflets, that were prepared by, sent at the request of, or are simply in the possession of the City of Troy, pertaining to a demonstration that was conducted at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in the afternoon and evening of March 10, 2008. This request specifically includes, but is not limited to, any communications sent by Mr. Robert Mirch, Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Troy, encouraging, directing, or advising employees of the City of Troy of the demonstration, and in any way suggesting that they attend said demonstration. For the purposes of this request, I note that documents within Mr. Mirch's personal possession which relate to his role as Commissioner of Public Works are in the constructive possession of the City of Troy, and even if these documents are in the physical custody of Mr. Mirch rather than the City, the City has an obligation to obtain these documents from Mr. Mirch to respond to this FOIL request.

4. Copies of any and all complaints received by the City of Troy, pertaining to code violations at any building within the City of Troy since January 1, 2006.

5. Any notice, sent by the City of Troy, or any of its bureaus or agencies, including but not limited to, the Department of Public Works, the Office of Code Enforcement, City Engineer's Office, Fire Department, which required the cessation of activities at the building in question, or which required that the building be closed to public use or occupancy, that have been prepared since January 1, 2006.

6. Any documents which show lists of alleged code violators within the City of Troy that may been prepared since January 1, 2006. This request specifically seeks copies of any summary reports, wherever prepared on a weekly, monthly or other periodic basis, showing lists of structures, facilities or buildings that are not in compliance with state or local building codes.

Thank God for "Anonymous tips."


And, as the City's Code Department protected us from the death-trap that was the Sanctuary for Independent Media, a Troy building actually endangered the public. Maybe the City can hire those "media viewers" that spotted the Sanctuary violation and put them to work.



Schenectady County Legislator Jim Buhrmaster has announced he's seeking to replace Mike McNulty in the 21st Congressional District.

And a guy named Eryn Foster sets his sights on the Assembly (109th District). Foster has a blog. Unlike many politicians that blog, he lets people comment. We like that. Stop by, say hello and tell him Democratus sent you.


Next week we'll take a comprehensive look at Rensselaer's water woes.

Also, we'll try and get our hands on Harry's Article 78 to see just what they're arguing. Unfortunately, legal arguments over the City Charter are not real page turners. Finally, will Judge Zwack be asked to recuse himself from the matter?

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