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

Thursday, April 17, 2008



Department of Public Works Commissioner, Rensselaer County Legislator, Bruno Senate liaison and shameless recipient of two, post-election raises, Bob Mirch, issued a challenge to the Troy City Council: Pay for recent legal services using their own funds to prove they had the best interests of the taxpayers in mind.

This, after Mayor Tutunjian said that he would pay for John Bailey's legal services using campaign funds.

We are not sure that is even legal, given the laws on campaign expenditures. We'll let any lawyers weigh-in if they no the answer.

Mirch's challenge is one more reason why he's a first ballot Hall of Shame candidate. It's quite brave of Mr. Mirch to put Harry's money where his (Mirch's) mouth is.

That said, we believe the Democrats should give serious consideration to this idea. Only if:

1) Mr. Mirch will use his City and County pay hikes to pay for Mr. Bailey's legal services. That is, if he has the best interests of the taxpayers in mind:

2) Mr. Mirch should pledge to reimburse the City for any and all legal bills incurred if the City is sued for illegally using Code Enforcement for political retaliation and for any First Amendment violations.

Will Mr. Mirch agree?

In fact, now that they've proved their point, why not voluntarily rescind the pay raises? You know, for the good of the tax payers?


Last night, the Troy City Council approved legislation that would restore pay raises for the City's highest-paid public servants.

We've finally been able to devote some time to this issue.

The Democrats should have fought this battle. For people interested more in inside politics, the Council majority looks clumsy, indecisive and has rightly opened themselves to partisan ridicule.

For all that, there's been a stunning lack of support shown for this Administration on this very issue by the residents. The only columns that have appeared in the papers were signed by the Mayor and two people with financial interests: Mr. Mirch and Mr. Crawley. The Republicans are winning the battle and losing the public opinion war. To the non-insider, this is bad press for the GOP. Cheering because your paycheck is now larger, at taxpayer expense, is a poor narrative.

Tutunjian's new found reverence for the sanctity of the City Charter amuses many and drips with their trademark hypocrisy. The catalogue of this Administration's ignorance or direct violation of the City Charter and City Code is thicker than a phone book and lectures by this Administration on law and ethics is akin to marriage advice from Eliot Spitzer.

Stop worrying about what the Republicans will say and do. We know they will say and do anything no matter what transpires. The pay raises for Mirch, Crawley, Mitchell, the top salaried 'public servants,' were done after the election. It was a cowardly, cynical scheme that deserves condemnation. Any attempt to revoke those raises should be applauded even if that attempt ultimately fails.

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