If you said any city other than Troy, New York you'd be wrong and probably a newcomer to these here parts.
Here's the facts, in a nutshell (an appropriate receptacle):
1. Mayor and lame-duck City Council handout raises to political cronies like candy, post-election;
2. New Council revokes those raises;
3. Mayor vetoes ordinance revoking raises;
4. Council overrides vetoes;
5. Mayor sues Council and also seeks a temporary restraining order to ensure raises are not cut while litigation pending;
6. Council passes ordinance rescinding the pay raise revocation.
7. Lastly, we now have unconfirmed reports that the Mayor has, or will be, vetoing the ordinance that restored the pay hikes.
At one point in this saga, Councilman Wojcik offered an ordinance that would restore the raises in order to avoid the Mayor's Article 78 proceeding.
The Democrats did just that. The Mayor won't let go.
Tutunjian's attorney John Bailey argued that the case is about the mayor's budgetary powers under the charter and that the council attempted to usurp them by cutting the salaries.
What does all this mean?
The Mayor's lawsuit was about the pay raises. He wanted to hand them out, the new Council wanted to take them back. The Mayor sued, saying that under the Charter, only the mayor has the authority to set salaries. The salaries he set are now back in place. The vote restoring the salaries was 8-0 (Bauer abstained).
Like a petulent child, it looks as if Tutunjian wants Judge Egan to scold the Democrats in a written decision that details the Mayor's budgetary powers.
The problem is, Tutunjian has no claim that the Democrats usurped the Mayor's authority because Tutunjian's cronies have gotten their money. According to staff legal, "There is no longer a controversy and courts decide cases and controversies. Courts are not there to waste time issuing advisory opinions."
State Supreme Court Justice John Egan said this morning that he'll wait until May 2 to see if the mayor approves the ordinance or vetoes it. If there's a veto, Egan will see if the City Council would then over ride it.
It looks like the Judge agrees. If the Council overrides the veto, there is no case to decide. If the Council respects the veto, there is still a case to decide.
It must be pointed out that the ordinance that the Mayor may veto was reviewed by and had input from Corporation Council's Office.
A few Questions:
1. Why is the Mayor punishing his appointees by vetoing the ordinance that restores the pay raises?
2. Should the Council override the veto?
This could be an attempt to make this nonsense appear to be about something other than money for cronies. They've now officially overreached. They look greedy and silly and willing to waste the valuable time of a Supreme Court judge. It's all just more proof that the Mayor cannot compromise.
There's a lesson here for the Democrats. When Tutunjian speaks of compromise, working together or bipartisanship he really means capitulation.