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

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Troy Republicans have been absolutely giddy over the prospect of a WRGB piece on Robert Martiniano, the Confiedential Assistant to the Council President. The piece aired Tuesday night and can also be found on WRGB's website (under recent videos).

In all honesty, it was a relatively fair piece, especially for one driven by disgruntled GOP operatives.

The Record picked-up on the story (apparently this is more important than the recent Metroland article on Troy's Corporation Counsel, a story The Record and Times Union won't cover). However, The Record did do something that Greg Floyd did not do: get the job description.

Floyd* was offered the job description, work product and time sheets but declined, stating he did not need them. What reporter needs all that information? It would just complicate matters.

Ironically, there was no written description of the job duties of former Confidential Assistant Vito Ciccarelli. So, what exactly are the duties? The description is in The Record article. Some may not like the description, some might think the duties should be different. That's a legitimate dispute. But a reporter, like Floyd, has a duty to find out what the job entails and what Martiniano has produced. Without researching that, what's the point?

Floyd should also have found disgruntled constituents, noticeably absent from the story. The only disgruntled person we saw was Mr. Ciccarelli. Nor could Mr. McGrath scare-up a disgruntled resident.

The video is certainly worth watching multiple times if for no other reason than Twila. That was hysterical.

With all due respect to Mr. Martiniano, and Mr. Ciccarelli, the Confidential Assistant is a small fish in the larger Troy and Rensselaer County world. Investigating wasteful public spending is a vital media responsibility. Perhaps they could start higher up on the food chain and work their way down to the little fish.

Some suggestions for WRGB and The Record:

Mirch's 3rd public sector job as Constituent Liaison for Senator Bruno. It pays three times what the Confidential Assistant receives and is held by someone who has a full-time job that he describes as "24-7." How does a constituent contact Senator Bruno's liaison? We don't know. The contact information isn't on Senator Bruno's website. How many hours does Mr. Mirch work for the Senator for that $30,000? We don't know because we were told Mr. Mirch does not keep time sheets for that job and better, doesn't have to.

Or, the billing records of Troy's Corporation Counsel's Office? Who is being paid for and for what services? Who is attending what seminars and training? Are those bills being sent to the Council for approval if they exceed $500.00 as required by the Charter?

Look into everyone, by all means. Just start at the top.

*In college, Mr. Floyd was involved in student government, Mr. Martiniano in the school paper. Martiniano wrote a number of pieces critical of Mr. Floyd.

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