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

Monday, July 14, 2008


How to Know When the Administration Screws Up: A Primer*

The Administration's delay in the proposed sale of the Dauchy and River Triangle Buildings has jeopardized 120 Troy jobs. Now, see if you can spot the clue that the Administration screwed up and circle that clue. Go ahead. This will be on the final exam.

The approval of a proposed deal to sell the Dauchy and River Triangle buildings, located at 275-283 and 264-276 River Street, respectively, was delayed until the City Council's August meeting last week due to the fact that neither the council nor Mayor Harry Tutunjian submitted an ordinance authorizing the sale of the buildings.

An unofficial deadline of July 2 was previously established by the Herzog Law Firm, which represents the River Triangle partners who currently own the properties, for Tutunjian to sign off on a contract authorizing the sale of the buildings to David Bryce and Dan Yamin, of Cornerstone Communications, who hoped to expand his growing business in the Dauchy Building.

No contracts were signed on July 2 because an ordinance authorizing the sale of the properties was never submitted to or approved by the City Council. "I can't sign a contract without council approval," said Tutunjian, who noted that the council had first raised the issue of the sale and could have crafted its own ordinance which he would have then approved or vetoed.

If you circled the phrase "council approval" congratulations.

The Council was informed of the July 2 deadline on Saturday June 29 via letter from the Law Department. Why the Mayor and his Corporation Counsel did not forward the appropriate legislation to the Council in a timely manner remains a mystery.

But not really. This is the Administration's MO when they screw up or worry that there is a potential screw-up. It's the blame game and their attempts the lay the blame elsewhere are as thin as Mary Kate Olsen. Why the reporter did not ask the Mayor why Corporation Counsel did not draft the ordinance is another mystery. Reporters should try that. Not only are follow-up questions enlightening, who doesn't enjoy watching Harry try and think on his feet?

Only the Mayor can enter into an agreement on behalf of the City. A review of the Council meeting minutes* shows the typical pattern:

1) Corporation Counsel drafts an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement, contract etc.

2) The proposed ordinance is sent to the appropriate committee for whatever legislative voodoo is necessary.

3) That ordinance is introduced by a council member at the request of the Mayor and approved.

It's no secret that the Mayor despises this City Council and believes they are incompetent. He and his henchmen have said so. So, why rely on the Council to do the work the Mayor is supposed to do? It simply doesn't make sense. Furthermore, the Mayor has a track record of screwing these things up. Remember SEFCU?

The only thing this Administration does in a timely, competent fashion is protect their raises.

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