DO WE WANT TO RETURN TO THESE DAYS?
We are on the cusp of another mayoral contest. Yes, every four years the citizens of Troy trudge to the polls to pull the lever (or color in the circle) for the candidate of their choice in our quadrennial display of citizenship.
Mayor Lou Rosamilia will be leaving us soon and we'll be welcoming a new mayor. Some are critical of Rosamilia's reign. There is room to criticize, of course. No administration is without issues. Rosamilia was a disappointment to some. He was slow to make a decision, if he did make one, and was not adept at public relations. Those are not cardinal sins. But lest we forget....
Let us get in the way-back machine (you can ride shot gun) and return to the good old days of Mayor Tutunjian, Dan Crawley, Bob Mirch and Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell. Of high gas prices, Mark Wojcik and Carolin Collier. Of thin-skinned administration officials and petty, personal attacks.
Who can forget Christmas of 2006. Tutunjian got his 2.49% tax hike but then wanted to hike sewer and water rates. Well, he screwed up getting the legislation to the Council and the Democrats defeated the rate (tax) hike. Then, just a few days before Christmas, Tutunjian, who just proclaimed how fiscally sound Troy was under his leadership, said that they would need to lay off 15 people because the Democrats wouldn't raise the sewer and water rates.
Or how Tutunjian tried to screw a Troy Insurance Agency in favor of a political supporter but ended up settling the suit for $25,000.
Or how Mike McNulty and Brian Stratton had to bail out Troy due to Tutunjian's HUD Money screw-up.
Or (our personal favorite) the time Tutunjian and Crawley discovered a "stolen" fire truck, called it in and filled out a police report, only to be told the truck had been sold for salvage in 2003.
Or the time he tried to take credit for good police work.
Or the time he was re-elected, term-limited and then raised the salaries of his cronies.
Or the 17% rise in violent crime.
Or how he used tax-payer dollars to promote the GOP.
Or how the City purchased a new Dodge Charger, complete with police package, for Deputy Mayor Daniel Crawley. Thanks to the Troy Polloi, that car made its way to the police, where it belonged.
Or how Tutunjian used Code Enforcement as a political weapon to retaliate against citizens exercising their 1st Amendment Rights.
Or, when the Mayor's political hacks used City Hall and city resources, and intimidated a county employee, to create fake robo-call against their biggest critic.
We haven't the time or energy to discuss the City Hall sale and demolition debacle, the SEFCU land deal screw-up, Harry's war on the police, the bizarre antics of Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell, the lawsuits....
Did Tutunjian have his good points? Sure. He was an vociferous, energetic and able promoter of the city, an important task for any public official, especially a mayor. But, that came with a lot of infantile, small behavior that cost the taxpayers money and Troy its dignity. A thin-skinned mayor that did not hesitate to use city resources to silence critics. Political cronies running rampant throughout city hall. And we don't even know where to start with the bizarre (we can all admit to that, can't we) of Corporation Counsel David. B. Mitchell.
Why is this important to remember? Because there is a good chance that a Tutunjian protégé, Jim Gordon, could be a our next mayor. Does the mentee fall far from the mentor?