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

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Under the Troy City Charter Section 55-(a)1.23(i) the Mayor has invoked the well-worn DO-OVER provision in an attempt to save resident's money. A special meeting has been called to seek another override of the Real Property Tax Cap. This time, it looks like the tax hike could be 5-6%. We think it could actually be just shy of 5% if they really give it the Old Troy Try.

We're sure that Mayor-Elect Madden as well as the incoming City Council would prefer a 5% tax increase rather than the alternative, which would a be a State Nanny for the next three or four years. While we wouldn't mind a Hollywood Nanny:

State issued nannies from the Office of the New York State Comptroller look more like:

Mayor Elect Madden had this to say:

"I'm going to have to focus on the budget. We're committed to doing everything to make this work." The obviousness of this statement doesn't really add to the conversation.

The new Republican majority wants to achieve cost savings and develop a workable budget for the future, Mantello said."Everything and anything has to be considered. The city has to be working more efficiently." The obviousness of this statement doesn't really add to the conversation.

What is of interest is a quote from current Council President Rodney Wiltshire's letter:

"Whatever cuts that you, as department heads, or administration staff need to make, need to be spelled out clearly; whether they include service cuts, staff, or other management decisions. This detail, and the overall tax increase, is a precursor to even considering the override," Wiltshire said.

At the Wednesday night vote, Wiltshire said the administration has not collaborated with the City Council during the budget discussions.

That Wiltshire intends to be at the vote is progress. Once again, though, he is shirking his, and the Council's, collective responsibilities. The Charter gives the Council the authority to propose cuts. This has never meant asking department heads to cut their own budgets. It has meant that the Council sits down, reviews the budget lines and recommends specific cuts. It's called work. While this did occur, the Council's cuts were the equivalent of going through the city's couch looking for loose change.

Wiltshire's comment that the administration has not collaborated with the City Council is demonstrably false. It is Wiltshire and a minion or two that will not meet with the administration. The fact that the Council President wrote a letter instead of requesting a meeting with the Mayor to discuss this says all there is to say.

Do Wiltshire, Zalewski, Robertson and Gordon know that if the cap isn't lifted the 9.3% increase will go into effect? Their constituents will pay more for less services. We're not sure each of them understand that simple fact.  Nor are we convinced all the people allegedly calling Councilman Zalewski asking him to vote no understand this fact. Wiltshire appears willing to ram the derelict  SS Team Troy straight into the SS City of Troy and the devil-be-damned that we don't have enough lifeboats.

Wiltshire said on Wednesday he would vote to override the tax cap if the increase was 5%. He has refused to lead so it is now time for him to step aside and let the adults do the work. Isn't it vacation time? We're not sure if we've ever seen thwarted ambition manifest itself in such a bitter, public manner.

We do have hope that the eventual increase will be 5%. We hope that Councilman Gordon will reconsider his vote. We have continued hope that Madden and Mantello continue to talk and collaborate and that January 1, 2016 heralds a drama-free period in Troy's history.


Phana24JG said...

At the risk of being accused of sucking up Democratus, I have to say this is one of the more cogent and pertinent arguments about this issue I have read. The only piece I would add is the Council and present Administration should at least informally put it's imprimatur upon some form of additional revenue from the tax-exempt sector. Could one of you please tell me WHY this topic is verboten in both (or all three counting the WFP) political parties?

Anonymous said...

I too believe that if Rodney had been e!ected,he would had vkted for the override. Talk about sore losers!

Anonymous said...

Why cripple the incoming mayor and council. Does Team Troy still think they're relevant?

Anonymous said...

I thought team Troy was disbanded after their miserable election day showing

Lincoln said...

Unfortunately, three members of that "team" are still sitting on the Council until December 31, as is Baby-Boy Jim. Rather than being able to admit to a fair defeat and public repudiation like men (and Anastasia) normally would and should, they are acting like the little egomaniacal children that we now get to see beyond doubt that they actually are. They are bound and determined to kill all of the hostages, and ladies and gentlemen, we ARE the hostages. They just don't give a damn about what happens to anyone or anything that occurs after they walk away. Lay offs? TS. Drastic cuts in services? TS. State oversight? TS. They weren't able to make serious decisions, and they refuse to have to make any now while they're on their way out the door. Petulant little children. who are going to hold their breath until they turn blue, hoping that we'll feel sorry for having turned them away. They're just too ego-blind to recognize the smell of death that pervades their collective futures.

I apologize profusely for ever having considered Rodney to have been a valid choice in this past race. What the hell was I thinking?

Anonymous said...

Lincoln, don't be too hard on yourself because many people including some of the Team Troy candidates were duped by Rodney. The first sign of Rodney's ruse should have been when he never came up with one viable option to balance the budget. Composting? Tipping fees? That's not happening. Now KZ who had an opportunity over eight years to corral spending through cuts to employees - unions has now on his way out the door advocates for layoffs. Where were you Ken? Listening to him on the radio yesterday he's still more focused on his cat fight with Kopka-Teta. The bright side is cowards like Rodney, Ken, Gordon and Anastasia will be gone, too bad they couldn't take some of the others with them.

Anonymous said...

Well informed analyses by Lincoln and 7:28 AM. You've got Wiltshire and Zalewski pegged for the self centered phonies they have always been.