It will come as no surprise to anyone that one of the culprit's of Troy's current fiscal problems was the serial bonding done in the 1990's.
From 1994-1995 the City Council bonded for $23,716,000.
From 2002-2007, it was $11, 278,608.
That is roughly $34,000,000 in serial bonding under a Republican controlled City Council.
Democrat controlled Councils are not free and clear either.
1996-2001 - $4,390,000
2008 - 2011 $3,700,000.
That is over $40,000,000 in bonding. Obviously, once the mayoral form of government was restored, things calmed down a bit. A buffer no longer existed between the voter and the city's chief executive. Before that, the Family had a lot of buffers. The bulk of the borrowing occurred from 1994-1995. We are fortunate that no one is left from those moribund days of debilitating debt. Well, one person remains, rising from the ashes of the disastrous 1990's like the phoenix of old.
We blame ourselves for not delving into the current Council President's past voting history. We were willing to giver her a pass and, indeed, pulled a lot of punches during the campaign. Mantello worked very hard and earned her victory. After pledging to move beyond partisan politics, she has systematically played partisan politics. Specifically, taking shots at the malfeasance of the previous administration and staking out a position of being the Lord Protector of the taxpayer. Yet, she never tells us the entire story. Yes, Rosamilia was a hot mess on many levels, but things didn't begin under Rosamilia. The problems go much deeper and when Mantello slips in digs at the previous administration, her memory seems selective.
Lets take a look at what Ms. Mantello actually supported while a member of the GOP Council majority in the 1990's.
Ms. Mantello voted to table resolutions to reduce the City Manager's salary to $55,000. She voted to table a resolution that would reduced department head salaries by 10%. In addition:
1995 - raise taxes - Aye*
Issue $4,225,000 in serial bonds - Aye
Issue $14,375,000 in serial bonds - Aye
Eliminate 5 DPW positions - Nay
Offer TPD and TFD severance and retirement incentive plan - Aye
Issue $7,226,000 in serial bonds - Aye
Increase plumber license from $50.00 to $100.00 - Aye
Issue serial bonds $3,000,000 and $2,000,000 - Aye
While heading up the Canal Corp. Mantello also fought to establish that entity as an independent agency, no longer shackled to the Thruway Authority. That's correct, a Republican advocating for yet another State agency and larger government.
These are just a few of Ms. Mantello's votes during that crucial legislative season. Why people are deluded into thinking that the Council President has any credentials to be a fiscal watchdog is beyond us. Chew on that, tiger. How does it taste?
Of course, its always possible that Council President Mantello's drive to hold public office is, in part, to seek absolution for her role in Troy's fiscal demise.
* Should be said in a thick, Scottish brogue for full effect