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

Friday, February 05, 2016

STATE OF THE CITY

= Not good.

Mayor Patrick Madden delivered his first State of the City speech last night.

According to the Times Union:

The city must find new means — like a hotel bed tax — toward correcting its longstanding financial difficulties, Mayor Patrick Madden said Thursday in his State of the City address.

"Getting through these next six years is our immediate challenge. There are no secret spells, incantations or silver bullets," Madden told a packed City Council chambers.

"We did not get here overnight nor can it be fixed overnight. It will take some time to reclaim our fiscal health," the Democratic mayor continued.

The city will see some fiscal relief in six years when the city finishes paying off its outstanding $34.5 million in Troy Municipal Assistance Corp. debt. These bonds rescued the city in the 1990s.

City Council President Carmella Mantello said the Republican-controlled council is prepared to put aside political differences to work with the mayor. But proposals such as the hotel bed tax must receive a hard look, she said.

According to Jim Franco at Talk 1300, the Council President has this to say:

“It’s not just me, the state Comptroller essentially sat down with me for two hours and told us we will run a $2.5 million deficit by the end of the year if we don’t do things differently,” Mantello said. “We have to look at vacancies and we do have to look at a freeze. We have to make some tough choices we didn’t hear tonight. We are willing to work together but the Council is ready to make some really hard decision because the taxpayers can’t bear the burden of the mistakes of the past.”

State of the City speeches are usually window dressing. We'll say this: at least this one was honest. Mantello also jumped in on the doom and gloom and still believes that cuts will make the City financially healthy. "The taxpayers can't bear the burden of the mistakes of the past." How far back do we go into the past? Just the last four years? The past twelve? Or do we go further, into the '90's and take a hard look at the bonding debacle that occurred in the '90's. Besides, lets be honest. Taxpayers always bear the burden of past mistakes.

Madden wants to be the adult in the room: "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer,” he said. “Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our responsibility for the future."

It's a noble sentiment and a noble goal from a man that cannot be held responsible for Troy's financial missteps. We'll see. Sometimes the adult in the room still gets caught in the food-fight cross-fire.

By the by, were Monica and Glasheen finally appointed last night? Missed the story if they were.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes they where approved

Phana24JG said...

I agree that Madden made some solid observations about the state of the city. However, I was disappointed that he focused on additional private sector revenues. Why can't we look at some revenues from the not-for-profits? I thought Carmella's remarks were valid as well. We will need some luck for this budget to remain even close to balanced. The short term outlook is not bright, and Madden deserves kudos for relative honesty.

Anonymous said...

A bed tax will not solve the problem.
If we were to take a total of the TFD and the TPD budgets, and divide that total by the number of emergency response calls we could probably arrive at a reasonable estimate as to what the average cost of a response call is to the city. Since tax exempts, like RPI and Sage and others do not pay tax on the full value of the properties they own then can this average cost per call be charged to tax exempts when they are served by our public safety ?
What about the concept of a curb tax for tax exempts to provide a cash flow to the city for infrastructure costs such as water mains, street paving, etc.?
While I do not know if these ideas are do-able, it is time to start thinking outside of the box. Let's hope the new mayor and the city council can work together as neither party has caused the problem.

Anonymous said...

Glad we elected a Mayor who can share the bad news rather than pinning the blame on others. If Wiltshire or Gordon had won, they would turn the city's dire financial situation into a photo op promotion to satisfy their respective egos.
Watch for Mantello to grasp any opportunity to criticize---as long as she is getting her name in the news.

Anonymous said...

The mayor does not want to access blame or dwell in the past. Those who ignore the actions of the past are doomed to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Where is there any talk of collecting back taxes & water bills from the city's many absentee slum lords? I know of a row of 3 houses where the landlord is over $62,000 behind as we speak. This jerk is housing nothing but section 8 & public assistance folks so he is collecting his rent every month but not paying the city. That is criminal. With the number of rentals in the city around 60% or so, how many times is this type of situation repeated?

Anonymous said...

While were at it when are RPI Sage and the various other non profits going to help the City their housed in. Whats wrong with some type of public safety fee on students chardged to them through tuition. add 200.00 a year per student its nothing compared to the other costs. Other places do it and Shirley sits up there collected her 1.7M per year and treating Troy like an inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

She already criticized the "mistakes of the past" Do you think she was referring to Tuts historically inept 8 years as mayor? Of course not! A politician whoring herself out for her fellow whores. Priceless Carmzilla

Phana24JG said...

I believe NY law prevents a levy against tax exempts for public safety. However, I believe a fee can be levied for "public services" such as DPW, traffic control, and other general services. The fee can be based upon frontage or square footage. They currently pay for water and sewer (I believe RPI is the city's largest customer). This would have to be a bipartisan effort.

Anonymous said...

Wanted:

A full or part-time job for Carmy, so she has something to do all day. Anyone? Really anyone?

Any openings at the Snow Man in the Spring? H&J Industries? Makework.com? Troy Property Manager? Developer? Head assistant for Justin Bieber? Professional pest?

Anonymous said...

What about one of the bigger finicial uncertainties for the city? All of the expired bargaining agreements for the cities unions. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.

Anonymous said...

What Troy really needs to solve its long-term economic crisis is a monorail.

- - Vespasian

Anonymous said...

Workshop in Menands is hiring

Anonymous said...

And a Ferris Wheel-with blacklights, which will help illuminate the breathing lights in dead houses.

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to see everyone embracing the "curb tax". Do you all remember who's idea that was? It was Mirch who wanted that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH you people shit all over him and now your using his plan.

Anonymous said...

We need... CARMELLAPOLOOZA

Anonymous said...

Don't disagree with Pat or you're political? Monica will eat him for lunch. 2/5/16, you heard it here.

Black Widow

Anonymous said...

We needed a curb tax just to pay for Mirch's three salaries. We shit all over him because he was a human toilet and a despicable human being.

Anonymous said...

JUST SOME REVENUE GENERATOR IDEAS:

1. Have TPD actually start ticketing ALL traffic violators: speeders, red light runners, NYS cars with license plate missing on front of vehicles, texting drivers, cell phone drivers, etc etc. There is a lot of money being lost just because TPD is not bothering to do that part of their job. The laws are there, ENFORCE them.

2. Sell all city lots & foreclosed property.
3. Increase all golf green fees.

More to come later.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that something needs to be done with the $1,000,000 + outstanding/unpaid traffic offenses and fines. The President of the Council brought this up sometime back, but what is being done about it?

What about back property taxes that have not been paid?

What about unpaid water/sewer bills?

A pro-active collection policy is desperately needed.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly confident all of the revenue from traffic tickets goes to the state. City keeps the fine money from parking tickets.

Anonymous said...

Why would a speeding ticket on 2nd age in Lansingburgh go to the state?

Phana24JG said...

14.45, you are correct about the revenues for various motor vehicle infractions BUT....as someone very familiar with traffic courts throughout Eastern New York, there is a twist. Virtually every infraction these days is reduced to some form of a parking violation, with the fine determined by the infraction in question.

Anonymous said...

the city needs passion...

Anonymous said...

We need to give our police force a raise!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, passion, police and all union employees raises. Pat said there's no deficit. When Carmella shoots down the mid year tax increase, by October the police will not even get a check. Nothing to see here, move along, move along.....

Anonymous said...

That isn't going to happen...Wait for the round of people to leave for other agencies..

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU BRIAN GROSS for giving the TPD a good name!

Troy has the worst rep for drug dealing. Read the TU this past week. WONDER WHY??

MORE money for the cops ain't going to help...BETTER cops might help. Why give crooked cops more money to enable crime?

Everyone knows it. Everyone is afraid to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Queen Tut

Anonymous said...

I want to apologize to everyone. I am one of those who makes fun of McCashion. I heard him on Franco for the first time and had no idea he was 'delayed.' I feel bad now. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I know he stutters when the detective isn't texting him insider info. Same thing over and over and over. Yawn. Surprised his phone hasn't been seized. I thought leaking things was illegal. Calling IA.

Anonymous said...

What detective? Care to share or are you a rumor mongering bitch? Well, what's it gonna be?

Anonymous said...

Don't you know? Everyone else knows. Why do you think it has stopped? Stutter....stutter...some old same old.

Anonymous said...

Carolina - 33
Denver - 23

Is it too late for the City to put 2.5 mil on Carolina to eliminate the deficit?

Anonymous said...

The only thing leaking is ur mom.

Anonymous said...

You think 8 cops leaving was a lot. Wait for 2016 and see how many leave.

Anonymous said...

8 of 80 who cares.

Anonymous said...

10% of the patrol division leaves for other agencies within a 2 month period and you don't see a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

MacPherson and the Sullivan and Teta team can do right by the city. Give them guys a chance to get it done.

Anonymous said...

The 10% that left did it probably for more money. Some maybe because they don't like Tedesco. Now lets take a hard look at this. Neighboring agencies offer more money and somewhat safer environments so why wouldn't they go? The city's broke because of bad management aided by the past PBA president. He lead the dynamic duo of Lou and Pete around like two wayward kids. Now the cops are leaving and blaming Madden? Carmella? Tedesco? For all you cops that snickered and laughed at Fitzgerald sticking it to Harry and following him like the blind fools you are, you made your bed, now sleep in it.

Anonymous said...

Fitzgerald didn't bond 35 million in debt in the 90's to create this fiscal nightmare. Lou didn't create the financial mess but he did contribute to it. It's on this administration to figure out the mess and right the ship

Anonymous said...

Carmella is unemployed? Is that why she has a fundraiser? Hope she isn't collecting unemployment.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:36, Lou only contributed to the mess? Fitzgerald had no part? Although Fitzgerald is gone it's still frightening to know we have cops so stupid they can't see the long term damage done by your pariah.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Fitzy was so wrong, that's why he collected $80,000 in a lawsuit against the city. Fitz is a good man, Queen Tut and his merry henchmen are not!

Anonymous said...

Exactly what did Fitzgerald do to create a 2.4 million dollar defecit and 6 million dollars in annual debt payments? This city is its own worst enemy. This is why we are losing cops left and right to other agencies. The bleeding isn't going to stop for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's better to "drain the swamp" and start over with the TPD. From top to bottom.