= 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.