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

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Still nothing of great interest.

According to the Troy Record, Police Chief John Tedesco now has forty years of service with the Troy Police Department. Ironically, 40 is also the percentage morale had plummeted since Tedesco's chiefship began. Maybe that's generous.

Here's to forty more.

Adam Rupeka has allegedly fled to Alberta Canada. Apparently, the police planted a young girl in Rupeka's apartment who then fled from the apartment, just so they could frame the "police watchdog." Rupeka is posting status reports on his facebook page from the childhood home of Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Finally, the City Council's Finance Committee is moving forward with an attempt to recoup some a portion of more than $1,000,000 in overdue parking fines. Some of you think this is a no-brainer. However, it is quite difficult to collect from scoff laws. According to one source close to the Administration: "There is no centralized database that would allow the State to put a hold on a scofflaws license renewal or registration renewal. Municipalities are on their own and unless the scofflaw is stopped in Troy, there is no way to force collection."

We also don't have enough boots for residents.

It looks like if we can collect $300,000, that will be a good day.

Still waiting for some real news. Things are quiet. Maybe it was Bill Dunne's fault all along.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Huge Spring savings are here! Save 40% on all unpaid parking tickets! This bargain won't last forever so hurry. It's HUGE! According to the Times Union:

The city will knock 40 percent off the cost of an outstanding parking picket under the program that received preliminary approval from the City Council Monday night.

The city has $562,151 in unpaid parking tickets from Jan. 1, 2009 through March 1, 2016. Plus there's $551,233 in penalties for not paying the tickets, meaning scofflaws owe the city $1,113,384.
The amnesty program has bipartisan support. Mayor Patrick Madden, a Democrat, said it was an opportunity to collect revenue. Republican Council President Carmella Mantello stressed the money would benefit the financially ailing city.

The sale runs from May 1 to June 15 and will be run by a Nassau County outfit Fundamental Business Services Inc.

Some may scoff at programs like this but something is better than nothing. We'd be interested to know who has outstanding tickets, meaning, how many residents versus non-residents, out-of-staters versus in-staters etc.

Some may scoff at such amnesty programs but non-residents are far more likely to pay under an amnesty program than out of civic duty.

Monday, March 28, 2016


The news drought continues. While there is news, nothing that really catches they eye. There was some irony over the weekend when Adam Rupeka was arrested. According to Talk 1300:

Adam Rupeka, who is known for antagonizing police officers, and a woman from Hudson were arrested this morning for “subjecting a minor female to unwanted sexual contact.”

Rupkea, 36, and 26-year-old Jennifer Ogburn, of 278 Allen St. in Hudson, were arrested at Rupkea’s 37 125th St. home on three misdemeanors related to having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl.

Last year Rupeka received a $50,000 settlement in a suit against the City of Saratoga when he was pepper-sprayed by a police officer after giving the officer the middle finger.

While in custody, Rupeka should be filmed 24/7. There is no telling what allegations this guy will allege against the police and CO's.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Sorry folks but Troy seems to be in a lull when it comes to fun political news. This happens from time to time, especially a few months after an election. Once a new mayor and council takes office there is a flurry of activity and then, once they've shot their load, things settle down for a time.

The City Council will propose a law that will require a hearing and a two-thirds vote before any water or sewer money can be transferred to the general fund. The funds have been raided by Troy administrations since 1998. Fine. Whatever.

The Troy School District is proposing over $20,000,000 in repairs and upgrades. Eighty-five percent of the money will come from the State. The remainder will come from existing funds. They aren't even threatening a tax hike. What the hell?

People are being far too reasonable lately. It is disconcerting. Maybe Bill Dunne was the problem after all. See you next week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


We are in day five of a news drought. This works out well because we recently attended a Trump rally and should be out of the hospital soon. We have been prescribed two Ben Carson speeches prn and are resting well.

In the meantime, political correctness has struck again. The Troy City Council (ie. Carmella Mantello) has appointed Troy's first female marshal. In fact, all of the Council's appointments have been female or female adjacent. This is just another slap in the face to men.

We are not suggesting that Sara McDermott isn't qualified:

I’ve always had a fascination with law enforcement,” McDermott said. “I have always been intrigued by forensic shows like ‘Law and Order,’ and I had thought about taking the test for correction officers, then this opportunity came up."

Not Homicide. Not NYPD Blue. Law and Order? She probably can't even name Frank Furillo's first wife. She probably can't name five Tommy Lee Jones movies. Has she seen Cool Hand Luke? Does anyone see the disturbing pattern in local government since they took over? We all know the main qualification for Carmella's appointments: no penis. How long will white, Christian males be kept under the heel of female oppression? This is not the America we know and love.

McDermott was welcomed to the marshals by Marshal Rick Mason. “Nobody has any respect for law enforcement anymore,” Mason said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, eventually we are all thrown down a flight of stairs.”

McDermott thanked Mason and said she looked forward to being thrown down her first flight of stairs. "Just like Briscoe. I just hope it's not The Approach."

Good luck, Sara.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


...that makes following local politics so satisfying.

So, at the last Council meeting the Council approved (by a 6-2 bipartisan vote) hiring an independent auditor to crawl through the books and see what up. The Council approved $19,000 for the auditor (slightly less than a good aluminum siding job on a $2,750 square foot house). Ya' gets what you pays for.

Anywho, the Council did not submit the resolution for the auditor to the mayor for his signature or veto within five days. The Council says, "don't have to, none of your business." The Mayor says, "uh-huh."

As usual, Council President Mantello relies upon her own, unique reading of the Charter. To wit:

§ C-56 Executive approval.
Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, every local law, ordinance and resolution adopted by the City Council, including the budget and except for resolutions establishing rules, regulations or other matters pertaining solely to the conduct of the Council's own procedures or appointments, shall be submitted within five City business days after passage to the Mayor for his/her approval. Within 10 City business days after receipt of the original enactment as passed by the City Council, the Mayor shall take action approving or vetoing the same.
A. Approval. If approved by the Mayor, the original document shall be endorsed by the Mayor on the original document and shall be returned to the City Clerk within the ten-day period set forth above.

Mantello argues (supposedly after consulting with lawyers) that since the Council is hiring the auditor the resolution does not need to be sent to the mayor. Essentially, the hiring pertains solely to the conduct of the of the Council's own procedures or appointments.

While we concede that a third grader could interpret C-56 in that facile way, Mantello should find different lawyers.

The easy hit is that the auditor will be hired to review the city's books, not the Council's books. This is not a hire that pertains solely to the Council. More fundamental is that the language of the section clearly allows the Council to make it's own rules governing its own conduct. For instance, if approved by a majority, the Council could pass a resolution that each Council meeting can only begin once everyone rubs Councilman McGrath's head with Astroglide (unless such a rule already exists as we suspect it does). Much to his relief, that rule would not need the mayor's signature.

According to C-56, the Council need not send their appointments (ie. clerk) to the mayor. What is a council appointment? The Charter sets forth who (or is it whom) the Council can appoint. They are the appointments the Council can make (hence, Council appointments). The independent auditor is not a Council appointment. The Charter does not give the Council authority to appoint an auditor (like it does a clerk and deputy clerk). The auditor is an outside consultant who is hired, not appointed. Mantello is dead wrong and she either does not know it or does not care.

The irony is, the mayor will not veto the resolution because the veto would be overridden. However, based on the Charter, the resolution is dead and will need to be passed again by the Council. That is, unless Madden roles over.

Pat, you need to stop the Queen now. It will only get worse if you enable her.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


According to The Record, Corporation Counsel Kevin Glasheen and Deputy Mayor Kurzejeski failed to sign the oath book within thirty days of assuming office. Pursuant to Public Officers Law, such a failure results in the office being vacant, making both Glasheen and Kurzejeski illegitimate. It looks as if both will be re-appointed at the May meeting.

Council President Mantello has assured everyone, numerous times, that the Council will not "make political hay" out of the oversight. Really? What would they do? Not vote to confirm a second time? Puh-leeze!

Under Public Officers Law, the Oath Book must be signed within thirty days of election or appointment to office. The signing is typically done at midnight, in the woods, during the vernal equinox, using the blood of a former mayor or city manager. A ritual sacrifice is common but not mandatory.

A big deal? Not really. But, kind of.

These are the little mistakes that undermine confidence in a regime. If they can't get the little, ministerial things right, can we expect them to get the big things right? In this case the error can be remedied. However, elected officials have lost their seats for failure to comply with this law.

Mayor Madden will fly to the Vatican in April and seek a special dispensation from the Pope that will legitimize both Glasheen and Kurzejeski. No one deserves to go through life under a cloud of illegitimacy. Hopefully, no one at school will pick on them.

Monday, March 14, 2016


According to The Record:

Mayor Patrick Madden is looking to restore two full-time analyst positions and bring in a consultant to help the city right its financial ship, and he’s looking to independent organizations to fund the first two years of his plan.

The total estimated cost for a two-year period would be just over $372,000.

Per the article:

The plan was first made public Friday morning, during a meeting of the Troy Capital Resource Corporation, an offshoot of the city’s Industrial Development Authority that promotes community and economic development and agreed to fund the first part of the plan with a $100,000 grant. Madden is proposing to restore senior analyst and analyst positions in 2017, at an estimated annual cost of about $150,000, while bringing a municipal finance expert on as a consultant as soon as April, at a cost of just over $91,000 for the remainder of 2016 and $121,500 annually after that.

This plan stands in contrast to The City Council's plan to hire an independent auditor for $19,000.

Hats off to Mayor Madden. Last week we suggested that Madden support the independent auditor and work with the Council on Troy's fiscal quagmire. Although Mayor Madden's public objection was based on a failure to follow the procurement procedures, it wasn't difficult to sense a lack of enthusiasm on the Mayor's part.

The City Council should take a hard look at Madden's plan. It is big and bold, it creates a team of finance professionals and it gives them time. It makes the Council's plan look bush league.

It costs more money. A lot more money. However, it will mean, as noted, a team of professionals working over the course of two years, to help fix the mess. The chances of structural changes that really aid future budgeting are much greater with Madden's plan. Like copper piping, it costs money because it saves money.

The Council will oppose the plan. We'll have an auditor come in, look things over, print a report that will form the basis of numerous press conferences and releases. The auditor will cash her/his check and disappear.

Madden's plan is better in the long run. Between the Council's auditor plan and Madden's plan, it has never been more clear: our elected officials are not up to the financial end of their jobs. The Council clearly does not understand budgeting. The Mayor wants three fiscal professionals to sort through the muck.

Madden's pragmatism is refreshing. He understands that something needs to be done and it will cost something more than pocket change. On the other hand, the Council continues to labor under the delusion that a part-time consultant is enough and that doing more with less is a sustainable vision.

Give Madden his three professionals. He will be held accountable if it doesn't work.

Friday, March 11, 2016


We ignored last weeks Council meeting and, in particular, the independent audit issue. Looks like the Council majority doesn't know much about the procurement policy. Who could blame them. It's probably archaic and annoying.

Nonetheless, the Council, in a bipartisan show of support, voted 6-2 in favor of hiring an independent auditor. The Administration does not look favorably on such an endeavor.

We feel constrained to support the Council's decision. The fiscal mess facing Troy is daunting. The Council has approved $30,000 for the independent audit. The amount spent on the audit could either save money immediately or put procedures in place to prevent the City from edging close to the abyss every budget season. The amount allocated is a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Every citizen should call upon the Administration and show support for the audit. The Administration should hop on board and support the audit. If done right, it could be the best investment in Troy for some time.

We do not understand the reluctance of the Administration in embracing the audit. We think it's a win-win. It shows the citizens that the Council and Mayor are united and serious about fixing the mess and an outside set of eyes is always useful. It's time to strip this thing down and pull it apart.

If the procurement policy wasn't followed, follow it. Mayor, get on board. This train only leaves once. Government owes it to the people to turn over every rock before the inevitable tax hike comes barreling down the tracks.

Look into refinancing the debt. It could save $2,000,000 a year.


For now. Campbell Avenue has re-opened. Further repairs are coming in May. An engineer close to City government did suggest that the entire area of Campbell Avenue, near Franklin Terrace, is compromised and it is only a matter of time, a year, two, three, before the road will need to be closed or re-routed. He blames it on Irene so saturating the soil in that location that the area will ultimately collapse.

Sinkhole, we hardly got to know you.


The section of Troy known as Lansingburgh will receive almost one million dollars for street improvement, including sidewalks and better lighting. City officials hope the lighting improvements will improve shooting accuracy and new sidewalks will allow for easier fleeing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


So, we've searched for a crime and couldn't find one. Although, official misconduct may apply if someone received a benefit for failing to do their job or abusing their authority. It would seem that violating County Law by disclosing the 911 recording would constitute abuse of authority. That may be the closest we get. We'll see what Joel figures out. Here's the site we used. Have a go for yourself. If you find anything better, let us know.

Do people really believe a veteran officer would do something like this so his child receives employment? Is that how it works? The Mayor or Tom Wade hire someone? Isn't there a test? And then a list you're placed on? Then the academy? We're not saying nepotism can't occur but it is more difficult today than in years past. Then...

What would former Detective Ron Fountain have to gain, considering Gordon was Tedesco's candidate and Fountain was one of Tedesco's men?

Now Gary Gordon? Who knows what he may have wanted.

The odd man out is former Assistant District Attorney Shane Hug. We don't know if he was involved or not. If he was, he seems an unnecessary piece of the puzzle. Too many parts. If the tape goes from State Street to Gary Gordon, to Brendan Lyons, isn't Hug unnecessary? This one seems far afield but one cannot deny what happened in December.

Some commenters have defended Tim Colaneri. It is unclear what exactly he did or did not do. But, if you had possession of this hot potato, would you let anyone get a hold of it? It all leads right back to two people. One of them was cleared. 

A Grassy Knoll fan's wet dream.


UPDATE: A reader called us out over failing to mention Kathy Jimino's endorsement of her brother, Patrick Madden. Our bad. Yes, of course, that would either sway some R's to Madden or perhaps keep some home.

Did the release of the 911 recording alter the outcome of the election? A question we will ponder for years to come.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the 911 Tape release effected the election. The real question is: Who got screwed? The obvious answer is Republican Jim Gordon. Perhaps, that is not accurate.

Could Working Families Party candidate Rodney Wiltshire be the electoral victim of the 911 tape release. This is a working theory. However, we are not alone.

On March 26, 2015, Jim Franco picked Wiltshire as the frontrunner and set forth his argument. Sound reasoning: name recognition; elected city-wide twice; family man, successful business owner...

Although, on October 16, 2015, he believed Gordon had a 3-1 chance to win, with Wiltshire coming in at 5-1, Madden at 7-1.

Wiltshire's strengths should not be underestimated. He had name recognition. He had won twice, city-wide. He looked like a crusader with the King Street hearings. Maybe his greatest strength was the organization he built and the excitement of his supporters. They were the type that vote no-matter-what! We see it with Sanders.

Then, add the unions and the person-power they can bring and you have a formidable third-party challenge.

Finally, Rodney Wiltshire was just a better candidate than Gordon and Madden. More engaging and a better public speaker. Wiltshire was a strong candidate, like him or not.

Madden was not a good candidate and not a very effective public speaker. He was not as well known as the other two among the general public. He eschewed the party apparatus and went his own way, working with a few close friends and former Mayor Pattison.

Gordon was a poor candidate as well. Yet, he clearly worked his campaign.

So, why the poor turnout? Turnout was down about 2,000* votes from the two previous mayoral elections. Did republican voters stay home, disenchanted after they heard the 911 recording but unwilling to vote for Madden or Wiltshire? Were voters of different stripes disillusioned by it all: the 911 recording, its release, nasty robo calls....the whole Troy political experience?

If voters did change their votes, isn't it more likely that some Gordon votes went to Madden rather than Wiltshire. Wiltshire ran as an unapologetic progressive. If you are undecided, are you choosing between Gordon and Madden or Gordon and Wiltshire? Madden was, and reminds, something of an unknown quantity.

Could Madden have picked up a chunk of Gordon's vote at the least minute and also get some nervous democrats that worried that a vote for Wiltshire was a vote for Gordon? Perhaps we'll never know. Give us your thoughts.

* We seem to recall Wiltshire's claim of registering many new voters. Did they stay home? If they did vote, the number who failed to participate was much higher than 2,000.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


So, if there are actually people who believe nothing wrong was done when the 911 recording was released to the public, speak now or forever hold your peace (or piece). Mrs. Gordon was done a disservice. Her subsequent enabling behavior does not change that fact.

However, no such wrong was done to Jim Gordon. He did not place the call. He has no expectation of privacy and it is doubtful he would be dissuaded from calling 911 if need be. The hyper-partisanship on this issue is delightful. Democrats have to stop arguing that making the recording public was justified based on the behavior of the recordings subject. Republicans have to stop acting as if they wouldn't have used this against a Democrat. Hell, they used to fabricate fictional characters for their robo calls and then intimidate county employees to play those characters. Righteous indignation in Troy politics works as well as Chris Christie's lap band.

Moving the crime of the century. We all know that those involved will be doing a stint behind bars. Or do we? In fact, we're unconvinced that anything criminal occurred. This is more likely if the recording was obtained by Millington, for Colaneri, for the purpose of doing their jobs. That they were assigned to look into the events. This just might be a case where the facts walk close to an actual crime but never cross the line. Of course, everything hinges on the details and those are in short supply.

Our first thought was, Computer Related Offenses. This is on the assumption that a 911 call comes in through and is recorded by a computer system. We could be wrong. Lets walk through them. If there's a criminal defense attorney or former prosecutor out there, comments would be appreciated.

 Unauthorized Use of a Computer

a person is guilty of unauthorized use of a computer when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization.

This doesn't fit because it is essentially breaking in to a computer either directly of through another computer.

Computer Trespass

a person is guilty of  computer trespass when that person  knowingly uses,  causes to  be  used, or  accesses a computer,  computer  service, or computer network without authorization  and  he or  she  thereby knowingly gains access  to computer material.

Same as the first, except you see information.

There are a host of Computer Tampering offenses but they don't fit either. They prohibit messing around and changing computers, networks and programs.

There are Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material offenses. That sounded hopeful. However, one involved medical records and the other involves material with a value that exceeds $2,500.

One could fit. That is Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material with Intent to Commit a Felony. So, you need to find a separate felony to marry to the underlying offense. We'll see if we can find one.

The one with the most promise is Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material.

A  person  is  guilty  of  criminal  possession  of  computer  related material  when  having  no  right  to  do  so,  that  person  knowingly possesses,  in  any  form,  any  copy,  reproduction  or  duplicate  of any  computer  data  or  computer  program  which  was  copied, reproduced  or  duplicated  in  violation  of  law ,  with  intent  to  benefit himself or herself or a person other than an owner thereof.

We might be on to something here. Except, there is one element that does not fit. One must do the above while depriving the owner of such material of a value in excess of $2,500. No one appropriated material that deprived the County of anything of monetary value.

That really exhausts the computer related offenses. Some elements almost fit, but not quite. Still, it feels like a crime. So lets keep looking.

Offenses Related to Theft do not fit. Most of those are specific to the property (debit cards, automobiles) or require the item taken to have a monetary value.

Then we though, Official Misconduct! That's broad and a lot of shit can fit into those offenses.

Under our law, a public servant is guilty of Official Misconduct when, with intent to obtain a benefit or deprive another person of a benefit, he or she commits an act relating to his or her office but
constituting an unauthorized exercise of his or her official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or

he or she knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him or her by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his or her office.

This is designed to prohibit a building inspector refusing to issue a CO unless paid off and the like. It may fit, but not likely and its only a misdemeanor. The problem is that conspiracy nuts think that if Colaneri did anything wrong it was for his son, who later became a police officer. We've heard statements like "In exchange for the 911 recording Wade got his son a job." Of course, this is all bullshit. Only those who don't understand how the civil service rules work would think a County Chair could get someone a job as a police officer. It's not 1888. If it comes to light that Colaneri Jr. wasn't eligible for the list, did not pass the exam and was rocketed to the top of the heap, you'd have a better argument. Given the departures from the force, does anyone really believe Colaneri fils wasn't a clean hire?

Ironically, if Gary Gordon did receive the recording and then sent it to Brendan Lyons, he is the least likely to have committed any crime.

There's about 900 crimes on the books. We'll keep looking but this is going to be a tough slog on the criminal end.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016


...Or Chief Tedesco's police malpractice.

Our coverage of Domestigate continues.

Regardless of what happens in Domestigate, the Internal Affairs findings and, to a lesser extent, the criminal investigation are forever tainted.


1. to affect or be affected by pollution or contamination: oil has tainted the water.
2. to tarnish (someone's reputation, etc)
3. a defect or flaw: a taint on someone's reputation.
4. a trace of contamination or infection 
The past participle:  tainted. The gerund: tainting and our favorite: the preterite, I tainted, you tainted, we tainted. All of which can be fun in mixed company. In urban slang, the space between the anus and the genitalia. All these definitions are applicable to this matter.
We discussed the Internal Affairs investigation with numerous police professionals including two State Troopers, a sheriff's deputy, two Albany detectives and Larry, that security guy with the laminate down at Sam's Club.
Police investigations for dummies 101: The Troy Police Department should not investigate the Troy Police Department. There are a number of reasons for this, some obvious, some less so. Here, the Internal Affairs investigator reports directly to Chief Tedesco. We know that the investigator, we'll call him Joe C.,* is one of Tedesco's boys. We also know that retired detective Ron Fountain is also one of Tedesco's boys. We know that Detective Colaneri is decidedly not one of Tedesco's boys.
This structure makes it very difficult to trust the Internal Affairs findings and the actions that follow. Was someone allowed to retire before the suspensions start to fly? Is someone a scapegoat? Is Tedesco using the investigation to make life difficult for certain officers who are unconnected with the release of the tape? Will some people be let off light or over looked? Will we ask more questions?
The answers to each of those questions might be a resounding no! Yet, those questions will remain and the findings of the investigation...tainted.
This is not something that we pulled out of our hash pipe. Tedesco has placed the department in an untenable position by not outsourcing both the Internal Affairs investigation and the criminal investigation to the State Police, the FBI, Captain Frank Furillo or Larry, down at Sam's Club. Punishment will be too light or too heavy. The wrong people were targeted. Too many people targeted. Not enough. Frankly, this was a stupid, rookie move that can only be explained by a megalomaniac need to control the outcome of the investigation.
The same holds true for the criminal investigation, led by Officer Mason. It would not surprise us if others advised that the investigation be sent out. Obviously, those people were ignored.  This a serious case and the chief's handling of it demonstrates misfeasance at a very basic level..
We don't know what Colaneri did or did not do. We do know that there is no reason to trust the IA findings due to Tedesco's malpractice in failing to outsource the investigation, ensuring untainted results. The public has a right to know that the right people are punished and that the punishment is proportional to the offense. This will not be the case here. Questions and doubts will remain because an outside entity was not brought into the game. Mrs. Gordon is still being used as a political pawn.
* What should be investigated is the highly detailed leaks that came from the TPD during the course of the investigation.

Monday, March 07, 2016

DOMESTIGATE.... back. Welcome to Part I of our 911-part series on...

On Friday, Jim Franco broke the news that veteran Troy Police Detective Tim Colaneri has been placed on 30 days unpaid suspension for his alleged involvement in the disclosure of the Jim Gordon, my husband "held me down," 911 recording. A brief recap is in order for those who haven't followed the saga.

In July of 2015 the Troy Police were called to the home of Republican mayoral candidate Jim Gordon. Gordon's wife had phoned 911. The next day the Times Union had the story:

"The incident was called a "verbal argument" between Councilman Jim Gordon and his wife, by the responding officers, police said Friday."

The Republican candidate went on to say that "his wife called police and later regretted it?"

There, the story died. After all, the police had not been called to Bill Dunne's home. Nothing was noted in The Record and oddly, Franco's Talk 1300 Report was silent. Franco has never been one to shy away from rumors but this one seemed off limits.

The story was probably fading away when the Times Union's Brendan Lyons posted the 911 recording on-line. It was October 20th and the recording rocked the mayoral campaign.  The recording did not match Gordon's characterization of events. Mrs. Gordon wanted her husband out of the home. A baby wails in the background. "He held me down." reports Mrs. Gordon. Lyons stated that a Democratic operative sent him the recording.

This unleashed a can of worms and, as you know, once unleashed it's hell to get those leashes back on. The Republican keepers of righteousness and morality wailed, gnashed their teeth and demanded Gordon resign. Whoops. Forgot. Again, not Bill Dunne. The GOP was predictably silent and filled with outrage. Not at what was on the recording, but because the recording had been disclosed. They were 50% justified. Their silence on the first part of the equation certainly undermined their faux outrage.

The people who had access to the recording were the officers who retrieved the recording for investigatory purposes. This was Colaneri and Millington (Millington was cleared of wrongdoing according to Franco). However, Colaneri could not be described as a Democratic operative. There had to be a second shooter.

In November, police obtained a warrant to search the cell phone of one Gary Gordon. Gordon was a former police officer, former investigator with the District Attorneys office and, though a registered Conservative, the failed Democratic candidate for Rensselaer County Sheriff in 2011. It was not hard to surmise that Gordon was thought to be the one that sent the recording to Lyons.

While November's events were not surprising, December's events were. In December, police obtained a warrant for the cell phone of Assistant District Attorney Shane Hug. Shane Hug was then terminated (from employment, he is still alive according to sources). Nothing in the news accounts linked the two stories except rumor.

On Friday, Colaneri was suspended without pay. That is never a good sign. Furthermore, Colaneri's son was recently hired by the Department. According to Franco, Detective Ron Fountain, now retired, obtained a copy of the recording with Colaneri's knowledge and is believed to be the one that sent the recording to Gordon.

Most of this was well-known, if the prevailing rumors were to be believed. Now, it's out for public consumption thanks to Franco.

It should go without saying that the people or persons who allowed the recording to be sent to Gordon should be punished. Those utilizing 911 should not have to second guess their choice for fear that sensitive information will be made public.

There's a quick recap of events to date. Next, we'll look at what effect, if any, the release of the recording, had on the 2015 race and the tainted IA and criminal investigation.

Friday, March 04, 2016


City Council President Carmella Mantello offered her views Thursday night on a number of issues in the legislative response to the State of the City address. The Times Union has the story. If there is a bigger erection killer than the State of the City Address its the legislative response. We're not even sure there is such a thing. It sounds like something Mantello made up.

"Working with the mayor, the council will end fantasy budgeting and restore reasonable and realistic budgeting through a corrective action plan," Mantello said.

Mantello went on to outline goals that nip at the edge of the problem but offer no real solutions.

Hit the lights, grab a juice box (which doesn't mean what we thought it meant) and we'll turn on the overhead projector.

- Mantello said the council will consider a local law to require a two-thirds vote to tap the water fund for money.

Why? Why allow it at all? Then again, who cares? There's one pot of money. It is compartmentalized in a bizarre Byzantine labyrinth of bureaucracy but its our money. You can allow or prohibit shifting it around but it does not increase the tax base. Don't forget though, when the new Charter hits, any tapping of the water fund will require the vote of 4.6 council members.

-The council also will review the Troy Industrial Development Authority, Local Development Corp....

The IDA is  a separate legal entity that self funds through fees. It does not cost the city money. Troy's PILOTS, unlike some other municipalities, do not shrink the tax base. Some may not expand it, but they do not cost the City money. We are not fans of all the local and state authorities. There are far too many. They do not have to be responsive to the voters in the same way as State agencies. But, there is little to no savings here. Wiltshire liked to blame these entities and now McGrath, who has displayed complete ignorance about the IDA, wants it as a scapegoat. They will be disappointed.

-"We must look to streamline and consolidate city government, and through this method reduce our expenditures and non-essential and discretionary areas. This would include such expenditures as overtime, not filling vacancies, and other discretionary types of spending," Mantello said in her speech.

Yes, there are modest savings to be found here. If you really try, you can probably find $500,000 to cut without effecting services to any noticeable degree. In the end, weak tea. Why? It's a one pump chump.

- A special committee will be formed to study relocating City Hall to the heart of downtown, Mantello said."I believe that the cost of renting city hall space is very expensive and leaves us with nothing in return. Rather, the people of Troy should own their own city hall and be proud of this facility," she said.

Yes, too bad we didn't have a city hall in the heart of  downtown, rather than in the pancreas. We had one. It was butt ugly, but it was structurally sound. It was torn down on New Year's Eve without appropriate asbestos abatement measures. And before you talk about Harry's great trade for the Verizon Building, he was legally prohibited from making that deal based on the status of a portion of the City Hall site being State property. It's complicated. You won't understand and even if you did, you'd deny the facts. Like Harry. On the bright side, we love us some special committee action.

So, why the skepticism? The problem with Mantello's pedestrian ideas is that if they were all implemented, we'd still not cover the deficit. Even if they did, it would be for a year, at most. In 2011, for instance, 85% of the budget was already spent. That 85% is slated for debt service, salaries and benefits. So, we are not talking about shaving a few million from $65,000,000. We are talking about shaving a few million from a few million. On top of that, more realistic estimates will further reduce what can be cut.

Furthermore, not considering a mid-year tax increase is irresponsible. You don't have to pass a tax increase but why leave anything off the table. 

So, where are the big ideas?  Privatize sanitation. Refinance the debt. Garage sale. Lemonade stand. paper route. Maybe we can sell remainder t-shirts that celebrate the Green Island Bridge falling into the Hudson.

We are done with this topic for the foreseeable future. We know many will deny it and many won't believe it. We will not cut or streamline our way out of this long term problem. Some of what Mantello proposes can be an adjunct to a real plan but it will not address rising costs, contracts and benefits.

We are not trying to be Debbie Downer but lets put an end to the fiction that the taxpayers will not, ultimately, have to open their wallets.

Good night and good luck.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


According to The Record's ace reporting, he repairs to the January water main break will cost the City $73,000. This amount is slightly less than the 'millions' projected by City Council President Carmella Mantello:

Mantello, a Republican, said the water main also served homes and businesses across the Hudson River in Menands. She said repair costs will be in the millions of dollars...

Mantello, a graduate of the Chicken Little School of Leadership, made this announcement the very day of the break, with little or no information to back up the estimate.

Mantello describes the characterization of her estimate as unfair. "I have repeatedly emphasized that everything I say has a 87% +/- margin of error." Mantello went on to say that any criticism of her leadership style would cost the city millions.


We listened to District 2 Councilman Mark McGrath on Talk1300 with James Franco yesterday. We found McGrath quite enjoyable, despite the fact the we were out of laudanum. We were surprised that McGrath took a swipe at former Mayor Tutunjian and himself.

McGrath blamed, at least in part, Troy's fiscal problems on the amortization of pension bill increases. This, of course, was a practice highlighted by the Tutunjian administration, particularly in Tutunjian's last budget. McGrath, a sitting Councilman at the time, did not argue against the practice.

There are some problems with McGrath's argument on amortization being the culprit, but the swipe at Tutunjian and the admission of his own responsibility for the fiscal problems was refreshing. And no Mussolini quotes.

We turned the show off when McGrath and Franco began to discuss the plight of white men in America.


Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency is back again. This time, they would like to speak with some current administration officials. The EPA's focus is the King Street demolition.  The agents intend to wrap up the investigation soon, before President Cruz eliminates the agency.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Mr. Dunne is not going to the Construction Fund. Just messing with some heads. As usual, it worked. Enjoy seeing wheels spin uselessly. We wish Mr. Dunne luck in his actual, new position.


As the nation holds its collective breath, we enter Day 10 - Sinkhole Watch!

Last week, City Hall announced that repairs would be completed by Friday evening and Campbell Avenue re-opened to traffic. The administration was unable to fulfill that promise as negotiations with the sinkhole hit a setback on Thursday. No new timetable has been announced.

Crowds have gathered at the sinkhole to protest. Chants of "Madden lied, traffic died" could be heard as the crowd grew angry. Another citizen told this reporter: "We don't want no sinkhole." Impeach Madden signs could be seen in the crowd. The feeling is one of betrayal.

Meanwhile, citizens have begun to hoard food and other necessary supplies. Bottled water, Skittles, rifles and Gogurt flew off the shelves immediately following the news that repairs have stalled. Prayer groups have been formed.

Mayor Madden will address the nation tonight at 9:00PM EST.


Former Councilman and Commissioner of Economic Development Bill Dunne has left the administration. His last day was February 29, 2016. Dunne was a four-term councilman (District 4) and was Commissioner PAED for four years, under former Mayor Rosamilia. According the Mayor Madden, his administration wanted to "go in a different direction." No replacement has been found.

Dunne, a stalwart Democrat, won the enmity of the Tutunjian Administration by the constant questioning of Tutunjian's dodgier activities. Economic development boomed under Dunne's watch and his office was often seen as a bright spot in the Rosamilia Administration. Dunne, sometimes seen as abrasive, won his share of enemies in the past twelve years: Mayor Tutunjian, David Mitchell, Daniel Crawley, Rodney Wiltshire and Mark McGrath.

Dunne's public career did have some bumps in the road: numerous 911 calls from his home; Division of Human Rights Complaints, Civil Law suits, Unemployment Fraud, voter fraud, perjury, pay-to-play corruption charges, DWI charges, cholera outbreak, ...oh, wait, those were other public servants.

Dunne has been appointed a Contractor Manager by the New York State Construction Fund and begins his new employment March 15. He will be missed. A true public servant who placed Troy's needs above his own.

One of Dunne's last achievements was to help secure a FEMA grant to repair Troy's seawall, damaged during Tropical Storm Irene.

With Dunne's departure, the Rosamilia appointees are now gone. The only one who remains, is Deputy Comptroller Joe M, who is working part-time until a Comptroller is appointed.