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

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

CHARTER ISSUES

Troy's new City Charter is now operational. However, according to one newspaper account, there are issues. It looks like some things were overlooked, creating potential issues for the future. This, after a commission worked on this for quite some time.

We suppose it is not unexpected that one or two things were overlooked. It happens and we all know that committees and commissions produce compromised products. Most of the issues should be addressed by the City Council as long as the items addressed do not reduce the powers of the mayor. We believe that is the standard. As long as changes do not reduce mayoral powers changes to the Charter may be done via legislation. If the mayor's powers are to be reduced, a referendum is necessary.

The biggest mistake, to our minds, was intentional and quite popular: the reduction of at-large representation from three to one. Augmenting the problem is the fact that the one at-large council person is elected to a four year term simultaneously with the mayor. This change sets-up some potential problems.

First, under the old Charter, the chance that the Council President's party would have a majority on the Council. This is what we have now. Council President Mantello will generally have the backing of a council majority. Under the new Charter, the chance that the Council President does not have majority support is much more likely. We think the head of the City Council should be in the majority. Things operate much more smoothly that way.

Also, we have set ourselves up for more politics and less bipartisanship. It is inevitable that the Council President will be the go-to mayoral candidate four years after their election. We will spend four years watching the mayor (if the  mayor seeks re-election) and the Council President spare in an effort to position themselves for the mayoral contest.

There is no guarantee this will happen but given the nature of Troy politics, it will happen. More partisanship, less cooperation.

In an era of great distrust of government, it seems odd that we voted to reduce our representation and essentially increase the influence of two office holders. Instead, we should reduce the Council salary and increase the Council to 12 or 13 seats, eliminate the at-large seat and allow the Council to choose its President. Council Districts should be drawn so that party registration is as even as possible. Perhaps this will make council members more responsive to their constituents.

Won't happen, we know. The real problem with the new Charter is the changes to the council, not the other issues that can be fixed.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuck you. Monday morning QB. This review went on for most of last year now you've woken up and caught on. They had all sorts of public hearings to come and throw your bullshit out about the changes. NO ONE DID. the people want less government and they showed it at the polls. The committee was formed by democrats and included all democrats. Hopefully next census we get ride of more concil members.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Touchy touchy there 1:13. Check your blood pressure!

Anonymous said...

This blog is really up on top of current events. Nice to see them in with Carmella now. Next week look for the story about the JFK assassination. This blog is dead.

Anonymous said...

1:13 sounds like a republican faced with losing two republican at large seats. No three way race this time Rich, Carmella and whatever her name is are gone. Erin could win it but I think we're going with Carol Weaver.

Robert Cox said...

NUTS !~~!

Anonymous said...

Only 5 comments in 2 weeks? Was Mazz the biggest reader and commentor of this blog?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes you are.
Love
Nurse Ratchet

Phana24JG said...

I think we are just in a lull in the local news cycle. The other problem is that I heard a rumor one of the most insightful and brightest contributors had surgery last week.

Phana24JG said...

Nurse,perhaps you can offer some professional advice. Within the past month, I have liked or positively commented Robert Cox on social media several times. Is it time to seek some psychiatric help,or am I safe if I keep it in the single digits over such a time frame?

Anonymous said...

Nurse Ratchet haaaaaaa tough living a life with no brains and no NUTS !~~!

Anonymous said...

Troy is going to have a comeback so if your in then join in the future of our city & to the haters:
haters gonna hate.

Anonymous said...

Why not start your own blog then? I'm sure people will flock to it to get your take on things.

Anonymous said...

No, you are!!

Anonymous said...

Talk about nutz. Robert Cox Jr had the balls to go to the council meeting last night to complain about property owned by the land bank not being keep up. Imagine this shitbird talking about not taking care of property. Start with your own family. Then come back.

Anonymous said...

Love your modesty Phana ;). Hope the surgery went well and you are recovering nicely.

Phana24JG said...

Thanks 6.57, I had rotator cuff surgery and it went well. When it comes to pain I am the proverbial coward of the county,but God Bless modern painkillers.

Anonymous said...

Good post -- but increase the size of the council? Just opens the door for more tools to walk in. Could we possibly endure more Rodneys, Gordons, Carmella's and that fool idiot who represents downtown?Not to mention a few blast from the past line Stone, Messick, Derguarahian, Anastasia-- and plenty more. Less, at a $3,000 reduction sounds more in line--considering our shrinking tax base. This OGS-Commissioner idea is also insane.

Anonymous said...

Haters gonna hate.its not wonder Troy is in the shape in. All's people do is place blame and dog each other.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah. Truth hurt?

Anonymous said...

9:11. Thank you Taylor swift

Anonymous said...

Glad they finally indicted this Vandenburg guy. I see shameless media whore Rodney just happened to be by the courthouse to speak to the media. Chambes is looking down saying, " oh good- Rodney

Anonymous said...

Glad they finally indicted this Vandenburg guy. I see shameless media whore Rodney just happened to be by the courthouse to speak to the media. Chambes is looking down saying, " oh good- Rodney. Surprised carmzilla didn't smell the cameras

Anonymous said...

Its about time UnAbelove got off his ass and indicted that guy. Cross your fingers he doesn't screw this one up

Anonymous said...

Joel won't be around to prosecute him.

Phana24JG said...

Thoughtful post, 10.27, but I do have one dissent. A good OGS/Commissioner could be good for the city. There are several opportunities to utilize economies of scale and workforce flexibility that the right person would take advantage of.

DrewCoop13 said...

Yes. God bless painkillers 😎😀😎😀😎😀

Anonymous said...

Until your hooked