Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Walkin' the tightrope

Edward Moore took a giant step out onto the tightrope and then marched forward without bothering to check the perilous distance to the ground below. In a span of less than 24 hours, the Spa City’s top cop decided to make a pair moves that even the most oblivious of political neophytes could identify as deeply rooted in politics.

First, he showed up in uniform on the steps of City Hall while Mayor Valarie Keehn and boss Ron Kim –both of whom are running for re-election in November –lambasted three city commissioners and mayoral challenger Gordon Boyd. Then in a much more brazen move, Moore spat a venom-filled private letter at Boyd, accusing the candidate of politicizing the push for a new public safety facility for his own benefit.

“Forgive me if I offend you, but don't try to sell me sugarcoated dung as good intentions and support,” Moore stated in the long and prattling letter, which was also leaked to The Saratogian. “I did not just fall off the turnip truck, and I will not reciprocate in the same vein.”

For some reason, he also tied in the near-death experience of Adam Barker last week into his reasoning for needing a new station. Moore paired this event with his wanton castigation of Boyd, Accounts Commissioner John Franck, and Tom McTygue, Public Works enemy number-one. In other words, a vote for these guys is a vote that could have killed Officer Baker.

“I do not appreciate the politicization of an issue that may result in the loss of life, especially to one of my colleagues,” he continued in the letter. “We came close enough to that just four days ago with, as of yet, no formal inquiry by either of your compatriots on the council as to Officer Baker’s well being.”

Strong words for a public official commandeering a post controlling the city’s 70-something law enforcement agents. Strong enough that the letter could easily be viewed as a quasi-knife of intimidation held against the throat of a candidate that doesn’t really support all the chief has shoveled since Keehn took office in 2006.

State elections officials didn’t seem to think Moore’s one-two punch in local politics stepped up to the level of violating campaign laws. They indicated that he would need to either financially back a candidate or use his uniform to intimidate one before stepping over the line. He arguably did this by appearing at a thinly veiled Keehn-Kim booster rally Monday, where the two candidates publically bashed anyone not supporting his proposed 47,000-square-foot $17 million Public Safety Taj Mahal.

What Boyd and other detractors of the project argued is that the community can foot the estimated $87-per-year tax hike the new station would cost under the city’s present financial conditions. And he’s one-hundred percent right, too. Instead, he’s proposed squirreling away a few million bucks today, so that this impact isn’t felt at once by taxpayers. But Moore believes this is simply a political tactic the candidate is using to appease voters during election season before he reneges on the deal while in office.

“I am tired of hearing from those like [you] who wet their finger, stick it in the air of public opinion to see which way the wind is blowing, then publicly state they agree with the need of the new public safety building yet privately conspire to prevent it from occurring,” he wrote in the letter.

However, when it comes sticking one’s finger in the wind, Moore sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. He decided to spearhead the new public safety facility initiative coincidentally at the same time the Kim-Keehn duo took office. In contrast, he made hardly a peep about the station under the previous two city councils.

If Keehn and Kim are re-elected, Moore only needs one more vote to move forward on the public safety facility he longs for. Undoubtedly, that vote would rest on the shoulders of Skip Scirocco, McTygue’s Republican challenger, who worked out of the police station as the city dog catcher for more than three decades. Were either Boyd or McTygue sitting on the city council come January, chances are pretty good the concept of a police station would at least go back to the financing stages.

This is all aside from the fact that governmentally appointed police chiefs generally avoid politics like the plague. There is good reasons for leaving political maneuvering up to police unions, rather than the chiefs themselves. After all, there’s a fine line when it comes to what can and cannot be considered bias and intimidation by such an official, who quite literally has the law at his beck and call.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good politics or good government, we can not have both here in saratoga. What a shame that a 32 year public servant ( ED Moore) is blasted here for speaking for his department. he is a professional who is knowledgeable on what we need.He is right we do need new facilities. We have a clear line drawn all over the city. The McTygue/Boyd love feast appear on lawns.( sorry Stephanie Voight...Gordo gets the commissioner's lap for awhile) Yet we have Republicans and Democrated sharing lawns for the first time. It is not uncommon to see Keehn, Kim, Scirocco, and Ivens signs. Tommy and Gordon spend time just kicking up dust and forget about the "good government" and the people they represent. The ironic part of this is McTygue has been in office for 30 years and he is the common element to disfuntional government and high taxes. Lets hope the FBI finalizes it's investigation on him and ends up behind bars!! Poor Johnny Franck will have to play nice again when his fellow dust kickers lose in November.
The only option we have is to vote for the reasonable candidates.

Gordo and Tommy will have plenty of time to take Stephanie Voight and Sharon Boyd for a cruise out on Saratoga lake after their defeat on November.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When anonymous 1 says, we can't have good politics or good government in Saratoga Springs, it is because of comments like his. What's with all the pet names? A little maturity from the peanut gallery would certainly improve things a bit. The public can handle adult responses.

Standing in uniform soliciting petition signatures making accusations on city property is not proper for a public servant no matter how many years in service. He knows decorum. The Chief like as any citizen is entitled to his opinions after duty but not while working in uniform. Sadly, his 'official' letter is an embarrassment to the City, to his purpose and to himself.

What is fascinating, are the number of PS members and their family members that are demanding city residents increase their city tax burden, but live in Wilton where law enforcement protection is paid for in part, by contributions from our city residents through their County tax payments.

The City has suggested reasonable alternatives and has provided $1 million dollars for the past two years that goes unspent. Why not ask the Chief why he has not made an attempt in two years with a new Commissioner to make repairs? Our Mayor warned of living within our means referring to “belt tightening” the other night and we would assume, that was advice for all departments.

This infantile name calling, public foot stamping and behavior tantamount to holding one’s breath is downright childish.

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone see the hypocrisy of praising the service of a 32-year public servant, earning a six-figure salary who seems comfortable with wearing his private opinion on his public epaulets (while in litigation against the city) when an elected public official of 30 years is castigated?

The Chief says, “You need to pay more taxes” while the Commissioner, agreeing with the Mayor suggests, there are other more efficient options and responsible “belt-tightening” postures.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moore speaks eloquently and compellingly for the men and women who serve on the police force. We do need a new police station. We've needed it for a long time. But all the money is sucked into DPW, for unnecessary legal expenses, corruption, and incompetent work, like the Putnam Street parking lot that needed substantial repairs long before it should have.

I'll be that many police officers and fire fighters are going to vote for McTygue's opponent, just like many DPW workers who are fed up with the bullying. And they will vote to re-elect Keehn and Kim.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all I know is as a dem-- we're looking at dweebo scott johnson as a possibility.

gordon boyd creeps me out. he just walks and talks like a mean-spirited, bitter wife beater. can you imagine what would happen if he wins--putin didn't disolve his government, he's reinstating it in saratoga springs. yah valt!

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous #4

The opinion that you speak of is indeed a PROFESSIONAL opinion not a personal opinion. Would you respect his opinion if he said we did NOT need an new facility? All public servents both elected and hired walk a fine line in the display of professional conduct while serving the public. We(the public) have listened to the "30 year elected PUBLIC official" long enough. Our "30 year elected PUBLIC official" seems to be in the center of all of the controversies and lawsuits. Speaking of conduct...

Now that the Sopranos have left television. We can have "The McTygues" replace them. Maybe the city could collect royalties, as it has paid dearly to have this 30 year debacle. The show will feature nepotism, extra marital affairs, lawsuits, grandstanding, more lawsuits, threats, fish throwing, FBI investigations, more extra marital afairs, Environmental Disasters, more nepotism, bully tactics, name calling, even more affairs etc. etc. The Subtitle is "How Three Idiots fooled an entire city"

It is pretty clear that the 30 year elected PUBLIC offical is Toast in November. Lets be sure he and "the boys" leave the city for good.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

I must jump in at this point. If you think Skip Scirocco will be any less entrenched than Public Works fixture McTygue, you’ve been hanging out at the Hamilton Hill crack houses a bit too much lately. I’d also point out that this string really has nothing to do with McTygue; it’s about Moore’s extremely unprofessional behavior as of late.

Frankly, I don’t mind the discussion, but let’s try to stay a bit on topic. Like any Spa City politician, I’m more than willing to call Tommy out when he’s off his rocker. But you’re comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the proposed police facility and your allegations against McTygue.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said nothing about Scirocco.
I respect this opportunity so I will be brief.
Why is unprofessional behavior limited only to Moore. McTygue is a political leader who's unprofessional behavior spews over all most every issue and has for years. He tells us we need to spend 15-20 million on a water solution. What is the diffence?

I do not think that Moore crossed the line. He is representing his departmnet

Thank you
I will let go of the bone now!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting ruffled by views you don't like? In his letter, Chief Moore blasted Boyd, MyTygue, Franck and others. So discussing this trio is valid in this thread of discussion. As Moore points, out, we would have had a much more affordable police station if McTygue and his ilk who are committed to serving the wealthy members of the community and especially the developers, instead of the city taxpayers were out of the picture. Boyd, McTygue, and Franck show a fundamental disrespect for the men and women in uniform. And from what I hear from a range of sources, Boyd, McTygue, and Franck are not very nice to their wives and girlfriends.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster who is considering "dweebo" Scott Johnson....

How nice it must be to have the ability to pass judgement on others. How come your LAME ASS isn't running for something?

I don't know Mr. Johnson, but I give him credit for at least having a set of balls to run. Although he may not get my vote, I am keeping an open mind as to his canidacy. That said, I have enough dignity not to label him, or any candidate for that matter, "Dweebo."

I DO know Mr. Boyd, and your estimation that he is a mean spirited wife beater COULD NOT be further from the mark. He is caring, smart, and a devoted husband and father. The self-effacing humility he has shown thus far regarding the coming election is noteworthy and sincere.

I think it's remarkable that he manages to stay optimistic, and keep a smile on his face when many around him are throwing mud at him as fast as they can.

Personally, I would go sling blade on someone if they tried to assassinate my character in the same manner....

Mr. Boyd's primary opponent would do well to exhibit a fraction of the grace, class, and self-deprecating manner that he has shown since getting into the race.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valerie Keehn has shown tremendoes grace, poise, and courage under pressure. Her support of the much-needed police station shows courage. She had a depth of facts at her finger tips during the debate.

Concerning Boyd, he's Mr. Negative, focusing on getting rid of yard signs in public housing despite the residents' right to participate in a democracy. Boyd's supporters are focused on incredible negativity. One fanatical supporter grabbed a man by the shoulders and tried to start a fight with him after the debate. This person also tried to intimidate some other people after the debate, as though intimidation is the strategy for the Boyd campaign.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The incumbent Mayor displayed anything but grace, poise and courage. She was in fact, incompetent, an embarrassment, annoyed and rude. Her emotional screaming demanding tirades throughout City Hall are now legendary. They will not be missed.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. You have drank a SERIOUS dose of the mayor's Kool-Aid.

Her support of the new Public Safety building, AND a new Rec center does indeed show courage-the courage to brazenly kick the average taxpayer square in the junk.

Don't you think it hypocritical that Madame Mayor can speak so voraciously about how living in Saratoga is getting too expensive for the average wage earner and in the next breath, crushing those same wage earners with a Capital Plan that will increase that very problem?

I hope the many Seniors she supposedly is so fond of recognize the potential screwing they are about to get come tax time.

You're also in a "reality distortion field" if you think the mayor has shown any sense of poise thus far. From what I have seen in person, on "You Tube," and in the papers, she has been petty, vituperative, and downright disrespectful of pretty much everyone else in the world, save for Mr. Kim.

And do tell me again about how Mr. Boyd is Mr. Negative, when his opponent can refer to her fellow elected officials as "that silly council" and the rest of us as "wretched." Or is that what you categorize as showing grace?

As far Mr. Boyd's supporters being focused on incredible negativity. Please. The most appealing part of his candidacy is the fact that he has pledged to work with others, even those who disagree with him.

I don't know about the "fanatical" supporter you mentioned, or the level of altercation that took place (if at all), but trying to link that episode to some grand strategy of intimidation by the Boyd campaign is so illogical, and really, so downright sad, it doesn't even dignify a response. I guess when one of the Keehn supporters gets mouth froth all over an innocent bystander, by the same token I can attribute that to the mayor herself.

I now have a question of you. I have been around here for a long time. I have spent much of that time serving on boards, committees, and coaching/officiating youth sports while running a business downtown. I have made many, many donations of time and money to the various civic groups that do such great things here.

My question is this. How come when I read the paper (which I do every day), and see a letter of support for the Mayor, it is someone that I have never heard of? I guess this makes me one of the "good ol' boys" that the Keehn supporters love to demonize. Allow me to propose a different view... maybe it is the same core group of individuals that actually LABOR to make this city great, and not just talk about it.....

I'm tired of being insulted by this mayor. It is time for her to go-or at the very least-DEVELOP SOME FREAKIN' PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS! The next time I have to listen to her drone on about something in that God forsaken monotone, all the while reading it from a page, like a cloned "Stepford-Mayor" I'm going to stick hot needles in my ears.

Signed,
The Wretched Good Ol' Boy

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last posting author

REREAD your post.. Are you over
the top too???

Please attend a city council meeting and see our public servents in action. I too am concerned, but be fair. The old saying "It takes Two to Tango" is fitting in this case.
Our City Council has been at odds for many years, not just the last 1 1/2 years. If they WERE getting along, why do we still need all of city infrastructure replaced?
We are all pulling on the same rope each day.
Teamwork is essential.

7:23 AM  

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