Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Endorse this

After more than 10 months of vitriolic jabber and finger pointing, the election is finally upon us. Initially, the stance of i-Saratoga was to make no endorsements whatsoever, being that this semi-daily diatribe is anything but supportive of politicians.

However in an 11th hour decission, the blog’s Board of Directors ruled in favor of changing this stance after several milquetoast semi-endorsements dripped from the chum bucket of the local press this week. These are just a few suggestions to consider before haphazardly voting along party lines or for the incumbents when you step into the voting booth today. Remember to bring a friend and a six-pack or a friend’s six-pack and get out to vote. So without further adieu, please take in the first-ever i-Saratoga-endorsments for this year’s city elections:

Mayor: Dale Easter. At first blush, it might not seem like a great idea to give the reins of government to a handlebar mustache wearing cowboy from Prince Edward Island who rolled into the city with a bunch of motorcycle-riding hippies back in the day. Often times, Easter’s gang of societal subversives is credited with the bourbon brawling revitalization of Caroline Street, which is sort of a dubious accomplishment in and of itself.

Yet the former owner of Professor Moriarity’s remains the quintessential Saratoga Springs resident. He’s rough on the edges and politically savvy on the inside. He’s a social Democrat with a deeply hardened fiscal conservative crust, thanks to more than three decades in the restaurant business. Those who knew Easter in business also know his propensity for pinching pennies, a quality that would be a welcome addition as the city considers the horrific $63 million slate of projects proposed by incumbent mayor Valerie Keehn. And given his extreme propensity for inaudible mumbling, he’d add an element of chance to spice up local news reporting.

Finance Commissioner: Matt McCabe. Sure, he says he’s not running for re-election. But he’ll change his tune after being shackled to the finance desk for a few weeks with some moldy bread and gruel. Oh, he’ll change his tune alright. Seriously, McCabe came to city hall a quiet musician from Caroline Street with little precedent for running the city finances. During his first years, he wasn’t very vocal on the council and seemed to get splinters from sitting too long on the proverbial fence of city politics.

Recently, however, McCabe’s fierce independence from partisan politics has served as the only voice of reason amid petty council infighting. When the new police station balloon was floated up, McCabe smartly shot it down by calling it out for what it was: too expensive. Perhaps his only fault is his modesty. While Keehn has blustered on and on about how she secured the city’s $3.8 million of VLT revenues, it was McCabe who first brought up the fact that they weren’t a given in the first place. Were it not for his insight on the issue, the funding would have become an oversight.

Public Safety Commissioner: Erin Dreyer. Who could resist bringing the blond bombshell back for two more years of skullduggery? True, she has absolutely no qualifications for the job and nearly shredded the department on her last go round. But this is politics, baby. This is the freak circus sideshow on crack, its denizens from the deepest circles of the inferno. Bringing back Public Safety’s prodigal whore would be a perfect way to punctuate this fact.

The main idea of having Dreyer in office would be to once again remove politics from police work. Now, some may think it’s odd to add Dreyer’s combative brand of civics into a mix that already includes the political predilictions of Police Chief Ed Moore, the only active-duty cop in recent memory to stump with two incumbent politicians. But when you consider physicians give Ritalin to hyperactive children, tossing the wolverine-like Dryer into a cage with Moore doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Perhaps with two more years of needling, he’d take a run at throttling his nemesis. After all, the city wouldn’t need to pay his treasure trove of benefits if he was in jail.

Accounts Commissioner: Dennis Brunelle. While it is admirable that incumbent Commissioner John Franck has held the line on reassessing the city at a time when the local housing market is witnessing an 11 percent dip, it would be nice to have someone in government that keenly understands the problems caused by overinflated property values. What better person than the guy who’s headed the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council and been a member of the Workforce Housing Partnership.

Brunelle’s one drawback is that he’s a supporter of Keehn, a wind-bagging mayor who saw no problem with blatantly welshing on her campaign promise to augment the city’s affordable housing stock. As some may recall, Brunelle glowingly introduced Keehn during her state of the city address last winter and has yet to hold the mayor’s feet to the fire on this matter. Regardless, his input on the council would at least provide a much needed voice for those in the city who almost always lack one.

Public Works Commissioner
: Tom Qualtere. In this race, it was a tossup between the go-getting co-president of the Skidmore Young Republicans and the man inauspiciously known as “Vinnie the Cleaner” from Gaffney’s. But in the end, the endorsement must go to Qualtere. The idea of a Skidmore Republican ordering around a blue collar workforce dominated by old school Democrats is simply too precious to pass up.

Not to mention, the DPW could use some fresh blood after more than three decades of Tom McTygue. And there’s little doubt Qualtere would have his blood spilled shortly after barking his first orders at the city road crews. Still, this endorsement can’t go without mention of Vinnie, the rumpled and somewhat recalcitrant Caroline Street dweller who sees enough through his coke bottle glass to somehow scrub away the vomit stains left by folks of Qualtere’s ilk. You make Saratoga sparkle, Vinnie. Keep up the good work.

City Supervisors: Ed Dague. While it’s not clear if his Saratoga Lake home is inside the city limits, the retired WNYT anchor and Times Union blogger has the right attitude for supervisor. Anyone with the chutzpa to threaten and berate the region’s most useless band of keystone kops is the right man for the job. The Board of Supervisors needs a voice of reason that is going to call the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department for what it is: an overpaid gang of traffic cops that do more to harass motorists than prevent crime. And this sort of input –even if it’s threatening in nature –could be used on the board as Sheriff and tax-dollar drain Jim Bowen argues for an eye popping nine additional deputies for his already over-extended force.

And for the other seat, Bill Parcells. Again, it’s unclear if the Big Tuna actually spends enough time in the Spa City to hold elected office. Yet he owns a lot of property here and is rich well beyond eight decimals, which is all candidates need these days to throw their name in the hat. So what would the former NFL coach bring to the Supervisors? Well, he’d bring one hell of a name, that’s for sure. Parcells could throw his weight around like LT on the gridiron with an eight-ball on board. After all, who would go against the vote of a guy swinging club fists with two Super Bowl rings tucked on the knuckles? Look out, James Lawler. Big Tuna says no to the county water plan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Gerard the queen is dead. Look over your shoulder if you hear something it might be HUD breathing down your neck.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Elliott Masie said...

Very funny post! I love your satire ... we need way more of this in the crazy world of local political journalism.

Actually, I would have voted for a few of the folks on your list :)

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wake up – Sleepy head, Rub your Eyes, Get out of Bed
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead ...

Perhaps most telling is the Qheen’s parting statement at the Inn last night was, “Even if it doesn’t work out that I’m reelected, I feel the voters made a clear decision on Public Works.” How thoroughly pathetic. Even in her final delusional moments, she never quite understood that she was not running against McTygue? She and her collection of viscous misfits can now leave City Hall and go back to Wyoming, Kansas or

Where the goblins go ...

Did anyone ever see such a long drawn out concession speech by anyone in public office in their life? Obviously in another one of her trance-like zombie moments (I see unemployed people), she chose to parade her circle of losers on camera and expose them and everyone to one last pointless rambling diatribe of confused reasoning. It was painful - even for them!

The People spoke Qheen, to all of your invisible accomplishments and perverted self-serving missions. You can thank the City Charter for working and helping to clear out your office (there’s nothing there) and your Deputy's office (removing the magic crystals, the rabbit’s feet and the billy club) and your City Attorney's office (removing two years worth of Travel Magazines) and your Land Board chair's seats (unfortunately, 2 out of 3 professionally understood their responsibilities) and your executive secretary’s office (she can throw away all of your pointless last minute appointment changes and erratic directions)…. That only leaves a very lonely Director walking back and forth from the Drink Hall to Starbuck's for his coffee as your only legacy aside of course from fracturing and imploding your party? What was it that Frank Sirocco said, “I was up on Broadway with a Scirocco sign, and the Keehn people high-fived me. You kind of felt bad.”

Below – Below – Below.
Yo - ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is Dead

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote over a week ago that if Mctygue lost, city residents would owe him a debt of graditute for getting rid of Keehn. Tom threw himselve on a live grenade. He and Boyd saved the city.
She has damaged the city tremendously in the last two years. And she alone is responsible for leaving the democratic party in shambles.
She was sickening at the Holiday Inn last night toasting Mctygue"s defeat. Fuck her. She should become a republican.
Say good bye to your water rights.
Say hello to very expensive drinking water and massive developement.
One good thing, we will not have to read any more of those retarded letters from Hawthorne.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people of Saratoga have spoken. Mayor Val's crazy ideas and schemes got the boot.

No more trying to change the government while everyone is distracted by track season.

No more half baked affordable housing schemes. We have plenty of affordable houses and rentals, you just have to travel a little further out.

No more $17,000,000 Kim's Kastle (the new public safety building). Build a simple building out on Weibell for the police, cars and equipment. Rehab the current location as a substation.

Hopefully Val will take the buses with her too. Do we need three buses an hour going from Skidmore to the Racino? Do we need a bus every hour going from the train station to the closed racetrack? Should we be busing people to the Wilton mall, instead of shopping in Saratoga? Could the local taxi businesses cover this work and keep the employment and money in the community?

7:29 AM  
Anonymous BS Tracker said...

Keehn showed her true side last nite:

- Pathetic
- Despicable
- Ignorant
- Mean
- Incapable of teling the truth
- Vengeful
- Paranoid
- Corrupt
- Conniving
- Delusional

The last one (delusional) really hit me while watching her up on that stage. She truly does think she is the voice of God and justice in this town.

She also thinks she has a chance for a comeback, as she talked about 'assessing our options tomorrow" and spitting "I'm not going away". Hah!

She's done; placed into the history books as the worse mayor in this city's history.

So to Bronner, Wyatt, Brucie, Benton, McLellan, Hawthorne, Thomson, Eileen, and all you other Keehn cultists:

It's over folks! You've been rejected twice now by the people (charter vote and now the election). You're all done.

Now go back to your rooms and let the adults take over both the city and the party!

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, 7.29AM

"No more half baked affordable housing schemes. We have plenty of affordable houses and rentals, you just have to travel a little further out"

You are talking our of both sides of your mouth. You want poor people to move 10-15 miles out of town and at the same time you want to cut back on bus service. Do you expect poor people to pay for a cab from Schuylerville to Saratoga Springs or would you rather that poor people just don't come to our city?
I am sure that you have comfortable living quarters and it is easy for you to project how it is for poor and moderately poor people to live.
What kind of community is Saratoga Springs going to be like when only people of means can live here?

I posted this several days ago on disutopiaofsaratogaspr; I hope it provokes serious thought.

shotinthedark said...

I am so tired of listening to these well-meaning short-sighted citizens tell everyone how great Saratoga is to live in because we are “city in the country”.
For 30 years I have lived near the Embury Apartments, two 14 story buildings, and I get all the sun I need.
I am not sure how tall the Raymond Watkins Apartments or the Stonequest Apartments are, however I am sure they are taller than the self imposed six story limits that the city has fostered on us.
The neighborhoods where these senior center apartments are located seem to have readily accepted these tall structures.
Cities are supposed to grow up, not out.
When the local government starts dictating the height of buildings, housing prices increase significantly.
Let’s build or have built a couple of 10-15 story buildings on one of those parking lots that the city owns for some much needed living units for low and moderate income Saratogains.
It seems absurd that there is a higher priority to build these large structures for the purpose of parking cars rather than building to house our families.
These locations would be ideal because many of these low and moderate income Saratogains:
1. have less cars or no cars per family
2. would be living near bus routes
3. would be living close to where they work
4. would have a close proximity to shopping, government services, and leisure activities
5. would provide downtown businesses with more shoppers and an expanded work force

This is very important issue for the future and the viability of our city.
We must start thinking in bigger terms other than parking cars.
When our ancestors built City Hall, the Grand Union Hotel, the Algonquin, the Convention Hall, laid out Congress Park, the Race Track, the State Park and many others their focus was not on parking for horse carriages.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would that the Keehn people would just go away but that is unlikely. Their next move will be to take over the City Democratic Committee. Not so much because they want to do something constructive but because they are very angry people who really want to hurt all the "evil people who have conspired against them." Of course they will couch their campaign as "heroic." These people only know boffo. As though the people on the Democratic Committe represented any real threatening power. Nevertheless, they will want some vehicle to excercise their sense of control and the easist target will be the committee.

In the mean time I expect that many on the committee will probably resign. Tommy was quite extraordinary in his ability to take their (the Keehn people) continual shrill abuse but many other people will rightly say "who needs this?" Especially because the Keehniacs have, if nothing else, the boundless energy of people who part of a cult and make no mistake, the Keehn thing is a cult.

Herman Melville described this kind of thing so well in Moby Dick. Keehn was the Captain Ahab demogogue who identified the malevalent enemy (the whale/McTygue). He promised all a victorious quest if they would join him. Some of course became intoxicated by the excitement of the comeradship and the quest(the cool-aid). In the end Keehn, like Ahab, took almost everyone down with her. She encouraged her minions to work against Keyrouze and Weihe because they had endorsed Boyd and because their subsequent endorsement of Keehn lacked the appropriate fervor. Never mind other issues, for the cult there was only Valerie. So Keehn took them with her in the whirlpool.

Never under-estimate the resilience of a cult.

7:38 PM  

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