Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ill Communication

Scott Johnson is failing to address the real problem in City Hall. Nearly three months after taking office, he still hasn’t snipped the phone, fax and internet lines running to Ron Kim’s Public Safety Department. Were there a growing cancer on city’s government, it would be the obstinate Kim and deputy Commissioner Eileen Finneran, the only remaining vestiges of Valerie Keehn’s obstructionist mayoral administration.

Every time the power blinks in City Hall, Kim’s office is dishing out a new press release about how disaster was narrowly avoided. The most recent release –and subsequent “press conference” –came after part of the Saratoga Hotel filled with innocuous smoke. With the city amid the throngs of a significant snow storm and the power to City Hall briefly clipped, fire crews sent to the scene by the county’s 911 dispatchers had no radio contact with the police station.

“During those 19 minutes we were basically stone deaf,” the blatantly fear-mongering Kim openly panicked to the Saratogian. “There was no loss of life, thank God. It’s another example of the difficult problem we have of dealing with a police station that’s 123 years old. This is not hypothetical. This is real.”

Wait a second. Let’s back up here. The firefighters at the scene of the emergency had no contact with the dispatchers in the darkened 123-year-old police station. But they obviously had contact with the county’s dispatch that also had at least cursory radio contact with the city’s fire station. As most would assume, the fire station does indeed have a scanner, with which they would have certainly heard any desperate calls for more man power.

Even more miraculously, most of the responders at the suspected fire also had cell phones –like the police in City Hall and the firefighters on standby at the station. And if all else failed, the suspected fire was within shouting distance of the fire station. With a simple bull horn, responders could have alerted half the city of their progress at the scene.

See, this is what is called ‘redundancy’ in the emergency business and a critical component that prevents important calls from going unanswered. One would expect that the elected public safety commissioner would have a cursory understanding of this redundancy. Kim continues to paint pictures of imminent failures that will one day lead to catastrophe.

Kim’s fear mongering rightly struck the mayor as utterly ludicrous. In an attempt to dissuade the more gullible of residents from jumping off tall buildings, Johnson issued a contradictory release basically refuting every point of the public safety moron’s absurd assumptions.

“It is important to not promote public hysteria on an issue involving phone service to the Police Station, particularly with the prior media accounts regarding the conditions existing at the Station,” Johnson stated in a releases that followed Kim’s bullshit press conference. “Certainly, the sky is not falling."

Johnson’s release obviously struck a nerve with Kim, who must have been deluded into thinking public opinion was on his side. In a brazen display of his ineptitude this week –and perhaps egged on by his incompetent deputy –Kim issued a press release demanding Johnson “retract his irresponsible, inaccurate and misleading statements regarding the city’s 911 telephone system.”

Wisely, Johnson didn’t take the bait. Instead, he left Kim on his own, pissing into the wind. Remarkably, the Saratogian was there to tinkle with him.

What is a bit more astonishing about the whole affair is that a clear and present danger truly exists for the city and it doesn’t involve Kim’s borderline obsession with the police department. Response times are beginning to reach the danger zone when it comes to emergencies on the city’s growing eastern fringe.

Perhaps even more pressing during the recent and continuing economic downtrend is the level of overtime routinely being earned by the cops. Yes, the same cops that Kim will stop at nothing to give a new multi-million dollar public safety facility. Well, here’s an idea for the moonlighting bankruptcy lawyer trying his hardest to bankrupt the city: How about dropping police overtime by a quarter this year? Perhaps that cash could put a down payment on the substation you promised the firefighters last year in their contract.

But that would be reasonable. And a fellow like Ron Kim is anything but reasonable, especially when he has the equally deluded ex-deputy mayor whispering into his ear. Hopefully, the next communication ‘failure’ will be clipping the Public Safety office off City Hall’s grid for the next 20 months.

55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The abuse of overtime privileges, the failure to address illegal truck traffic through the city, the questioned diligence of required inspections of multifamily residences and commercial properties, the administration of a department long criticized for excessive spending are issues that our Commissioner faced when taking office over two years ago and promised to address.

It is becoming more apparent that this Public Safety Commissioner’s singular agenda item is to continue his dysfunctional approach to management and Council politics. “Man the torpedoes, full speed ahead” on a questionable building program that reflects little regard for a fiduciary responsibility responding singularly instead to a promise made to his department -- not his public.

The Mayor, who ran for office on a platform of returning civility to the Council’s public decorum, now needs to address this Commissioner’s growing embarrassing corrosive obsession. For starters, the Mayor as CEO should be concerned with the direction the consultants are taking for the proposed PS facility, because at this point, it may be steaming out of control -- throwing more money down the tubes.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Nobody misses McTygue. That is for sure!”

Yeah want to bet. Tell me chief what ever happened to the bullshit DEC investigation or the made up FBI probe. One sick DEC lawyer combined with a vengeful newspaper was able to bring down a icon of Saratoga. So now we have shitty streets drunken workers and very little hope for any improvement. At the same time this same this DEC lawyer has shown himself to be a serious nut job. Kim can bitch about his phones not being answered but the truth is the only time no one picks up is when the former first husband is on a rampage at the local Y.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have spouted plenty of bullshit in the past but this certainly tops all of it! I am sure you and a few of your loyalists that follow this column would be crying like baby's if you were attacked. HELP! POLICE!

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim fights by press release to a fear mongering rag {Saratogian}. He doesn’t have the balls to face Johnson person to person. I on occasion have had reasons to call 584-1800 and found there response to be mediocre at best. Big deal the phones are out now and then mostly because Kim refuses to do routine maintenance. If you truly want to live dangerously try driving down some of our potholed flooded streets. Now that’s really scary.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole policy-by-fear trick is losing its charm, thank god. 9/11 is an example of psychological bludgeoning, where one terrifying event enabled various people to profit because citizens were scared shitless. The smoke is clearing, and we're looking more closely at what is going on... especially at those who are whipping up fear-frenzies to accomplish agendas. This is happening at the local level and national level.

The sky-is-falling trick isn't working any more.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

Brilliant sarcasm.

Yes, let's disconnect the Department of Public Safety, abolish the Police Department, and fire all the firefighters.

Leave Little Scotty, the world's smallest mayor, in charge of everything. We can all run screaming through the streets while Little Scotty sucks his thumb and talk to himself:

"Just do nothing. Don't worry. The sky ins't falling. Uncle Joe says he'll take care of everything. Where's my blankie?"

5:10 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

4:00,

"I am sure you and a few of your loyalists that follow this column would be crying like baby's if you were attacked."

Pardon my French, but what the fuck does that have to do with the price of tea in China? The problem I have with comments like this is their vacuous nature. State your bitch, don't just say 'oh you'll be sorry one of these days.' Because I'd surely like a swing a refuting any criticism you'd care to tender.

5:10,

As most faithful readers know, I can be a bit round-about in my reasoning, so perhaps I wasn't clear enough here. The solution doesn't lie in cutting the police and fire department off the city; it lies in cutting KIM(and Finneran more specifically) off from the city.

Each department has a capable enough leader that should be kept in check by the Public Safety Department. That simply doesn't appear to be happening in this case because Kim is hellbent on building this castle, come hell or high water. He pledged to do it in 2006, and it appears he'll do just about anything to get it done in 2008, even if it means wasting time in his office issuing bull-shit press releases blowing proportion.

Johnson's approach to the equipment failure so far has been pragmatic. One could argue his press release Saturday was a bit off-color and he probably could have been handled Kim better with a simple phone call. He could have politely asked this jackass to stop ranting to The Saratogian, which has no problem carrying all the fear propaganda unfit for print.

I have no problem calling the mayor out for his own missteps(see: McLagan), but this isn't one of them. He seems earnest in his attempt to bring civility to City Hall and should be afforded the opportunity to lead without Kim prompting a public outcry over issues that have little to do with the aging police station.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should be obvious to all that Kim is an egocentric individual. All he wants is stuff and glory. If he were honestly concerned about public safety, and the city, he would work to enhance his department rather than trying to sabotage it for his own personal gratification. He has to prove to everyone that he is as important as he thinks he is.

Anyone who thinks that the latest issue is about phones is wrong, it's about what Kim feels is his entitlement. When the phones are fixed the little dictator will have another crisis to whine about.

Maybe he just be sent to bed without his dinner.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is some history. Look at the Y2K disaster recovery plan that everyone signed off on as sufficient. If phone contact was cut off then cell phone and alternate city works would be called to dispatch. How can you sign off on those steps as sufficient on 12/31/99 but then whine that this plan doesn't work? If those steps are proper for a true emergency, just consider these little hickups as training exercises and look for solutions. That's what disaster recovery is all about. If Kim can't handle the job then he should step aside.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Little Scotty, the world's smallest mayor”


You seem to have a real fixation on Johnson’s height. What are you some deranged school yard bully who was always looking for some little kid to push around.

You’re too old for the school yard chief, time to join the adult world. Now I know losing Val was like losing your mommy but its time to grow up junior.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Mystified Saratogian said...

Curley was a great Public Safety commisioner, too bad that whole thing went down with his assistant, now were stuck with this retard! Yay! Im sure modernising the 123 yr old police department would be a whole hell of alot cheaper, and alot more practicle than building ron kims little wet dream. Im sure its only a matter of time before we see funding for his fantasy piggybacked on the back of bills for other crap, or no named numbered propositions comming through the system mctygue style. All we need is a cheap ass volenteer style fire station and an upgrade Ron. Seriously hire an electrical contractor and just fix your shit and quit whining, its getting old. Oh and for the record Scott Johnson is a dickhole too! he needs to stop bailing people out, the retard! I hate all the politicians in this town equally, maybe someone with half a brain will run in the next election instead of a bunch of spoiled little pricks on a power trip ;).

P.S.
Horatio has nice boobies!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

5:29,

Thanks! I'm quite fond of them.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon poster 12:28 PM: “Look at the Y2K disaster recovery plan that everyone signed off on as sufficient.”

In 1998, the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Municipal Affairs issued a statement to local governments stating that there would be no guarantee that all systems would be Y2K compliant by December 31, 1999, and that all governments should have back-up contingency plans to address for possible disruption of services and increased demand for services.

Since 2000, this City has had several seasonal storm related city power outages, one resulting in a City Hall generator failure. Today, we have department phone service line interruptions. The 2006 power outages at intersections should have been a wake-up call. During those winter storms, most intersections and roadways were devoid of emergency public safety personnel. Meanwhile, the power outage that lasted as many as two days for some sections of this City, intersections were self-controlled by the public.

So, what is today’s back-up plan -- another Press Conference?

4:07 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

Today's Post Star

"LAKE GEORGE -- Lake George officials are talking about performing a study on dissolving the village and consolidating all municipal services with the town of Lake George."

Maybe the Saratoga Springs should do the same thing and join with the County.
The county can plow the streets and I am sure the sheriffs will do just as good of a job as our boys in blue.
What the hell, we are probably going to end up giving up our water rights by joining the county system. We might just as well go the whole nine yards and disband the city government entirely.

I wonder how much money that would save us?

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the 3/7 edition of the Times-Union:

"On Tuesday, however, the city's risk and safety manager, Marilyn Rivers, reported to the council that the whole phone system had gone down -- "everything" -- she said."

Let's hypothesize that I live in the City of Saratoga Springs, and during that 19 minutes, I have the terrible misfortune of having a house fire. I pick up the phone, dial 911, and what would have happened? A busy signal? Endless ringing?

19 minutes is quite a long time when your house is on fire, and presumably I don't have the time to root around in a phone book to find another number to call.

Since I'm paying city property taxes for police and fire protection, and then I'm paying surcharges on my monthly phone bill to pay for 911 service, don't I have a right to expect that the 911 system will work when I need it? If it doesn't work, who is to blame?

You seem to imply that the existing infrastructure is good enough - that confabulated 911redundancy is good enough, the old police station is good enough, etc., etc.

Is it possible that those who disagree with this satisfaction with minimum adequacy somehow have a valid point that the 911 system should work, all the time? That having a police station with separate locker rooms for female officers is a good idea, not to mention an employment rights issue? That having a police station where crime victims don't need to be interviewed on a bench right inside the front door?

You make it sound as if somehow all these points of view are frivolous or invalid on their face, when I would argue that you haven't engaged in some attempt to validate your position with any facts.

In short, you complain a lot, but offer no constructive ideas or potential solutions. You may feel that you don't need to, in your self-appointed role as mere critic of all things Saratogian (both the proper noun and adjectivial sense), but that's just not good enough.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to think of Horatio Alger having "boobies."
Horatio Alger is a pen name, named after Horatio Alger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Alger,_Jr.#_note-huber
What is even more amusing is that he was a man accused of molesting young men. "In 1866,[1] after the Brewster incident, Alger moved to New York City, which proved to be a turning point in his career. He was immediately drawn into the world of impoverished young bootblacks, newspaper boys, and peddlers. He spent much time with young men and often ate his meals and slept at the Newsboys' Lodging House. He also invited boys to his small apartment in a boarding house. Despite this familiarity with young men, it appears that he was never again accused of sexual molestation. Perhaps he reformed; perhaps he was simply never caught." Yes, Boobies indeed.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saratoga Today's March 7th issue http://www.saratogatodayonline.com/content/view/796/1/-

"It’s important to inform the public,” Kim said. “We are an open government and people need to know what’s going on.”

Can someone please explain Open Government to this Commissioner?

http://www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/openlaw.html

11:08 AM  
Blogger BlueDog said...

5:29
Curley was a great Public Safety commisioner, too bad that whole thing went down with his assistant.

You meant: Too bad his assistant went down ON that whole thing.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:14 -

You've got it all wrong. "Little Scotty, the world's smallest mayor" isn't about his height. It's about his pea-sized brain!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:53 "...isn't about his height. It's about his pea-sized brain!"

Whew! Thanks for straightening out that misunderstanding.

Now maybe you can shake that acorn in your skull and come up with something more intelligent to consider than the endless idiotic childish arguments you seem to enjoy.

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:47 "...Is it possible that those who disagree with this satisfaction with minimum adequacy somehow have a valid point that the 911 system should work, all the time? That having a police station with separate locker rooms for female officers is a good idea, not to mention an employment rights issue? That having a police station where crime victims don't need to be interviewed on a bench right inside the front door?"

 No one is suggesting minimum adequacy.
 The emergency telecommunications systems should be working at all times.
 Required user accommodations that are now being effected are more than reasonable and acceptable.
 The bench? – I can’t take the bench anymore either.

Listen poster, the police station is crowded through the efforts of its own mismanagement. The 100 code violations were incurred by their own haphazard renovations and disregard for code compliant construction and modifications. The very costly “modifications” that are finally being addressed after sitting idly for two years of whining, cost the city taxpayer $10,000 and $200,000 in preventable fines.

The bench … the Bench? Move that damn bench behind the doors next to Investigations, or move it upstairs into the Commissioner’s conference space. That red herring had become the sorry poster child for too many luckless politicians to suggest this facility’s inadequacy. The unmanned “work station” desk that was recently placed in the hallway outside Investigations (one can only assume to prevent our bench from being there) is -- “another” safety violation!

There have been several well thought out proposals to accommodate the overcrowded conditions, including renovating present space, adding and renovating existing space that is utilized by Public Works and adding new additional construction that would accommodate the “self-sustaining” growth required of this department – yet, all have been ignored.

There is no argument that Public Safety work is vital. Is the Department run efficiently? Has it been permitted to grow larger than required? Can the tax paying residents afford not to be concerned with skyrocketing expenses? The continued (and unnecessary) empire building concept within our PS department has to be challenged before the City faces even greater financial hurdles than the ones it faces today.

The residents of this City deserve reasonable, affordable and effectively managed efficient services from all our city departments. This imperious “career staking mission” is misdirected and was avoidable. The Council members can work together or individuals can choose to complain and accomplish little, as we witnessed for two years.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“that 19 minutes, I have the terrible misfortune of having a house fire. I pick up the phone, dial 911, and what would have happened? A busy signal? Endless ringing”
The odds of that happening are about as much as your home being hit by a tornado.
What you should really be afraid of is a fire that occurs during a major snow ice or wind storm.

First your own phone might fail or the cell phone towers might fail and there is nothing the city can do about that.

Second given the dismal job the new DPW has been doing you would be lucky if SSFD trucks would be able to even to get to your house. One only has to look at the impassable secondary roads during the last serious of small snow storms to see this is a real possibility. Think what would happen if we have a truly large storm. The only thing that saved us from catastrophe this time is the weather broke thank God.

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“You've got it all wrong. "Little Scotty, the world's smallest mayor" isn't about his height. It's about his pea-sized brain!”

Small brain look in the fucking mirror chief.


Scotty comes from public housing to winning a scholarship to attend college. After law school he becomes one of the most successful attorneys in the state. Wealthy and retired at age fifty he defeats psychopathic she-devil to save is hometown. All of this while donating his salary to a GED program in the same public housing complex he started out in.

Yeah really small brain.

Now let’s look at you. Proud graduate of what eighth grade, Finds a way to make a living on government payroll. Put’s other family members on government payroll. Works as mouth piece and toadie for Keehn administration. Now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from seeing his beloved Keehn get trashed at the polls.

Get over it chief, do you job for a change before you call others stupid check your own IQ. Try to add something constructive to the city. You cry like a baby. Scott might be short but he’s twice the man you’ll ever be.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Curley was a great Public Safety commisioner,"

I agree he and McTygue are looking bettere in retrospect everyday.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know the answer (living where homes are affordable in Wilton) but when you dial 911 where does the call go? In the country it use to be that that some go to the State Police and some go to the Sheriff. I think there is a movement to move everyone over the Sheriff. I know from listening to the scanner that all of the Saratoga Springs EMS calls and most of the fire department calls done by the sheriff's office to a city dispatcher who then assigns it to the proper station. So on the fire and EMS side it is the county that answers most of the calls.

I also know that the county collects some of that 911 surcharge to cover their costs.

So maybe someone can explain - was the police station down or the entire 911 system for the city?

Does the city fire dispatcher work at the police station or at the fire station?

What is the need for the police station dispatcher to talk the fire department?

I have no doubt that the system failed but the question is what failed? The county was working - the county can talk to the fire department. The police station could have called to the county to check on the fire department. The fire department could call for assistance from all the other fire departments in the county...

is the sky really falling?

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:43 -

Have you ever written anything without using the word "f--king"?

Maybe you should sign up for a GED prgram that might expand your vocabulary.

By the way, you don't have to sign up for Little Scotty's program. That one's just a stupid political stunt designed to give Scotty a tax deduction while claiming credit for funding an educational program that's already available for free to anyone who wants it.

Scotty's stunt has nothing to do with saving "is [sic] hometown." It's just another Republican trick to try to fool ordinary working families.

Scotty didn't learn Republican dirty tricks in the no-name law school he attended. It's more likely he got them from Uncle Joe and Uncle Jasper, the octagenarians who run the Geriatric Old men's Party (GOP).

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:20 am -

All 911 calls made from within the City of Saratoga Springs go to the Police Department. Police and Fire Dispatchers are located in the Police Station. The 911 call is answered and if a Police matter, a car is dispatched. If it's a fire call, the dispatcher notifies the fire stations via tones and announces the call. If the call is a medical emergency, the call is tranfered to the County Sheriffs office, the call is prioritized, and the ambulance is dispatched. The call is then transfered back to the first dispatcher, and then the fire department is dispatched. Sound crazy? That's the way it works. So if there is a failure in City Hall, all City residents are effected. Cellular 911 go to Co. Sheriff or NYSP.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: 5:43 is truly an ass wipe! He is that same drunk from American Legion hall who never finished high school. He lives on disability and loves to blame everything on Val Keehn and more recent, Skip Scirroco. I do believe though, Scott Johnson is doing a fine job and does not follow the lead of his republican bosses. Although I am a democrat who voted for Val Keehn, I would certainly vote for Scott because of how he has done so far. More importantly he will be a better choice than any of these dipshits such as Hanksters or Boyd's will offer us.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Have you ever written anything without using the word "f--king"?”

Yes I have thank you fucking much

So let me get this straight all republicans are evil, Val was a great Mayor. She somehow helped the working class?

How’s that? She certainly helped the Benton’s and a few of her developer friends {Lewisky who donated to her campaign}. She also helped the Republican gain control of the City Council. She brought new meaning to the word patronage. So you tell me about Republican dirty tricks. How about Val’s NIXUM fueled gutter politics. She wrote the book on dirty politics.

Scotty donates his salary to charity and you call it a stunt. This reminds me of the swift boating of John Kerry. You take something noble {Viet-Nam service} and somehow twist it against them. In 2004 it was Republicans and now it’s so called Democrats. You give the word Democrat a bad name.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“It's just another Republican trick to try to fool ordinary working families.”

Republican trick? I thought it was Val Keehn’s trick to fool ordinary working families.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘I do believe though, Scott Johnson is doing a fine job”

Little to late to kiss ass now chief, Scott knows what a piece of useless dead wood you are at the terrace.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You call yourself a Democrat. The Mayor does a noble thing and you ridicule him for it. The School District offered GED courses are offered on Old Gick Road. Many low income residents do not have the necessary means of transportation to attend. There is no free transportation and it is not on a bus route. They also have very limited hours. Living in ivory towers limits ones ability to understand the plight of the working poor, I would suggest before you criticize you do your research and become part of the solution. Then maybe you can call yourself a Democrat.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:19 - You say Little Scotty is "doing a fine job"? You've got to be kidding!

He obviously hasn't even read the City Charter yet. He appointed the evil witch of the west as Deputy Mayor, following the age old Republican script of giving City jobs to relatives of Republican old-timers. He's ignored the obligation to update the City's master plan. He's doing nothing about a new water supply, while hoping against hope that Republican pals in the federal, state, or county government will somehow solve the problem (even though it should be obvious that Republicans have already lost their grip on political power (bye bye, Pataki; bye bye, Sweeney) or are about to (have a nice trip, Bush, Bruno, and Jasper).

His solution to the City's crumbling infrastructure is to claim that the "Sky isn't falling" and hope people don't notice that when you call City Hall no one answers (except once in awhile when his sis-in-law, who happens to be the operator for the City's 1920's style switchboard, answers after many ringy dingys).

His approach to guiding the City's economic growth is nothing more than letting real estate developers do whatever they want and staying out of their way. Since he took office, the most attention he's received was for intervening in a criminal prosecution to bail out a Republican developer pal.

His political leadership (which he apparently thought he could get away with behind the scenes) pushes another son of the GOP establishment for City Court judge while intimidating a sitting judge into backing away from a primary challenge and even extracting from him a ridiculous quote to the effect that bowing to the will of Republican bosses is part of "the democratic process."

He was hoping Uncle Joe and Uncle Jasper were going to carry him through an uneventful 2 years, but now that they're on their way out, he's helpless. We're going to have 2 years with a crybaby little mayor who doesn't have a clue about governing Saratoga Springs. There's a big difference between doing a good job and doing nothing, but Little Scott can't seem to figure out what it is.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

7:12,

This is not an incumbent mayor; this is a new administration. When Keehn took office in 2005, I personally provided her a years' worth of leeway, arguably even more, before launching my first criticism of her leadership(or utter lack thereof). Even the strongest of leaders can't turn the tide of economic growth with only 50 days in office. Arguably, the part-time mayor can't do this at all.

The important part of Johnson's term will come when he starts filling vacancies in the city's land-use boards and when the happy-go-lucky demeanor in the City Council chambers goes south. These are inevitabilities of this city's government and the ones where Johnson will show his true colors. So far, he hasn't done anything that Keehn or Boyd wouldn't have done, save for the McLagan bail out.

Where I staunchly disagree with you is your point about the "crumbling infrastructure." Unlike Kim's "fix it now" demands, Johnson appears to be taking a pragmatic approach to repairs, fixing the big problem instead of a much more costly patch-work solution to smaller problems.

Not to mention, you must not remember the $4.5 million the city council allocated for capital projects? Well among them is more than $300,000 worth of "infrastructure" improvements that includes, among many other things, upgrades to City Hall's phone system AND the police radio communication system. Want to guess the ONLY commissioner to vote AGAINST this funding? Well here's a hint, it wasn't Johnson, or the one reasonable Democrat on the council(Franck).

No, the sky isn't falling. What is falling (and rapidly I might add) is any ounce of credibility Ron Kim ever had as a Public Safety commissioner. Its clear now more than ever that Frank Dudla was the only thing keeping Kim's ass out of trouble. Now he's got Keehn's deputy driving the office straight for the same political disaster she created in the mayor's office for two unfortunate years. The so-called "Public Safety" office continues to be used as a political football, as it has for most of this century. It's most significant duty in keeping fire and police budgets in check has been perpetually shirked.

12:31,

Great insight about the 911 dispatching process. Thanks for the post. I'm curious about the redundancy of the system, in that if the city's 911 dispatch is down, do calls automatically get rerouted to the state police or county 911 operators.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THis government is the problem! It's not the players! Bring in a strong Mayor concept and the city will be in a much better working condition.

BREAKING NEWS!

The democratic committee has come up with a new candidate for Mayor! The latest disaster goes by the name of John Tighe! The new patsy being put forth is sure to be even worse than their last two smoes. Voter Beware!

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: C'mon, try a little harder. With your 7:51 comments, you didn't even try to camouflage your pro-Republican sympathies.

As the saying goes, "everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts." You were full of baloney when you said you gave Mayor Keehn more than a year of "leeway" before criticizing her leadership.

Here's a sample from your own archives:

July 5, 2006 (a little more than 6 months into Keehn's term) - you speculated that Tom McTygue would run against her because - in your words - she "arbitrarily snubbed" Billy McTygue by refusing to re-appoint him to another term on the planning board.

August 8, 2006 (a little more than 7 months into Keehn's term) - you rapped her for not citing Bruce Levinsky for the decrepit condition of the Rip Van Dam Hotel - even though code enforcement isn't the Mayor's job in our benighted form of government.

September 19, 2006 (8-1/2 months into Keehn's term) - you again critiqued her for refusing to make nice with "the brothers McTygue."

December 24, 2006 (finally approaching, but not yet, a year into her term) - you accused her of "railroading through the referendum to change the city government," which she did support, but which, in fact, was led by a bipartisan citizens' group.

Another fact you got wrong was the claim that Little Scott isn't the incumbent mayor. Last time I checked, he was elected last November and took office on New Years Day. Unfortunately, he's the only incumbent we've got.

And yes, you're entitled to your opinion that Frank Dudla was responsible for keeping the Public Safety Dept. running, but most people think there was a better way of doing it than Frank's daily practice of hanging around the Elks club hoisting a few with the boys.

By the way, looking back at your archives was a reminder that you used to comment on a much broader range of subjects. Lately, you seem to have gotten hung up on the effort to save the Republicans' sinking ship.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

New government is the way we should go! Absolutely. Especially when people on this blog actually think we would be better served with McTygue and Tom Curley. How unethical must we be. Ron Kim is at least honest and Skip is more trustworthy than McTygue.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re-elect Johnson! He is everything he said he is. Valerie Keehn was a good choice but Scott is doing what he promised and that's good enough for me.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:31

Nice job - thank you for your comments and answering my questions.

H.A. - I am not sure about redudancy at the city level but I did read in the paper that the county system was setting up redudancy with Washington and Warren Counties - this would also help if one of the 911 centers got overwhelmed... You have to give credits to the various Sheriffs for that plan. Also as I am writing this, I am listening to the scanner - they are plotting a cell phone caller using GIS - very impressive - the dispatchers (at all levels) do work very hard at times...

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:12 "Ron Kim is at least honest"
…Maybe to himself, but not to his public. Read the City Code (he hasn't).

And the City is fine. Whiners like yourself bellyaching about a rug when your benefits are met is what's wrong with the permanent civil servant population that feeds off of those who have to listen to the likes of you -- and pay their City taxes.

Too much rain this winter? Blame the form of government.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

Let's all get along, shall we! The republican advantage is 3-2 now but who really knows what Franck is. He certainly isn't a team player. McTygue still pulls his strings. Skip and Scott will be just fine! It still goes back to the form of government. With Johnson as a strong Mayor, we would be in great shape!

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:06 "The republican advantage is 3-2 now but who really knows what Franck is."

Are you aware that your "politics" get in the way of rational thinking?
It's exactly that reasoning that feeds the complaints you have authored.

I want independent thinking that responds to the resident not to a party that can be directed or misdirected by blockheads. Don’t sell me on the politics of party for they all have histories of failures. I’ll support the candidate or the Council member that is responsive to his/her Public and that defends their position working cooperatively within our present system. Disappoint me – it only lasts two years. Some Council members may simply enjoy doing a good job. As for Accounts, Franck has yet to disappoint me. The new guys are still on their honeymoon taking control of and managing their departments.

And as for your complaints, get to work and enjoy being busy.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

SaratogaDem...er...9:55,

I was going to justify your ludicrous assertions with a chapter-and-verse rebuttal...then I looked up your first example, a Fourth of July spoof piece that you obviously never read in its entirety. Never once did I say McTygue would "run" against Keehn. I suggested McTygue would have to defeat Keehn in a bare-knuckles boxing match before facing David Bronner. I won't bother with the others. You can go back and read them in their entirety and see how foolish your comments are.

And while you're looking at my archives, do point out all those entries lauding Joe Bruno, John Sweeney, George Pataki and every other Republican of their ilk; you know, the kind that I clearly congratulate them with my "pro-Republican sympathies." Point them out. Maybe link to them. Copy them verbatim.

But you won't. That's because such entries simply don't exist. I've explained this to you time and time again, I sympathize with NO politician. Some I criticize more than others, simply because they are more deserving of such criticism; case in point your fallen matriarch Keehn. She was incompetent in her ability to complete even the modest task of running a part-time mayor's office, and I was more than willing to point that out. It wasn't until her second state of the city address, when she displayed her unfitness for the job, that I lodged my most vociferous complaints against her.

Even if I were to buy the tripe you're trying to spoon out -in that I started criticizing Keehn's administration six months after she took office -it is at least twice as much time as you seem to be giving the so-called "incumbent mayor." Under that same logic, I suppose you probably want to run Gov. Eliot Spitzer out of office with his head lodged on a pike, right? Because the governor hasn't correct all the ills conceived under the Pataki administration in one year let alone three months, he should be chase out, right? Oh but wait. He's a Democrat and you can't criticize him.

See, your problem is that you're blinded by partisan politics and lack the ability to see through the smog piping from the dishonest and disingenuous splinter of the party you support("led by a bipartisan citizens' group" my ass). At the very least, I can be critical of both parties. It's just when I'm critical of the fetid remains of your splinter now rotting in the index finger of city hall, you get your bowels in an uproar.

In summation, you're a flatulent buthead. I frankly shutter to ponder the assumptions rational people jump to after reading your ill-thought out diatribes on the Times Union Web site, perhaps equating them with the voice of the city Democrats. This city's political forum would be far better served were you to remove your hyper-partisan attitude from the mix.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

McTygue was the one with the new rug installation. This has nothing to do with my position there. Ron Kim is an honest and noble man. You can't possibly say that about McTygue. Most of these problems we have in our streets are created by McTygue and his lack of action. Potholes he never fixed that were patched and patched again. Too much money was spent elsewhere such as contributors roads and walkways.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing McTygue should run for is in the other direction. Spitzer and soon his uncle Joe will all be on the chopping block. These investigations on these politicians is just scratching the surface. It's about time!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: Glad to see that you "shutter to ponder the assumptions rational people jump to." Once you open the shutters maybe you'll see the light.

Meanwhile, informed readers shudder (it means "tremble") with dismay at your biased coverage of city politics. The Republican establishment has nothing to fear from "i-Saratoga."

Where did you learn to call an opponent "a flatulent butthead"? Was it in pre-school or kindergarten? Or are you just trying to appeal to younger readers? Guess what, HO? They're not reading this blog. Since you became fixated on defending Republicans, the only readers you have left are political junkies like me.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Mystified Saratogian said...

9:54,
"It's interesting to think of Horatio Alger having "boobies."
Horatio Alger is a pen name"

Its intresting to think, that you think, all of us are as stupid to think, someone as bright as Horatio would post what she posts using her real name. Seriously, you may also want to do a little more research into Horatio Alger Jr. before you knock the man. Her pen name is more than fitting, the orgional horatio algers acomplishments were so great there is an association named after him.
http://www.horatioalger.org/aboutus.cfm

So it is with no suprise our Horatio chose that Pen name.

So my comment about Horatios boobies.. was in refrence to Horatios amazing tits as i knew full well it was a pen name that a female author is using.

I figured id just slam you over the head with it since aparently the pea size organ in your head you often mistake for a brain couldnt wrap itself around a little thing called subtlety!

DUMBASS! :D

P.S.

OMG this shit with spitzer is making for the best TV EVER!!!! how awsome would it be if some of our politicians were on that client list!

5:47 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

SaratogaDem,

"I learned it from watching you, dad!! I learned it from watching you!!" I'll bother with more of a comeback when you bother to grow braincell and post a though grounded in reality.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:10 “Ron Kim is an honest and noble man. You can't possibly say that about McTygue.”

No one is comparing the two men in your argument.

There is little question in the minds of those that know him, that Mr. Kim has a high personal sense of propriety, is guided by his own noble compass, performs his duties as he so believes and is a good father and family man.

That said, he works for a Public who he has disregarded to be little less than important, he abrogated his duties to manage a department announcing quite early that his management would be left to his Chiefs and has taken the path of destruction by suggesting that his building comes first. Additionally he has surrounded himself with people who have little to lose and initially tied his horse to a wagon that was driverless.

Mr. Kim is a decent man, although he has not been the Commissioner he promised to be. His frustrated behavior and antics at times can be understood, yet not correcting that approach can not.

McTygue is no longer in office. Your beef with a rug is like picking nits on a dog. That man made his job his life. Like it or not, that likely won’t happen again. There are many fine examples of the effective and efficient workings of that department over his thirty years. Looking for skeletons? You can find them in any department, in any job. For your satisfaction, realize that your personal tormentor is no longer in the building.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Milhouse said...

This Spitzer stuff is a lot of fun, but the scary thing is that Joey B. is going to be a breath away from being governor. When Paterson moves up, apparently Senate president becomes Lt. Gov! Maybe that's actually a good thing though -- LG is a much less powerful position than Senate president.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once the fire department responds to a call there is no left in station to answer a call. does any one realize that there are no dispatchers at the F.D., For a very minimal cost of under $500.00 the dispatching issue could have been resolved and dispatchers kept at the F.D. instead of making a police department monopoly for little napoleon that continuosly delays ems and fire response times????

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the City now have to put its own tax-supported policemen at the NYS Racino? Is this property within the City's legal jurisdiction, since we were told the City has no say in its oversight?


NYRA outsources security, why not the Racino?

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear Spitzer is going to run for city court judge in saratoga. I would vote for him ahead of these other Democrat ass lickers they have endorsed!

4:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:22 You must be talking about Jeffrey Wait. He would really be a big mistake for this city. Being Judge means being honest as well as fair which he is neither.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the sewer and water rate increase, added with the plundering of the water fund says a lot about the efficiency of the mctygues.

9:40 AM  

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