Thursday, April 10, 2008

Deep freeze

Well, at least Saratoga Springs got through the winter before the political climate on the City Council went sub-zero. The deep freeze has officially touched down between Republican Mayor Scott Johnson and Ron Kim, the city’s commissioner of fear-mongering who some loosely characterize as a Democrat.

Kim freaked out Tuesday when his department received a mayoral memo about the “Use of the Human Resource Administrator.” In short, the memo advises the four commissioners that Marcie Brydges, the aforementioned administrator, is an employee of Johnson’s department and should therefore report directly to the mayor on any personnel issues.

Naturally, the ‘shoot everything in sight first and forget about the questions’ commissioner wasn’t pleased by this missive. By his tone, one would assume an armed coup is being waged in City Hall at the moment, instead of Johnson merely exerting the authority provided to him under and rightly cited in the city charter.

“This is a power-grab by the mayor,” Kim blurted out to the Post Star. “What he’s saying is that he also wants to get involved in enforcement,”

Power grab? That’s an interesting choice of words seeing as though the mayor’s office is weakest among all commissioner seats in terms of power. In fact, the mayor’s primary function in recent years has been to appoint his or her friends to the land-use boards and chair the council meetings.

Editor’s note: In the writer’s zeal to seem somewhat balanced and not completely out to prove Ron Kim the dolt his is, there was a paragraph here alluding to Johnson’s uncanny ability to misspell his human resource director’s name. This criticism has since proven to be utterly and completely unwarranted, so the segement of the passage and it’s accompanying photo have been retracted. So, without further delay, we return to the normally scheduled post.

However, the more important issue is Kim’s rather ludicrous assertions, which always seem to overshadow even the most egregious errors made by other politicians. As usual, Kim’s limited intellect is bereft of any knowledge of recent city events; mainly who hired Brydges and how she ended up with a job in the first place.

Those who take a cursory look into the politics of yesteryear would find the ‘human resource administrator’ position was mandated by revisions to the city charter adopted by the council in 2001. For both financial and civil service reasons, the position wasn’t immediately filled.

It wasn’t until the Erin Dreyer scandal touched down in 2004 that then-Republican Mayor Michael Lenz hired Brydges to the position, which streamlined all personnel issues from all departments into one department under the mayor’s office. Lenz was even criticized by city Democrats for not filling the position earlier.

Other mayors directly involved themselves in human resource issues, namely Kim’s beloved Valerie Keehn. Remembering back to the fall, it was Keehn who involved her office and the city attorney in helping a convicted felon sue the city Public Works Department; something that obviously involved human resources’ reporting to the mayor’s office at some point.

Summing things up: it was the Dreyer scandal in the Public Safety Department that led to a Republican mayor appointing a new civil service position to oversee the four fiefdoms of City Hall for any malfeasance, among other duties commonly associated with human resources. This person was appointed by and answers to the mayor’s office. In other words, Ron Kim is a moron.

Since the departure of Keehn and DPW fixture Tom McTygue, there’s been a slight movement away from the back-biting politics of the past. It’s not to say there aren’t resentments among the city councilors, but that they haven’t roiled publically. Kim has tried in vain to shatter this tentative poise in just about everything he’s said and done in his new term. And given the roots of his partisan-driven vitriolic deputy, there’s really little doubt as to why Kim is suddenly trying to roar like a lion.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Power Grab? Didn't the PSC give his power to the Chiefs?

The Mayor after all is the City’s CEO and when the PSC states that he had the power to negotiate contracts in the past with the Police and Fire Fighters Union ... Just maybe he didn't have the authority to do so (by the City Charter). Maybe those Contracts should have been negotiated by the Mayor … less conflict of interest?

Could be the City's CEO should read the PSC his rights on being the point person on an $600,000 contract with consultants, since that too is really the CEO's role. Do we even know where that train is headed or if its still on the tracks?

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does any of this have to do with Ron Kim's requeat for an Admin. Asst. and how to fund such a position?

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should start and end every blog entry with -----In other words, Ron Kim is a moron.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Gerard listen to me or I’ll evict your mother. said...

I’ve had just about enough of this pick on Kim crap. If you people hadn’t been stupid enough to vote our beloved Val out of office we wouldn’t be having all these problems. Blaming it on McT just isn’t enough you’re all to blame you stupid peasants. Time for some collective punishment first I’ll evict your grandmothers then your mothers. No more wheelchair ramp for you grandpa. Go cry to your buddy Johnson. I’m not playing nice anymore.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a complete zoo.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Mamie said...

Ho,

You are calling someone an idiot and critizing Johnson for misspelling a name. You , yourself are making mistakes as well. Human Resources reports to the Mayor's office, not reports TWO mayor's office. None of you have gotten the human resource's last name yet! More research. Further more you claim Keehn had a convicted felon sue DPW. Tell me, who hired this felon? Oh, McTygue! Serve's him right. It was also McTygue who refused to give up the personnel fires of his DPW workers to Human Resources. This was one of the many reasons the charter change movement started. McTygue was not playing by the rules(Big Surprise) and a strong mayor was needed. Marcie, last name still to be determined is doing a fine job, despite the politics surrounding it!

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Human Resources Director RULES!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

1:47,

Interesting. See, these are the introspective comments I'd like to see more of. Ones that use and invoke a bit of thinking.

Mamie,

If you've got an inside track that proves all of us wrong, why keep it to yourself? And I really don't know what "personnel fires" you speak of. Perhaps you're thinking of his FILES?

But you're right. Anyone that would hire the afore alluded felon has some issues. From what I understand, this kid was hired as a favor, not that it makes it right. What is ultimately wrong, however, is a sitting mayor doing everything in her power to ensure the city (and its tax payers)take one on the chin for her own personal(and political) vendetta.

On a side note unrelated to either of the aforementioned posts, I'm seriously considering this suggested McTygue-Keehn moratorium. Maybe just for a few weeks. Something that an antagonist rightly said here recently was that this site was far more diversified in its past; it's something I'd like to get back to given that some feel more of a need to defile than think. And I then feel compelled to post this drivel for the sake of free speech. But, it seems folks take a real shine to the rehashing of Decision(or Disaster)2007.

...Which brings me to my next point...I'm contemplating the first-ever iSaratoga poll to sway my own predilections with this site. I've been on the fence about a number of posts recently and have really no operant policy for moderating them, other than the blatantly foul or deleterious ones; even they sneak by now and again, given the right bourbon intake.

Anyway, stay tuned. I'll need to think on this with a mid-afternoon cocktail. Any suggestions feel free to direct them toward iSaratoga's quality control specialist.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

No need for quality control. You've established very predictable rules you always follow. Women are always wrong. Democrats are always stupid. Little Scotty always gets the benefit of the doubt.
Republicans always try to save taxpayers money.

Why change now? You have a perfect blog. The rich and powerful have nothing to fear from i-Saratoga.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Mamie said...

See! We all make mistakes ,Ho. I did mean files. Anyway that is true about the refusal of turning over files. In years past I would never be on a site like this expressing my opinion in fear of retribution by the McTygue's. I don't want to say too much more than I am doing presently. These people are still hovering!

4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:52 "…This was one of the many reasons the charter change movement started. McTygue was not playing by the rules (Big Surprise) and a strong mayor was needed."

And driven by that, the two squirrels Keehn and her sidekick Ron wasted a year doin nuttin. Now, it's the Ron and Eileen sequel in "How to refuse to understand the City Charter" (yes the one that's worked for all those years and the one's these two still complain about and whisper amongst their friends up in the trees).

The Public Safety Commissioner is not the Mayor, he's/she's only the administrator of his/her department. The rest is straightforward. The Chiefs lobby for their departments and the administrator, working with the rest of the City Council, represents their Public (their constituency that elected them) and the City to do the City's business as promised by oath and allegiance.

Of course, saboteurs can make this process which has always worked give or take a little political wrangling (but isn't that what politics imply?) not run quite so simplistically smooth.

For 5:52 and all those who dream of anarchy, realize that this City did not get here on its own by accident. It certainly wasn't without the creative and imaginative types you are so inclined to see yourselves as. And if its perfection you seek, we'll all see each other in heaven while you make the functioning of this city's government and the lives of its residents a living hell.

Think back three years to all the complaining about "how nothing works, so nothing can get done" and the personal vendetta of the Xmayor against her own party colleague. And now the Commissioner runs his second term complaining about how he can't get anything done because his building discriminates and "the system is not fair".

…"This is a power-grab by the mayor," Kim blurted out..." is a bit like staring into a looking glass. Realizing that his own mayor selectively reined in her own official powers with his support, should notcome as a surprise now , that the new Mayor who promised to get to the City's business, starts out by understanding the Charter and the City Code. Who is the Lawyer here?

And for Mamie, get to work. We don’t pay you to complain and stand in the hallway looking at the CSEA announcements for another job title.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many lawyers does it take to read a City Charter?
Just one.

How many bankruptcy attorney's does it take to bankrupt a City?
Just one.

A Lawyer walks into a bar.
Bangs his knee sues the owner and demands he hire eight more bartenders.

A bankruptcy attorney and a litigator pass on the street.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

2:55,

(no response)

6:35 AM  
Blogger Gerard listen to me or I’ll evict your mother. said...

I’ve had it, when my secret police find out who you are bad mouthing my boy Ron I’m turning your power off

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Charter has worked for years? Who says? Tom McTulip? Why do we have tax increases every friggin' year? Why can't anyone agree on anything? No REC Center. Police Dept. is a sewer. Has been for 12 years or more. Can't blame Ron Kim. Can't blame Scott Johnson. How millions have been spent by McTygue on lawsuits and friends sidewalks? There's your blame.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anybody else notice our City Hall maven Mamie only post Monday thru Friday 8 to 4? Seems like it’s her little hobby to do at work .Its to bad there’s never any supervision of these overpaid chronically complaining lawsuit filing civil servants. Hey Mamie post your foolish comments on your own dime.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Gerard listen to me or I'll evict your mother said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

I don’t know if it’s a sign of the quality of recent entries on iSaratoga or that Louhgberry Lake really does have more than trace elements of mercury in it; but the bullshit posts have got to stop. And by bullshit posts, I mean the stupid bugger out there that is waging a cyber-crusade against John Tighe. Here’s a tip: start your own fucking blog and write all the tripe you want about this dude. But I’m not going to act as the vessel for your vitriolic words. Same goes with the Gerard Hawthorn and Stephanie Voigt garbage. Shit-can the attitude and post something intelligent, or don’t post anything at all.

It kills me to moderate posts and it’s something I’ve had to do quite sparingly over the past two years. But I’ve moderated close to 30 posts IN THE PAST MONTH thanks to some defamatory comments made about these guys, in addition to the ‘fag’ and ‘Jew’ bullshit that has also popped up here. Don’t post it; it’s going to get moderated. And if you do have some dirt on a private citizen, at least qualify why anyone else in this city would give two shits; even one shit for that matter.

Posting here is a privilege that can easily be revoked if a few bad apples spoil the batch. In fact, there was a quite prolific blogger from the Albany-area who didn’t allow posting at all. Reading the Albany Eye was intended for making people think, not for making hare-brained knee jerk responses, the blogger once opined. For the time being, I’ll continue to moderate these posts. But I’m seriously starting to think about the Albany Eye’s message way back when.

And by the way, if you can’t figure out the time discrepancy on posts, you really are drinking mercury.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

HA-

Albany Eye is offering you the remarkable gift of vision. I'd guess there are maybe seven characters using your blog to vent their...well, their MANY orifices. They'll always have dis-utopia so you're not depriving them of Free Speech and Free-form bile

You have too many great insights, remarkable sources, and damn fine writing to occupy your time. Shut us down and turn your pen on your next prescient post. BUT... don't get carried away- maybe one every three days would permit the rabid pack to get their much-needed paper training.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, John Tighe is running for Mayor. He is on the democratic committee with an axe to grind with former mayor Keehn. He is fair game if he wants to attack Valerie Keehn who now is a private citizen. Why continue the abuse this guy has been doing for months after the election?

5:06 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

5:06,

I have no problem with someone posting "John Tighe is running for mayor," although I've only heard such rumors through the grape vine and doubt their authenticity at this point. I have no problem with someone posting "I don't like John Tighe AS a candidate for mayor." And you're right, he is on the committee and is a semi-public figure; same with Gerard Hawthorn.

My problem is when posters are leaving missives alleging these guys are stalkers, drunks, perverts, or misanthropes of all sorts of colors. All this without stating a single ounce of proof for their logic or for reason why they're relaying such information(same goes with the David Keehn-YMCA rumor that was floated here a while back). So basically, it's childish bullshit that is propagated by a remarkably immature adult at a computer terminal around 7am most weekday mornings. And it's outright slander, that I'm not going to play third party too.

Like I said, most posters here exhibit a hint of decorum in their posts; they have for almost two years now. There's just a couple that don't get it. I'm hoping some liberal moderation will drive the message home.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Tighe is not and never will run for any political office ever. He wasn’t even that political until the Keehn fraction of the Democratic Party started their scorched earth take no prisoners style of political hate politics. Every effort has been made to bully harass or intimidate him in to resigning his position. That folks ain’t goner happen All you have done is made him laugh at your foolish attempts to discredit him. The bigger the lie the bigger the chuckle. Only statements by someone with at least some thread of credibility can be taken seriously and the keehnacs have none.

Lest we forget the Keehns and there cronies at Citizens For Good Government that started the blog campaign against anybody who stood in there way for charter reform. They than launched their cyber crusade against McT with their You Tube videos. The only time they have ever cried fowl is when their own tactics were used against them. Now they cry like a little girl tough shit you started this fight you begged for it and now you got it. So quit crying and deal with it. As long as Keehn keeps floating her name in political circles as a potential candidate she is fair game. Let the games continue.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Human Resources is the most legit dept. at city hall. That chick rules!

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this administrative assistant stuff has to do with the Commissioner acquiescing to the endless whining of a chief to promote a staffer to a higher position that will result in the same work for more money. These departments are fast becoming all feathers and no braves.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least the Human Resource's Director is not politically tied to anyone. She just comes to work and does her job without the bullshit of back stabbing and cronism.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares about this saratoga shit. get out and enjoy life. don't waste your life with some blog nonsense.nobody really cares.i for one don't. i just like to mkae fun of the losers on here.that's you H.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

11:03,

I'll again break my pledge and take your bait. I do more living in a nano-second than most people do in a lifetime. That includes brain-dead jerk-offs that post nonsense on blogs they profess as lame. Please close your eyes the next time you cross a busy highway. Cheers!

12:03 PM  

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