Thursday, August 07, 2008

Détente?

His gale force bluster reduced to a mild evening breeze, Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim has decided to try a revolutionary tact in local government: He’s considering a compromise. Yes folks, as unlikely as it sounds, the Spa City’s “top cop” has decided to extend an olive branch to the mayor and council he’s worked so hard to ostracize these past eight months or so. In a ground-breaking move, Kim sent a letter to Mayor Scott Johnson requesting they sit down and create a plan to replace the aging police station off Lake Avenue.

Of course, most political pundits would call interdepartmental communications the hallmark of functional government, not some new fangled tact to get things done in a rational way. But this is Saratoga Springs and Ron Kim is…well…Ron Kim. And communication on the most primal level generally doesn’t come easy for him. Ordinarily, he’d fire out five or six news releases to all the major media outlets saying something about the “Nixonian tactics” being used by whatever agency or individual he views as the opposition. So any cordial contact requesting a sit-down discussion is a new and most welcome direction for Kim to be heading.

Incidentally, what exactly makes a bankruptcy attorney moonlighting as a part-time commissioner the city’s so-called top cop? This is a question the cliché-happy copy editors of the Times Union should answer for the Saratoga populous in 500 words or less. To imply Kim has anything to do with the enforcement arm of the city’s Public Safety branch is a frightening prospect indeed.

Fear not, political pessimists and partisan anarchists. This isn’t necessarily a full-blown détente sweeping its way through City Hall. It’s simply the invitation to open the channels of communication, which certainly doesn’t imply they’ll be open once both sides sit down to the table. Take a fellow like Khrushchev for instance. History tells us merely sitting down at the table isn’t necessarily the full solution to what ails you, especially if one side whips off their shoe and starts furiously banging it on the aforementioned table. However, it’s a start, and one Kim should be commended for if he can follow through.

It should be noted that the public safety commissioner really has little other choice than to open up a dialogue about the police station. All of his other tactics have either failed or backfired, leaving him with little more than a sheepish grin and a shrug of the shoulders. First, there was the effort to politicize the whole issue last fall, when the facility was estimated to cost $17 million. That failed, but he somehow gained re-election. At the same time, there was a concerted effort to let the station crumble into the ground and then show how the facility proved a hardship for female cops. The result was a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, a mere pittance what the actual fix ended up costing.

Along the same lines, Kim complained last year the police were spending thousands of dollars in overtime because the state Department of Corrections wouldn’t allow them to lock the archaic jail cells. The cells now have new locks, installed at a cost of $7,000. Does anyone care to guess how much the police overtime ran before the cells were fixed? Lastly, there was the recent debacle when Kim insisted the city switch its bond for the recreation facility to fund the new police station; a dog-and-pony show he followed with the notoriously touring “failure-ometer” this summer. As it turns out, switching the bond would cost roughly 11 percent of the $8 million the city council allocated for the station.

So there’s not much for Kim to fall back on at this point, other than his own sword; a blade forged in the fires of his own political incompetence. Word is he’s ready to discuss alternate plans of funding, such as the failed lease-buyback concept thrown around last year. What should be discussed is how to reduce the cost of the building to the $8 million that was budgeted. Perhaps this discussion can include new and interesting ideas for the old police station that don’t include a costly expansion of government offices into it.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After purposely ignoring the impending financial winds for eighteen months, knowing that the economic market’s engine had already crested the hill and was going down all the while the caboose was still climbing, this commissioner could not approach his department’s space needs in a tax responsible and facility efficient manner. Only now, does he publicly state that the city should focus on his project because we are now entering a "tough economy".

The orchestrated planning was flawed from the beginning. The optimum size of the police force was never a consideration. A biased blue man group committee has always scorned the efficiency of rehabilitating and adding to the existing public building.

As an administrator, this commissioner politicized the need for additional space by holding a community hostage to what can only be described as weak and costly public tirades. His edge in January of 2006, was deceitfully veiled and today for the most part is lost. Having once proclaimed to think outside the box, today he can be found sitting in one. His victims include his Department, his fellow Council and the residents of this City.

So I agree Horatio, let the consultant’s take a closer look at the present facility, its staffing requirements and the reality that this City grows at only 1% per year within 16 square miles of buidable land and roadway and may not require its police department staff to simply double in size.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't need no stinkin' police station! There are locations all over the city for police to work out of as sub-stations. Some of these were offered free of charge! Detectives espexially don't need to be at the station!
"GIT 'ER DONE!"

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Kim is finding that getting anything done on the City Council is next to impossible with a low life like John Franck in office.

When Franck was elected in 2005, he said he grew up in Albany and later moved to Saratoga Springs. Now he says he's a lifelong resident of the city.

It's not clear whether Franck was lying then or lying now, but one thing is perfectly clear - JOHN FRANCK IS A LIAR.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

4:15,

Allow me to explain the political system for you. See, you have Democrats and Republicans. In Saratoga Springs, there are five members of the City Council. That means one party will almost always be in the majority.

This year, it happens to be the Republicans, which means if Ron Kim wants to get "anything done on the City Council" he'll have to do a little cow toeing to the GOP, NOT JOHN FRANCK, who really has no power to affect change in this situation with the station unless Ron Kim somehow convinces two of three Republicans to vote in his favor(bonding needs a supermajority). Perhaps you should look into it before you post next time.

Last year, had Kim realized his party had a supermajority(with Matt McCabe often leaning toward the Democratic cause), he could have more easily worked within his party. But because he embraced the politics of destruction now know as the so-called "Democrats For Change" movement, he got nothing done. Like it or leave it.

But assuming by your asinine statement above, you'll probably leave it.

5:19 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

Honestly, we should just put a new police station in the center of the Joe Bruno Roundabout that is soon to be constructed on the corner of Broadway and Lake / Church and get it over with.

As an olive branch to the rec. dept,; a skating rink will be placed on the roof of the new station, next to the Hooters booth on restaurant row.

The key to getting funding for the construction of the "police-about" will be 4 strategically placed billboards - it is unconfirmed but sources say that disney saratoga is looking at one of them on a year round basis. no comment at this time from turning stone...

How come i can solve all these problems but still be about 3-for-50 at the track?

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:15 - "a lifelong resident" simply means "long standing" like … "continuing for a long time".

We've all adopted communities as own, sometimes simply through birthright and then again through having spent the greater portion of one’s adult life raising families, contributing hard work, investment and pride. Have you considered your contributions lately?

Both elected Commissioners you reference arrived here at some point – one willing to work with the community and its City Council and the other unwilling.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the police force should storm the Saratogian building during the Travers Race. They can occupy the building and taser anyone who objects. Then have Ron Kim start Eminent Domain procedings.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last council with McCabe: McCabe would never spend a nickel! McTygue was a big Republican! Franck was riding on McTygue's coat tail! Three Strikes and yer' out!
McTygue dumped illegally out on Weibel ave. McTygue let Roohan also dump on Weibel ave. Probably Bonacio did too!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to see a cogent explanation of why we need a new police station. It's not like Saratoga has a terrible crime problem that will be solved by this. The only argument seems to be that the police don't like their current facilities. Well, why not find another police force that is willing to work there while making $80K per year? Or, maybe we could just make them all feel better by giving them raises in exchange for dropping their complaints. It would be a lot cheaper.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

You're the one who obviously doesn't get it. John Franck is no more a Democrat than you are. He lies about everything, including his political allegiance.

Speaking of "asinine" statements, your comments about "cow toeing" and "affect change" are at the top of the list. Today, you're filling your blog with even more crappy writing than usual.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kowtow, not cow toe
effect change, not affect
I love this blog, but sheesh!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the hockey rink is shut down (losing $150 an hour in rental, which runs up to $1500 a day in the summer). That rat infested place is falling down. If the rec department can't run that building, how are they going to run an additional building. Without a new rec staff a new building will only throwing good money after bad.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

6:02,

And what makes Ron Kim a Democrat? That he registered in the party after winning election? Or was it that he was a card-carrying Republican and member of the committee who got chucked on his ear? Pulease. Do yourself a favor and stick to picking out my early-morning bleary-eyed errors; It's a better allocation of time for your crappy self, because politics is obviously not one of the tricks in your bag.

Oh...and incidentally...when did you get a look at my voter registration card? I think you'd be surprised if you actually did. I tell you what. Send me your address and I'll mail you a copy for shits and grins.

6:14,

There's a direct correlation between grammatic errors and the time of day I post. While I never profess to be perfect, sleep deprivation sometimes takes its toll.

6:37,

It was always a personal curiosity of mine. As far as I know, Saratoga Springs is the only rink in the Greater Capital Region that shuts down for THE ENTIRE SUMMER. It's also the only one powered almost exclusively by the landfill. Is Linda Terricola reading out there? What's the deal out there?

I sense a blog entry...

11:30,

Exactly my point. Here, here.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

Horatio Alger, Jr., always was and always will be a small-town Republican who loved to write about poor boys who worked hard and managed to become middle class self-satisfied low brows. Isn't that why you chose the name as your pseudonym for this blog?

If you're not a small-town, small-minded Republican, why don't you pick a new nom de plume?

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes.

The Keehn crazies are up early today. A special note to 9:33....you're a moron. You REALLY need to be medicated.

9:35 AM  
Blogger shotinthedark said...

"Détente?"

Russia has just invaded a neighboring independent country.

Our illustrious President while enjoying the Olympics is holding his dick in his hand trying to get Putin to back off.

Of course, it's pretty hard for Bush to ask another world leader to stop aggression when he himself needlessly and without warrant has invaded another country himself.

In the meantime, the country that Russia has invaded has an oil pipeline running through it about 50 miles from the fighting which supplies a million or so barrels a day to tankers in the Mediterranean.
.
What a great position this sad excuse for a President has put us all in.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Huck Finn said...

Let's get some data before we build a new anything. I keep saying this. What kind of police force does Saratoga need before we build a new police station to house it? The highest paid people in Saratoga are cops and fire fighters, fine. But come on...surely we can do more with less.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Warren St. Hooker #43 said...

Just build the stupid thing! If we don't pay taxes on that it will be something else! They raised our taxes almost every year for the past 15 anyway!

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will make you laugh. Or cry. Just found ths brand new post, online:

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There we have it. Any doubters about what we're dealing with now?

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warren St. Hooker #43 said...
“Do you think a life coach can help me?”

Well a life coach certainly didn’t help you. How much did Val charge you to wash your brain and write this dribble or were just born a little touched?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This all comes down to the simple fact Ron Kim is a dick if he hadn’t been such an egomanical asshole Uncle Joe would have been dropping him off a check for his new palace instead of for Johnson’s Civic Center. But in typical Keehnac fashion real results mean nothing. They just want to bitch and moan like a bunch of little school girls blaming all the failures in their miserable existence on their personal bogeyman.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Crazy Gerard H. said...

I apologize for using the 'hooker #43' name in the previous posts.

It's the liquor and crack talking ....

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warren St. Hooker #43 Four Winds called your room mate David Keehn misses you and everyone in group wants you to come back. We promise to double your Prozac and let you watch cartoons again. Just stop chasing cars and let the nice policeman bring you back.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mamie I was in the Backstretch of the racetrack last night some of the grooms heard about you from McTygue and were wondering if your services are available?

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Warren St. Hooker #43 said...

Lil' Johnny! That's what I call him! If his Jammy was the size of his ego I wouldn't hit the streets.
He is all yack and no substance. I liked you better Johnny when you obsessed over porn! Now it is over a washed up politician! I need a man with man hands!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

"Whoah...dude...it's like posts just...just...like disapeared, man...far out, man...I wonder why thaaat happened..."

WELL thanks for asking. It's because none of them had a goddamn thing to say, they were all off-topic and some of them were libelous. Be remotely civil. Enjoy the love. And if you REALLY need to, hell, rank on me. Some of you take great pleasure in that anyway. But these obscure, irrational posts don't belong here. I even -out of the goodness of irrational judgement -created a blog for you fuckers to have at it and tear fur. But you didn't. So that was your chance. Don't do it here. I don't want it. You shit WILL be deleted.

(This has been a Horatio Alger exercise in net-etiquette. Those among the deleted posters now owe iSaratoga $159.99 plus tax and a 20 percent gratuity surcharge. Your Internet service provider will be billed)

9:58 PM  

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