Thursday, October 08, 2009

The genesis of a disaster

Not many people wake up in the morning saying, ‘hmm…I think I’ll pick up recreational heroin use.’ Most people have seen the afterschool specials and public service announcements. Others have witnessed the rigors of intravenous drug use first hand through an afflicted associate or family member; in a clinic or shelter. The sum total of this perception is enough to sway most rational people away from indulging in the needle.

The problem comes when someone busts out a bindle at a party and says ‘hey, why not?’ Shower some booze and some other inhibitors on the situation and you’ve got the genesis of a disaster. First it’s a line. Then it’s free-basing. Next thing you know, the needle is plunged into the arm and there’s a long perilous slide to drug rehab or the grave.

Strangely enough, the city leaders were faced with the proverbial bag of smack back in 2006, during the first 100 days of the mayoral administration of Valerie Keehn, as one poster on the Saratogian’s City Desk blog recently recounted –albeit through a memory liberally tinted with hues of rose. At the time, the funding was only going to be afforded the poorest areas hosting racinos.

The legislation raised eyebrows among the Spa City’s legislative delegation in Albany, but not enough for them to suggest they take a cut for Saratoga Springs. At the time, the city was booming and hardly anyone could envision it falling into a budget hole; everyone except. Finance Commissioner Matt McCabe. He saw a multi-million dollar gap forming in the middle of the city budget and knew there was no way to cover it up with the numbers he was juggling. The widening hole prompted him to suggest a quick fix instead of a long term solution.

At first, he suggested the city levy money on NYRA. But after he learned of the pot being provided to Yonkers through the Pataki Administration’s 2006 budget –at the behest Republican Mayor Phil Amicone –he quickly focused on securing a pot for Saratoga. Keehn and Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim jumped aboard the effort and the three decided to lobby for it in Albany.

The effort would have been roundly dismissed by the Republican-dominated Legislature were it not for the election of 2005. Party leaders –Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno in specific –were still stunned by the crushing defeat they witnessed at the hands of the Democrats in the one-time Republican stronghold of Saratoga Springs. And they were facing a tough re-election of then U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, an oily fellow who was proving to be increasingly unelectable. They knew they needed help and were searching for any feasible way to curry favor in the city. So they offered the city a needle.

Drunk on the euphoria of being able to close a crushing budget deficit, the city leaders graciously accepted. They plunged the fucker deep into the city’s funding stream and gave the depressor a push. Suddenly, the city’s problems disappeared. Keehn later credited Shawn Thompson, a ranking legislative aid in the state Senate minority, for alerting her of the funding.

Of course the fix was temporary. As anyone with a working knowledge of hard drug use could tell you, ‘H’ doesn’t take away the problems. In fact, it usually makes them worse. But for a few glorious moments, they don’t seem that bad.

Those glorious moments came to an end for Saratoga Springs at the inauguration of Eliot Spitzer. The downstate Democrat had no love for the city or for upstate New York, and he made that know during his first spats with upstate legislators. One of them happened to be Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, who was at odds with the governor over ethics reform

“Listen, I'm a fucking steamroller, and I'll roll over you and anybody else,” Spitzer reportedly told Tedisco during a cell phone conversation.

The rolling came when Spitzer targeted Tedisco’s district for cuts in his 2008 budget. His other target just happened to be Bruno. Spitzer’s distaste for these legislators manifested itself in the elimination of the VLT funding. The aid was an easy target in the shimmering brazen glow emanating from Saratoga Springs. The funding itself was a throwback to the corrupt Pataki Administration, and a simple walk down the neatly manicured streets of the Spa City allayed any real notion that it deserved such a massive chunk of the state education fund to offset its spending.

The funding would have disappeared in 2007, had it not been for a curiously vitriolic election year in Saratoga Springs. The giant schism among the city Democrats threatened the re-election hopes of Keehn, who was well aware of her tenuous situation as the fall came. In a last ditch effort to win over the electorate, Keehn called in a favor at the state level. And it was an easy one to call in, too.

Thompson was powerplaying Keehn’s re-election while simultaneously searching for ways to gain control of the senate for the Democrats. Spitzer was suffering his first bouts with unpopularity. Bruno was becoming the focus of a federal investigation. All these players had to do to look good was restore the city’s funding. Provide one more needle pinch and then boast about it all the way to the polls.

Again, it worked, but only partially this time. The funding was enough to stave off a massive budget deficit, but not enough to prevent the Keehn Administration from imploding. Five months later, Spitzer was caught with a hooker, ushering in the era of David Paterson, a downstate Democrat with even less interest in toiling in upstate affairs.

Three months after Spitzer’s fall, Bruno resigned his senate leadership and his seat. He was replaced as majority leader by Dean Skelos, who also had no vested interest in any of the territory north of the Tapan Zee Bridge. There was some hope for upstate when Thompson’s Democrats took over the Senate. But that quickly evaporated when Malcom Smith was appointed majority leader.

Paterson almost immediately ripped the VLT funding out of the budget, citing the state’s own fiscal crunch. The message to rich cities –or rather upstate’s only rich city –was clear: Cut your finances and live lean. Meanwhile in the Legislature, there was no message to be heard at all. The screams and shouts from Saratoga Spring were falling on deaf ears.

Some argue the situation as it played out last year would have differed had Keehn been re-elected, or if the City Council was again dominated by Democrats. But this is all palaver proffered by political hacks fishing for suckers among the electorate. The message from Albany is clear regarding the VLT aid: Not now, not tomorrow; never again. And rightfully so, because the whole purpose of having these ghastly machines in our community is to support education, not bloated municipal budgets.

It’s time to send the city to rehab. And that starts with cutting spending. There’s no way to maintain the level of expenditures and the ceaseless increases in spending. Sure, there are other revenue streams that could be secured –word is the feds are looking for a new Yucca Mountain –but finding them is not a long-term or viable solution. It’s kind of like Methadone: Sure it works for a little while. But eventually, you’ve got to kick the habit.

54 Comments:

Anonymous The truth never sleeps said...

If Kim gets elected it will be the end of the city. Peter Tulin will be city attorney with Kim as the cities bankruptcy attorney.

Kim’s demeanor is invariably morose, sullen, clownish and repulsive. I should think there is not, on the face of the earth, a man so entirely destitute of humor, vivacity, or the capacity for enjoyment. He appears to have no clear political view except that the City should be a nicer place and that he should be loved and trusted by everyone and questioned by no-one. If you took the lies out of him he’d shrink to the size of your nuts, you take the malice out of him, and he’d disappear.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO
In my opinion, however humble it is, this is your best offering to date.

The adjectives, the verbs, the "palaver proffered by political hacks fishing for suckers" really struck a chord. Excellent, fantastic.

The current roster on our city council......reminds me of a famous prediction......oh wow, it was 70 years ago that this prediction was made...."the last to go, will see the first three go before her.....and her little dog too"

Toto survived the prediction, not so sure about our elected officials though.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The addiction of entitlements by municipal workers, of power by disingenuous and misguided politicians, of overpriced commercial rents by greedy landlords, of irresponsible over marketed properties beyond their actual worth and of the public hopefully believing that Saratoga Springs is immune to the economic pandemic, can now be felt in the stark reality of withdrawal symptoms, in the form of layoffs, unhappy constituents, store vacancies, of overvalued homes and a public unable and unwilling to shoulder ever increasing taxes to reward inefficient city department management, that will unfortunately last more than weeks and months but into the next year.

And while there is our one standing Commissioner who may experience the nausea and anxiety of his squandered tenure, it will be those others behind the scenes who have supplied him with false hopes at the same time providing a public the oversold drug of “plenty of money to take care of business” who will share his cold shaky sweats as election day approaches.

I agree with blogger 8:12 regarding this fine, creative, and clever post, and I would quote your last paragraph, “It’s time to send the city to rehab. And that starts with cutting spending” and add, that it’s time to sharpen the remaining pencils and become as effective and efficient a City that only necessity can inspire.

3:06 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

The Truth Never Sleeps? Seems you are awake.Always! This crap you spew is far from any truth. You must be the same gay cabellero that likes to tell stories. I also bet you were sitting right there at that last SUCCESS meeting trying to back McTygue's last hoorah. We can see thru your lies and know you are one of the wretched! See Ya! Maybe at the pool next year. If the park opens it!

4:19 AM  
Anonymous downtrodintoga said...

So no one else caught the spelling error? I,for one, have often considered recreational use of a super-powered female and am proud of it.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Ace Ventura said...

This truly amazing view of our city dying before our eyes is all of a sudden Ron Kim's fault? Is he responsible for world hunger and Hurricane Katrina? Please do tell. The way I see it he is not the one doling out millions to pet projects. Yes, he wants a police station but no money is being spent for that. The Mayor, on the other hand has dished out money for a REC Center when he was offered a way out without being penalized. He pushed to spend millions on a beach at Saratoga Lake that was surely to strap the public with a hefty bill. He continues to pay substantial amounts on a private law firm just to break the union. Why do we have a city attorney if we are paying out to a private group? We in city hall believe he will continue to spend money and at our expense. His spending will cost some of us our jobs! We can not and will not stand for his political wheeling and dealing any longer. Don't get too comfortable mayor. You are about to be shown the door.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This city's problem is no different than many communities and even the state. Everyone is facing the reality of cutting personnel. Tough but that's the way it goes. No one can face a 10% increase in taxes let alone trying to under stand how the union people believe they are still due and increase during these times. The city has to stand tough. If chief moore thinks he patrols 28 square miles, he should look again at the city maps cutting out parks and recreation,schools, the raceway tracks and private lands. He'll find it's moore like 16 square miles. It will be worse next year if cuts in spending are not made.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

Are you Scott Johnson's number 1 advisor? Your analysis seems like a defense of his do-nothing approach to VLT aid. Strange that all the other VLT communities got to keep it. Saratoga didn't because Scott dropped the ball. Plain and simple.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK how many of you PSD supporters live in the Saratoga Springs? How many police does it take to enforce the laws of this city patrolling, what 16-18 square miles? Why can’t we depend on some mutual aid when it comes to fire coverage? 911 doesn’t discriminate. Why can’t we have SEMS, which has done a great job? Why do you think that the only responsible answer is bigger and more costly? In your perfect world, no one asks questions and people, yes, thousands of people keep paying the inflating costs of overtime personnel. And what’s with that? Who made that loophole respectable behavior? A union rep? Who made the rule that you should all just rip off the taxpayers with some kind of union contract that pays little attention to the present economic situation. Cost of living? Hey, we know all about that. No one is giving the rest of us money to pay our medical insurance. Wake up guys. And I’ll throw in Kim who hasn’t done a thing for the people who live here. What a guy. Reality check – read the newspapers.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Bakersfield Street walker said...

I admit I have an addiction. It's worshipping the McTygue movement. If T. McT is in the house I love it. He can screw over the best of them. I once enjoyed him stomping on innocent people to get what he wants. Now it's John Frank doing it to the innocent bystanders. They have a whole group of dolts like these guys. Boyd,Klotz,Hanky,Cliffy Ammon,Philly Diamond,Petey,and the rest of the peppermint stick gang.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous THE AXEMAN COMETH said...

So mamie we missed you in the first round of cuts?

All in good time my pretty.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on AXEMAN you know Mctygue wronged MAMIE! He tolded her to try and get a little work done for the city,he probably yelled at her and during all this time she's busting her ass working 32 hrs. a week and earning close to $69 grand a year,how much can a poor little office girl take....the drive home to wilton everyday,the memories of Mctygue telling her to do some work....all those benefits the city fathers gave her,just imagine 32hrs a week and making that little money.

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The proposal of 7.8% tax increase with a paid parking solution. the reality is unless three commissioners come up with a new scheme this is what it will be.
There will be a second round of layoffs in 2010 if the paid parking does not happen or does not raise $1.3million. It is time to reopen or renegotiate the union contracts for the city to mitigate the layoffs.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:48 Ace: Kim isn'tresponsible for world hunger or Katrina. and he also isn't responsible to the people who elected him and would pay for his selfish demands. but he is responsible for:

1.not managing his department
2.not moving benches
3.supporting lawsuits against the city when he had the ability and money to correct the locker rooms
4.failometers
5.not being responsive to reasonable suggestions
6.truck traffic through the West Side
7.no building inspections except in his own department to look at hanging wires and toilets
8.approving the rec. center
9.for approving the lake park
10.for walking out of meetings and promoting bad government
11.for inefficient waste in the PSD
12.for not reducing his budget
13.for slipping in an Obama-ism image on his bumper sticker
14.for hiring his deputy
15.for not smiling
16.for his short fused temper

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writing's on the wall … Ivins is right. Union contracts are unrealistic for both the size of this city and for its overhead burden. We can't pay for all those benefits anymore. The CSEA Rat is out of his den and there's no putting him back. Concessions and layoffs or more layoffs. Overtime oversight. Residency requirements for city employees! Salary ceilings for jobs.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out...

Rumor that NXVIM to buy Adelphi Hotel and use as training center.

Would take 100K off the City Tax rolls.

How will Kim relate to this, given Val's involvement with NXVIM.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Let Ron Kim run for union president, NOT Mayor said...

LAYOFFS!

NOW!!!!!!!!!

When will we -- the RESDIENTS / TAXPAYERS -- finally have someone sticking up for us?

Paid parking is NOT the solution. It is a BAD move!

Q: So why is it even being considered?

A: To minimize layoffs!

Screw that reasoning! The out of control personnel budgets are what got us into this mess. Not the 'loss of VLT funding', not 'the recession', not 'idiots like Kim and Keehn' (well, maybe a little of that).


CUT PERSONNEL and BENEFITS! NOW!

No more chicken shit excuses or workarounds on the part of the city council.

Either get it done, or get out of the way and let somone with balls do it!

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post HO. The city was not made poorer with the advent of VLTs at the harness track. Most politicians would do what Keen did = take money and give it to voters in the effort to insure their re-election. To hell with the future - the future is next November. It has worked for years at the national and state level so she did it locally. Her only problem is that she sometimes needed to look the suckers in the eye. Something state and national politicians never do. Their motti is "how long will the voters remember that I screwed them?"

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Putting an APB Out for Bronner said...

I see the RON KIM FOR MAYOR ads are out already.

Take a look at the first one, titled

"Here Is What You Will Witness If We Don't Build the New DPS Facility...":

http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1647/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1647R-25075.jpg

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there were leadership on the city council, then all five would declare they were paying 25% of there health care insurance premium. Then challange all city workers to do the same.

With the money saved cancel any property tax increase.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the past two years there has been a huge increase in "tagging" (graffiti) and property damage. If you believe in the broken window theory, the city is in for some tough times. There are a good amount of buildings with boarded up windows and doors, broken windows, and graffiti. Add to that businesses that can no longer pay the inflated rents and you can see that our Broadway - as we know it - is on life support.
We need to see an increase of police visibility. They have found a new place to hide since the Weathervane closed. Perhaps it is time to check up on why our fine city has become a hot bed of malicious conduct? Tourism still remains our cash cow.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mamie
32 hrs a wk., and half of that time is spent playing free-cell and reading the papers, and email from friends and family.

Do you post your blog stuff when you are at city hall, or from home?

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No rumor about NXIVM looking to buy the Adelphi...it's a fact.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous PlanetAlbany said...

Horatio old boy: You're quite right about most of this. With the state in deep budget doo-doo, they are absolutely right not to dole out VLT funding (for what?) to Saratoga Springs. But Val Keehn had nothing to do with keeping the money in 2007; nor did Spitzer play much of a role. That was a simple matter of Joe Bruno saying no (to the cut), back when Joe ruled.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous mamie said...

We don't know how close we came to having an all independent,all retarded,all Dead fish ticket for our city council. We would be looking at Boyd for mayor. Luckily that was null n' void Boyd. Next we had John Franck(Big Surprise)better known as "little Tom". Miller Works of course! Works for who? That's the Question. Ken Klutz for Finance, as if he didn't screw up the opting out of county tax formula. And John Tighe, who is just a frigging screw up all together. This is the joke known as the independent party. Kim doesn't look so bad after all.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Mamie,

Lay off the trees, there. Tighe no longer lives in Saratoga Springs and thus cannot run for office here. Klotz, last I heard, hasn't been interested in office since he lost to Mike Lenz. Boyd, from what I understand, ran for mayor almost solely to sink Keehn's ship. In other words, I don't really understand what you're talking about, other than ancient history. To date, there are only two types of Democrats: DFCers and everybody else. Even the so-called McTygue faction isn't what it was in 2007. Hell, McTygue himself is no longer a city resident.

Planet,

I agree for the most part. Definitely on the Bruno take. That's why it's so hilarious to hear the Keehniacs blather on about how Queen Val came to the rescue.

1:21,

I'm not sure how long you've live here, but the tagging and graffiti is nowhere near what it used to be back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I can recall the Pink Bunnies tagging just about every dumpster in the city back then...that was also the time when the Lillian's parking lot was the city homeless shelter. there was a whole colony of people...probably about 20 or so...living beneath there back then. And the Van Raalte Mill too. Don't forget the Corsales Building. High schoolers used to go there and get 40s off the bums, I recall. Or the colony of homeless where Empire Avenue is today. There were fucking shanties there way back when. Also another place high schoolers used to employ the needy to subvert NY's booze ban for teenagers.

Certainly you raise a valid point: Cities must be vigilant about blight or face the chance that it spreads. But all in all, this city is one of the cleanest in all of New York. There's always work to be done, but this city is particularly good at getting it done.

5:25,

So true. That's one of the main reasons I'm against paid parking. It will be another revenue that will forestall the inevitable. And in fact, it could ultimately become a budget driver -especially knowing this city. I can see it now: Parking fund saves the budget and jobs first year. Parking fund demands the hire of five new city employees the next year. The new workers cost money...unionized labor drives up their salaries...five years out, paid parking only earns enough money to pay for itself. Bam. Taxes go up.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 11:25

Now THAT is funny.

Thanks

8:45 PM  
Anonymous mamie said...

I post most of it from city hall. The city is OK with that. As a matter of fact there are several down here that post on various blogs. There are 3 in my dept. alone that I know of. Just ask Elio. Another McTygue guy. he knows all about it.
Phil Diamond is another Independent mentioned to run along with Tighe. Possibly as a deputy.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Mamie,

You do a lot of posting. Unfortunately, you don't do much reading. Either that or you've had a bit too much Baily's in your coffee this morning.

First of all, none of the people you mentioned in your post are running for office, or in the running for deputy. Second, two of the names you mention don't even live within the city limits. Thirdly, what the fuck are you talking about?!?

Post something that has an ounce of truth or don't post at all.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mabe its time for the state to step in and take over with a control board if things are so bad and everyone is so incompetent.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous I just bought the local Kool Aid distribution rights said...

NXIVM's HQ on Broadway?

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

Now there will be some smoking hot babes hanging out in the Grey Gelding and Wine Bar. Rich too, with glazed eyes! It don't get no better than that, does it?

Only if her Daddy owns a liquor factory, too!

But how do we keep that rascal Vanguard Raniere from getting them all, what with his super-sized "asset" and all.

I can't wait to see the Review Commission meeting, when the cult's lawyers show up with an application for the Spaceship Landing Pad on the roof.

Of course, they're hoping the whole city gov't is filled with their Keehn/Kim allies, to slip it thru.

Maybe Wyatt and Bronner will be able to get job as bellhops?

Just keep an eye on them---we all know about that sports gal's little "video" problem that occured in a hotel room....and those two DID brag about hiding in some bushes with a camera a while back.

What else do we know about this, Ho ??

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO
The clue to "Mamie's" last posting was that it was posted at 7:07 am.

Hell, everybody knows that Mamie doesn't get to work until about 9:30 am, and today is Columbus Day, so she must be posting from home, or from her city-owned laptop at Uncommon Grounds.

She gets confued with all the political crap that goes in and out of her office computer. It interferes with her solitaire and free-cell games, but once in a while she comes up with a good inside joke, like "Kim for Mayor". That's a good one.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous mamie dearest said...

I'm just answering someone who wants to know if I post at city hall. I simply said yes as many others do. I guess Ho doesn't know who Elio is. He allows us to. He happens to be with the civil service commission. I am also just repeating rumors I hear daily in city hall. They may or may not be true. None the less, people are saying it.
As for speaking truth, I speak as much truth or more than these guys that talk of Nexium cults and othe nonsense or bringing up Bronner.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Silly Puddy said...

I see Andrew Bernstein's blog mentioned Bill McTygue keeping his job. That position is surely one that is not needed. Along with Paul Male and Bradley Birge in the Planning dept. the city could save $375-400 thousand per year if you inclide benefits. Cut back on these cops OT and we taxpayers will be spared a huge tax increase. Also they should have to pay a few bucks a week towards their benefits. Add in paid parking in some off broadway lots and we are in business.
The unfortunate thing here is there is not one council member we have presently or any running for office that has the rocks to make these changes.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Satchel Paige said...

anon 3:43 If you payed attention mamie's post she said she does most,not all of her posts from city hall. You seem to be posting on a laptop and you might be doing it also from uncommon grounds. Her comments on these independents are not really that far off. The one's mentioned in her earlier post are a bunch of quacks. Ken Klotz did used to hang out every weekend out in front of the post office protesting with the wacko's. The others actions speak for themselves. I'm no fan of Kim's but if you think Gordon Boyd would be a better option then you are dumber than mamie.
Oh yeah. What does confued mean?

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Carpool Girl said...

The Bronner/Tighe comparison continues. They both continue to dwell on the past. They keep the McTygue/Keehn thing alive, when in reality it's dead. I know the argument as long as Kim is around so is Keehn. But that is no different than this Miller clown running on behalf of the McTygues. Bottom line is Bronner and Tighe are on the same level. Both are boils on the ass of saratoga society.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Radio free saratoga said...

Now these idiots want to paint themselves as some kind of moderates. Ron Kim is no fucking moderate. Here is a taste of what a Ron Kim victory will bring to the city along with their own official entertainment for all the citizens to enjoy.

Good morning listeners, welcome to Pyongyang Springs Radio station celebrating Dear Leaders victory.
On today's schedule we have:

9AM: The Vanguard Hour
10AM: The Val Keehn Life Coach Show
11AM: THE DFC Old Prunes Chatfest
12PM: Ron Kim's Effective Speaking
1PM: The Vakguard Hour (repeat)
2PM: Oldies Music for DFC Nap Time
3PM: The Spittin' Corporal Show
4PM: Daily Ethics Lessons
5PM: Executive Success
6PM: The Public Safety Building Show
7PM: Call in to Al Turkheimer
8PM: "How to Rig Elections"
9PM: Progressive Talk
10PM: The Enemies List
11PM: It's All Tommy's Fault!
12PM: Overnite with Shawn Thompson "

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Caster Troy said...

Hey Ho,

Why so hard on mamie? You and your boys post alot of crap about Keehn who isn't running for office. I don't see you complaining about those posters. I guess we know who you are or what side of the fractured democrats you belong to. Maybe a real FACE OFF is in order. Come out of your hiding and we can all come out of our hiding. Time to rock and roll!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Morgan Earp said...

This Ivins is a real disaster. He,above all others is lost in this economy crunch. How the fuck can this brain dead son of a biatch be in charge of our city budget. Mr. Computer is killing the taxpayer by proposing a huge tax increase. Hit the skids Kenny boy! You and Miller for public works are nothing. But Scirroocco is no prize.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

An interesting work of fiction. Nice story. Very imaginative, but mostly wrong.

You say Mayor Keehn's lobbying for VLT aid "would have been dismissed by the Republican-dominated Legislature were it not for the election of 2005," but at that time, there was no "Republican-dominated Legislature." The Assembly's 150 seats were filled by over 100 Democrats and around 45 Republicans, and the doddering clique of old white male Republicans in the Senate was desperately clinging to a 32-30 majority that soon crumbled when voters finally realized that half of them were senile and all of them were criminally corrupt.

You say that VLT aid to Saratoga Springs represented a "massive chuck of the state Education Fund," but VLT aid actually comes from the Aid to Localities Fund and there's no such thing as the "state Education Fund." You could look it up. Try reading the State Finance Law and the State Budget.

You also say that the "whole purpose" of the video lottery program "is to support education," but that's obviously false. Racetracks have been lobbying for VLTs for 20 years, and racetracks are the only places where VLTs are allowed. Harness racing and thoroughbred racing are agricultural relics and hobbies for the wealthy that are economically obsolete. Plainly, the video lottery program was created to keep horse racing from disappearing. Aid to education was the excuse. Saving horse racing was the purpose. And if Yonkers, and Buffalo, and Batavia, and Finger Lakes, and Monticello, and Tioga, and Vernon all get state aid for hosting state sanctioned horse racing and gambling, so should Saratoga Springs.

At least you got the key facts right: When Valerie Keehn was mayor, Saratoga Springs got the state aid. With Scott Johnson as mayor, we lost it.

it's time for Little Scotty to go.

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Chester Copperpot said...

The answer is to vote out the incumbents. First, you have Scirroco who really didn't have a clue. He spent money like a drunken sailor. Miller is new to the arena but he will watch our money. His opponent has proven otherwise.
Ivins knows nothing about finances shown by his budget proposals,keeping on staff his own people along with the dead weight in the Mayor's planning dept. He could have shaved off half a mil in that dept. alone. Instead he chooses to get rid of guys in Ps and Dpw that have families to support. Bye Bye Ken!
Last, The Mayor, mr. fiscally responsible, pisses money away on a Rec center that will cost half a mil per year to run. He thinks this will help the kids at Jefferson Terrace? What happens when you start charging for all these events you are planning? Kim is more responsible, no question about it. Why is he yelling? Maybe it has to do with dealing with morons like Johnson and Ivins.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

3:38,

I'm not sure why I'm dignifying your drivel with a response. Maybe it's because I'm in a good mood today and feeling chatty. So let's break down your nonsense.

Tell me: Which party held two of three branches of the state government in 2006? Well, let's see. The Republicans held the governor's seat and the senate. Where does that leave the Democrats in this equation? Answer: weak and ineffective. So what they dominated the Assembly? Besides, that's not the point. In 2005, there were three powerful people who could affect change: George Pataki, Joe Bruno and Sheldon Silver. Three men, one room. You do the math and still come up with the notion that the Democrats were pulling the strings, then you're more blinded by partisan politics than I gauged.

Next, the lottery is there to benefit(fund) state education. Whether it does or does not has always been a point of contention with those who are against games of chance. Go down to Albany and find a single legislator that will publicly argue this money ISN'T for education, I'll buy you a beer. Hell, I'll buy you a case of beer.

Now, let's go back to my work of 'fiction': Education funding comes through the general fund, right? And so does the 'aid to localities fund,' right? So I'm failing to understand your point. Money from VLTs is supposedly for education. Instead, it's dumped into the general fund and then pursed out accordingly. Some of that money is used for this so-called aid to localities.

Now you say: "Aid to education was the excuse. Saving horse racing was the purpose."

Are you serious? No really, are you serious? Or did you really mean "Aid to education and saving horse racing was the excuse." I hope you did, because the real reason for the approval of VLTs was REVENUE. PERIOD. Do you really think the downstate legislators that voted this pox on our communities gave a flying fuck about horse racing? Puhlease...The reason we have VLTs today is because New York's fiscal crisis was already crashing down around the Pataki administration seven years ago. They convinced the do-gooders that the money would fund our schools and they convinced the horse traders that the VLTs would save harness racing, when in fact, the whole charade was to prevent them from making the needed cuts to the state's out of control spending...which ironically is a point in my so-called fictional post, not that a partisan buttplug like yourself is too interested in overall points.


As for your last point: Saratoga Springs voters will get what they deserve in the end. If they're blinded enough by your partisan vitriol, they'll get Ron Kim...and I'll get two years of ammunition. I got to admit, it's been pretty slow going under the reign of Johnson. As unfit for public office as Ron Kim is, his antics will certainly liven things up around here.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Peckerwood said...

Radio Free Saratoga also will air a soap series called "Tommy's Shadow Knows"
Episode 1 - Petey McT and Bronner play pelvic Pinball
Episode 2 - Bonnie Sellers and Carol Joyce "Men on a Mission"
Episode 3 - John Tighe goes bumper to bumper with DPW
Episode 4 - It's Miller Time - Eddie will rule DPW
Episode 5 - Phil D. "Roughing up Skiddy's to win their vote"
Episode 6 - Gordilocks and the manbag gang
Season Finale - Remiga We Don't Need Ya, Suckscess only bleeds ya

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

Wrong again. Your so-called "math," counting Republican Pataki and Republican Bruno and Democrat Silver as 2 to 1 flunks Civics 101. To enact a law, you need all 3. 2 to 1 isn't good enough. The slim Republican majority in the Senate and the empty suit Republican in the Governor's office couldn't pass a law on their own. They had to win the approval of the massive Democratic majority in the Assembly or there would have been no VLT aid at all for their Republican pals in Yonkers, Batavia, Vernon, etc., etc.

Here's the real math: Mayor Keehn knew how to count the votes from both parties in the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governor's office. Mayor Johnson can't count at all.

You keep posting anti-Democratic propaganda in the vain hope of saving Little Scotty's seat in the mayor's office, but it's already too late. Voters have already seen through him. He'll be kicked out of office on election day.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Hey, I'm still alive!


Now how about a new post before dementia sets in?

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Willow said...

"Little Scotty must go"

There is no room for arrogance and this mayor sures brings plenty. He refuses to work with the rest of the council. He constantly tries to get business done in executive session illegally. He pushed a REC Center down everyones throat regardless of other opinions of the council. He allienated an entire neighborhood to get his monument built. His comment was "don't worry the taxpayers will get over it"
For such a little weasel he has nuts the size of melons.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

"partisan buttplug"

Poetic!

And your wish to see Kim in office so you have ammo for your blog makes you sound like a disciple of Rush.

Horatio, are you on the side of good government... or clownish government that you can rip into?

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you see that ivins and johnson actually are pro-labor. Police and fire go to arbitration and show cities ability to pay for increases. All the bloggers ideas for funding are used to make that case.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paid parking is a HUGE mistake. You need to have people coming into the town to park to get paid. Just take a look at Broadway during the week. The place is a freaking ghost town. There are a few scampering to a coffee shop - maybe a random walker - but no great crowds of people to dine and shop.
Not to mention that there is already a two hour parking ordinance that is only enforced for those unlucky soles that do not have a "friend" in office somewhere. Let's not forget the hundreds and hundreds of dollars from the Wait family that the town did not collect. It is all "who you know" and will always be that way in a town that is run by money and self-proclaimed socialites.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Raul D'Antonio said...

Sciroco's deputy Pat "The Organ Grinder" Design is quitting at the end of the year. Good Riddance. He is well liked but not too bright. Bill McTygue can do circles around him. Sad part is Skippy poo is going to make Donna Buckley, his executive assistant, his deputy to replace Design. God! Talk about going from bad to worse. Maybe Miller is the way to go.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Sexual Chocolate said...

This kid who is thought to be flying in his experimental balloon is a hero. Why not name a holiday after him. He reminds me of the campaign Ed Miller is running. A lot of hot air but still maybe better than the opponent. The Monkey and the organ grinder are nothing more than a dog and pony show. Miller promised he wouldn't make McTygue his deputy. That was a concern but he cleared that rumor up. Eddie is a hero and Skippy is a goat. Especially if he's going to recruit Donna Buckley as his deputy. That is the rumor floating around city hall.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Kevin Connolly who? said...

So who is Kevin Connolly?
An Albany UNION hack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRQuIOLHd98

7:06 PM  
Anonymous the Blade said...

This man which he admits on this video is nothing but a state union hack with no experience what so ever in Public safety.If you think the cops and fireman are overpaid now wait till they have a union shop steward as their boss doling out overtime.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRQuIOLHd98

He is also a card carrying member of Nixium which just bought the Adelphi Hotel from Sheila.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous The Real choice for Mayor said...

i say vote for this women for MAYOR.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuoN-I0QnCQ&NR=1

7:37 PM  

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