Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Power rankings

Update: So much for the DFC. It's back to the drawing board, fellas. All four Republican candidates won handily, sweeping aside the shattered Democratic party's candidates. Yepsen and Franck, the lone Democrats to win Tuesday, also happened to be unopposed and at odds with the DFC. Fancy that.

Following politics these days is a lot like following professional sports, especially if you happen to be among the many that could care less about off-year elections. These folks are like the casual baseball fan; the one that couldn’t be bothered to watch any one of the 162 regular season games, but becomes a slavering fanatic the minute his or her team pulls into the playoffs; or better yet, the World Series.

There are also the bookies; the guys that need to watch all 162 games from each of the 30 teams. Given that each game lasts about four hours, they quickly find themselves in a pinch when they’re choosing the over-under for any given day. That’s why the world of professional sports likes to give out the so-called power-rankings. They feed every statistic imaginable into a complex algorithm of sorts and then add in a liberal helping of subjectivity to come up with their figures.

Well, off-year election voters should be offered the same service. Sweet Jesus, how can someone be expected to keep up with much less follow all the intricate machinations of local politics? One would need to read the paper, or attend city council meetings or participate in their participatory democracy. And we all know there isn’t time enough in the day to do laundry, much less devote three hours every other week to hear a gaggle of grumpy commissioners prattle on about city affairs.

In response, iSaratoga has decided to spend the weekend crunching numbers and pounding 12 oz. cans of subjectivity, so that voters will at least know where they stand in the booth Tuesday afternoon and evening. Keep in mind, these aren’t endorsements; rather they’re an illustration of where the candidates stand in the grand scheme of things, so voters have a clear idea of the fighting underdog versus the smug first-place champion.

1. Scott Johnson; incumbent mayor; Republican.
Comments: Johnson had an unremarkable first term, but that seems fairly remarkable considering the devastation he faced with the failing state and national economy. The fiscal bumbling of the Keehn administration set him up to sink, but somehow Johnson remained afloat. Meanwhile, he advanced a recreation center project that stalled for nearly a decade and has managed stave off his resulting critics –many of whom openly supported the project the previous year. Johnson’s term garnered him endorsements from both the Saratogian and the Albany Times Union, both of which supported his foe in 2007. He also won an extremely rare endorsement from the Skidmore News. The incumbent mayor is a powerhouse, and not one to bet against.

2. John Franck, incumbent Accounts commissioner, Democrat.
Comments: Teddy Roosevelt would have liked Franck. He tends to fit the former New York governor’s slogan, ‘speak softly and carry a big stick.’ Franck realized he couldn’t go head-to-head with the Democrats for Change and knew the GOP was having a tough time finding candidates. In contrast, the DFC was throwing endorsements to just about any corpse they could find in the hope of getting a council majority. In a wry move, Franck spoke softly to the party leaders about gaining unity and then waited. Once July passed without a primary challenge, Franck picked up his big stick and promptly beat the tar out of his so-called running mates. Like others that aren’t exactly keen on the DFC’s motives, Franck has distanced himself from the party message and even attended GOP events. And they can’t do anything about it now. If they do, their bull shit message of ‘party unity’ will seem all the more hollow.

3. Anthony “Skip” Scirocco, incumbent DPW commissioner, not sure.
Comments: Scirocco made some mighty strange bedfellows in his last election and has thus distanced himself from the GOP machine. Word on the street was that he wasn’t even attending –or not invited –to Republican functions. Ordinarily, that would be the death knell for any candidate running for office in Saratoga County. But that’s simply not the case of the Spa City GOP. In fact, Scirocco’s distancing from his registered party has placed him in the good graces of the city Democrats –or at least the Democrats for Change overlords that have hijacked the party. After maintaining a candidate in DPW for nearly a quarter-century, the Democrats decided against challenging Scirocco –a decision that was assuredly a quid-pro-quo for his work to oust Tom McTygue in 2007. Scirocco also gained favor with the unions by fervently objecting to staff layoffs both in 2008 and this fall. If there’s a guy who is in command in the DPW race, it’s the Skipper.

4. Matt Veitch/Joanne Yepsen, incumbent city supervisors, who cares.
Comments: The fourth ranking isn’t exactly something to brag about, but it shows these cats have pretty much fulfilled their end of the bargain. Yepsen had her spats with the DFC, specifically when they shunned her as a candidate for state Sen. Joe Bruno’s seat. Well, that’s ancient history now, and like Franck, Yepsen has ridden the DFC message of unity into an uncontested election. Likewise, Veitch hasn’t done anything to draw ire from his party bosses. They’re a lock for office, but so would a semi-literate troglodyte.

5. Peter Martin, DFC Finance commissioner candidate, Kool-aid drinker.
Comments: Martin has two things going for him. He has the unpopularity of incumbent Ken Ivins Jr. among the city’s unions and he has the fact that a lot of voters will simply pull the lever for a candidate that happens to be in their party. The confluence of these two streams among the electorate often means a win. Still, Martin is anything but a lock. If city Democrats don’t come out in force, he’s going to have a tough time getting to the finish line. If he does win, it will be a small coup for the DFC, which will then have control over the city’s purse strings come budget time in 2010. However, absent another win in city races, Martin will be chiefly ineffective on the council and somewhat akin to a recently beheaded chicken. Look for Eileen Finneran to scamper into his office as deputy if the DFC doesn’t win another race.

6. Ken Ivins, incumbent Finance commissioner, Republican.
Comments: Ivins carried a pair of brass balls into office this year. He didn’t dwell on the loss of the VLT-aid, which was smart, seeing as though no one in Albany would have listened. He also didn’t even hesitate to call for sweeping job layoffs to both reduce the burden on taxpayers and bring the greedy city unions back to the negotiating tables. So why the low ranking? Well, Ivins’ pragmatism in office has been spun six ways sideways by the rabid DFC hacks. He’s been roundly castigated for doing the right thing and will likely suffer at the polls as a result. It’s a shame too, because what Ivins has brought to the table is much more reasonable than what his potential successor has suggested.

7. Ed Miller, candidate for DPW commissioner, Independence.
Comments: Ed Miller is an intriguing candidate because of who he has in tow. There’s no mystery about his closeness with McTygue, or that he’s being supported by the losing side in the battled for control of the city Democrats. If he pulls off an upset, he could very well become a link between this disjointed faction and the city Republicans, a group that’s having struggles of its own in the post-Bruno era. But with this said, there’s a very slim probability that Miller unseats Scirocco. He tried to shoot the moon by touting the Regatta View water connection debacle, but the issue never gelled. He would have been better off taking a page from the DFC by paying off a few disgruntled DPW workers to spread rumors to Metroland about Scirrocco being embroiled in an FBI investigation one month before the election. That tactic seems to work well.

8. Ron Kim, DFC candidate for Mayor, Republocrat or Democan; you choose.
Comments: If there was ever a poor choice for mayor, it was Ron Kim. He might have had a chance, had he simply not done or said anything over his last two years in office. Instead, he became the mouthpiece for the lingering remnants of the Keehn Administration. He lacks the ability to think for himself. And when he does, he ends up storming out of an important council meeting. His ‘failureometer’ made him the laughing stock of the city. His cries about needing to “layoff” up to 17 public safety workers in 2008 showed his inability to act rationally and with civility. His choice of Eileen Finneran as a deputy showed just how beholden he was to the Keehn Administration. And the list goes on for what seems like an eternity. Voters, if there was a weaker candidate for mayor, he would have lost the Democratic nomination to a pile of bricks from the City Center’s façade.

9. Richard Wirth, candidate for Public Safety. Republican.
Comments: Republicans figure two’s the charm with Wirth. He got beaten like a gong by Ron Kim in 2007, but they figure that was because he was going up against an incumbent. This time, they figure something will change in the minds of voters. Either that, or that the city Democrats will forget everyone needs to vote on Tuesday. Wirth isn’t a bad candidate per se. But once the voting public makes you a loser, it’s tough to change that image barring cataclysmic failure on the part of the opposition candidate(See: Richard Nixon, circa 1968).

10. Kevin Connolly, DFC candidate for Public Safety, first in line for Kool-aid.
Comments: Even in Jonestown, someone needed to drink the punch first. That someone in the DFC is Connolly, who basically adopted their crazy platform as his own, shirking any sort of reasonable issue to base his run for office. Saying exactly what Ron Kim is saying is not a platform; at least, not one that’s likely to get you elected. He should hope that voters are equally dismayed by Wirth, never bothered to listen to him blather during the debates, close their eyes and reach for a lever. That way, at least he has a one-in-two chance of being elected. His other chance to win will come if the city’s Police Benevolent Association mandates that all members living in the city vote for this guy so they can get their 7 percent raise in January. But if the electorate sees him for what he is –a card-carrying union hack beholden to the DFC –they’ll steer mighty clear from him at the polls.

There you have it, folks. Get out there and vote. Regardless of the outcome, hopefully we awake to find candidates in office that can rise about the rhetoric and find answers to the problems that have plagued this city for years. Were there ever a time for consensus building, it’s now. The other hopeful outcome of this race is to at last put to rest the McTygue-Keehn battle, because there’s good a chance that both sides will end up yesterday’s news.

86 Comments:

Blogger Ben lives on said...

Very good comments, late but good.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff but you are wrong about Ron Kim.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No 3:39 Ron is blindsided by his own idea of Ron Kim. I'm sure he has good guy moments, but politics has stripped him of his soul.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous The Real Deal said...

Here's the Real Deal.....

For sure: the DFC nuts all go down in flames tonight (note: I'm not counting Skip as a DFC nut for this single point).

So where does that leave the city Dem party?

You are correct in hinting that this will be the point in time where it can finally say bye-bye to both the McTygue AND the Keehn/Kim legacies. The McTygue camp has lost its energy and will to fight--the DFC crowd has lost a good section of their former supporters, who (finally) saw what these nuts were truly all about.

So where to for the Dems?

Well: that leaves two incumbent office holders: Franck and Yepsen. There lies the two that will at least try to right the ship and bring the party back above water.

Regardless of how one feels about them, you have to admit that they are both politically smart -- especially Yepsen. They supposedly get along with one another, and will both see the advantage of working together.

Look for an immediate call by their underlings to demand the resignation of the current leadership (Turk, Thilo, the Nutty Gay Lawyer, etc). That will surely be a good start.

Yes, there will be the screams of "Tommy's behind all this" from the few DFC types that dare raise their voices --- after all, Yepsen is dating Billy McTygue and Frank was allied with Tom in most minds. But, they really don't matter any more and no one will care.

There will be a little bit of a struggle, but in the end the Franck/Yepsen people will take charge, the "seen the light" former DFC's will stay on board while the hardcore DFC fascists will go play in the Working Families Party.

Or simply devote 100% of their time to the rumored NXIVM headquarters -creation mission here in town.

The prediction here: Don't be surprised to see Frank run for Mayor next time. Yepsen is biding her time for an Assembly run vs the wounded Jimmy Disco.

You heard it HERE first!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there anything more fitting than watching TV13's news tonight and as they cut to Ron Kim, the tag under the name merely read "defeated".

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean the end of Eileen Finneran in City Hall????!!!

"Hail Hail the witch is dead..the witch is dead the witch is dead"

Sorry about that. I just suddenly felt the urge to sing.....

8:19 PM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

REST IN PEACE DEMOCRATS FOR CHANGE.
Let’s see news for November 4 2009

Let’s see
…….dollar store has sale everything 98 cents……..

………price of gas up 5 cents………

………Oh what’s this…………

…….Republicans sweep city elections……..

I guess that wasn’t the change you had in mind?

Sometimes the house is two rotted to be saved and you just have to tear it down and start over. No hard feelings I hope?

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DFC has only Ron Kim, Eileen Finerran and the ghost of Valerie Keehn to blame for their defeat tonight. Unable to work with "All the People" they chose instead to continue to waste what ever was left of their initial victories four years ago by selling out a community in civil war fashion. As if the writing was not on the wall, Ron Kim defiantly coursed under full steam into his police facility iceberg that not only threatened to burden the City's finances but also doomed his campaign. His two selected running mates simply signed on as crewmembers.

The attention given the recreational facility at first was not surprising, but to have wasted their whole campaign on castigating Mayor Johnson for it was foolish. Most everyone saw it for what it was and the discussion was over after a few weeks. It was always about the economy and the desire for a more efficient government. Ultimately the desire for having a Council that could work with one another was the tax paying resident’s goal.

It is surprising that Eddy Miller’s numbers weren’t higher given his potential and broad reach. He ran a good campaign and to his credit, he does have another life. On the other hand, Skip, a man without a party, will have to explain for blindly signing on as boatswain on Kim’s doomed frigate. John Franck as always, did his job.

It’s time for a new Council to get under sail.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Peter,Peter, Pumpkin Eater said...

I love to hear the nut from that other blog talk about the dem party folding up their tents. Who is going to take over? You goofy bastards that were crushed? I didn't here you mention your lone plug in this election. Miller got his ass whipped! The democrats are bad but your gang is much worse. You said it yourself. You don't have the will to fight! The days of intimidation are over.
Yepsen doesn't have a prayer to win assembly. Mayor possibly. But you may see Johnson run for a higher office.
Franck could win mayor possibly but he may have won his last election. The republicans are in perfect position to run him out next time around.
Long live the republicans!

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Skidmore Womanizer said...

Ho,

That picture of the cave man sure looks an awful lot like John Tighe. Probably after a drunken stupor at the legion. What a loser! His blog is a joke!

4:13 AM  
Anonymous hari kari might be a good option said...

“Kim added, “This community is in good hands as long as we have people like Peter and Kevin stepping up to the plate and running for these offices no matter what happens in the end.’

Earth to Kim that funny sound for hear is the dirt being shoved onto you and your cohorts collective political graves. Time to pick up your carpets and go bag some other community. But you can look on the bright side its not like you lost any dignity since you never had any in the first place.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous The chosen one said...

Skippy was on his hands and knees last night kissing the ring of Jasper Nolan and like the prodigal son he was welcomed back in the fold of the Grand Old Party. I don’t think Skippy will be playing nice with the unions anymore. Layoffs are coming boys and right before Christmas. Sweet…….

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:08 Check out the numbers.
Miller garnered the Independent voters. The Dems that supported Kim were voting Scirocco because he was a part of their power play. The Republicans voted Skip because they were looking for as strong a showing as they could muster. The only way the Council will remain as it is is if it addresses the issues of all the voters or else, this partisan strategy will repeat itself.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Real Deal said...

Can anyone deny the predictive abilities of THE REAL DEAL!

Nope

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Rank and File Democrats said...

Memo to the DFC faction of our party:

Please go away. For good. We'll just treat you as a bad nightmare...

F Val Keehn
F Ron Kim
F Peter Tulin
F Al Turkheimer
F Eileen
F Thilo
F Brucie
F all the rest of you fascists

Never Forget. Never Again.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Raymond Babbitt (Rainman) said...

The democrats will bounce back just as the republicans did after their defeat. The independent party crew does not have the ambition to hang in and they certainly won't go back to being democrat. They will try to play spoiler for maybe another election cycle and then they will be done. They have no credibility and will continue to sink into obscurity.
There will be a new wave of dems that will make it all work again. afterall, Herrick is an A-hole and his candidate's are far from him.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Did I hear Eileen Finerran was at the city garage today. I here Lou Benton might want to drive a plow since we know he has a deadly fear of School buses, so being a bus driver is out of the question. What about making Finerran a meter maid?

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Who said...

It would appear that the boil on the arse of the city has been lanced, painful yes but necessary for the health of the city. Now let us be vigilant to make sure the infection does not return.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Raymond Babbitt said...

Benihana,

At least they will be working a job somewhere. That's more than we can say about you, Tighe rat. You are one of the many problems with the economy. Collecting disability for some bogus injury. How is sucking off the government tit? Those flowers too heavy for you and cousin Tommy sign off on your disability?
Speaking of plows, maybe someone at dpw will hit you and your car again. Hopefully they will finish the job this time.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous When's the DFC Funeral? said...

Hey Al T:

Great job, buddy!

When can we expect your resignation?

8:04 AM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Raymond a little bitter are we? I'll pass your kind and Christian well wishes along to John. Maybe if he painted a large bulls eye on his car the drunken city dpw workers will have better luck.Don't worry about working with Lou Benton.Only in DPW can being drunk, blind and stupid make you foreman material.I'll fit right in.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Filing DFC under "local disasters" in the Saratoga Library's history room said...

Me thinks Ray Babbit is a tad disappointed with Tuesday's outcome. Tsk tsk.

Hey butt plug: maybe Vanguard will give you a bell-hop job when your cult buys the Adelphi!

Otherwise:

Let's be REAL careful and watchful over the next seven weeks, folks. Kim isn't out of office until Jan 1; and who knows what he might spring in the meantime.

I hope someone is keeping a close eye on the gun room at the PD....

12:58 PM  
Anonymous I Hear Tommy is Gonna Come Riding into Town Tomorrow on a White Horse! said...

How come when I look in the OBITUARY section of the Saratogian today, I'm not seeing 'Democrats for Change' listed?

Hey Bernstein: look into that for us, will you?

After all, some of us are looking forward to pissing on the grave.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finneran and Co. has already sat down with Skippy to coerce him into the Democratic fold as a toe hold onto the next Council table. Could you just picture her sitting behind him at a Council meeting?

2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Eileen...good luck with that. Glad to know that you are finished in this city. Finished.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Bronner?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous One of the 2,000 non-voters that cost Ron Kim the election said...

Bronner?

I hear he's looking for that DPW Deputy spot, too.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the sun sets in the west, the PD and SSFD are circling their wagons.

What will be their strategy with a new Public Safety boss?

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Springing a Leak in the Big Rat said...

7:41:

They'll do their DRUNKEN MOB in front of City Hall routine again.

Spitting on the windshields of cars that don't HONK in support; smashing baby carriages of families who had the misfortune of trying to use the sidewalk at that time; flaming profanities and insults at those who appear to be in disagreement.

It might be time to have the Governor get involved here; call in the State Police to make sure this doesn't happen again.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Hot To Trot said...

What do David Bronner,John Tighe,Ron Kim and Lew Benton all have in common? They all have no credibility in this town!
What do Shauna Sutton,Eileen Finneran,Michelle Boxley and Kate Jarosh have in common? They all carry the tag B-I-T-C-H!

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Kim, there was hope. The PD and SSFD knew there was a chance to continue with the Comp time, the overtime and more big raises.

Without Kim the taxpayers have hope.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

Why such animosity toward the Fire and Police, "Spring a Leak"? The last time the SSFD were out picketing, my children and baby carriage were there to help, certainly not impeded! And nobody got spit on or sworn at; that's a ridiculous assertion!

As far as I know, by the way, nobody "handed" those jobs to the rank and file folks in the police and fire departments. They were all competitive civil service positions, which you or I could have applied for (by comparison, other "budget items" who will certainly not chase bad guys or run into a burning building for you, if they do anything at all, are patronage positions with better benefits and salaries). The police and fire folks are facing layoffs and unfair criticism for a budget situation which they had little part in creating. So "spring a leak", layoff, no pun intended. And, if you want to make allegations about police officers or firefighters who swore/spit at you, take it down to the station. I'm sure someone would be glad to help you.

But back to the question: How will the city council address the budget issues, including proposed layoffs? It appears that this lame-duck council will get to vote on the proposed budget and they have no incentive, or likely the votes, to save jobs. I know that I am uncomfortable with the notion that I will be paying more taxes and having less to show for it.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Joe from the Grave said...

Harrison,

The spring a leak guy is just bitter because his father was a firefighter killed in the line of duty. It was latter determined he was drunk on the job. I see why he is acting out.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:41PM - I agree, that there is no room for vial comments like those from "Springing a leak...” but as far as the issue of layoffs, you are in denial.

The fact is the Unions have inexcusably addressed their member’s rights and entitlements to the point where those residents who must pay their salaries are outraged. We are talking about unacceptable crippling budgets. How is it that most of the employees of the PSD who live outside the City and do not pay its taxes, are perfectly satisfied with the protection offered by the County Sheriff and the Volunteer fire departments for their families? No one is seriously thinking of ridding the city of its police and fire protection, but decades of believing that more personnel and larger departments will provide the infrastructure necessary to protect this city is plain foolishness. Intimidating suggestions that gangs are ready to infiltrate our neighborhoods and inflammatory concerns that lives are in danger despite all of the recent new fire rated commercial construction is just union propaganda. We are not stupid. We presently have more personnel than required to protect our little city. We simply cannot keep throwing money at department budgets solely because their heads say so. Time has come to trim the fat for healthy leaner and meaner departments and that certainly means layoffs and redirecting and rethinking the operation schedules. Thinking inside the box.It's not about having handed out jobs to unqualified people, it is about handing out too many jobs and structuring the work so that it takes more people to do less work.

Is the PSD serious in stating that it is unlawful for the public to know what are the work requirements and responsibilities of employees that their tax dollars pay for, because lives would be at risk? We are living in a 10.5% unemployment period and layoffs and creative efficiency is the operative mode. The taxpaying public responded last Tuesday to the Union messages. It's time to address those concerns.

BTW: There probably wasn't any spitting going on at the last riotous gathering in front of City Hall, but the intimidating crowd which did not keep the pedestrian right-of-way clear was oppressive. Ask anyone who had to climb the steps to get into City Hall. You have to admit, that the rat mascot during these times is more than ridiculous.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Horatio, my hemorrhoids are flaring up again. Besides that, I am getting impatient waiting for your new post.

That is all.

Faulkner

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrison
Your relative who is in the SSFD will likely keep his/her job.

But to say that other jobs in the city have better salaries AND benefits, is a farce. Does a secretary get to stay home, with pay, for a paper cut? There are no better benefits than in the SSFD.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous I didn't honk; now I have a cracked windshield said...

'Harrison the Union Member'said this"

"....And, if you want to make allegations about police officers or firefighters who swore/spit at you, take it down to the station. I'm sure someone would be glad to help you..."


You must be from another planet, right? Or you're just joking?

1:02 PM  
Anonymous When's the DFC Funeral? said...

Could someone assign a bodyguard to Mary Zlotnick?

I think she needs one after today's brave statement.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets keep it up. I saw many letters to the editor from teachers supporting Mayor Johnson for his fiscal responsibility. Lets support Gov. Pattersons proposals and hold the teachers feet to the fire

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All those complaining about union benefits seem to forget it takes 2parties to agree to a contract. You can't blame a union negotiator for asking for the most it can get for its members. The real question is who was on the other side of the table agreeing to these provisions. For years when Republicans controlled the city council, city jobs were Republican patronage positions. Many police and firefighters were Republican committee members. Did you not notice Republican City Chair John Herrick's pointed comment that employees should not expect negotiations to go the way they were used to them going. It puts Republicans now in control of the Council in an interesting position. Which base do they play to--taxpayers or their base of city employees who until now were faithful cheerleaders for the Republicans and wouldn't even look seriously at a Democratic candidate. And what did they really think the Democrats could do for them this year given that once elected they would have been faced with the same budget delemmas.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

My post was not so much about whether my relative keeps a job or not. Layoffs are a part of the tough times we live in and we'll support our family no matter what happens on that front...Criticisms of Union leadership and tactics? Fine. Criticisms of overtime practices? Fine. Worries about budget and rising taxes? Realistic. Deliberately misrepresenting the behavior of others behind an anonymous internet handle? Not really cool with me.
On the other point, I will admit that almost everything I know about local government is from reading this blog and the local newspapers. There seem to be some "in the know" people who comment here from time to time. My question is whether some of the better-compensated appointed positions are under discussion for elimination or cutbacks and/or whether they should be? In other words, what are the relative merits of these jobs compared to those targeted for layoffs? I'll hang up and listen...

8:41 PM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Harrison do you also support your buddies comments about drunken fireman who die in the line of duty all to take a political shot at your perceived enemy is that fine? Nether side has the right to claim the moral high ground.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:36 They play to the base that elected them. They play to the base that lives in the City. They don't play to the base that didn't endorse them (even though the GOP candidates didn't attend the endorsement meeting). They don't play to the base that is made up of city employees who don't live in the city. Pretty simple stuff really.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrison no doubt a student of Aikido has presented an honorable challenge. We probably not only have too many police and firemen, but also planners and inspectors (building and safety) and employees in general because we've all been victimized by an employment mentality that rewards patronage and the public dole. Just listen to the crowds complaining that their due is do without regard for those who have to pay for the increases during the worst of times. Driven by the mantra that growth is good no one ever wants to determine just how much is good enough.

Can we challenge existing positions? Yes we can.
Can we eliminate positions? Yes we can.
Can we layoff personnel? Yes we can.
Can we do it better with less? Yes we can.
When things get better, can we re-evaluate our priorities? Yes we can.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous I'll vote for Charter Change ONLY if it expels the DFC cult from the city said...

I'll be her bodyguard!

And I certainly commend her for the thoughtful and ACCURATE assessment of what is the root of the city party's problems:

The Cult of Val.

Until they are eliminated--as in COMPLETELY eliminated--from the party, it remains doomed.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

I bet the Keehn'iacs are already hiding in her bushes with the video camera; just like before.

After all: that is their way of doing things.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Well said CyberCitizen Harrison.

If we are fortunate, Commissioner-Elect Wirth will help ALL of us to understand the Public Safety budget. What is required is genuine openness and transparency, the kind of principled Democracy that his predecessor abhorred.

We can hope Mr. Wirth will share the "Policies and Procedures" that dictate directions for many tax dollars. I believe the Commissioner-Elect will work WITH the City's Legal Team to get the best possible contract, opening the process to the Public to the fullest extent that the law allows.

Rick's honest commitment to Open Government will help to bring the public and our officers closer together. That has been the cornerstone of the Wirth campaign and the city will be better for it.

-Kyle York,
Supporting the High Rock RFP and a realistic Public Safety design

2:28 PM  
Blogger Harrison said...

Ben lives...
Agree. I don't moderate comments though.
windshield...
Me a Union guy? Not presently.... But why should anyone take you seriously with that handle? You are basically saying, before I even read, "what I have to say is going to be petty, snarky, and is not going to contribute anything to the discussion."
6:58
well played

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO
Since you are busily working on a new posting, I'll stick to what is currently being added to your blog today.

As far as Mr. Wirth goes, his challenge will be setting a NEW tone with an OLD deputy, namely Mr. Dudla. Frank "Skip" Dudla has an old relationship with Chief Moore and Chief Cogan of the SSFD. Can he be objective, or will we fall back into the comfort zone.

It is very important to impress upon this deputy, that it IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL. Cuts need to be made.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Pissin' on the DFC's Grave said...

methinks you need to add Mary Zlotnick to your power ranks.

if the DFC hasn't assasinated her by now, that is.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous I'll be back tomorrow to piss again said...

Oh ya, I almost forgot:

Hey Ron: HA HA!!!!!!

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Anon 7:22-

Spot on. And I'll bet Dudla's past experience will prove to be the invaluable bridge between Saratoga and Sanity. Rick's negotiating skills are formidable... in a good way.

Make no mistake, the agenda here will come from Wirth. And if it comes down to a classic double-team of GoodBoss/BadBoss, Frank is the perfect choice for a guarantee of civility and communication. And we ALL win.

-Kyle York
Taking wagers at 581-1819

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you are sweet on Bernstein, not wanting to kill all of the bugs in the jar, but that writing today on the Rec. center throwing in that stuff about Mr. Wrong Way Kim "calling out" the Mayor for "wrong priorities" is absurd. The election is over and Mr. Kim’s one-sided opinion on building his fortress or do nothing is over as well too. It was only a few days ago that Bernstein wrote his story on the “mystery leaves” most of which have been piled street side for weeks and the reporter didn’t ask the Commissioner or comment on the loss of 4 truck drivers which everyone in the city is aware of effecting the process. Are we better informed by reading that paper or just being politically handled?

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Union Loyal said...

Raises! Raises! More Benefits! THAT is what we deserve. We do a good job out there on the streets, protecting you morons.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle York:

OK, OK. We understand that Dickworth and DUDla are your drinking buddies, but neither one of them has a clue about running the Public Safety Department.

When DUDla was there before, the only thing he had going for him was that the whole department was so relieved to be rid of Erin Dreyer that they were quite willing to tolerate DUDla's do-nothing daily hangovers. This time, it's going to be painfully obvious that all he's capable of doing is taking up space.

Dickworth has never negotiated a contract in his life, and he's not about to start now, especially since Little Scotty's Republican lawyers still have a lock on their $250 an hour retainer agreement. They're not about to let Dickworth interfere with their gravy train. They'll keep stonewalling, the unions will keep demanding arbitration, and eventually an arbitrator will give the workers what they deserve - a fair contract - and the taxpayers what we've known has been coming all along - a tax increase.

And we'll probably need another tax increase when Dickworth's dream of lucrative grant money turns out to be smoke and mirrors. The police station will keep on crumbling, there won't be any money to fix it, and all Dickworth will be able to do is talk about how he's focused on protecting us from TERRORISM!

Looks like we're in for 2 years of Republican good old boy government. Nothing will be accomplished. Nothing will change.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, 12:39.

Why don't you tell me how their current contract, laden with benefits and substantial monetary compensation is unfair.

If there were offered a "fair" contract, as you say, they would probably be looking at a minimum of a 15% pay cut, given the current economic and budgetary state....

And your name calling (Little Scotty/Dickworth) just shows how small, jaded, and ignorant you are.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:39
Leave the PBA range, get off the computer, and if you are on OT, go home, there is nothing happening out there tonight.

We taxpayers understand your frustration, but there is a crisis in the country, our county and our city.

Whining will get you nowhere.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Anon 12:39-

"Taking up space" is an understatement. How can ANY Commissioner/Deputy fill the immense void left by the Bankruptcy Attorney and Deputy Public Dole?

Cheer up and revisit your meds. Now THERE's something that can "change" in the next two years.

-Kyle York
Accomplishment happens

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Eileen's NXIVM Coach said...

Eileen

I hear there's an opening at the Korean deli, if you still need work.

I would think you could get a good reference from a certain someone who is 'connected' there, don't you?

That might hold you over until the Adelphi deal closes. Then your front desk job opens up.

Are you still keeping an eye on him? We're worried.



Long Live Vanguard

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO

Do you have any idea how many people are waiting for your next topic?

7:52 AM  
Anonymous ATOMIC ROOSTER said...

"DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU"

4:13 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Horatio,

Feed the masses. Do you realize your lack of a new post is bordering on hostile?

Order up!

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

Dear Mr. Alger,

FACT #1-
You started penniless and worked your way to prosperity.

FACT #2-
Saratoga once had a surplus and is now headed for Third-World status.

FACT #3-
Challenge our Brains with a Brilliant Analysis of our City Budget Boondoggle or we shall all PERISH for want of Prose, Punditry, and a HO*POST!!!

THIS MEANS YOU!!!!!

-The Fantum!!!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Plotting Val's Return to Power said...

7:52,

Umm, like: 5?

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Calling Some Bluffs said...

Hey Kyle:

Here's an idea.

How about we ask that the Council come together in a united front and lobby to do away with this 'Condo Property Tax Loophole' we have in NYS?

You know, where condo owners are only paying taxes on a small % of the value of their property.

That would close the gap, wouldn't it?

Not to mention: it would be the right thing to do.

Or is that hitting too close to home for certain carpetbaggers?

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Wee Willie McT said...

Ho,

Get your cock out of your hand and start writing!

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it. Cool Hand Luke.

Vicariously, we live (a part of) our life through this blog. And we all want Luke Boy to keep the story going.
Remember Strother Martin "What we have here, is a failure to communicate".

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Wee Willie McT said...

My retirement will set the stage for a run for dpw in 2011. Look out Skipy boy I'm gunning for you!

3:48 AM  
Anonymous John Herrick's left nut said...

Heat is on! The dpw crew will now be hanging their hat on the organ grinder. Then he retires in january and Donna Buckley takes over. Bye Bye Skippy you will lose next election.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Society to Watch NXIVM's Every Move said...

This just in:

Valerie Keehn -- she of the glorious term as Mayor of our fair city -- is rumored to be putting together a campaign team to run vs Assemblyman Jim Tedicso.

OK, Keehniacs: here's a simple question:

What part of "we reject everything you assholes stand for" don't you get after the recent elections?


Just wondering....

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Ho's of the 518 said...

Come on! Ho! Something new for christ sake!
How about a Keehn vs. McTygue finale
Or a Bill McTygue vs. a new comer
You got a Pastor vs. A sex offender
Police layoffs vs. a freeze on OT
Paid Firefighters vs. volunteers
Give us something!
Even John Tighe and his piece of shit blog vs. Andy Bernstein's rag
would do!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

BlufferNutter-

You need to get out more often. Try something safe, like City Council. That's where I said the City Finances would be better off with increased condo taxes. Given the crazy-quilt of formulas nationwide, I suggested considering Ohio's modern approach for modern structures as opposed to the relic from the 60's being pushed by the Bills from Betty Little. But if you spent more time studying NYS law and less time changing your screen name, you'd know Albany's RPTL S581 and RPL S399-y will never change because of the votes downstate.

Much as I'd like to see you make a positive and informed effort to improve our community, you're welcome to stay under your cozy little rock. My family's been here since 1856 and we've seen all kinds of Bluff and Bluster come and go. Like our verdant moss and mold, you keep things colorful.

-Kyle York
Opinionated Ornery Informed Local

2:59 PM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

What did you get laid off to? The city is waiting for your wisdom.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Piece of shit blog?


Hey I resemble that remark.




Never let it be said i take my self to seriously.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

While we wait for Horatio's next entry, here is a little entertaining diversion:

Dock Ellis recounting his pitching a no hit game in 1970... on LSD. Classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vUhSYLRw14

7:55 AM  
Anonymous My pappy's pappy's pappy vacationed in Glen Falls--does that count? said...

So, Kyle Dork's 6th cousin twice removed allegedly lived around here someplace, way back when, huh?

That somehow makes him the Voice of Reason, I guess.

Just supporting "increased condo taxes" does not get you off the hook, my friend.

The only proper thing to do is to value a condo just like I have my home valued--based on what it's f'ing WORTH!!!! DO THE SAME with Condos! Not just "increase the tax". Go all the way. Caught you there with your little game of semantic, huh?

All of that being said: we actually DO agree on 2 of your points:

1. The likelihood of this actually getting done? You are correct: not likely.

2. The overall method of taxation being a relic? Again, you are correct.

BUT: your OHIO example is not a good one to point to, for reasons that I'm sure the readers here are not inclined to be interested in.

You're buying: and we'll discuss at...oh let's say: the most expensive joint in town.

What would that place be, BTW? Just curious...?

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO
I hope you are feeling ok.
Miss ya man.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Adrian Cronower said...

John Tighe now has the #1 blog in the area! Ho-Ly SHIT! I have to admit it is hilarious! Though,it is totally full of crap and lies, it nails Scirroco and that is good! Keep up the good work! The pastor has a free Turkey waiting for you because of your coverage of his church. I'm sure you can use the charity!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous I'm weeping right along with the Bored Housewives! said...

To paraphrase Tricky Dick (Nixon, that is):

"You won't have Ron Kim to kick around anymore"

Ya know, it really won't be as much fun, though, will it?

I mean, it was SO F'ING EASY!!!!!!!

10:58 AM  
Anonymous DFC/NXIVM undercover detail said...

We took care of this little "Horatio" problem....

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Sons of Bumquista said...

Take notice, friends: the Fat One is coming to Saratoga!

Yes, the 300-lb man-beast says he will give us the wisdom to repair our wounded souls.

I can't wait to caress his bloated flesh.

I await with hogs breath.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to HO and to all fellow posters.
It's been quite a year..........so far.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can remember once living with friends in a house out in the country where we would hang fly strips, one on either side of the chandelier over the dining room table. We had horses and sheep and so we had flies. Weeks would go by with the strips collecting flies and sometimes if everyone was quiet amount the large table, all that could be heard was the buzzing of the little tormented souls. We didn't think much about it but every once in a while, guests would seemed alarmed at our callous concern for the flies. Once while passing the tuna casserole, one of the fly strips fell under its own weight (pulling the little tack out of the ceiling) into the pot.

This current blog topic reminds me of those days.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat like Paul McCartney, our beloved HO has left a cryptic message as he crosses the street barefoot, and out of step with his fellow Beatles..........

Will his final words.....(I hope not) .....be.....

Will they be.....

"yesterdays news"

??

3:06 PM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

Still waiting.....Still waiting....

7:42 AM  
Blogger Ben lives on said...

I'm not sure you noticed but there's a lot of shit going on in this town.Please give us a Christmas gift.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the love of god and whats left of humanity write a new post. I beg you and I NEVER beg anyone.

Citizen Nancy

9:31 AM  

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