Saturday, December 01, 2007

Scary Movie 2

The scene is at the end of a low-budget slasher flick. The antagonist has been viciously slain and the heroin is reveling as the vile creature’s last remains burn to a cinder in the background. She hugs her fallen beau, a strapping fellow who was knocked out by a not-so-lethal blow to the skull just before the movie’s final battle. Play the happy music and roll out the sunshine.

The fellow coughs to life, is helped to his feet by the heroin and they stagger happily off into the sunset. But before the credits can roll, a boney fist punches through the soft ground; a skeletal figure thrusts its way from the grave and the staccato screech of violins abruptly sounds as the the screen gradually fades to black. Yes friends, the beast is still alive and there’s going to be a sequel. This time, it’s going to be filmed with all the as same horror, but with an even lower budget.

Such a horror flick is playing out in City Hall these days following a recently confirmed rumor from the Public Safety Office. The word around the horn Friday is that Commissioner Ron Kim, a staunch Valerie Keehn loyalist, appointed Eileen Finneran, the mayor’s soon-to-be former deputy, as his number two. Finneran replaces Frank Dudla, the man appointed by shamed former commissioner Tom Curley after the full-time deputy position was restored in 2005.

Kim’s appointment marks the second time Finneran has been arbitrarily thrust into the Public Safety Office, the third time she’s been baltently handed a blatant patronage job, and the first time Dudla has been told to screw off in no uncertain terms. Under the urgings of Keehn, Kim attempted to appoint Finneran as his “second deputy” –despite the fact that the city council had only recently approved a single deputy for his office –just two months after he won election.

The move was rightly seen by the rest of the City Council as a thinly veiled attempt at giving Finneran a free pass into a high-paying but meaningless job. Not surprisingly, Keehn wasn’t among those on the council speaking against a commissioner having two deputies. In fact, she was in the process of needling her own deputy –Nancy Ohlin –out of office so that Finneran would have somewhere to land inside City Hall. On a side note, the Post-Star in its glib article reporting Finneran’s appointment, claims she has “served as deputy mayor since Valerie Keehn took over as city mayor in 2006.” This couldn’t be any more wrong.

Instead of letting a brew-haha develop, Keehn , shoved Ohlin out of a job for so-called “medical reasons” –also know as routine ankle surgery –and appointed Finneran as her deputy, a position that pays an annual salary of more than $60,000. Not a bad haul for a school teacher who never lead anything but the pledge of allegiance before class each morning.

However, such a cushy position was necessary to reward Finneran for her party connections –namely her husband being a lawyer in the state Comptroller’s office–which offered the helping push Keehn needed to come into power. And for the better part of two years now, Finneran has orchestrated much of what critics have broadly castigated as the failed policies of the Keehn Administration. In essence, Finneran is the Keehn administration’s Karl Rove, a sort of political operative guiding the administration from behind the scenes.

But with Keehn banished and the Republican guard moving in, Finneran has nowhere to land in January, save for a school district far removed from the puppet strings of Saratoga politics. It’s a prospect that surely didn’t settle well with the rest of Keehn’s dying movement: The puppeteer herself hitting the bricks with Keehn and the rest of the crazies in her cabinet.

As obnoxiously ridiculous as it may sound to appoint Finneran deputy for anyone other than the school district’s crossing guard, the move does make some sense when taken in the context of Ron Kim. Starting in the New Year, he’ll be flanked by a trio of Republicans –the party he openly shunned to jump on Keehn’s coat tails –and staring directly into the eyes of John Franck, the only other Democratic commissioner who openly fought with Keehn. In other words, Ron Kim could use a friend and a confidant or three, even if they happen to be the last heinous vestiges of the Keehn Administration as it desperately tries to stay on life support until the next election cycle.

Moreover, there are those public officials who would certainly welcome a caustic figure like Finneran in the deputy’s seat, rather than someone with an iota of insight or reason when it comes to public safety issues. Another know-nothing in the office with absolutely no political clout in either party will give the reins of authority over to public safety’s most outspoken department head: Police Chief Ed “the castle-builder” Moore. While Finneran continues to sabatoge the city council, Moore can entrench himself even deeper into the castle he’s quite literally building around his department

Yes folks, these are scary times we’re living in. Kim is clearly at the height of his insanity to ax Dudla, a fellow who roundly supported his agenda, including the pursuit for a public safety facility to dwarf the Glens Falls Civic Center. In fact, the decission shows once and for all that he’s about as level-headed as Freddy Kreuger on a midnight blood-binge. But as strange as the appointment may sound, stranger things have happened in the fetid gullet of Spa City politics. Just consider the last know-nothing public safety deputy handed the position solely for political reasons. And just look how well that worked out for the city.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this move doesn't prove that Kim is the biggest pussy that ever lived, I don't know what does. Clearly, he is not his own man; he is told what to do. What a disgrace. Ron, how does it feel to be told what to do? What a disgrace you are...and you know it!!!!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Ben Arnold said...

"Frank’s done a great job the past two years, but there will be a different City Council coming in with different challenges,"

Kim's words seem to suggest that the resources of the Deputy's position will be leveraged towards dictating his mindless political opposed to improving the efficiency of the Public Safety Department. Of course, given the disgraceful gender bias of the recently vanquished "progressive" machine, its hard not view this development in the questionable context of the future five "man" City Council...and wonder if someone ought to add that up again.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific images. I'd say that these characters would be perfect as walk-ons in the latest grindhouse quentintarantino robertrodriguez movie, Planet Terror, pus pustules and all. Little time left to destroy you, have some pus, while we drag ourselves through the City’s halls. You have to have seen the movie.

The man who staked his career on a Titanic construction mission and now in another public desperate performance, is steaming full speed into the dark financial icy waters, throwing caution to the wind in order to make good on his promise while recklessly taking everyone with him. Ignoring those all along who had cautioned him to be careful with his preposterous and almost arrogant plans, considering the field of dangerous financial icebergs -- with his hand on the wheel -- he bellows to the engine room, “full speed ahead.”

This Commissioner’s frantic announcement in today’s Saratogian, comes only days after the public report that "Under the reorganization plan NYRA has agreed that the land is owned by the state, therefore, taxes aren't owed on It." referring that the Race Course, will go off the tax roles!

The implications for the public’s tax burden which were initially dismissed by the Titanic’s crew, were finally brought to bear in the Mayor’s last minute, “a little too late” concerned press announcement Friday, that cautioned the loss of this revenue. And since the other financial revenue stream that has been earmarked to fund this project, is based on periodic renegotiations of VLT revenue, the Titanic Funding, like once future plans for large ocean going liners may very will go bust. The age of Titanics may well be over giving way to more economical and efficient solutions that provide service not only to the officers on the ship, but also to the public who have to pay for it.

So while some listen to the band playing in its final hours, 'Nearer My God To Thee', it would seem that history has its lessons, and that a wiser Council (this month or next) may recognize that a prudent proposal is far better and insurable, than one that takes everyone with it to the bottom.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

At the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Christmas party Friday night, Joanne Yepsen was overheard talking to Skippy Scirocco's wife.

She asked her how Skippy liked his new job [Comm. of DPW, which he starts in 2008]

Joanne went on to tell her that Skippy had a lot of work to do to clean up the Public Works Department.

More evidence that Yepsen is little more then a two-faced opportunist. Her little back door deal with the good ole boy Republicans will come back to haunt her. She had no problem conspiring with Matthew Veitch to protect her own seat. It appears that a three way deal was reached promising a cross vote of Yepsen’s supporters to Veitch in a return of Veitch supporters for Yepsen. It seems Yepsen’s ego just couldn’t stomach sharing the spotlight with the down to earth Keyrouze. Cheryl had to go, and with a secret protocol with Skippy the stage was set for her victory. Since Jane Weihe was a another threat to Yepsen’s spotlight she was also thrown under the bus with Keyrouze.

The one flaw to her plan ever trusting the Republicans. They are all ready searching for a credible candidate to defeat her in 09 and with her enemies in the Democratic Party her ambitions will be crushed. You live by the sword you die by the sword Joanne your treachery will not be forgotten.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Ben said, "its hard not view this development in the questionable context of the future five "man" City Council...and wonder if someone ought to add that up again."


"Planet Terror, ... You have to have seen the movie." ANON 6:00am

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny, i talked to corrine scirocco and asked her about the conversation with joanne yepsun. and the alleged conversation didn't even take place. she said the conversation was basically a hello goodbye, if skip needs anything at the county let me know.
anything more then that is a lie. which we all know flies very fast.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear demroc: The entire Keehn agenda was based on lies, Tell me why didn’t Kim mention he was going to replace his deputy before the election. Joanne looks out for Joanne period. Like all good PR people she can spin anything. But to use an old PR expression myself. Lipstick on a pig Joanne,your just lipstick on a pig.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those not in the loop, there is a late minute rush to get people down to the Drink Hall Monday during the snow storm because County Supervisor Yepsen is urging our State leaders to come up with a plan, promoting this play as, "We Need a Plan for Racing in Saratoga Springs NOW”.

After so many silent months and "back room deals", does anyone really believe that our State Leaders haven't already decided on this issue and that this homemade theatre at best could be played more appropriately across the street at the Arts Center? But then think for a minute, the Drink Hall may be apropos given the origin of the deal. Anyway, it is fortunate that the strike action by the stagecraft workers is over so that this show featuring the usual cast of performers will provide us with timely Holiday entertainment.


It’s snowing and the sky is gray. The cold hungry peasants are assembled looking up at the steps to the podium, waiting for a word of encouragement that there will be a future beyond December.

The speakers carefully wait for the opportune moment to begin. Smiling, swallowing and looking determined.

The Press is in place, the crowd settles down and then one by one, the Politicians each smile down, and with cameras rolling, they begin by symbolically throwing the equivalent of hard candies at the crowd’s feet, telling them that their voices today, “will indeed be heard in Albany -- If they, have anything to do with it."

More impassioned speeches follow, none that these peasants haven’t heard before yet this time, in the snow, competing with the sound of afternoon traffic and the clockwork rhythmic sound of a distant bell ringer – it seems, it seems … very bizarre.

“Your fate and the fate of Racing rests in our hands and with the grace of Providence, we will deliver!” “We have waited for two years to assemble this outcry and for this opportunity to speak to reporters expressing our outrage!” “Thank you, thank you all, very much – your voices have been heard today, you’ve done your jobs, now we have three weeks to do ours.”

Reporters run up with fingerless gloves holding pads and pencils asking, “Can I quote anyone?”

The reassured peasants slowly begin their trek home, but now with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, they can truly prepare for the Holidays.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is little question that given the machismo in the police department and given Eilleen Finerran's arrogance and over baring manner this move by Kim will prove to be a disaster.

Nevertheless, the misogyny displayed by a number of messages in this thread is disappointing and grim.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Ben Arnold said...

"the misogyny displayed by a number of messages in this thread is disappointing and grim."

Indulge me in a scenario. The City Council is newly comprised of five females, an angry male vents:

"Saratoga Springs really took a few steps backward in this election...there are now five white women serving on the City Council and NO males.

Would you term this person a misogynist? If the roles were reversed would SHE be a misoandrist? Would you say no person, whether by virtue of their gender or race, should be judged by the stereotypes subjectively affixed to that particular group? That the talents of the individual should trump the perceived inclination of the group?

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder Anon 1:47PM.

Whether its misogyny or misandry, it is how you look at it. "… given the machismo in the police department" could suggest that our police ego is firmly planted alongside their pant leg in the form of a weapon and a Rambo attitude with the sensitivity of the Terminator’s trigger finger. Yet, there are many officers, like some of our woman officers whose professional membership and performance far outweighs any stereotype suggested or implied.

The grim problem with the leadership on the other hand, or lack thereof, addresses not only some men but also some women in our recent political arena. The serious contempt for a public who has been held at bay for most of two years because of the often misdirected, misinformed and wasteful displays of an equivalent of a disapponting failure to perform albeit either male or female impotence (or, is that female dysfunction?) on issues representative of all of the City’s residents, perhaps deserves a word of its own. A public misogandry?

That said, the queer choice of substituting Dudla for Finnerran makes little sense when evaluating the existing credentials and previous performances of these individuals straight on. Come next month, with regard to public policies, we will all have to see who is bending over and who is cracking the whip!

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eileen led the mayor's attempt to kick a handicapped kid out of Camp Saradac. That's the kind compassion we need at Pubilc Safety. Hopefully, there will be no stories of her boinking cops in the back of patrol cars.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on Mrs Yepsens is this:

- She put together a pretty strong group of advisors (advertising, political and business people), way out on front of the election. Someone told me she had her group up and running in January.

- That group of people moist likely "read" some trouble on the horizon (inner party bickering) and decided the best strategy would be to stay out of it and avoid getting soaked by the urine.

- This resulted in a "I'm really not concerned about party politics, let me just do my job for the citizens" campaign approach.

Now, one can start a conversation about the job Mrs Yepsens has done as supervisor; BUT I don't think that there is any denying that her campaign approach worked very well.

I think it's as simple as that. I don't buy any of the "gee whiz, she went and done a back room deal with the Republicans or Vietch" conspiracy theorists.

I don't know the woman, but maybe she was just downright embarrased by tha antics of her fellow democrats? If so, I agree with her ans was equally sickened.

And maybe this is the right approach for moving the party ahead to 09?

Thus, the new party leader?

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dem roc said:
i'm not sure what val keehn's agenda has to do with ron kim or his deputy, in this case anon. i had only mentioned that a conversation alleged to have taken place here was a bit over stated. frankly ron kim is commissioner and he can appoint anyone he likes. it's not like he appointed his brother deputy or anything.
here's a simple answer for anon. how many candidates announced who their deputies were going to be? and didn't he inheirit dudla? and if you hold RK to those standards, why not everyone else.
and i never said joanne doesn't look out for #1. but it still doesn't change the fact that even being the so called pig you called her whoever posted the anon message is in fact no better then the liers they claim to be putting down. again we use someone elses misdealings as rationalization that it's ok to lie and make stuff up about people because you assert they are lying. i don't like joanne so believe me i'm not sticking up for her go back and look at my past posts

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:27/2:18 - Ms. Yepsen knows exactly where she's been having played her version of musical chairs going back to 2006 with the Thompson gang. As a professional marketer, she smells the aroma of opportunity long before any scent of dedication or promotion to a purpose that may not reward her bottom line reaches the pathways to her temporal lobe – politics plain and simple.

From the very start of 2006, she was involved in behind the scene whispers and practiced cut throat deception while managing her reelection two years in the future. That may be, the true test of a politician, but don't bet she’ll be there for you, when you need her unless of course, your issue should coincide with hers or will ultimately benefit her.

Isn’t it just a little bit odd that this ‘organized concern’ over the racing industry decision didn’t take place in a public forum over the last 23 months? On the same day, that Senator Bruno publicly announces a NYRA ‘decision’ on the 12th and Roy McDonald announces that a deal is in but “he’s not aware of it yet”, this marketer was in her element, with her voice cracking impassioned speech, “on how, there is no time to lose” (for this, her opportunity).

Racing is a vital community concern, one that all of our politicians (who didn’t spend all their time chasing distractions for two years) can agree with. The finger pointing will end with a solution that will make this 11th hour, “Ms. Smith goes to Washington” moment somewhat disingenuous.

There’s no innocence here, either for the politician or for the public. If the decision doesn't favor the City then it cannot be placed on the backs of a manipulated public, but on the politicians who must take responsibility for their inaction. Does anyone want to bet on the finish of this steeplechase? I'll bet Mr. Veitch has a tip.

On the surprise or not so surprise deputy selection (small d for deputy), this was just another foolish miscalculation by the Commissioner who could not recognize the value of someone who supported him for another who is using him. But then that brings us back to politics. Don’t forget, that these are the same folks who initially complained about cronyism, then appointed their entire inner circle to important positions, forgetting all along that there was a more important job to do – like serving the City.

And if the Sarandac saga is the best we can do to highlight the Mayor's office accomplishment for two years, what more can I say?

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry that Cheryl Keyrouze didn't receive enough votes to serve our City. She was a like a general practicioner who tirelessly took care of all our aches and pains. She took the time to listen. We might have to settle now for a kind of managed care.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supervisor Yepsen has always taken my concerned phone calls. I have always found her to be incredibly assessible.

She ran an ethical campaign and the negativity and lies are really unfair.

She has consistently risen above this nonsense, good for her!

7:49 PM  

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