Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The honeymoon is over

City Democrats expecting a lasting detente between the two rival factions of their party can better think again. Roughly four months after the new media regaled in a new and improved party with a unified message, all indications are pointing to the fact that the two factions that bitterly fought through elections in 2007 and 2008 are back at it again.

This week, two-time incumbent Accounts Commissioner John Franck is expected to support a bipartisan budget-cutting initiative calling for up to 40 layoffs in city’s workforce, according to source. It’s not clear where the layoffs will be targeted, but one could assume they’ll be largely split between the departments of Public Works and Public Safety –the city’s largest employers.

The layoffs also allegedly have the blessing of Mayor Scott Johnson and Finance Commissioner Ken Ivins, according to sources. Conspicuously absent from this list of supporters are the names of Republican Skip Scirocco, the DPW chief, and Democrat Ron Kim, the PBA lapdog.

That’s because neither commissioner would dare to support layoffs when both came to power thanks to the city’s unions. As some may recall, Scirocco was ushered into office with an endorsement from the DPW union. And Kim was among a vocal minority of city officials clamoring to bond a combined police and courts building that cost in excess of $20 million in its first incarnation. Not to mention, supporting the city’s unions has been the wholehearted mantra of the Democratic Committee, which is now controlled by the quixotic Democrats for Change, of which Kim is a card-carrying member.

The impending call for job cuts also follows the reemergence of SUCCESS –Saratogians United to Continue the Charter Essential to Sustain Our Success –or the anti-charter revision group that handily defeated former Mayor Valerie Keehn’s rush to city’s form of government. The group cropped back up late last month after a summer-long campaign to revisit charter revision that was led by the Democrats for Change splinter and their allies.

Interestingly enough, the group conducted a forum last week featuring Frank, Johnson, and Ivins, along with City Council candidates Richard Wirth and Ed Miller; all people who either are or were against changing the charter in the past. Conspicuously absent from this lot are Scirocco and all the Democratic candidates; each hand-picked for their run by the Democrats for Change. All four candidates were invited to participate in a forum this week. Not surprisingly, the forum was cancelled.

On a side note, some over at anti-revisionist camp should really do some work on their acronym. But apparently, ‘SUCCESOS’ doesn’t really have the same ring to it. Or does it? Maybe the Latinos would pick up on it if they could just drop a 'c' from it. But why digress?

At face value, this divergence of opinion between Franck and the DFC zealots might not seem like much of an issue. But when taken into context of the looming layoff proposal, it appears as though the battle line was drawn. And it’s one that cuts through the center of the Democratic Party –albeit missing the splinter faction that has hijacked the city’s committee.

Needless to say, any sort of honeymoon that was conjured by the committee last summer is clearly over. Of course, some would argue there never really was any honeymoon between the warring factions of the Spa City Democrats. Rather, an allegiance of convenience that was wryly made by Franck to ensure the committee wouldn’t wage a costly primary against him in September and broken the exact moment the primaries passed.

And rightfully so. With his election all but guaranteed, Franck has no vested interest in befriending the Democrats for Change, which at best will be able to secure a simple majority on the council. More likely, however, the DFC will get their asses handed to them in a sling. They’ve harvested a lack-luster panel of neophyte candidates from their patronage tree and are leading a ticket with a guy who is roundly considered the most inept, politically driven person on the city council. Couple this with the fact that the city electorate is still weighted toward the GOP and you have what could amount to a crushing defeat for this misanthropic clan.

If the DFC loses with all three of their candidates, they will at last be flushed from the halls of city government. Some might hope to appeal to Scirocco, who was ushered into power with their votes. But the chance of a card-carrying Republican like Scirocco extending any sort of favor to the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party is about as likely as that fat drug-sucking bastard Limbaugh going on Weightwatchers and enrolling as a Socialist. For Franck, this is all the more reason to jettison the seriously misguided committee, even if it doesn’t collapse under the bluster of its own hot air.


Anonymous dirtyharry said...

What makes you ever think that the Democratic factions were in love?
It was merely a forced marriage of convenience. With several holding shotguns.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Nobody Messes with Sam Cro said...

I guess the SOA (Sons of Anarchy) will be paying a little visit to Mr. Franck's office. Seems a shake up is in order. We are stanch union supporters. Sort of like a bikers union. How dare you stick our party in the back!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Pretty early in the morning for you to be hitting the bourbon so hard. This post is barely readable. Or did you just let Frank DUDla ghost write it and post it on your blog without any editing?

Is there any intelligent life left on this planet? This particular post suggests there isn't.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Gomer Pyle said...

SURPRISE! SURPRIZE! SURPRIZE! John Franck is a Fink! WELL GOLLLLLY! He doesn't get along with the rest of the democrats. No Kidding! Sounds awfully familiar to another demoRAT we knew! McTygue for many years back stabbed his own party to get his own personal agenda passed. That's why he lasted so long. He always did the Republicans dirty work. Now his protege, Franckfurter is doing his Tommy impersonation. "Little Tommy" we will call him.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The need for a new Police station is real. However the embrace of this issue by Kim has not caught on with rank and file Democratic voters due to its cost and suggested placement. The entire Kim campaign is against the Recreation Center which has been supported in concept by Mayors Klotz, Lenz, Keeehn.
The real issue in this years city election is, "How much more will I have to pay for taxes?" This year it is that basic.

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Really tellin' it like it ain't said...

Scirrocco and Johnson are secretly in bed together. It also can be said that Ed Miller will select Keehn as his deputy. Kim win lose the race for the Mayor's seat. Richard Wirth is a great candidate and Ivins will balance the budget.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your insight and analysis in the Honeymoon ARTICLE IS RIGHT ON TARGET. tOO BAD THE REPORTERS in the local press don't get it or don't want to get it. The Saratogian endorsed Scirrocco who waged a scurrilous campaign with the help of the union. He then rewarded the law breaker who deliberately dumped sewage at the compost site with a promotion and salary increase. The guy should have gone to jail for that one or fired immediately. So hoping that this card carrying REpublican would step up to the plate and do the right thing is wishful thinking. One wonders why the REpublicans would support this dolt whose ignorance of public affairs and the dept. he pretends to run is a major embarassment to them and has cost the city hundred of thousands in waste over the past two years. One thing he does know how to do is work the system. His son is on three public payrolls, the county, the state as a urine collector at the track and merry go round operator for his father in the park. What makes these bloodsuckers feel they have entitlements' No wonder this little creep didnt want to show up at a forum where he might have had to answer for his actions and flagrant nepotism. Enough is enough. He should be flushed out of his hideout in the basement of city hall along with his 50,000 dollar a YEAR PERSONAL LETTER OPENER AND confidant.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats for Change was failure from the start. Blinded by a rabid determination for control, these self-serving partisan novices unable to be satisfied and relish a full council majority squandered their potential for influencing city government by attacking and cannibalizing their own party. Threatening to primary the only successful Democrat on the Council who runs unopposed is only another sign of their colossal public stupidity and Dawinistic bent.

The present DFC card carrying mayoral candidate who gambled his reputation and abandoned his electorate with a list of indulgent items for his department instead of strategically promoting responsible agendas and foolishly placing all his chips on the idea that ‘no department can be too big’ should not be surprised next month. Today’s announcement of layoffs comes as little surprise while residents still face probably more than an 8% increase in taxes – a pain felt citywide.

Although we may not all choose the same sides, most of us are resident taxpayers and as one savvy politician once stated, “It’s the economy stupid”.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous The Gay Caballero rides again said...

An open message to Kyle York. I heard you at the public comment period could you elaborate on what you said?

6:18 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

3:59 -
"It also can be said that Ed Miller will select Keehn as his deputy."

...said by people who are smoking crack! Wasn't this the same Ed Miller that people had choosing T. McT. for Deputy?

Imagine: Eddy in bed with Val and Tom as co-deputys on either side...that 3-some would sell better than the Paris Hilton sex tape, and the pay-per-view revenues can assure free parking for generations to come.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working in a restaurant or shop on Broadway puts you in direct fire of visitors to our fine city. Recently I have heard over and over complaints about kids with skateboards on Broadway sidewalks running into people. We have noticed that everyday around 3:00pm there is a group of the same kids in the same places on their skateboards or just hanging out in groups yelling, screaming, smoking, etc. Why is it that our visitors / tourists notice this behavior, yet our police department seem unaware? Perhaps it is time to get some of them out walking or a couple bike cops out on the streets. Isn't there a loitering law? People won't come back if they have a bad experience.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again.
Layoffs are threatened, and it brings to mind the threat made earlier this year by the PBA president at a city council meeting. "we will get you in the fall" meaning the election.

I'm sure those cops in the bowling alley parking lot were doing legit police work.

There are enough hiding places around town where they can go and have their coffee and donuts, without being seen by the public.

Bt the Fire dept. does themselves a disservice by shopping at the price chopper during the day, using the expensive fire equipment as a taxi. Poor judgment on their part.

If they want our respect for their jobs, they need to show professionalism at all times.

I'm afraid some jobs will be cut, it's inevitable.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Sons Of Anarchy said...

Screw those who oppose the skateboarders. We will put them down on broadway by Mr Franck's office. He looks like a skinhead. We don't like skinheads or those who mess with the unions.
Sam Cro is Watching!

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the key skills that ANY of our City Commissioners will need is the courage to CUT the City Payroll and talk honestly about expenses.

Kim has not shown that he has the backbone to make these cuts. He continues to talk about an expensive Public Safety building! Let's make each of the candidates for each office detail:

* How they will cut spending in their department and in the rest of the city budget?
* How they will handle pressure to raise taxes?
* Who they will consider appointing (or not appointing) to be their Deputy?

Let's get real .. Saratoga Springs will face severe budget pressure and we will need a City Council that can honestly and openly deal with this situation.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the same thing that their hero, Ronald Reagan, did to the air traffic controllers; fire 'em all.

There isn't one of the bastards that's worth a warm bucket of spit.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Stiffy said...

NeoLiberal? Try neo-nazi! Take a good look at John Frank. And he is part of goofy independent movement of saratoga. He is doing the public a dis-service by his inability to focus on what is right. He is only concerned with pleasing Tom McTygue. As long as he attacks the democrats he will be accepted. Once he takes a side with any democrat he will certainly be blackballed by Boyd ,McTulip and company.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho, are you saying that unions control politics? All along I thought it was business - oh ya, I forgot that it was the union thugs saying business controlled politics, maybe they were incorrect all along.

6:24 AM  

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