The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015



We were premature when we announced that Anasha Cummings did not meet his goal of 1,000 pledged votes and would therefore withdraw from the at-large council race. Our incorrect assessment was based upon a Saturday morning visit to his site. As of Saturday, October 11, the WFP & Green Party candidate had 912 voters pledged to support him.

The day before the deadline, Cummings announced, "We are up over 90% after a marathon day of ‪#‎DigitalDoorKnocking‬ and likely have enough supporters waiting in the queue to be verified to take us over the top, but there is still an hour to participate and be sure we make it!"

On the 912 votes, Cummings told the Troy Polloi, "these are unofficial results. There are some duplicates in the system that need to be cleaned, but also a large amount of data from a recent canvass that hasn't been accounted for yet, so we are busy crunching numbers, and will make an official announcement, with next steps either way, on our Facebook Page Monday morning."

Some are suspicious. The site's Anash-O-Meter was stuck on 912 pledged votes for 48 hours and then, after number crunching etc, Barbarossa met his goal. People are right to be suspicious. This isn't Honduras, where votes seem to just turn up. It's Troy, where votes are manufactured. That Doesn't mean Cummings has tweaked the math. It's a problem of controls.

Cummings can run if he wants. He could run without the pledge requirements. He chose the 1,000 vote pledge requirement. That benchmark was self-imposed.  The problem was that he did not set forth how these pledges would be calculated. How long they could remain in the queue, uncounted. Did the site meter rise automatically when someone filled out the on-line form. He did not mention, on the site, that paper ballots would be accepted. He did not explain how, if possible, he would weed out those who might take his pledge but only wanted him in the race as spoiler. In short, he did not set up the rules.

Cummings should release the pledges. He can redact enough information to protect identities but reveal enough information to establish authenticity. He should release the pledges that were not counted, those from people not registered or who may not be eligible to vote in Troy. In short, allow an audit. That would, we believe, satisfy skeptics.

Cummings has also stated that he will reevaluate on October 27 and determine if he has enough support at that time to move forward. Frankly, that's na├»ve. Once the machinery is in motion, once you're that close to election day, things take on a life of their own.

We are not bashing Cummings. We endorsed Cummings in the primary and may do so again. As we said, some are skeptical and we understand why. However, we can't help wonder if Cummings is playing it safe. Hoping that the pledges come through and he's not embarrassed on election day. Or, is this a brilliant PR ploy? Some way to keep a third party candidate in the news. Cummings should run or withdraw. Make a decision and move forward. That's what leaders do. This game of electoral blue balls wears thin.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Yes, another installment of PoP, where we take an in-depth look at  our candidates. A political colonoscopy, if you will. We''ve spun the wheel and this week:


Although it seems that Ms. Mantello (R) has been on the local political scene for decades, that's just because she has. Mantello first ran for Troy City Council in the early 1990's, when she was just twelve years old. She served three terms on the Council before challenging incumbent mayor Mark Pattison in 1999. She lost, despite the fact that legendary political operative Bob Mirch switched teams and put all of his skill to work for the young Republican. Rudy Giuliani also campaigned for Mantello that year.

Mantello has demonstrated the agility to climb the political ladder but appears to lack the necessary adhesiveness to stay near the top rung.

According to Carmella, her resume is as follows:

Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, Executive Director of the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, Inc., Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, - ( stop here and catch your breath, stay hydrated, it's a long slog) - Assistant Secretary of State with the New York State Department of State’s Office of Local Government and Community Services, Project Director of the New York State Quality Communities Task Force and Program, Legislative Director to a New York State Senator, Executive Director of the New York State Senate Labor Committee. And, of course, Commodore of the New York State Canal Corporation,  a client state of the New York State Thruway Authority (2005-2011).

In short, Ms. Mantello has amassed a text book curriculum vitae for the career political appointee. This is not a criticism. Many do it: Republican, Democrat, Conservative. Yet, like many, she appears to long for the validation of elected office. Except for her tweens, this has alluded her.

The Canal Corporation: What is it and what is it good for?

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority. It is responsible for the oversight, administration and maintenance of the New York State Canal System, which consists of the Erie Canal, Cayuga–Seneca Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal. It is also involved with the development and maintenance of the New York State Canalway Trail and with the general development and promotion of the Erie Canal Corridor as both a tourist attraction and a working waterway. At least that's what Wikipedia says.

In 2012, the Canal Corp. employed 529 and its spending accounted for about 10 percent of the Thruway Authority’'s total $1.1 billion in annual spending.  In 2012 State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said the canal system "contributed to the deterioration of the Authority's financial condition over the past decade", even as canal traffic had dropped nearly one-third since the period immediately before the Thruway Authority assumed control.

There was a bit of a scandal at the authority involving the sale of land, cheap, to a connected developer. That came to light prior to Ms. Mantello's reign. All in all, she appears to have been an enthusiastic and capable promoter of a somewhat moribund entity.

Her first few weeks at the Canal Corp. were rocky. Initially, Ms. Mantello believed that they were supposed to drain the canal and fill it back in with top soil. She was about 14% finished when the error was discovered. After that, smooth sailing. In 2006, Mantello pushed to expand state government by advocating for the liberation of the Canal Corp from the Thruway Authority. The administration decided that there were already too many public authorities and another one was unnecessary.

Recent Campaigns

Mantello's Canal term came to an end in 2011 and Cuomo chose not to reappoint Mantello. Mantello turned her attention to winning the job she wanted more than a decade before, what she calls The Big Enchilada.  At first, the prize seemed within reach. The scandal plagued Democratic Party (voter fraud) had chosen Council President Chappy Campana as their candidate. The charges against Campana would eventually be dropped but it was clear that Campana would lose. He bowed out of the race and was replaced by Lou Rosamilia. Shortly thereafter, polling showed that Mantello would likely lose another mayoral bid. She did. It was not close.

Undeterred, Mantello ran for an at-large seat in 2013. On election night she was in fourth place, just 19 votes behind Lynn Kopka. After more than 400 absentee ballots were opened, Mantello lost by a razor-thin 63 votes. Now, like a masochist that forgot her safe word, Mantello is back again for another possible dose of voter spanking.

For the record, we believe that she will win an at-large seat this time. But, we can't figure her out. Rensselaer County has always been fertile ground for young(ish), thin, female republicans. Kathy Jimino, Mary Donohue, Deb Young and, for a brief time, Trish DeAngelis, all come to mind. Mantello's resume is the equal of those women (relative to the office sought). She seems personable, she campaigns hard, she is not particularly ideological and yet, why did the Canal Corp. position feel like she was being put out to political pasture?

We think she would be a dedicated, reasonable councilwoman.

Saturday, October 10, 2015



Anasha Cummings, the former Democratic candidate for one of three Troy at-large council seats, will bow out of the race. Despite his defeat on September 10, Cummings still had the Working Families Party line. In an unorthodox move, Cummings 'let the people decide' whether he should remain in the race and act as a possible spoiler. Cummings created a website and pledged that he would not run unless he got 1,000 people to pledge their support to his campaign by October 10. The people decided.

As of this morning, Cummings had received 912 pledges. His quixotic, yet somehow charming, quest, has ended. For now.

Will Cummings endorse any of the Democrats remaining in the race? It would be a good move for him to do so.

While we cannot help but admire Team Troy's rage against the machine, this effort appears to have failed. This time around.

They did not contest District 1. They already co-opted candidates with the D-Line in District 2 & 4. They did not contest District 3. They lost in District 5. They lost in District 6 and their candidate, Corey Jenkins announced he will not campaign. They lost the At-Large primary. They lost the mayoral primary.

Our advice: They should all drop out of their respective races and endorse the candidate of their choice. They should work their asses off for that candidate. They should avoid the spoiler label at all costs. Then, they should, and could, claim a seat at the table in two and four years. Many insurgent campaigns fail the first go around. A scorched earth policy is not the answer. Re-group, double-down on organizing and return. Don't self-immolate. If this is truly about issues and not ego, that is the only course of action if they want to remain relevant. It's hard to forgive if you are responsible for a Gordon Administration. Just our two cents.

Thursday, October 08, 2015



Encompasses southern Lansinburgh and North Troy. Home to what is probably the worst area of the city. District stops at Hoosick Street, where passports will be checked.

Geography: Urban, urban, urban. The Crack Basket of Troy. Filled with non-traditional, extra-legal, entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, North Central is not the entirety of the District but it can hog the headlines. Proudly boasts its own school district. A unique feature in a city the size of Troy.

Often Heard: "Duck!"

Past Voting History


Mark McGrath - R 537
R. Martiniano - D 308


Mark McGrath - R 613
Doris Day - D 437


A. Robertson - D 395
K. Mazor - R 360

Another tough district to analyze. Mark McGrath has dominated the voting. Even in 2011, McGrath handily defeated the well-known Doris Day, causing Lana Turner to sit out the 2013 race. Before Robertson, there hadn't been a Democrat in 2 since Jack Mahoney won in 2003 and Robertson won in a low turnout year. This is a fun race as it's almost incumbent v. incumbent.


D- 1,500
R- 538
C- 173
W- 115
 I-  237


Hot Button Issue: Should we abolish the District 2 Council Seat?

The Contestants:


Anastasia Robertson - D, the one term Councilwoman and current incumbent. She is often considered dumb because she says dumb things. However, when PBA President Tom Hoffman accused her of inciting racial tension back in August of 2014, a video showed that the allegation was false. We always call it "divisive" when an African-American says something controversial,  racially charged, hyperbolic or just plain stupid. When it's a white person  we call it the Republican Presidential Debates.


Mark McGrath - R is the former incumbent, having been term-limited out in 2013. He spent his time on the Council converting street gangs into basketball teams and basketball teams into street gangs. We always liked having McGrath on the Council. He was kind of fun. A loose canon and something of a maverick. The crazy uncle at the dinner table who starts a sentence with: "And let me tell you about the good things Mussolini did." Now, he has turned his attention to combating political lawn signs and sturgeon.

Did You Know? No one was shot today in District 2.

Good Luck District 2. God be with you.

*The part of Mark McGrath will be played by former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford


We almost forgot. There are actual Council races this year. Everyone is so focused on the Mayor's Race, the council races may have some self-esteem issues. We know they seek some validation and need some tender loving care.


This northernmost district should be called North Troy as it is the northernmost district of Troy. But it's isn't. It's called Lansingburgh, which is north of North Troy. Lansingburgh was once an autonomous municipality. It was annexed by Troy after its defeat in the Trojan War. This district was formerly represented by Mark Wojcik, Kevin McGrath and Jim Gordon.

Often Heard: I can't believe Wojcik was the good one.

Geography: District 1 covers the most northerly part of the City of Troy. Due to it's location, the weather is often harsh with temperatures sometimes falling into the sub-zero range for weeks at a time. For six months out of the year there is daylight for only 2.3 hours daily. Debate rages as to who was the first man to reach District 1. Some say Peary. Others Cook.

Past Voting History:


K. McGrath - D 1002
J. Gordon - R 627


K. McGrath - D 1,228
F. LaPosta - R 592


J. Gordon - R 770
S. Scales - D 591

A tough district to analyze. The Democrats do well with a name but it feels like a Republican district. Obviously, the McGrath name is still big. We get the feeling that if Kevin McGrath ran again, he'd still do well. Don't know what that says about the district or the power of a family name.

In the past three elections, the Republican's best tally was 770 votes. Previously, from 2003-2007, the Republican garnered 1000+ votes, with the opponent garnering anywhere from 600+ to 800+. Draw your own conclusions about garners.

Enrollment statistics show: 


Hot Button Issue: Why did that nice white couple call 911?


Laurie Ryan - D

Maybe we're doing something wrong on this internet-thingy, but we can't find much at all about Ryan. That's a plus, as we won't be disappointed. We believe she's related to Pete Ryan.

Jim Gulli - R

Checked out his facebook page. Seems like your standard, law-and-order Republican. Nothing impressive here or actively offensive.

Jessica Ashley - G

One of the organizers of the Troy Citizens Complaint Board. The board was organized in response to the Jan. 25 melee between police officers and the mostly minority community patrons at Kokopellis, a bar at 124 Fourth St. The board is a subcommittee of the Citizens United for Justice in Troy, NY. It was formed to help residents "file their complaints of excessive force, violence, racism, discrimination and witness intimidation used by the Troy PD." 

We're just not feeling it. A non-factor

Did you know? Colonel Seth Warner, leader of the Green Mountain Boys and Revolutionary War Hero, never visited Lansingburgh.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Later this week we'll take a look at the council races.  This morning we're tired so you guys can take charge. Today, you can weigh-in on last night's Meet the Candidates Night.

Did you meet the candidates last night? We did not. The Yankees were on and we have our priorities. If you did go to the Middle School last night to meet the candidates, let us know what you think. It could not have been as good as THIS Meet the Candidates Night. Those were good times. But, maybe it was a good night with some substance.

As usual, The Record covered the event in great detail.


The fuel that drives campaigns, at all levels of government. Lets see what's going on with our trio of candidates.

Patrick Madden has  $8,767.71 left in coffers. Not bad, seeing that he had to spend his way through a primary battle. That will be good for a few more mailers.

Rodney Wiltshire has  $2,2236.13 left in the account. Again, a good chunk spent battling through a primary.

Gordon  wins the bank account primary, with $14,627* on tap for the remaining few weeks.

Here's the odd thing. At least, we find it odd. Wiltshire raised roughly $11,000. He has not shown any contributions since the 32 Day pre-primary report was filed. However, his expenditures include approximately $3,000 in wages.

Back in 2007, Mayor Tutunjian had over $100,000 in his campaign account. He spent over $40,000 on television ads and $10,000 in rent for his campaign headquarters. But no employees. Should  nearly a third of what Team Troy raised have gone to wages? We thought this was a labor of love.

If a campaign wants to have employees, more power to them. It just seems a little extravagant for an insurgent campaign.

Is Team Troy out of steam? Are any more fundraisers planned? If not, it doesn't look like they'll have much left for a late inning push.


An in-depth look at the individual council races.

* Yet, he never picks up the check 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015



How many times have you been asked to explain the Troy political scene to an outsider. Neither have we. But, we'll try.

For those of you new to Troy, or the Troy Polloi, the political landscape is as difficult to navigate as a Lockheed Electra 10E over the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the night with a boozed-up navigator. Many have tried. Some turned back. Some were never heard from again. So, as a public service, we are offering this handy-dandy guide.


House Sigil:  White Trough on Magenta Field
House Words: "November is Coming."
House Colors: Ashen Grey

Headed-up by Tom "King" Wade, the Democratic County Chair. Don't mistake the squeaky voice and curly hair for a lovable teddy bear. Wade plays hard and can rule with an iron fist. Probably the most successful Democratic Chair in some time, he can raise the hackles of some. Does not forget a slight, real or perceived. Rewards loyalty. Came to power by challenging former Chair Lynn Mahoney. They shared the chair for a few years, which was as successful as Soviet power sharing. Faced a revolt a few years back by Wiltshire, Rabbit and North Greenbush. Brushed them back easily. Former Democratic Board of Election Commissioner. Chose Patrick Madden as the mayoral candidate. Many believe he shepherded Ernest Everett into primary to siphon votes from Wiltshire.


Madden, Patrick  - Endorsed for mayor by the Democratic Committee, which means hand-picked by Wade.

Jimino, Kathy - Wade has given-up on running a candidate against GOP County Executive Kathy Jimino

Wiltshire, Rodney - Not liked by Wade, considered an upstart who hasn't made his bones.


House Sigil:  White Elephant on a White Field
House Words: "Taxes are Coming."
House Colors: Translucent

Led by long-standing Republican County Executive, Kathy Jimino. As much as a GOP County boss as anyone, but has rivals that are equally influential. Not enamored of the Troy Republican Party. Mary Donohue Lite. Called The Mother of Dragons by no one.


Madden, Patrick - Her brother
Gordon, Jim - Her employee


House Sigil: Yawning Man on Red Field
House Words: "My Campaign is Coming."
House Colors: Rehab Green

Helmed by Patrick Madden, Endorsed by the Democratic Committee, winner of the Democratic primary by 50 votes, CEO of TRIP and a political newcomer. This outsider was the third Democrat to enter the primary contest. Despite backing of Wade, appears to rely on former Mayor Mark Pattison and operative Mark Streb. Nickname: Pat.


Jimino, Kathy - His sister


House Sigil: All-Seeing Eye on black and blue field
House Words: "The Police are Coming."
House Colors: Paste

One-term councilman. GOP endorsed candidate for mayor. Also has the Conservative, Independent and Green Party lines. Currently, represents District 1 on the Troy City Council. Rensselaer County Stop DWI Coordinator, appointed by Jimino. Got the nomination even though Carmella Mantello is better known and a better vote-getter.


Jimino, Kathy - Hired him
Crist, Rich - Influential in getting Gordon Independent and Conservative lines


House Sigil: Silhouette Walking on Water
House Words: "My Presence Wouldn't Make a Difference."
House Colors: Graple

Current City Council President, business owner and the Working Families Party candidate for mayor. Received nomination because he works and has a family. Lost a Democratic Primary by razor-thin margin. Engineered a great ground game. Considered anti-establishment and a foe of House Wade. Would-be Kingslayer. Many think he's a better self-promoter than public servant. Others see him as changing politics in Troy. Cozied up to Rich Crist two years ago to secure the Independence line and the City Council Presidency.


House Sidgel: Vertical Black Bars on White Field
House Words: "My Lawyer is Coming."
House Colors: Orange

Thirty-Two year old pharmaceutical salesman. Begin his mayoral bid in 2014. His Quixotic quest ended on September 10, when he placed third in the voting. Later, charged with forgery and filing a false instrument for allegedly witnessing nominating signatures he didn't witness. Many think Boss Wade encouraged Everett to run in order to split the Wiltshire anti-establishment vote.


House Sigil: Dollar Sign on Maroon Field
House Words: "Thank God  Abelove Won."

Minor but influential House led by Rich Crist. Ostensibly a employee of Rensselaer County Legislature but really the go-to-guy if you want the Independent Line or Conservative Line. Influence diminished compared to a few years ago but many Republicans still have their Crist knee pads. Accused of sexual harassment by County employee Colleen Regan. Charges dumped by Division of Human Rights because all but two incidents occurred outside the statutory time period and because Crist was not her supervisor. Charged with endangering a minor and harassment. Charges dropped by District Attorney Joel Abelove. Nickname: "Middle Finger."


Abelove, Joel - Owes Crist for Conservative, Independence Party Lines, dropped charges against Crist rather than recusing himself. Failed to seek special prosecutor for GOP Legislative Leader Martin Reid, another Crist colleague.

Wiltshire, Rodney - Helped Rodney get Independence Line which led to Wiltshire getting City Council Presidency

Crist, Craig - Brother, lawyer with Dreyer, Boyajian firm that represented Crist, partner Boyajian was owner of the King Street property that was demolished, causing a hyperbolic non-scandal.


House Sigil: Shaved Scrotum on Brown Field
House Words: "Charges Dropped."

Recently minted District Attorney. Won by slim margin in possibly the best Republican year in a decade. Stumbled early by not referring the Crist charges to another District Attorney. Stumbled again by not requesting special prosecutor for Martin Reid case. Stumbled yesterday going up courthouse steps. Announced Rensselaer County a Sanctuary County for Republicans. Disliked by best friend. Nickname: Joel Abelove.


House Sigil: Absentee Ballot on a Black Field
House Words: "Not Again."

Once a major house, this minor house is led by Democratic Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough Jr. Son of Ed McDonough, former party boss that wound up in prison for something he did before we paid attention to this shit. McDonough was at the center of the voter fraud prosecution a few years back. First jury was hung (and we mean hung). Acquitted at second trial. Accused of ignoring dodgy Everett nominating petitions. Supports, but dislikes, Wade.


House Sigil: Slack Jaw on  Purple Field
House Words: "What's a Sigil."

Once a major house now lies in ruins. Led by former councilman and two-term mayor Harry Tutunjian. Won two terms by comfortable margins, the first on the heels of a ill-conceived Democratic scheme to repeal term limits. Often considered, even by himself, a weak-willed leader and puppet of Bob Mirch or Dan Crawley or Dave Mitchell. Lost support during second term after bullying, incompetence and ethics problems became harder to hide. After his reign ended, appointed to County Legislature. Lost his seat at next election. Ran a second time and lost. Gordon supporter and advisor. Nickname: The Imp.


House Sigil: Desperate Woman on Orange Field
House Words: "God Dammit, Just Vote for Me. Please!"

This minor house is led by perennial candidate Carmella Mantello. Currently, running for an At-Large seat. Lost city-wide council race in 2013. Lost mayoral race in 2011. Lost mayoral race years ago  to Mark Pattison. Lost her car keys in 2002, 2005 and 2007.  Headed-up Canal Corp. for Governor Pataki in-between losses. The electoral version of Single White Female. If she loses this race voters will apply for temporary restraining order. Secretly rooting for Gordon to lose so she can run for top spot in 4 years.

Monday, October 05, 2015


We meant to post this yesterday but we kicked it down the road. Or, we punted. Any ubiquitous phrase will do.

The four mayoral candidates reacted to the proposed 9.3% tax hike unveiled by Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia. One even swooned. The reactions are a fascinating study.

First, however, it should be made clear that the tax hike was not a surprise to anyone on the City Council. The hike is being used to cover $1.9 million in pension fund costs owed to the State. The money was due last year and we deferred payment until this year under the Wimpy Doctrine of  "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Now, they'll break our legs if we don't pay.

Last year, the Council asked the Mayor to have department heads submit  department budgets with a 3% cut. This would have resulted in over twenty-five layoffs, including eight in the TPD and ten in the Fire Department. Obviously, these cuts were not adopted. All of this was in hopes of addressing what we face today. The Record covered the story back in November, 2014.

So, a significant hike was inevitable,  this year or last year. Everyone knew it. After the Tutunjian Administration ($12,000,000 over seven years) looted the reserve fund to avoid large tax increases, citizens are finally realizing that shit costs money and costs go up. Couple that with the fact that 86% of the budget is spent immediately for salaries, pensions, benefits and debt service, and you know taxes will almost always go up (unless you dip into the rainy day fund, now depleted to $600,000). So, Lou got caught holding the bag.

So, what do the candidates have to say:


Wiltshire, who is City Council president, said he did not see how the council could approve the increase. “[This tax increase] is terrible and it’s the result of kicking the can down the road and playing politics with Troy’s government,” said Wiltshire, a Democrat running on the Working Families Party line.

 Wiltshire criticized the Industrial Development Agency for “too many giveaways” and the current administration for not filling the position of city auditor.

“For me, we need to cut on our expenditures in areas we have control over,” said Wiltshire, identifying energy conservation as one area of possible improvement.

Well, either Wiltshire helped to kick the can down the road or he didn't know the can was being kicked down the road. Either way he's being disingenuous. As for not voting for it, Wiltshire may or may not know that the proposed budget will go into effect if the Council doesn't vote for it (or vote a revised budget). Not showing will not cut it this year.

Wiltshire offered no examples of how 'playing politics' or the IDA resulted in the proposed tax hike. We know, and so does Wiltshire, why the money is needed. Apparently, the reporter did not ask the follow up question. Wiltshire, in the past, has demonstrated an astounding ignorance of the IDA and PILOT programs. Although, he recently told the Reddit Community that he would work with the IDA to keep Troy's economic engine motoring.

The Tutunjian Administration understood the benefits of the IDA when it vigorously pushed tax breaks to bring Dinosaur-Bar-B-Que to Troy. The total package was over $600,000. This to a company whose majority owner is a hedge fund controlled by multi-zillionaire George Soros.

Now to Jim Gordon, the other candidate currently on the Council:

“This year, possible, the mayor presented a more realistic budget, unlike in past years when he presented a smoke-in-mirrors budget,” said Gordon. He said the tax hike, requiring council approval, punted the ball to the city council.

“Last year they kicked the can down the road and this year they punt the ball,” said Gordon.

Apparently, Gordon was not on the Council last year. And, the Charter actually punts the ball to the Council. That's the process. Gordon may not know that.

Under Section 70 of the Charter, the City Council has the authority to recommend changes to the proposed budget. Did either Gordon or Wiltshire make specific recommendations last year that might have lessened the looming tax hike? Gordon, like Wiltshire, buried his head in the sand for an entire year. Now, the have sandy heads. We don't have to tell you what that means.

The silver lining? We get to see two mayoral candidates in action as they roll up their sleeves and trudge through the budget quagmire. We can hear what they would do and what cuts they recommend. We get to see their leadership skills; Not just talk. Here, they can act. If they can provide Lou with enough cuts to lower the proposed tax increase 4-5% then they'll be heroes.

The candidates not currently in government get a free pass on this. They can say what they want, sound wise, self-righteous, conciliatory, etc. There is not anything they could have done in the past few years, or ever, to prevent the large tax increase.


“Everybody had varying predictions of where the number would fall and I’m grateful it’s not double digits -- however it is very close to double digits and I think it’s a very difficult pill for people to swallow.”

Madden, the executive director of the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, said hopefully, the council will engage in the process this year and come up with some ideas. “But I also know if there were any easy fixes, the mayor wouldn’t have proposed a 9.3 percent increase,” he said.

Madden asked why the council had not addressed the anticipated hole in the 2016 budget from a deferred payment in 2015. “Where’s the council been on this question?”

He advocates for changes in the budgeting process, like forecasting beyond 12 months.

“We’re not doing the hard work that we need to be doing, we’re not acting strategically, we’re kicking the can down the road year after year,” he said.


Jack Cox, Jr., who is running as an independent candidate on the Revolutionary Party line, said he was glad he was not on the City Council, like Gordon and Wiltshire, “because I don’t have to vote on this budget.”

With a 3.8 percent tax increase in 2015, the city taxes will increase about 13 percent in two years, said Cox.

The tax hike, he said, “clearly shows that the current administration, including Rodney and Jim Gordon, have a lack of understanding on how to manage money.

“At the end of the day, these people are making deals and doing things with the understanding that its others peoples money and there’s no end to the revenue stream and that’s public sector thinking,” said Cox. “We need private sector influence.”

With some deft maneuvering, the tax hike will be less. Perhaps 6%. Not great but better than what we face now. Lets watch and see what they do. If the men who would be mayor can't straighten this out, there's no choice but Madden.

Whether it's settling suits caused by the previous administration or making up for their raid on the reserve fund, we will be cleaning up Tutunjian's mess for years.