Sunday, January 13, 2008

Brown’s Bargain Blunder

If you’re looking to borrow money, new Troy Councilman John Brown may be your guy.

The City of Rensselaer owes Troy about $3 million for receiving Troy’s water over the last several years. Rensselaer hasn’t paid up, resulting in a lawsuit by Troy. Troy wants its money.

Enter John Brown, on the Troy Councilman job for two weeks and apparently a soft touch. Brown’s idea is to allow Rensselaer to pay $600,000 to Troy. In return, Troy would drop the city’s lawsuit. Rensselaer would also supposedly promise to pay $125,000 annually. Now, why anyone would rely on a promise of payment at this point is beyond us.

Mayor Tutunjian doesn’t like the deal one bit. Neither does Council President Clem Campana, also a Democrat. We’re sure Rensselaer Mayor Dwyer, also a Democrat, loves the deal. Which is probably different from how city taxpayer’s will feel once they get only one-fifth of the money Troy is owed. News on Brown’s Bargain Blunder [TU], [TR].

A few questions on Brown’s Bargain Blunder:
  • Brown’s deal requires Troy to drop its lawsuit against Rensselaer. Why should Troy give away legal leverage on Rensselaer?
  • Who does John Brown represent, Troy or Rensselaer?
  • Can’t Rensselaer just pay its bills like they are supposed to?
  • Why would a guy like John Brown who ran on a platform of openness conduct secret negotiations with Rensselaer’s mayor? Where’s the openness?
  • If there isn’t a contract with Rensselaer, which can’t seem to pay its bills, shouldn’t Troy just let Rensselaer buy water from someplace else, like Albany? Or Cohoes? Or Green Island?