Saturday, March 22, 2008

Getting Soaked

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli got a rousing ovation during the swearing of David Paterson as Governor on March 17. Comptroller DiNapoli will get another standing ovation if he comes to the rescue and investigates where the money paid by Rensselaer residents for water services went to.

Since 1999, Rensselaer has been accumulating a debt to Troy for water service. Troy officials say the debt approaches $3 million. Rensselaer claims they only have $1.1 million on hand. Where did the money go?

Mayor Harry Tutunjian joined those calling for Comptroller DiNapoli to investigate the issue. Rensselaer folks, including a former Common Council member and the current President of the Common Council, have already asked for Comptroller DiNapoli to investigate.

The criticism over the attempt by Democrat Troy At-Large Councilman John Brown to ram a deal down the throats of Troy taxpayers to claim less than one-half of what is owed to Troy – to apparently help Democrat buddies is Rensselaer – is only growing. If Rensselaer owes nearly $3 million to Troy, why should Troy settle for only $1.1 million? Democrats have yet to answer that question. They also have yet to answer a question about why Troy residents shouldn't be suspicious about a deal that was negotiated without Tutunjian's involvement and was ostensibly put together by the freshman Councilman Brown and announced just three weeks after he was sworn in.

But the question as to where the Rensselaer water funds went, starting in 1999, may be answered by the State Comptroller and possibly other state officials very soon. Is that applause from taxpayers we hear?