Thursday, May 01, 2008

The $3 Million Man

The Troy Council Dems this week completed their mission to blow up a deal potentially worth $3 million to sell City Hall. Instead of selling the crumbling structure, City Hall should be fixed up to the tune of $3 million, say Dems.

But be careful with that criticism of Council Dems, or you might get a, well, strange e-mail like the one below from Ken Zalewski, the new Councilman who spear-headed the effort to destroy the City Hall deal. Zalewski sent the e-mail to Times Union reporter Ken Crowe, ostensibly to criticize Crowe’s work, which seemed pretty even-handed to us. Zalewski also sent it around to about half of Troy, who kindly passed it on to us.

The gist of the e-mail is this: Ken may be the chairman of the City Hall Review Committee. But it’s not his fault how the thing turned out. It’s the committee’s fault. Or Harry Tutunjian’s fault. And Karl Rove. Were there four shots or three in Dealey Plaza? Halliburton might be involved. Go Hillary. Or Obama.

The best part is where Zalewski states: “There are no official recommendations from the committee”. Wow, all that after four months reviewing the deal. That’s accountability! Ken also said he received numerous calls. We figure some of the “numerous” phone calls came from Tom Wade, Jim Conroy, Conroy again, Jim DeSeve, Conroy calling back, Conroy on hold, Bobby Martiniano, Jim Conroy on line one, and, Jim Conroy.

By the way, the developer who offered the $3 million deal for City Hall has decided to walk out on Troy. Good work, Council Dems.

-----Original Message-----

From: Ken Zalewski [] Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:01 AM To: Subject: Clarification on article To: Ken Crowe Re: 2008-04-29 article in Times Union Ken, I read your article in today's paper, and have received numerous phone calls about it already. I want to clarify a few things: 1. There are no official recommendations from the committee. As you witnessed, several committee members volunteered to begin drafting the recommendations, which would be discussed via e-mail, and presented at the May 12 meeting. 2. Any recommendation to perform deferred maintenance on City Hall would be contingent upon staying in City Hall. In other words, I would expect that our recommendations would state, "If the city continues utilizing the City Hall building, we make the following recommendations..." 3. We are unable to make any recommendations on the decision to sell City Hall versus remain in City Hall, due to the lack of available information. 4. Although I suggested that we go into "high gear" and inspect bids, the committee ultimately decided to wrap up now. Bid review would be the responsibility of the City Council, or a council-created committee. The committee felt that we would not be able to hit the June 5 deadline if bid review (starting May 1) was added to our plate. Thanks, Ken Zalewski City Hall Review Committee Chairperson