Monday, December 08, 2008

Bumbling and Bullying

We are getting near the end of the disastrous first year for the Troy City Council's Democratic majority, and the Chaos Council are sending out the year with some fresh controversies and more broken campaign promises.

The first comes with a smash and grab of the 2009 Troy budget. With no public notice, and no reasonable explanation, Councilman John Brown directed his followers on the Council to snatch $550,000 of city money. Money that is earmarked for city services and staffing, nothing extravagant, and included in a budget that does not raise city taxes and was approved by the City Council.

Basically, it's an attempt to kneecap the Mayor the Democrats can't beat at the polls or in the courts. Brown and Democrats are essentially vandalizing the budget, hoping against hope that some trouble will ensure that somehow reflects badly on the Mayor and his administration. This is unlikely, since city residents are not dumb and because Republicans and reasonable observers of city government will make sure any glitches get laid at the feet of Brown and the Democratic majority.

What is sad is that Democrats on the Council have become so blinded in their hatred of the Tutunjian administration that they have declared war on taxpayers and the city budget. The reason Democrats like Brown have no reasonable explanation why the $550,000 is being grabbed is because there is no reasonable explanation. 

It's not the first time Brown has played with public resources without public notice. Early on the first year of Council fumbling, Brown proposed a settlement of a long-term water debt owed by the City of Rensselaer to Troy. The Democrat on Democrat deal would have resulted in Troy losing several hundred thousand dollars. Mayor Tutunjianthreatened to take the case to court and won a public campaign against the Democrat water deal, and finally negotiated a better settlement for Troy.

Based on this guest column, Mayor Tutunjian is on his way to winning this battle, too. 

The second comes with the Council's failure to keep the public informed. Remember how Democrats made the campaign pledge they would be more open and transparent? That pledge is out the window, as Democrats are no longer taking the steps to allow for Council meetings to be televised. 

Not that that is so unlikely, based on how bad Council Democrats have been performing lately. Would you want to be embarrassed on television? Council Democrats apparently don't want to.