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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, February 27

News on the rec center; Murphy petitions Tedisco

Steve here, with a couple of quick updates. First, Andrew's got some breaking news about the the proposed South Side Rec Center (here's a link to the article on the main site, so you can leave comments there, too):

Rec center labor violations?

By ANDREW J. BERNSTEIN
The Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Construction on the indoor recreation may have been hit with a second delay in as many days following a complaint to the New York State Department of Labor.

Larry Bulman, acting on behalf of the Steam Fitter’s Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Sheet Metal Workers, filed a complaint with the state agency alleging that the city had improperly bid construction on the 35,500 square-foot facility slated for construction on the South Side Recreation Field, and in doing so, violated Wick’s Law.

Wick’s Law, adopted by the state in 1922, requires that municipalities bid separate contracts for four aspects of construction for projects costing more than $50,000: general construction, plumbing, heating and ventilation, and electrical systems.

“He bid it as one contract, and that would let the (general contractor) run the job, and go out and play games,” said Bulman. “The contractor could go out and get subcontractors to lower prices and the city wouldn’t see any savings.”

Rumors circulating Thursday evening and Friday morning say that the city has been served with a stop-work order by the State Commissioner of Labor, but this has not been confirmed.

“If she (M. Patrician Smith, commissioner of Labor) did act, she did so properly, because this is definitely a violation,” Bulman said.

“This is not the action we wanted to take. We went to the mayor, and he basically said he did not have to follow Wick’s because he said Saratoga Springs is exempt from labor law, and that is not true,” said Bulman.

On Wednesday the city was served with a temporary restraining order by Judge Thomas Nolan, to prevent the city from beginning construction until a hearing on an injunction, scheduled for March 13. The order stems from a civil suit filed by the Friends of the South Side Park, which seeks to stop the project on several grounds.

Last week, the City Council voted 3 to 2 to approve a contract with Bast hatfield of Halfmoon for construction on the project.

Reach Andrew J. Bernstein at abernstein@saratogian.com or 518-583-8729 ext. 219.

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Second, and unrelated to above, is a press release from Scott Murphy's camp that invites you to fill out a petition:

Scott Murphy Continues to Blast Tedisco for his Refusal to Support President Obama’s Economic Recovery Package

Murphy Campaign Issues Online Petition to Get Straight Answers from Career Politician Jim Tedisco on Economy

Glens Falls, NY—On Friday, local businessman and congressional candidate Scott Murphy continued to call out his opponent, 26-year career Albany politician, Jim Tedisco for refusing to support President Obama’s Economic Recovery package. The Murphy campaign is now offering people a chance to tell Tedisco to give us a straight answer about the economic recovery bill in an online petition: Assemblyman Tedisco – “Take A Stand!”

“As we face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, voters in Upstate New York deserve straight answers from congressional candidates as to how they would vote on President Obama's recovery package. The least Assemblyman Tedisco can do on his 'road to recovery tour' is answer for why he is refusing to support President Obama’s Economic Recovery Package, which creates and saves over 76,000 jobs Upstate,” said Murphy.

“Like Senator Gillibrand, I’m proud to support President Obama’s Economic Recovery package, because it provides middle class tax relief, creates and saves over 76,000 jobs in Upstate New York immediately, and provides significant budget relief to help hold the line on property taxes.

“As a fiscal conservative and businessman, I know that in these difficult times we need bold and decisive leadership in Congress to get our economy back on track, while not losing site of our long term goals of restoring fiscal discipline and holding career politicians accountable for how they spend our tax dollars.”

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this mayor has to go, what a jerk thinks he can do what he wants. what is he going to be the general contractor? i hope not he couldnt build a bird house.

February 27, 2009 at 12:30 PM 
Anonymous Tighe's Tidbit's said...

Way to go! Murphy is taking that scam artist to the cleaners! Finally someone who will stand up to the republican Tedisco. He has had a free pass for too long! He had McTygue pushing democrats here to vote for him because he and Bruno were thiefing together. Get him out of here!

February 27, 2009 at 5:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...I don't even know where to start to say Bullman's a moron. Screw it. Let me just come out and say it. Bullman's a moron. There. I said it twice now. Why not go for a third?

Yes. Yes I think I will. Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Bullman's a goddamn blithering moron.

February 28, 2009 at 1:12 AM 
Anonymous Southside Annie said...

REC Center is a bad idea being pushed by a Mayor who has more money than brains! He will get the city involved in yet another lawsuit while his bank account sits with no threat on it. If he wants to gamble, do it with your money,not ours!

March 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Shoe and Andrew J Bernstein:

I just saw a letter from City Attorney Joe Scala to the New York State Department of Labor that was posted on another newspaper's website.

In the letter, Scala complained that the City had assumed that the Labor Department wouldn't object to the City's failure to obey the Wicks Law and blithely went ahead and awarded a contract to build a recreation center even though it was obvious that the contract was illegal. According to Scala, if the State government doesn't immediately call a halt to lawless behavior by municipal officials, it's unfair for the State to later come in and stop the misconduct.

Scala's letter to the Labor Department says, "Clearly, the City can argue laches, based on your failure to act in a timely fashion." Laches is a legal doctrine that holds that it's unfair for one person to cause a delay that lulls another person into thinking it's permissible to start on a course of action because the first person isn't going to complain. It's something like saying, "Speak now or forever hold your peace."

But laches has never applied to the State government, the federal government, or any other sovereign that's enforcing the law against a lawbreaker. Every lawyer knows that, or at least every lawyer who's ever studied law or practiced law for more than 5 minutes.

Scala seems just like his boss, Mayor Scott Johnson: a guy who pretends to be a lawyer and pretends to be working for the public but really doesn't know what he's talking about and blunders into breaking one law after another.

March 1, 2009 at 8:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been a bad week for Mayor Johnson. The Recreation Center is in trouble, the operating budget is in BIG trouble and he is in big trouble.

Word on the street is that his Republican support is evaporating.

To make matters even more bazar, Gordon Boyd , Hank Kuzinski and Tom McTygue are planning a political come back. The latest, persistent rumor is that Boyd will run for mayor, Kuzinski for Public Safety and McTygue for Public Works. Boyd and Kuzinski have run for public office a total of six different times and have never won. Boyd got 500 votes for mayor in 2007. Instead of being humiliated, he's back for more.

As the saying goes: "Will Rogers never met Gordon Boyd."

The other guy in this group is Comm. Franck.
Anyone who aligns themselves with McTygue after all we know now - must have be out of touch.

Meanwhile, the Mayor hosted a campaign fundraiser at his home over the weekend - a catered affair, of course - but only 30 showed up.

He has the look of a loser in November and he can credit his mismanagement of the Rec. Center for a part of it. His deputy runs the office and has alienated most of City Hall.

Comm. Ivins meanwhile - like the Straw Man in the Wizard of Oz - goes down the Yellow Brick Road in search of a brain.

Stay tuned, it can only get more entertaining and more costly.

March 2, 2009 at 8:01 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that Tedisco's problems will come to a head at the debate on 3/7 at the Saratog Springs Library. With the stock market below 7000 something must be done. with some states like california with 10% unemployment the problem is nationwide. If Tedico just sits and waits then what happens to the New York State Budget which has a 13 billion $ deficit. The usual rhetoric from the minority leader is problematic. What is HIS plan?

March 2, 2009 at 5:12 PM 

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