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

Monday, January 17

Front page: Johnson speaks out, and Tedisco offers VLT aid bill

Good morning and, if I may quote the great Elvis Costello, welcome to the working week!

Check out my final article in the Q&A series with city officials with Mayor Scott Johnson. I spent an hour speaking with the mayor on everything from charter change to the Lillian's lot. Johnson is scheduled to deliver his third State of the City Address on Sunday, Jan. 23, at the City Center.

In the headlines this morning; Assemblyman Tedisco has introduced a bill that would repeal the 2009 amendments to the VLT aid funding formula that shut out Saratoga Springs. [Gztte] Check out the text of the bill, which was referred to the Ways and Means Committee, here.

The VLT bill is just one of more than 4,000 bills introduced in the first few weeks of the new session. [IthacaJo]

According to New York Post "insiders," Gov. Cuomo will allow a shutdown of state government if his austerity budget is not passed. [NYP]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two Johnsons it would seem.

There is the Johnson responding to softballs in the print edition of the Saratogian interview and there is the other Johnson.

The "real" Johnson we in City Hall see is aloof, distant and arrogant. He has treated many employees with disdain. He has "fired" some (the building inspector, for example) for simply being honest and not bowing to the his will. He has allowed his deputy and the city attorney to beat up on perceived political opponents.

He turned a blind eye to the city attorney's conduct toward Comm. Scirroco. He allows Scala to manipulate the agenda and actions of the City Ethics Board and he is a willing partner with Franck in an action to deny a referendum sought by 2,000 petitioners.

Patrick could have (should have) asked about the $110,000 in unbudgeted legal fees that he mayor spent last year, or the totally unrealistic revenues he budgeted for the Indoor recreation Facility, or why he has done nothing to move the Waterfront Park improvement since the City received a $200,000 EPF grant last March, or why the city attorney seems to do little or nothing for his $58,000 salary while maintaining a full time private law practice.

In fact, there is not even a contract signed to move this project forward. This will not be the first grant at risk because he and Sutton have failed to act timely.

Why must pro forma requests or inquiries be forced to use FOIL instead of simply receiving a honest, straight forward answer?

Why is the deputy mayor allowed to come to work late and leave early (last Friday, for example) and then stand in hall of City Hall and castigate other employees for stopping to chat?

Why sue your own Civil Service Commission (at $200/hour) instead of engaging in a dialogue to resolve any disagreement?

Johnson budgeted $165,000 in Indoor Rec. fees this year. It will never happen. Why not ask him what he will do to make up any shortfall?

January 17, 2011 at 11:21 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is quite obvious that the previous commentator has a political and personal axe to grind with the Mayor, is very bitter and willing to say or do anything that would disgrace the Mayor and staff at this point. It is very obvious who this person is. I would challenge this ghost writer to have the guts to write his own piece in the Saratogain and speak out at a council meeting. He obviously can't do either because he has no facts to support his case. Take care L.

January 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday;s 2:24 PM poster seems to have a burr under their saddle.

Perhaps the truth hurts a little too much. This administration must come to realize that when they go at people using their appointed political offices they invite a response.

As a City Hall employee my experience is consistent with the observations of the first post.

In fact, it's only the tip of the iceberg.

January 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM 
Blogger Patrick H. Donges, City Desk said...

Shout out to all Anons! If you want to chat, on or off record, drop me a line! -- 583-8729 ext.219

January 18, 2011 at 10:48 AM 

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