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Tuesday, January 22

City Council - 2013

Like Christmas, the election season seems to start earlier every year. We're barely into 2013 and already people are speculating about who is running for City Council in November.

"Usually you don't hear about these things until April," Mayor Scott Johnson said in his office Tuesday. 

I've heard all sorts of rumors at this point: that the mayor is not running again; that a certain supervisor is looking to unseat him if Johnson does run again; that Ken Ivins is returning from his term off to take a run not as finance commissioner, but as Accounts Commissioner; that Bill McTygue is planning a campaign for supervisor; that Cuomo is running for president.... oh wait, wrong election, though that is probably the same level of foresight we are talking about here.

Well, I'm going to be calling around on these. Actually, I called around on these (with the exception of Cuomo) and I'll post their responses as (if) they call me back.

Ivins said he hasn't made up his mind about what he is going to do another half-year from now (I can relate, I still haven't finalized my plans for this evening). As for the idea that he would not go for Finance Commissioner again, he said "I haven't made up my mind yet A) whether I'm running and B) what I would be running for." So that doesn't exactly sound like "No."

McTygue also didn't discount the idea. "It's early," he said, adding "no decision have been made at all in that regard."

He said people have been speculating because he has been making more appearances at City Council meetings and speaking up about issues. "I've been getting a lot of encouragement," he said.

Johnson, too, said he hasn't "publicly decided yet" about whether he would be running for reelection, but in our conversation about who a potential opponent would be referenced a quote he attributed to Joe Bruno, saying "I don't pick my opponents, I just beat them." 

Well, on the mayoral race I did catch up with Joanne Yepsen as well, who wouldn't say what position she is planning on running for in November. "There are several options on the table," she said, adding that she is having "preliminary conversations," about which she would choose. She wouldn't comment, either, on whether she was just evaluating city positions or if she was looking outside.

Those aren't the only rumors running around, obviously, but those are the ones I thought I'd address today. If anybody else hears others, let me know and I'll try to get non-committal answers from those people.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the mayor seems a little arrogant here & quoting Joe Bruno may also be telling.

Perhaps Johnson would be well served to turn to Shakespeare: "Pride goeth before the fall."

At any rate, if Johnson runs and loses it will because he beat himself. Here's why.

In the last two years he has delivered annual Rec. center operating deficits.

He has overspent his city attorney budget big time each year because of his reliance on outside lawyers.

This is a biggie.

He voted against a 0% tax increase last year.

He ran away from the SS Housing Authority fiasco even though it is a public authority and he appoints its members. He was content to let the public and the press think that the City has no control.

He even dodged the City Center Authority meeting this month when citizens came to express their opposition to the gun show, even though he is by law an ex-officio member of the authority.

Hiding from your legal responsibility is not leadership. He is the only city mayor in the capital district who refuses to join "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," a group established and led by NYC Mayor Bloomberg.

Why can he not even stand against illegal guns? He proposes to establish a comprehensive plan review committee in violation of the State General City Law. Only the City Council by resolution can appoint such a committee.

He was even against fire service ambulance service that is more than paying for itself because he and the former PS commissioner wanted the city to be at the mercy of a private, for-profit ambulance service.

He was forces by public opinion to resurrect the Urban Forestry project that the State was going to pay for. He and Ivins had essentially defaulted on the grant award until group of citizens caught on and forced the matter.

He even refused to take a stand on drunks on Caroline Street because he claims to be part owner of two downtown bars bars and then criticizes those who take a stand.

Well, that's only the start.

January 23, 2013 at 9:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you asked the Republican Chairman if they are running anyone against John Franck, the one he had a controversy with over his condo assessment? Obviously Ivins isn't running against Franck because he works for Franck! Unless that's the plan to pretend they are contesting the seat.

January 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:26am you do not have a clue. The mayor did all the right things. Opposing the gun show would be downrite stupid. You desparate housewives don't have the first idea about gun laws. The Housing Authority is run by the federal government and city has no jurisdiction. The ambulance will prove in the near future that it will cost the city taxpayer. Please get a clue.

January 23, 2013 at 8:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One blogger has said that a Republican source has reported that Ivins has indeed accepted the order from the Chairman to run against Franck. Also, the other candidates on the Republican list the blogger states that was mentioned is A. Jarosh, Dick Wirth Johnson & Skip. I agree with anon9:26, Johnson has more bad baggage hhe is carrying around from last year and starting this year (remember the building inspector and building permit fiasco). The 5 year income loss from National Grid and many more items will play against him this year.

January 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's talk facts. Anyone with half a brain would realize that the Rec center represents direct and indirect revenue. Whe both are looked at carefully the Rec Center has been very successful. The Mayor has gone over his budget for professional services but managed to win a lswsuit against a corrupt Civil Service Board and negotiatesuccessfully the DPW and Police Contract whic will save the cities thousands of dollars on a year to year basis. He voted against a 0% budget because there were not enough funds in professional services to address the current and future labor negotiations. If Madigan, the union shill, wants so dearly to have all contracts current she would have placed those dollars in the budget. The SSHA is not a local authority and the Mayor although he chooses the Board, has no direct power over it. The audit has been completed and reflects minimal issues but nothing that legally is criminal similar to the assessment issue in the Accounts Dept. Does the Council Of mayors support the Mayors against gun violence or for that matter smaller drinks by it's founder Mayor Bloomberg. The answer is NO!! Why would or should the Mayor get involved by a legal gun show which turned out to be a political show by the Democratic Party and Move On. org who has a reputation for playing rough and has been known to be allegedly involved in voter fraud in several states. There are no numbers that have been brought to light that would support the EMS Service pays for itself and will generate revenue for the City. The initial proforma adjusted for surrent year revenue and corrected for actual costs will and would reflect otherwise if one was brought to the table. The rental that was projected is less than half of what was reflected in the proforma but the labor costs is lowballed as well. Anyone with half a brain or finance minimal background could see through this fog or smoke filled projection. A far as closing times the Mayor recused himself as he should because he is an investor in busineses that sell alcohol although none stay open to 4.JohnFranck states that nothing good happens after 2. he should knwo because he spends several evenings visiting bars after 2. In closing when someone presents a comment it should be factual, not biased and credible. This should be cheked before allowing it on a blog.

January 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only the City Council can approve a Comprehensive Plan Committee. Here we go again. The word select is not in the law!! The former DPS Commissioner was not involved not did he take a position on EMS because at that time SEMS was still a viable company.Quite honestly long term when the yearly costs keep rising along with declining revenue it will be proven to have been a poor decision ramrodded through by a tyrant chief who used evey mothod of intimidation of his people to gain support for it. A good portion of the Fire Dept. still do not support it.

January 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ivins will not run against Franck. His probable choice would be to run for County Supervisor and get back to his old firend and mentor John Herrick.The Choice of a new County Clerk might effect, it won't be Ken but could be Veitch.

January 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:24pm Well said! Most of the sour grapes come from Franck and his cigar puffers. Let's hope David Harper runs some solid candidates against these democrats.

January 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a real Republican out there that no one seems to be mentioning. He is well qualified and probably could run for any position on the Council except Accounts because he has no background in assessments.He has strong support in the community and would be able to generate heavy financial support if he ran. The fact that no one is mentioning his name is because he has been lowkeyed and waiting for the smoke to clear and the pretenders disappear.If you can come up with the name you might trigger the start of his run. The silence will soon be broken. Retreads are something the city doesn't need. The city needs a man with proven ability and background and a resume that reflects he gets things done.

January 27, 2013 at 4:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could be Annoymous 12:24. He seems to have a clear picture of the facts and reflects a level of intelligence needed to get the job done properly and productively.He is not a pretende like some that have been mentioned.

January 27, 2013 at 4:09 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have two departments in the city that control 75% of the city budget. Both are under the management of two commissioners and deputies who don't know what the word manage means. They both have their own agendas and one(DPW) manages with a personal agenda. Both have incompetent deputies, one who can't follow up or give direction and shows favoritism to his crew, the other a political operative who also served under a failed Mayor and a spend spend, spend commissioner. Whether it be a Republican or a Democrat these two have to go.The other three all have some baggage but have competency as well and their overall record to date reflect achievement. If Madigan can get out from under the far left loons and the unions she may become a good commissioner for the people. Under no circumstances should DPW and DPS remain unchanged in 2014.There are candidate sthat can beat Mattieson but Skippy is another story. Billy may be better qualified if he runs but Skippy still has a strong following. I don't think Billy can beat him. Maybe a strong Republican should primary him to ensure he supports the team and not himself only.

January 27, 2013 at 7:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a section of the charter that states an individual can hold a seat on the County Board and also hold a seat on the City Council. Think you might see someone attempt to do just that. The odds are getting stronger that Skippy may run unopposed again. Politics make strange bedfellows.

January 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been five days since you updated this blog. If you choose to have a blog it should be updated weekly. Wake up and get to work. How do you keep a issue rolling if you take almost a week off from a blog???

January 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM 
Blogger Lucian said...

Woah there Anonymous Jan. 29, I'll update the blog when I work, which I haven't in nearly a week, so let's take it down a notch and use a couple less question marks.

I do have another blog post coming soon about this, though it is obviously secondary to writing content for the newspaper.

In related news, Anon Jan. 27, 4:06 a.m., who do you have in mind? If you don't want to name them here shoot me an e-mail at and I'll see what I can find out.

And Jan. 23, 5:18 p.m. I'll see if I can get him on the phone.

January 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM 

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