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Record staffers bring you information on the comings and goings of New York's Collar City.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

King Fuel's photo shoot

TROY — The Troy Local Development Corporation arranged for photos to be taken this week in order to document two historic buildings at the King Fuel's site which are slated for emergency demolition.

The LDC chose to work with P. Thomas Carroll, the executive director of the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, after he raised the issue that the buildings should be documented before they are gone.

The photographer was a representative of the Historic American Engineering Record and was at the site Sunday and Monday to document its remaining historical aspects.

Demolition is slated to begin Wednesday and is expected to continue for nine weeks.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kids Night Out

In honor of the 25th Troy Night Out, which began in February of 2007, the event is being transformed tomorrow night into "Kids Night Out" with free, family-friendly activities throughout downtown.

Students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Russell Sage will are expected to hide thousands of Easter eggs throughout downtown for a massive Easter egg hunt for the children. The eggs will contain both candy and gift certificates for various city businesses.

The event is being sponsored by the city of Troy and the Troy Downtown Collaborative.

Further information can be found on the Web at

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BOE meeting

Members of the Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss what could be a final proposal for the school district's 2009-2010 budget.

Two weeks ago the district asked the three unions representing its employees - the Troy Teachers Association, the Troy Administrators Union, and the Civil Service Employees Association - to forgo pay increases for the upcoming school year in order to save them from layoffs.

The district could be forced to utilized layoffs as a result of decreased state funding, however Gov. David Paterson has said that some of the state's federal stimulus money could be used to restore those aid cuts.

The board is scheduled to meet starting between 7 and 7:30 p.m. tonight at Doyle Middle School, located at 1976 Burdett Ave.

A budget must be adopted by April 1.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Appointed employees to have a union

The City Council could soon vote on legislation to recognize the existence of a bargaining unit for certain politically appointed city employees.

An ordinance to recognize the representation of 13 city positions by the United Public Service Employees Union is expected to be discussed during the council's Finance Committee meeting tomorrow night, where council members will decide whether or not to move the legislation to their April meeting.

The positions which could be represented by the union include:
Assistant to City Clerk
Assistant Operations Manager
Chief Water Plant Operator
City Auditor
City Engineer
Commissioner of Planning and Community Development
Deputy City Clerk
Deputy Comptroller for Financial Operations
Grants Writing Specialist
Personnel Associate
Recreations Director
Superintendent of Water and Sewer

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Campana: BID hearing canceled

The public hearing for a proposed downtown Business Improvement District, which was scheduled for Thursday night, has been canceled, according to City Council President Clem Campana.

Campana said Tuesday that a new date would have to be set for the hearing because the council did not vote on a resolution during a regular or special meeting to establish the formal meeting time.

The start of the hearing would have begun a 30-day public comment period where members of the proposed district can submit their official objections to its creation to the City Clerk. The district cannot be created if 51 percent of its prospective members vote against it, but a failure to vote will actually count as a vote in favor of the BID.

Read more about this situation here.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plans for historic theatre

The city will soon apply for state funding to redevelop the former Proctor's Theatre on Fourth Street.

With the support of Columbia Development and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $5 million will be sought from the state as part of its Restore New York program to turn both buildings into more than 100,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

Read all about it in Dave Canfield's article.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Council correspondence

Below is a series of e-mails between City Council members regarding a request by Councilman Mark Wojcik, R-District 2, for the council to honor two city firefighters for recent acts of bravery. The firemen’s names have been omitted pending the council’s decision on whether to honor them at tomorrow night’s meeting.


McGrath to the City Clerk:
“Attached are the two firemen we will honor at Thursday's meeting. Please draw up two commendations and also let me know if you want me to do it or if you want your own people to honor them. Thanks

(name omitted)
(name omitted)”

Councilman Gary Galuski, D-District 6:
“Councilmen McGrath, as I mentioned to you at the finance meeting, I would speak with Council president Campana than make the decision. As chairman of the human resources committee I decide who we will honor during the good news portion of the monthly council meeting. I look forward to reviewing your request and than make my decision.

Thank you, GG”

Gary, sorry about the late response but my job prohibits me from playing with email. I simply felt that honoring two men who risked their lives to save another was "Good News". They are aware they will possibly be honored, but with the failure to have a good news segment over the last four months I felt someone should get the ball rolling. Please let Chief Garret know if they will or will not be honored for I wouldn't want these two fine men to be embarrassed Thanks.”

“You forgot to include the Times Union. I know your real motive in this. Again, as I stated in my response I will review your request.”

Councilman Bill Dunne, D-District 4:
“Gary, Mark was too busy sending his press release claiming Jim Conroy is advising/influencing us regarding city hall.”

“Thanks for your input Bill. I must caution you however. The conspiracy theory over the "Feigned outrage" certainly has me worried about you. I hope you're well. Thanks.”

Councilman Mark Wojcik, R-District 1:
Let's just honor the two firemen on Thursday night. Gary, if Mark approached you last Thursday about this, I think there was adequate time to make the appropriate actions to include these firemen in our "Good News" agenda.

As far as all the other "white noise"-----303 days and counting.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More e-mail controversy

Initial responses and comments from Conroy and Democratic council members can be found here, with additional responses posted below.

A recent e-mail from Jim Conroy has at least one Republican councilman concerned about who's controlling council Democrats.

Councilman Mark McGrath, R-District 2, sent out a media release Tuesday regarding an e-mail he had received from Conroy on Feb. 22. McGrath believed that, based on Conroy's message, that he was attempting to lay out a plan for the council to vote against approving city funding to retrofit the former Verizon Building on Sixth Avenue into a temporary location for City Hall.

In his e-mail, Conroy had written:
"I once again want to express my opposition to the Verizon deal and to the prospect of demolishing City Hall. I hope you all take the opportunity to vote against the funding for renovations at the Verizon Building. Then cancel the contract because of insufficient funds to proceed. There isn't a contract for governmental services which doesn't include cancellation if funds are not available. If you haven't seen the lease and had time to review it you can't vote to approve such a poor proposal."

McGrath said that if the measure is not passed, the city's citizens will need to take a hard look at who is ordering around the Democrats.

Conroy has also stated his opposition to the move of City Hall on his "People before Politics" blog.

Additional response from Councilman Gary Galuski, D-District 6:

"My first response would be, why is Mark McGrath so worried about our party? Does he want to switch parties again? Now to my real answer, I would believe there would be more of a issue if Mr Conroy sent the e-mail just to the majority, but he sent it to all council members. Doesn't Mr Conroy have a right to express his thoughts or does that not work for Mr McGrath and his party? There is a motive behind everything Mr McGrath does and this is no different. I have no comment on my vote, but will say this is a major issue that will have a lasting impact on the City of Troy for a very long time."

Councilman Bill Dunne, D-District 4:

"For the record, Mark, the council majority has not meet with either Jim Conroy or Tom Wade on the matter of city hall. Mr. Conroy sent a letter expressing his opinions regarding the matter, which, I reviewed with the same interest I would a letter from any resident of the city. The fantasy you and your cohorts seem to want to create is one in which Wade and Conroy are somehow puppet masters. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Despite your feigned outrage toward Bob Mirch over the incident with Jack Cox, everyone in the city knows who the real puppet master of Troy politics is and who his puppets are. Mr. Conroy's past and current involvement in government and politics in no way disqualifies him from expressing an opinion regarding the future of city hall. He is a citizen, a taxpayer and a voter - all of which entitles him to that opinion. While he is knowledgeable, Jim's input carries no more or less weight t han that of anyone else.

You should have put this kind of thought and effort into keeping the Lansingburgh branch of the library open."

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