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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Second City Hall Meeting Next Week

As reported by Jim Franco:

TROY — The consultants hired by the city to determine not only the best future use for the former City Hall on Monument Square and make recommendations on a permanent home for the city’s seat of government have narrowed their choices down to four.

Of the eight preliminary sites studied by Sasaki Associates, the architectural firm recommends the current home of City Hall, the old Verizon building on Sixth Avenue that the city is now leasing, Proctor’s Theater on Fourth Street and the Capital District Education Opportunity Center building and is not counting out moving back to the Monument Square site.

Sasaki will hold a second public hearing March 3 at 6 p.m. at the Bush Memorial building at Russell Sage College.

“This is a chance for all Trojans to have a say in a redevelopment project that will have a lasting and historical impact on the changing face of Troy’s riverfront for generations to come,” said Mayor Harry Tutunjian. “This meeting is for all of the residents of Troy, from Lansingburgh to South Troy, and not just those in and around downtown.”

About 20 residents turned out for the first public hearing Dec. 2 to give Sasaki input on where they would like to see City Hall land permanently and what they would like to see happen with the existing riverfront site.

In November 2008, the city signed a $308,000 per year agreement with Judge Development to lease the Verizon building for three years. The offices were moved in 13 months later after a number of delays and disputes. There city filed a lawsuit, which is still pending, in an effort to re-coup some of the rent money it paid without being able to occupy the building.

There are also state grants totaling some $6 million, which the city will have to match a percentage of, available to develop the Monument Square property in addition to completing other projects in the city.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Council Meeting Clarification

In Friday's edition of The Record, the Community Calendar left out the purpose of a City Council meeting scheduled for Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.

The council will gather at that time in the second floor conference room of 1776 Sixth Ave. to conduct their February Finance Committee meeting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pirro pens GOP strategies

Albany's Metroland reported today that city spokesman Jeff Pirro sent out an e-mail to Republican insiders within the last few months which detailed plans on how to better organize the political party, with the hopes of Election Day success in future races for the mayor's office and City Council seats.

Troy Democrats tried numerous times to have Pirro removed from his position during the city's recent budget battles for his work on party politics but were unsuccessful, as a Supreme Court judge ruled that only Mayor Harry Tutunjian had the power to appoint and remove members of his office staff.

While nothing in the document pops out as a surprise for an outnumbered party looking to gain power in a city largely populated by Democrats, it is likely to ruffle a few feathers.

It also provides a unique look into the general planning process for politicians which members of the public might never normally see.

According to Metroland, the document was first made public by The Sons of Liberty, "a grassroots organization that formed after last year's Tea Party in Albany to study organizing tactics and bask in their ideological purity."

Here's an excerpt from the document:

"What are we for? What are we against? We cannot simply be for more Republicans and against City Council Democrats. That doesn’t work. We cannot be an opposition that only opposes people or things. We have to be an option. Right now, the Dems are simply against the Mayor but they use such populist rhetoric that they appeal to the majority of Trojans who are simply fatigued by NYS and local politics (for those that even care).

Our message in November failed for a lot of a reasons but it is still my contention that the primary reason was that the Democrats were able to take credit for what the Mayor and allies have done. Voter fraud didn’t resonate as much as it should have because the environment was already so poisonous that people tuned it out. (That works to our advantage though, especially when indictments are handed down) In the end, the people that didn’t have their vote hijacked had no other reason to vote against Democrats."

The entire document can be read here.

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