Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mayor Who Cares Joins in Dinner to Honor "Mego" Doldo

    It was a full house at the Italian American Civic Association as members honored long time club steward Dominic "Mego" Doldo, who is credited with helping to turn the club around the past ten years.
     I presented Mr. Doldo with a First Citizen Award and a City Coin.
     In his decade as steward, Mr.Doldo ran the kitchen and bar. Recently kitchen duties were turned over to Geoff Puccia.
     It was a great time and as always the people there treat you like family.

A Spirited Romp Through a Southside Neighborhood

       Dodging raindrops was the order of the day on this gloomy Saturday as I did door to door in the Paddock and Flower Avenue areas.
     I was tailed by WDT scribe Brian Amaral who is working on a background or color piece on the campaign. A lot of people were not home so it was good to have someone to talk to. I introduced him to the guy with the cat tunnel. I think that counts as color.
     I was pleased  and I picked up a great corner lot sign location. That always cheers you up on a gray day.

Hey, Watch Me Pull a Rabbit Out of My Hat......Decidely Retro Feel to Discourse in Race

    I was catching up on my opponent's appearance yesterday on Glen Curry's Live at Five show and notice the continued swipes at my record are effectively delivered, not always factual, and seldom have anything to do with the future, which is what the current race is about.
   We have gone through the compare and contrast portion of the campaign and I have tried to look ahead on issues like what the new Parks and Recreation Department should  accomplish. We also need to refocus on issues we have talked about before like establishing a retail ethos to dealings with the public and how they pay taxes and water bills.
    Instead, it was like  Sherman and Mr. Peabody and the WABAC (Way Back) Machine as my opponent mused to Glen on what he has divined were my views on the power purchase agreement inked in the Walker years between the City and Niagara Mohawk ( now Grid).
     I wasn't there for the municipal power debate, but once forming a muni was dismissed the deferred payment deal with NiMo was as good as one could expect.
    A check of the facts shows the Councils I was on did rebuff efforts by NiMo to weasel out of the sweetheart deal. We also struggled with a complex and costly relicensing and rebuilding of the Marble Street Plant to increase production so that today's revenues were possible.
    Then there was the sweeping statement that I hadn't been to the Arena in 16 years but that the "guys down there" told him I was there recently.  Mr. Smith claims an intimate knowledge of the operation that I only gained after discovering accounting problems that led to an audit and reworking of the operation.
     'I have been to the debates and forums and listened to year's of speeches by us all at Council meetings.
     I know what happened in the past and am proud of much of it.
     I also know people want to talk about the future and what can be done....Time for Sherman to turn off the Way Back Machine.

Newzjunky - Non-Alcoholic Factory Street Nightclub to Open in Late October

When you own a nightclub all decked out for the task at hand but have lost the ability to serve alcohol, one of the alternatives is to try and make lemonaide out of lemons and try to operate a non-alcoholic club.
That's what's afoot at the Thunder Dome now that the bar next door, Mick's Place, has been allowed to reopen after paying a $20,000 fine to the Liquor Authority after both spots were closed this summer following a long list of incidents involving the police.
The history of non-alcoholic clubs is spotty as its tough to cover expenses without ways to spend money. How much water will sell and how much can you charge for it ?
The sanctions imposed underscore the responsibility of licensees to maintain reasonable order in their business. While non-alcoholic clubs are not regulated per se, the Dome's proximity to a licensed club owned by the same owner should provide the regulatory leash to encourage keeping the revelry down to a dull roar.
Newzjunky - Non-Alcoholic Factory Street Nightclub to Open in Late October

Solar Scandal Pits Congress Hopefuls Against One Another

The challenger and the incumbent in the NNY Congressional race brewing for next year are at odds over an Obama Administration program that was supposed to create jobs through subsidy of the solar panel industry. The Solyndra debacle and other so called "green" energy subsidies are what Rep. Bill Owens thinks is "investment" that carries some risks, but perhaps in Solyndra's case needed better oversight.
Challenger Matt Doheny says its a case of the government trying to pick winners and losers when the marketplace should determine whether these industries should exist.
In the real world the market does make that call. Just look around and see what energy systems consumers use. Very few can afford these systems even with government subsidy.
Doheny: Gov’t must stop picking winners, losers - News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

WDT: Judge invalidates Independence Party’s Supreme Court nominees

Hopefully the many confined voters and those who will be out of town can get their absentee ballots by week's end after a judge ruled the Independence Party judicial convention was invalid and the four nominees for justice are to be removed from the ballot. Everybody can still vote for the four as they are the nominees of the Republican Party also.
Of course there could be an appeal of the decision.
Meanwhile the delays and gamesmanship have delayed not only conventional absentees but also military and overseas ballots where the lead time is needed for those in uniform to retain their franchise.
Watertown Daily Times Judge invalidates Independence Party’s Supreme Court nominees

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Anonymous are in Full Bloom in Dishing Dirt

    Since its political season, there are lots of comments I don't post...certainly about me or my opponent....
    That may be censorship and I guess it is....It's the pressure of trying to be responsible and fair...and the knowledge that when I win I have to work with my opponent in January.
    There's also the sentiment that just how much crap about one self does one have to read or listen to because they are seeking public office....
    The MSM routinely gets "tips" about this or that...Just this week I know they had to quash one story they didn't think was fair. I am sure they get the same people that write to me, with all sorts of stories that make my life more exciting than it ever was.
      We should just have to fill out a questionnaire at time of announcement listing arrests, jail time, DWI's, divorces, bankruptcies, liens, lawsuits, and number of times you had lust in your heart.
     I am saving up the comment posts I choose not to print...Just to see how many ever see the light of day in real media.

Shout Out From My Favorite Senator

Senator Ritchie gave me a shout out today at IHC while speaking with fourth graders....She was noting the many future leaders in the class and said "watch out Mayor Graham !"
I agree. There are many people ready to take up the challenge when I wrap things up in four years.
(7) Patty Ritchie

GOP Loses Round in Battle for Line E

    I hear through the grapevine that Democrats have successfully gotten four GOP candidates for judge removed from the Indy line....But look for appeals and a further delay in sending out absentee ballots......
   All that means is voters losing the franchise....
   I used to be marinated in all that stuff...since my enstrangement I have come to realize I don't care if I get to vote for Erin on three different lines.

WDT: Murder, Mayhem, and Stolen Lawn Signs All in a Days Work for Cops

Every year someone runs to the cops with a complaint about someone messing with their lawn signs...Yes, its juvenile and scurrilous politics...But I would be hard pressed to call the police or Sheriff whining about my lawn signs....
Sure some disappear...sometimes its kids, the weather, people change their mind or people get leaned on to take it down.....Except for weather and kids, its just politics and not worth Lewis County's finest taking their time....I am sure the retiring Sheriff will not miss this kind of crisis.
Watertown Daily Times Campaign chicanery reported in Lewis County

Live At Five: Replay of Show Now on Line

A broad range of topics were featured on Glenn Curry's Live at Five show on Thursday, and heading the list is the "Family Guy" controversy, which I addressed head on.
Live At Five with Glenn Curry on AM1240: 10.13.11

WDT: Investigation into fatal pursuit through Watertown will focus on driver, not police

I know these are spur of the moment tough calls...and that people get caught up in the moment...but tragedies like the recent fatal crash involving pursuit of a purse snatcher should give pause about high speed chases, especially in urban settings.
I am not calling for a probe..or sanctions...just reflection on whether you sometimes create more hazard than was already there.
Watertown Daily Times Investigation into fatal pursuit through Watertown will focus on driver, not police

Zuccotti Park Cleaning Postponed, Protestors Declare Victory (Updated)

Occupy Wall Street participants will get their way for now as cleaning crews will not enter Zuccotti Park in Manhattan as proestors felt that was just a ruse to displace them from their efforts. The park is rife with sanitary problems but the company hired to clean it up has postponed its efforts after protestors objected.
Cleanliness may be next to godliness for some, but not for the 99% mad at the 1%.
Zuccotti Park Cleaning Postponed, Protestors Declare Victory (Updated)

Dems Delay Ballots With Litigation

Something needs to be done with an electoral system that continues to create impediments to voting. Case in point is the litigation over Indy party Supreme Court candidates which is preventing the printing of absentee ballots in Jefferson County.
Several citizens I know are getting ready to do their snow bird thing and would just as soon just go to the Board of Elections to cast their absentee rather than depend on the mail. The ballots should be available as the election is a scant three weeks out, but Democrats based in the Syracuse law firm fielding a judge candidate are snarling the process by sueing to get four GOP candidates off Line E on the ballot.
Already in NY , military and overseas voters routinely lose the franchise because of this type of nonsense.
Republicans put primary date in doubt - Times Union

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WDT: Family Guy Doubles Down on Values Card

With marriage and procreatory status now a major issue in the mayoral race, I was talking today at the BrewHaHa with the only other member of City Council clearly deficient to serve. Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso is almost my age, never been married and has NO children. Now that's OK if you want to be a Secretary of the Army...but to serve here in Watertown....NOT !....
Ms Macaluso told me she is offended at the dialogue in the mayor's race....and she should be. It's insulting and divisive to judge the worth of anyone by whether they fit some Ozzie and Harriet model.
At yesterday's debate at JCC there was a doubling down on the the family card...on matters from recreation to law enforcement, it was said you can only see the path to good and righteous government through the prism of a rather narrow and anachronistic definition of "family values."
I have been running against this issue with its related innuendos for years. This year's incarnation is nothing short of amazing to me.
These days people and their families are structured in all sorts of ways...There is no norm, and most of us have gotten past the point of being so judgemental, so pious...and so unctuous.
I believe it was in Mathew 21 that Jesus said 'the tax collectors and the harlots will enter the Kingdom of God before you.' In other words...judge not, lest ye be judged.

Watertown Daily Times Mayoral contest takes a turn for the polite

Newzjunky - A Different Take on the Same Event

Here is the Newzjunky take on yesterday's debate at JCC. What's always interesting is the different narratives on debates depending on who is covering it. This article talks about some of the issues discussed, while the Times narrative is about the lack of acrimony which fits into an overall theme of whether Mr. Smith and I could govern on the same Council should I be reelected and he opts to continue on the final two years of his current term.
Past differences have never affected the ability to work together. Case in point was the blow up we had on the radio in 1999. It was a big deal at the time but never affected anything. In fact, over the years we were on the same side on many votes. There have been differences like a recent vote on whether to allow a State Street auto detailing shop to continue in business (I supported it). We differed on whether to accept hydrofracking waste from the Southern Tier (I opposed it) and we differed on the expenditure of $38,000 to study geo thermal heating at City Hall and the Library (I opposed it).
My near perfect attendance is a record I am proud of as you have to be there to get things done.
A comprehensive look at votes would, I suppose, be interesting as we both have such long records in public office.
However, playing gotcha on individual votes is also something we could both do as the nuances of the moment are lost over time and all that's left is the "record" .
Of course there will be the requisite trip on to Memory Lane to remember all the headlines I have generated.
In the end, it is still about the future and beyond vague bromides about leadership and vision, I have talked about the need for a 21st Century recreation program....about empowering the Library Board to make real decisions about how the facility is run....and the need to crack down on the substandard housing stock in a community where rents have gone sky high.
And I have demostrated a work ethic on the job. I am the Mayor who is There.
That's why I do a blog, so for those interested, they can hear my take on issues or anything else.
Newzjunky - Watertown Mayoral Candidates Face Off in Debate at JCC

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Green Pols Leaving Solar to Twist in the Wind

There may be some confusion over what is being discussed when my critiques are made of the viability of so-called "alternative" energy sources for city buildings.
The Council meetings I have attended have included discussions of solar panels, geo thermal heating and mini wind turbines. There is a reason for skepticism about these technologies as recent news accounts I read put the cost of producing power using solar at $210 per megawatt hour, compared to $60 per megawatt hour for traditional sources like natural gas, coal or nuclear. The upfront costs and uncertain maintenance costs of solar panels make them a risky and dubious investment except for those who just want solar for the sake of having it.
I have opposed spending on studies to show what is being reported across the country and that is that these alternative means of production don't make sense for the City's current applications or for those of most homeowners. The forms of energy exist only with subsidy and the Solyndra scandal should give pause to those thinking of heading this way.
 If you don't believe me, no less a green advocate than Bill Clinton recently told a gathering in Albany that merely insulating your house is far more cost effective than any of these solar schemes.
I am hearing an adroit twist on my criticism...That somehow I am criticising hydro plants like the city owned one on Marble Street. That plant produces over three million dollars a year for the city in the sale of excess power above what is used in city buildings.
Myself, along with Councils and Mayors over the past three decades have supported the relicensing and refurbishing of the Marble Street plant. There is no dispute over its value, but the good that comes from our hydro plant cannot be extrapolated to suggest solar and geo thermal make sense.
Let's compate apples to apples...When someone is defending the dubious field of solar panels, don't let them quickly switch the conversation to hydro as if its all the same thing. That's clever politics, but bad economics.
Watertown Daily Times Rain keeps city comptroller smiling

Indy Boss Out of Politics After Pleading to Theft

The man who led many of us to get a swarmy feeling about our previous association with the Independence Party has pleaded to theft charges and is out of politics.
John Dote of Utica is a state vice chair of the party...or was....Now he faces up to six months in jail.
I know John and he was the go-to for pols and judges looking for the "line".
I ceased involvement in Indy judicial conventions a couple of years ago, and have not participated in state party operations in some time.
Dote forced out of politics after plea to donation thefts - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

Making from Pivot from Campaign Mode to Governing Mode

              Thanks to Phil Bajjaly and BJs Tavern for hosting friends tonight for a campaign mixer. Supreme Court candidate Michael Young was there with the latest gossip from the land of lawyers.
              Its a quick turnaround tonight as I have an 8AM meeting tomorrow at the Local Development Corporation.
             Being the "Mayor who's There" and doing the official duties is keeping me busy.

My Take on the Debate I Was In

     I didn't know it was a debate till I got there, but a joint speaking appearance to a class of students and others at JCC today went very well.
    Both candidates for mayor spoke well sans the high anxiety that was in the WPBS studios the other day.
     There were good questions and both Mr. Smith and I answered them.
     From my point of view it was time to move away from drawing distinctions with my opponent to outlining the things we all have to work on come January.
    Included in that is a 21st Century Recreation department under new management. Also I want to empower the Library Board to make the decisions they feel are necessary, and I want to continue to strees the fiscal restraint this Council has worked well on for years.
     My opponent talked about his family; doubled down on his call for renewable energy and criticized the final phase of downtown redevelopment as a parking lot with a bathroom in the middle.
     There were a few swipes at my record but otherwise nothing negative as I know I have to work with the man come January as he will be on Council win or lose.
     I stressed my passion for the city and my willingness to show up when needed.
    "A Mayor Who is There", the slogan goes.

WDT: Maple City Madness Fails in 6-1 Vote

The jihad against his former friend by Councilman Nick Vaugh screeched to a halt last night as the Ogdensburg City Council wisely reject a silly censure resolution against the mayor and deputy mayor. That doesn't eliminate the challenging political envirnment for Mayor Bill Nelson, but it puts aside a red herring for now.
The Mayor has 27 days to make his case. It will be a challenge.
Watertown Daily Times Ogdensburg council rejects accusations against mayor, deputy mayor

WDT: Don't Waste Money on a Lapel Mike for Me...I Know How to Speak into the Microphone

With all due respect to my collegues, City Council a few years back purchased, high quality gooseneck desk microphones that are well suited to a meeting format. You have to sit up in your chair and speak into the microphone....I concede I have an advantage, having worked in radio for years, but its not that hard to do and certainly not worth $200 a microphone for lapel mikes.
There have been complaints from the public that some members cannot be heard over the PA system. It really is a matter of speaking into the mike. Let's save the taxpayers some money and do just that.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown council members’ voice cannot be heard

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Herman Cain, Mitt Romney skate in New Hampshire primary debate

Mitt Romney continued his solid, workmanlike performances and upstart Herman Cain once again caught the fancy of the debate crowd as eight GOP candidates for President held a mostly civil session at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH.
Today's endorsement of Mr. Romney by Governor Chris Christie set in motion what some feel is the beginning of the end which will lead to a Romney candidacy against President Barack Obama.
You can tell Cain is surging as the lesser candidates all were taking shots at his 9-9-9 tax plan....
Herman Cain, Mitt Romney skate in New Hampshire primary debate - Alexander Burns -

12 of Sandra Lee's Best Semi-Homemade Halloween Costumes

New York's first lady Sandra Lee is out with her 12 favorite homemade Halloween costumes....Governor Cuomo's housemate shows a flair for style and adaptation in modeling the outfits.
Wonder what the Governor will dress as ?
12 of Sandra Lee's Best Semi-Homemade Halloween Costumes

WDT: Tax Cap....No Problem

The Town of Hammond has voted to bypass a 2% tax cap passed with much ballyhoo in Albany...Apparently the Town board can do so with a 60% super majority....Big deal...on a five person board, that's the only way you get to a majority. I thought the override required public referendum. Oh well.
Watertown Daily Times Hammond overrides tax cap

More Delays as Parties Fight Over Lines on Ballot

   Still waiting to get final ballot as Democrats continue to contest Indy nominations for Supreme Court justice....The matter is tied up in the courts and so once again absentee ballots are delayed and fewer people will get the chance to vote.
    The Independence Party had nominated the four Republicans to run on the E line.

Forecasters throw cold blanket on sunshine - City & Region - The Buffalo News

Often they have trouble with the five day forecast, so I don't know if on a beautiful October day, I really believe the winter is going to be extra cold and snowy.....Besides there is nothing we can do about it anyway.
Weather people are good at predicting the obvious and I am sure it will get colder before it gets warm...As I say...past performance is a predictor of future results.
Forecasters throw cold blanket on sunshine - City & Region - The Buffalo News

WDT: Ball Teed Up for Raucous Meeting in Ogdensburg

Again, I don't claim to know all the nuances of Maple City Mayhem, but a move by Mayor Nelson and his deputy mayor is a nice pushback to one time ally Nick Vaugh's efforts to discredit the Mayor and get him defeated on November 8.
Mayor Nelson is bringing the deposed city planner who oversaw the rehabilitation of a Knox Street property that led to the controversy and recrimniations that in turn led the Mayor to call for the departure of city manager Art Sciorra.
The residents of the house will also be at tonight's City Council meeting.
The Mayor says Mr. Sciorra misled the Council, while opponents of the Mayor have been propping Sciorra up through the election in a bid to defeat Nelson.
Tonight's meeting will be great political theater, and will be better than sitting home watching Idol.
Watertown Daily Times Woods to appear before Ogdensburg council

WDT: Zoo One of Many Family Assets in City

Watertown's Thompson Park Zoo and its new director are getting ready for winter but not planning to hibernate when it comes to trying to attract more visitors. Attendance was off this year, but Director John Wright says he wants to boost community support for the privately operated Zoo.
Mr. Wright has made a good impression since his arrival from Mississippi and I am sure will rally the support needed. The Zoo, along with the Park and the city's many recreation programs provide quite a range of activities for families.
I would hope the city's new Recreation Department leadership will work to build synergisms with the Zoo and other private organizations to further improve what is offered.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown zoo director aims to boost community support

Monday, October 10, 2011 : New Car Sales Boom in Jefferson County

This is one of these funny stories that is very revealing of the local economy but seldom gets covered except in the summary form on Newzjunky. New car sales are booming and are at the highest level since 2006. Over 500+ newbies were registered last month. I am glad for all my friends at FX who seem to be doing the best since opening separate Kia, VW and Chrysler/Jeep stores on the strip in Watertown.
The surge in auto sales means something is going right locally. :: Jefferson County Clerk :: New Vehicle Registrations

Columbus Day...One of Those Events People Expect You Will Take Time to Attend

   Columbus Day is one of those days you show up for...Like Veteran's Day...and several others. As Mayor, your job is to be there and frankly in years gone by your other electeds would show up too. Councilmen like Roy Goodwin and Jim Brett knew the protocol of the jobs and that people want their leaders to show up.
    If you don't like going to these functions that's fine...Just don't promise people otherwise.
   As for Columbus happens every year about this time....

WDT: Fond Memories of JCC Back in the Day

The record will show I did not play lacrosse in college, but I was pleased to read about the fond memories of JCC from grads at a recent get together.
My experience at JCC was a lot of fun, although in that era there was more college-sanctioned frivolity including beer blasts, something surely off limits today.
There were the teachers like Dr. Deans, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Young, Klaus and others. I worked part time in the A/V office at the Library back before digital everything put dark rooms into the Dark Ages.
JCC did me well and I went on to another state school in the University of Missouri as SU didn't fit in the budget and Northwestern didn't want me...I still think I got a good education at both places and always valued that as well as the memories.
When I recently met with the new JCC president to talk about the direction of the college, I could see there is still a spirit for good there...One I hope continues for many years to come.
Watertown Daily Times JCC grads reminisce about their experiences with fellow alums

WDT: Roosters Taking Credit for the Sunrise

I also said in a speech to Morning Rotary prior to the television debate that I was not "attempting to be the rooster taking credit for the sunrise" and that matters like debt reduction were among the positive developments enacted by this Council while I was in the leadership role.
The Mayor does set the tone for what happens and frankly what person running for office wouldn't point to the positive trends ? A technical examination of the "record" cuts both ways.
For instance last week , both my opponent and I voted in favor of a $10,000 raise for the head of the City's Civil Service office. That could be spun as a long overdue adjustment as the pay was out of whack with other management and stems from a time when the position was part time.
Or one could say it's just plain wrong to hand out what amounted to a 26% raise in a time when working families are struggling and unemployment is high.
As I said, the record shows we both voted for pick the spin you want to put on it.
My favorite past vote to talk about was my sole opposition to an absolutely unconscionable sale of a State Street gas station at private sale when a qualified and reputable bidder was sitting in Council Chambers offering $50,000 more. That's what the "record" shows.
So my point is that this is a race about the future and who has the judgement and temperment to lead the Council. Yes, past actions are an indicator of future results, and in upcoming interviews I am more than happy to talk about both the record and the future.
Which brings me to the fact I am a guest on Glenn Curry's "Live at Five" program on Thursday. Hope you all can take the time to listen, and the show really is done live.
Watertown Daily Times Taking credit for debt reduction becomes an issue in Watertown mayoral race

Millionaire's Tax to Be Debated Again

With Wall Street "occupied" by those who want to well to do to pay more, it looks like Governor Cuomo is still intent on opposing a "millionaire's tax" when it comes up for renewal later this year. Assembly Speaker Silver wants the tax surcharge but tells Dicker he will not hold a budget hostage to get it.
The tax on high earners is feared to make NY less competitive and would drive the rich to move away. Advocates argue the wealthy are ripping off lower and middle income Americans and are not paying their fair share.
Shelly Silver won’t delay budget for millionaire’s tax -

Sunday, October 9, 2011

'Suicide by cop' eyed in newspaper knife attack -

Here's another disturbed person shot several times and it's immediately deemed "suicide by cop." The guy was wandering around the Daily Gazette newspaper in Schenectady and had a knife. He was mumbling. He was shot five times.
'Suicide by cop' eyed in newspaper knife attack -

Demi Moore seeks Ashton Kutcher divorce after last bid to save marriage fails | Mail Online

What's to be humilated about ?
Demi Moore is said to want a divorce from Ashton for his cheatin' ways....That's OK, but this cougar will have no trouble on the singles scene...
Demi Moore seeks Ashton Kutcher divorce after last bid to save marriage fails Mail Online

Dog is Back

    Remember the dog on Thursday that wondered into my place with no collar and a forlorn look...I had the County dog warden pick him up as I could tell he was somebody's and wouldn't fare well in the wild...
    Well. I was walking to the Nice 'n Easy this AM and who is laying on the neighbors lawn, but same dog...Still no leash but obviously redeemed from the pound.
    People don't get it when it comes to animals, but I did my good deed and he is on his own now.

Dirty People Occupy Wall Street

The Left's "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration is leaving a mess in a NYC park and the mayor says its chasing away business from the Big Apple. Meanwhile the demonstrations against corporate greed are creating a sanitation problems with one photo taken of a protestor defecating on a police car....
The demonstrations are the hard edge of the class warfare debate raging in national politics with the Obama Administration reportedly giving a wink of the eye to the protests as they focus attention on the issue of raising taxes on the rich.
Whether this is just a freak show or the beginning of the unraveling of society is an open question.
Occupy Wall Street: Shocking photos show protester defecating on POLICE CAR Mail Online

In Life, It Could Always Be Worse, and in Ogdensburg It Is

There are always challenges in local government, but the situation in Ogdensburg is getting out of hand with one Councillor introducing a "censure" resolution against the mayor for allegedly violating the City Charter by sending an e-mail. When you read the particulars, its ludicrous and its a case of the system not working.
Ogdensburg and Watertown both have council/manager forms of government and that system has its good and bad aspects. However its the system in place and the job of the elected and the appointed is to make it work.
In the Maple City, one Councillor on his way out of office seems intent on making sure Mayor Bill Nelson joins him, so he is proposing a censure resolution, which is clearly a political stunt, no matter who you favor in the election.
In Ogdensburg, the manager has openly opposed the elected officials seeking his ouster rather than doing his job and leave those deliberations to the Council.
In Watertown, I have worked to keep the system working, and work out any differences without theatrics. You have to do it through persuasion and relationships as in this form of government, the electeds cannot just boss staff around and short of firing a city manager, there is no direct action available.
That's why when something like the Arena situation developed this year it was important to have maximum disclosure and a public process for devising new policies for the manager to implement.
The hiring of a superintendent for recreation is expected by the end of the month, according to a memo released this week. The budgetary adjustments and chain of command issues to set up Parks and Rec as its own department are also to be in place by months end.
The corrections were done without the devolution of process seen in the 'burg, and part of that may be the personalities involved. It is naive to think things will not go wrong and sometimes a relatively small event like the Knox Street home in the 'burg goes viral on you. ]
However, Tuesday's council meeting in Ogdensburg is going to be ugly and the showboating on these censure resolutions will challenge Mayor Nelson's ability to take charge and set the record straight, if at this point that's possible.
The Journal Accusations OnCity Council Agenda