Saturday, December 17, 2011

Local Democrat's Messiah Get's Ready for His Birthday

      Just as we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 (although we don't know if that's the exact day), we can celebrate with certainty the birth of Ezra Ted Ford who notches another year on Christmas Day.
      Like Jesus, Ted is a compassionate person, but unlike the Lord, Ted is not the son of God.  Nonetheless, Ted is a great guy who knows a lot about religion and would like to save mankind from a life of sin and Sarah Palin. 
      Let today begin a week of celebration of the birth of Ted Ford......

Little Trucks Gone....and Dave Goes for a Comfy Ride

In an everything is bigger World, small trucks are headed for the history books...The popular Ford Ranger has just gone out of production after three decades and nearly 6.7 million units. Smaller trucks have been dropped by other makers as well and you'll have to settle for an F-150 in the Ford line.
I helped Dave Mance with getting a car today. Of course he bought his new Caddy at FX and I was happy to refer him and as always he was happy with the prompt service in landing him the vehicle he wanted.
It's a rite of passage for Dave....Move to a Cadillac...
Next thing you know he will be leaving his turn signal on all day.
Last Ford Ranger Rolls Off The Assembly Line Fox News

WDT: Police to Wheelchairs: Stay Off Road

      City police like all of us are waiting for the snow certain to come and are urging caution by motorists.
        In particular, Chief Joe Goss is warning those wheelchair operators to stay off the roads in winter as they pose a danger to themselves and others.
        Property owners are reminded to do their part by clearing walks.
        Before any of us can use all the good advice, we need some snow and forecasts suggest little of that, at least through Christmas.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown police issue warnings for winter


Even the song by the Village People would be obsolete the Young Men's Christian Association or YMCA has dropped the moniker in favor of the more commonly used "Y".
Originally, YMCA's and their female counterpart, the YWCA, existed to promote "muscular Christianity", a combination of fitness and faith.....Most famous were the national network of inexpensive rooms used by rural folks visiting the big city.
All of that has faded away as the loosely affiliated network of YMCA's became more secular and now in the case of the Watertown Y, it's an amalgam of family activities including not only fitness but also day care.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cuomo: Consolidation Is Key

Governor Cuomo says consolidation is the key to correcting NY's inefficient and expensive system of government. But will Mr. Cuomo do more than the rather timid and ineffective village dissolution law ?
If the Governor is serious he will have to take on the sacred cows...The 700+ school districts....the urban sprawl that has turned towns into mini cities without infrastructure....Will Mr. Cuomo propose an Ontario style solution towards amalgamation ?
The Governor already had to retreat on "no new taxes" and I understand you do what you have to do sometimes....Whether anyone will really talk consolidation is in doubt.
Cuomo: Consolidation Is Key

Nikki Haley's Mitt Romney endorsement catches flak

Mitt Romney is the GOP establishment choice...the guy who can win...who won't offend the center.....
But making the "safe" endorsement of Romney has resulted in a Tea Party and hard right insurrection against the freshman governor of one of the nation's most GOP states.
SC Governor Nikki Haley is under fire for the choice as the Palmetto State readies to play a crucial role in the GOP nominating process.
Despite misgivings about all the candidates and warnings they cannot win, Mr. Romney continues to be less than inspiring except for those who understand trading principle for votes is sometimes needed.....
Nikki Haley's Mitt Romney endorsement catches flak - Reid J. Epstein -

WDT: Patty Goes Straight to People With Robo Calls

Politicians (me included) are always campaigning....or at least trying to get out my message out....Senator Ritchie is using robocalls in addition to social media to make sure voters hear it from the horse's mouth. Traditional filters are being bypassed more and more frequently.
Watertown Daily Times No taxpayer dollars were harmed in the making of this robocall

Patty's Page Popular with People

Here is Senator Ritchie's new Facebook page....Join it...view it....
(14) State Senator Patty Ritchie

Newzjunky: Goodfellos Reopens After Tax Issue

A popular Sackets Harbor eaterie is reopening today after a run in with the State Tax Department. Goodfello's is back in business tonght after some kind of settlement with Albany.   I first heard of the reopening yesterday when I ran into the owner at the groundbreaking.
Goodfellos Reopens After Tax Issue

WDT: Let's Talk About What is Being Voted On

It's existed for over half a century and it is the map of property that regulates what you can and cannot do with your property. It is really a social compact in a community designed to channel development of different kinds into different areas so there is not conflict over uses of which the impact crosses property lines. The best example would be not allowing residential in an industrial zone.
When you buy property for a given purpose, its important to make sure the zoning is consistent for what you want to do, as getting a change of zoning is very difficult and often meets with neighborhood opposition.
It's not a perfect system as the community is always changing and the types of use for property have changed.
On Breen Avenue, the land has historically been mixed-use and is mostly zoned residential B and Residential C. The land proposed for a shelter home is zoned residential C. In both B and C, boarding houses are allowed, which is essentially what this project is.
This comes down to property rights. A property owner has a right to build what is specifically allowed in the zoning law, just as they don't have a right to build things not authorized in a residential zone.
For example, if something is zoned commercial, the property owner has a right to build a Burger King with site plan approval. The fact that City Council may prefer Wendy's or may think the Burger King contributes to obesity is not a legitimate way for a Council to regulate property rights.
The regulatory role of the City is to require an appropriate site plan that is reviewed by the Planning Board and ratified by City Council.
A site plan is not a judgement on the use. It's merely a judgement on whether the structure, layout and landscaping fit reasonable standards.
In this case, the owner of the property has a right to sell to whomever they want and the new owner has a right to develop within the confines of zoning.
Those who do not agree can lobby the prospective owners not to move ahead. They can lobby the Board of Directors of the agency in question or attack their funding sources or do whatever they want to dissuade them.
Asking the City Council to override its own zoning in place for decades is not likely to happen and is subject to court review.

Watertown Daily Times Council expected to vote on Monday on proposed women’s shelter project

Thursday, December 15, 2011

WDT: Duffy voices commitment to military, NNY

While the parts of the deal were already in place, the official announcement came today in a crowded empty story in the Town of Watertown.....LG Robert Duffy was in NNY again as the thundering herd of important people gathered. It's good to see growth occuring and Mr. Duffy is an affable fellow who seems to have an affinity for NNY. We welcome his visits.
Watertown Daily Times Duffy voices commitment to military, NNY

Filling Spots is Part of What We Do

   Had a nice conversation today with the Hon. Jim Tormey, the judge in charge of the Fifth Judicial District. I was asking some guidance on nomination of a part time City Court Judge.  I have already met with Judges Harberson and Renzi, as well as other users of the court.
   Today was the deadline for submission of letters of interest and I hope to have a candidate for Council consent in January.
   Trust me , I take it seriously, so don't bug me.
    On another matter, I am offering Robert Dalton as a candidate for Council consideration for Library Board.  Mr. Dalton is a downtown businessman and very aware of the cultural importance of the Library.
    This year, we have welcomed others to leadership positions on city boards, including the appointment of Sarah Freda to chair the Planning Board and Pat Fontana as a board member. I also helped fill two spots on the Watertown Trust with two great candidates, Jeff Fallon and Erika Flynt.
     Appointments and nominations for various posts are an often ignored but important part of what a Mayor does.

Holiday Events Reach a Peak this Week and Weekend...Enjoy !

   Busy day for the "Mayor Who's There."
   This morning it was a "symbolic" ground breaking for the COR housing on Outer Arsenal Street...LG Duffy was there...Great guy but the ceremony was strange...We were crammed into an empty store for speeches and then told to sit there while while the big wigs went outside for a photo op ground breaking with a pile a dirt placed in the parking lot....
    It had nothing to do with anything.
    I had the annual meeting of the Watertown LDC and elected President for another year at a luncheon at Cavallario's Cucina.....Then it was some time at City Hall and in the evening at dinner at the Elks for some visiting poobahs.
    I did run into an old friend and her charming friend who are both county employees...then I had dinner and left, before going to work.

Holiday Nonsense....People With Nothing Better to Do

    Punks slashing tires just before the nice.....Tenants at 557 Pearl Street had five tires slashed overnight and that's on top of a spree of slashing last weekend on East Main Street.
     This means a young couple with a newborn have to spend money on tires just before Christmas...Real nice.
     Police are investigating the incidents.

Be Careful When Giving

       The Attorney General has a new report out on the dubious fundraising of various telemarketed charities and how little of your well intentioned dollars actuallg fund what you think is being funded....And I saw something on TV last night on how that Humane Society tear jerker commercial about abused dogs and cats produces virtually nothing for the cause. Those dollar a day saving a poverty stricken kid in Africa also make me wonder.
      It's so hard to know whether your contributions to anything are worthwhile. Sure you put a dollar in the kettle, but everything else just makes you wonder.
      I would say just say no to things telemarketed or advertised on television.
       Stick with something local like the Salvation Army or the NNY Community Foundation.

Significant cut in National Grid electricity rates is set to begin next month |

I will believe this when I see it....Lower electric rates ? From National Grid ?
Significant cut in National Grid electricity rates is set to begin next month

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Behm: Hey TIME...Pick a Real Person

Once again, former Watertown radio star Steve Behm gets it right...
TIME Magazine has again come up with a goofy "Person of the Year" by naming the "protestor" as that person....It's a generic designation based on the uprisings in the Middle East and the Occupy Wall Street movement here.
This is dumb....pick a person...somebody who was inspiring, someone who accomplished something.....someone who was infamous ....
Behm picks Rep. Giffords for overcoming the odds to recover from a normally certain fatal shot to the head.....That's a good choice....there may be others who somehow caught our fancy....but the generic "protestor" is not one of them.
(17) Steve Behm

Holiday Spirit Not in the Air

    Several dozen west side residents crowded the Italian American Club for a testy and sometimes ugly back and forth over a proposed women's shelter for a long vacant lot on Breen Avenue.
    The residents were frustrated over the $800K project by the local Women's Center which would replace another shelter now housed in the city.
     Many residents sparred with Center director Elaina Marra and the attorney and architect she brought with her.
     Residents fear an unsavory element coming to the shelters, while those in favor say they have every desire to be a good neighbor and that other shelters have caused no problems.
     Opponents led by County Legislator-elect Anthony Doldo argued homeless people, social service recipients and soldiers with PTS syndrome could end up threatening the close-knit neighborhood.
     The Women's Center showed no sign of abandoning the project. City Council votes on the site plan on Monday, and the Planning Board has already given its thumbs up.
     Since the property zoning allows a boarding house, the 7000 square foot home complies with zoning. City Council does not rule on the use but on the site plan, which outlines building layout,and landscaping.
      Nonetheless a big crowd is expected at Monday's meeting as residents try to stop the construction.
     It was not a pleasant meeting to sit through, as antipathies and long standing frustrations over encroachment came to the surface.   It just seemed too angry a session so close to Christmas.

Schumer’s Beer Summit

Senator Schumer always needs an issue to advocate and this week its beer.....Now Senator, I would have been happy to provide the venue for the photo op, but if you want we could all travel to my next favorite city, Utica, and visit the brewery.....
Brewing, like wine, is important in New York State and lawmakers need to be aware of the benefits of the hospitality industry when they start thinking about sin taxes and other impediments to this important industry.
Schumer’s Beer Summit#more-56754

That Didn't Take Long

  The ink on the PILOT is not yet dry and there is a groundbreaking slated for tomorrow at the Beaver Meadows Apartment complex being built by COR in the Town of Watertown.
   This is what they mean in government by the term "shovel ready."

Dollar coins will be phased out –

While other countries have done well with dollar coins, the US has had trouble getting traction and the latest series of President coins will see production halted as the Obama Administration says its costing money to produce money no one wants.
Of course the reason the dollar coin hasn't caught on is the paper $1 is still hanging around and people don't want to admit money has been devalued as much as it has over time.
The case for coins is they cost more to produce but last much longer.
Dollar coins will be phased out –

WDT: HO HO HO...Lawmaker Approve Christmas PILOT

County Legislators on their way to their annual Christmas party at the Paddock Club approved a PILOT deal for one of two housing projects proposed for outer Arsenal Street. The complicated and compromise measure, if approved by the school district, would allow a 296 unit apartment complex to move ahead in a bid to relieve housing shortages.
Watertown Daily Times Jefferson County legislators approve COR housing PILOT

WDT:Neighors set meeting on proposed women’s shelter

This is a case of NIMBY and fear of the unknown as neighbors are being organized to oppose the construction of a Women's Center shelter in a long vacant lot on Breen Avenue. The 7500 square foot structure would house women and the building conforms to the residential C zoning and was unanimously approved by the Planning Board.
Ironically, one Planning Board member lives adjacent to the site.
The fear is that a "crazy boyfriend" will seek out a woman staying there, although the existence of shelters elsewhere in the City do not support this fear.
The site once housed DiStefano's Florist and in recent years has remained vacant in what has long been a mixed use neighborhood.
There is a meeting at 6PM at the Italian American Club.
People are naturally concerned about neighbhorhood character and property values. However, since the proposed use conforms to zoning there is little legal basis for City Council to block it based solely on not liking the use.
City Council will have to act on the proposed site plan at an upcoming meeting.
Watertown Daily Times Neighors set meeting on proposed women’s shelter

WDT:50 percent of WHS students stay home

Half of Watertown High School students stayed home as a result of a scare over a threat of violence at the Washington Street campus. The rumored violence prompted parents to keep kids at home despite heavy security at the school.
Too bad we have to put up with this stuff, but given what's happened elsewhere, you have to be careful.
Watertown Daily Times 50 percent of WHS students stay home

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DeDe Still an Infidel to Some

         DeDe Scozzafava as a metaphor for RINO's and conservative heresy continues to live on....Tonight on Hannity (FOX), Sean referenced Speaker Newt Gingrich support of Ms. Scozzafava in the 2009 special election in NY23.
          Tea Party ascendancy fueled the campaign of Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman and Ms. Scozzafava, the establishment choice and early frontrunner, was immolated in the pyre of right wing rage against her Rockefeller Republicanism.
          Now Gingrich' support of her is haunting him as the right sees it as evidence he is not a true believer...that he is too Washington...too willing to go off the reservation.
          The fact that the Scozzafava name is remembered so readily in the national scene is an interesting legacy for her.  Suspicions proved correct though. In 2009 she endorsed the Democrat Bill Owens after her effort unraveled. She also supported Andrew Cuomo in 2010 and now serves in his administration.

Crazy Carl Writes Critical Tome About Albany News Hacks

Carl Paladino lives....the GOP's Great Whacked Hope of 2010....Now he has penned a letter rapping the Albany press corps as tools of the Cuomo Administration.....In particular, TU reporter/blogger Jimmy Vielkind.
The smug inevitability of Cuomo and the downright whackiness of Crazy Carl was the reason I bid farewell to the reservation last year and had some entertaining moments helping Kristin get her whopping 3% in Jefferson County. It seemed a more constructive expenditure of time than playing in the real race.
Whether Paladino is right about the obsequious Albany Press Corps, he is still a nut and not suited to be in charge....That hasn't changed and Carl will always be a footnote to history.
(18) Letter to Jimmy Vielkind, Times Union

Good Grief...Save Us from the Sanctimony

First of all...if I am married to Miss New York. I am not caring whether some "goo-goo" has their bowels in an uproar over my appointment to a NYS Board of Ethics.
Quit picking on the Renzi's. They are nice people.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Ball Boys Hire Allred to Sue SU and Boeheim.

Gloris Allred is at it representing the two guys who claim as ball boys there were molested by SU hoop assistant coach Bernie Fine.....Ms. Allred has filed suit against the college and its head coach alleging defamation when they said the pair were lying....
Well, can't you say anything anymore ? There are too many unexplained aspects of the accusers and opportunistic lawyers involved in this for my liking....I would be inclined to think the clubby,big money atmosphere of collegiate sports could result in coverups of such behavior. However, there is something amiss in all this, like the third accuser who claims to have taken a team bus to Pittsburgh, but we now know there was no such bus.
Prudence says you should try to pay these guys off to put the issue behind...leave Fine in retirement....and be happy the DA has said the statute of limitations has passed.

City Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns

Today's statement by Councilwoman Burns is certainly appropriate as you should say something and there is a need to feed the beast before you shut up and await the disposition of the legal case.
I fully support her efforts to address the circumstances that led to this and am sure she has the fortitude to do so.
Having said that, as I told the reporter who called today asking for my response to her many other employers and coworkers of people arrested for DWI have you called today ? How many others have the media lead the charge to see about someone losing a job over something like this ?.
Politically, Ms. Burns will always live with the paragraph about the event and the file photo of the booking shot....There is an obvious glee in some pursuits of these stories that serve as parables about the failings of all of us and the moral certitude of others.
It is different for a "public figure", but make no mistake...when you are entertained by the travails of the electeds there are lots of others for whom such news of arrests, marital nastiness, back child support and bankruptcies are never told or downplayed because someone felt such things are not relevant.
I learned that early on in the news business when I was waiting in the usual spot to get a perp walk of the son of a prominent person....The suspect was taken in through a basement entrance...No film at eleven for me.
Conversely, the media also protects some and not others.
It's the modern equivalent of shaming...of putting some in the stocks and throwing rotten fruit at them. The consolation is the attention will soon shift to someone else.
City Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns

Here We Go Again

    After being roundly lambasted for allowing radio renegade Johnny Spezzano on my talk show recently....It happens again Thursday as I will be absent to chair an annual meeting for the Watertown Local Development Corporation.
     With the normal list of fill-ins not available, I went to the boss, Jim Leven, and he assigned Mr. Spezzano to the task.....Since I am one who does what the boss says...Johnny it is.
     Spezzano plunged America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show into controversy earlier this month when he insulted the City of Utica, setting off a firestorm that I had to exstinguish.
     Hopefully John will behave.


Senator Ritchie's office on the move is getting closer to Watertown...(actually she has a stationary office here already). The Senator will be in West Carthage tomorrow night for a meet the people session.
That's in the shadow of Democratic Mayor Scott Burto who has become an entusiastic basher of Republicans since changing parties a year or two back. Hizzoner is busy taking on the local school board, so he might not make the Ritchie event.

O'Burg Announces Lawyer Full Employment Program

Wow, this situation in the Maple City gets more interesting every week....Now the City of Ogdenburg has hired counsel to fight a defamation suit brought by the city manager who claims lawmakers bad mouthed him and hurt his reputation.
Manager Art Sciorra and the City Council have been sparring over the Knox Street home and other issues and the manager's tenure became an issue in the recent election.
As an observer from sixty miles away....and not knowing all the internal does appear the City needs to stop harboring the belief they can get Mr. Sciorra to forego the severance he would get if terminated before the end of his contract. That's what this is about, as I don't see how governing can go on with current levels of antipathy....That is, if all we read is what is really happening.
Watertown Daily Times City hires law firm in Sciorra case

Tim Tebow and Lindsey Vonn?

Maybe there is a "war on Christmas" and other hostility towards faith in the media....Look how much is written about Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's expressions of faith....The gesture is now called "Tebowing" in the media and everybody is writing pieces about how odd he is to make his faith known.
Because skier Lindsey Vonn made a similar bow on one knee recently, she is being romantically linked to Tebow because after all, in our secular world, how could two people simultaneously harbor such sentiments ?
Ms. Vonn is recently split from her husband and was seen at a game with Tebow's family.
Actually there are a lot of us who will be Tebowing this weekend as Denver takes on the Devil....aka the New England Patriots.
Tim Tebow and Lindsey Vonn? Slope Dope an blog

WDT: School Threat Taken Seriously

It's just a total shame people do this stuff...Whether hoax or the real deal, school district officials have to take threats seriously given the number of school shooting incidents nationwide.....
Superintendent Fralick is certainly a level headed sort and with word circulating of a school shooting incident coming on Tuesday, precautions are being taken. Some parents have posted on Facebook they will keep kids home....
It's all understandable....but also sad....
Watertown Daily Times Watertown High beefs up security after threats of violence made online

Monday, December 12, 2011

WDT: Renzi's Are Great People...And Ethical to Boot

Watertown Daily Times David A. Renzi named to ethics board

WDT: Harry Wilson to chair Doheny fundraising team

Matt's got a fifty person fundraising team ? He probably wouldn't want a bikini car wash at Fort Pearl....that must be why I wasn't ask....
It costs a lot to run for Congress and both candidates will spend a bundle in this pivotal, swing district.
Remember, I got elected in a tough race for five bucks a vote...Let's see if our next Congressman can do the same !
Watertown Daily Times Harry Wilson to chair Doheny fundraising team

Consultant: Devil's Brew Can Still Flow...But Laws Must Be Followed

      With all five members in attendance, City Council agreed with its booze consultant that operators of the ballfield at the Fairgrounds should be licensed and lawmakers heard point blank that arrangements used in the past were illegal and "bad". Former NYS Liquor Czar Anthony Casale has been helping untangled the mish-mash of how the devil's brew was sold....
    Now the Council will adopt his series of recommendations which will see that what's done is in accordance with law. Beer can still be sold at events......
    Other than that, there was nothing of note at tonights meeting.

What Do We Do About Miss Amy ?

    Just  what is shocking these days ?...Is it an IHC grad who can't help but post provacative photos on Facebook ?...Is it a mayor who befriended a former madam ? Is is a captain of industry who employs scantily  clad wait staff at the Kilt ?
    There are all sorts of things that can be used to demean and diminish...if you are unctuous enough....Fact is standards have changed....

Getting to the Root of the Problem

        It had been eleven years since I went to see the root canal doctor but this morning was my turn in the barrel...So at 8AM it was off to Dr. Hyde's office. He is a nice guy, well respected and his assistant used to waitress at Pete's, so I felt very much at home.
       After a couple of hours of drillin', filin' and fillin' , I was outta there, but I have to go back next week for part two...which I assume won't take as long. I had lots of
x-rays, so I may glow at the Council meeting tonight.
       Anyway, its good to have that cleared up.

Hey....You Think She'll Duck the Meeting So That Can Be Our Lead ?

         Today media was calling Council members wanting to know if Councilwoman Burns will be attending the meeting tonight as the topic is a discussion of alcohol policies on city property. First, I certainly expect all hands on deck for the discussion and all of us are adult enough to suffer irony when it happens...
         If anything, I would say when the media wags and the nattering nabobs of the community are looking for you to fail...looking for you to hang your head...that's the time to hold your head up and carry on with duties as assigned. I know incoming invective was a great motivator for me this past year.
         The overly unctuous are the most intolerant and mean spirited.  Roxy, don't give in to them.

Remains in Cape Linked to Infamous Rochester Heist

This is an interesting story. I remember when the body parts in the Cape story broke in the 90s, and now we find out they are from a man involved in the infamous 1993 Brinks robbery in Rochester. Ronnie Gibbons was not directly in on the heist but apparently felt he was entitled to a share of the $7.3 million dollars. When he came to Rochester to pick up his loot, he disappeared....until he showed up in Cape Vincent.
Years of following leads and DNA helped in nailing down Mr. Gibbon's fate. It's an interesting read.
Remains ID'd as Ronnie Gibbons, linked to Brinks heist; killer sought Democrat and Chronicle

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Organized Was the Cape Re-Registration Gambit ?

   On that matter of cottage owners registering to vote in Cape Vincent in order to influence local elections over the wind issue.
   I was talking today to a  Watertown resident who has a camp in the Cape he seldom, if ever, goes to anymore but he had registered there to vote this year.  What I was told is that people came to him and ask him to re-register just for this year's election. That would suggest the anti wind crowd went down the rolls of property owners and talked more than one person into this.
    The question becomes a technicality, but there is a core point. Do voting rights derive from property ownership or residency, as measured by whether one has any tangible tie other than a deed ?
       Its an interesting debate, and in most cases, as long as you vote in one place, there is little consequence.
     However, an organized effort to recruit property owners means anyone who happens to own a parcel with a 9-1-1 address could be a voter. Seems a little over the line.
     It would be a good enterprise piece for the MSM to review those voter rolls.

Pit bull captured for killing animals escapes death sentence..Moves to Upstate NY ?

A North Carolina newspaper reports a pit bull from the Tar Heel State thought to be killing farm animals has been rescued and moved to Watertown.....The report may be false as a commenter to the Gazzette story says the rescue group is in Auburn.
Pit bull captured for killing animals escapes death sentence death, escapes, killing - Gaston Gazette

Bachmann Excels, Newt Cruises, Mitt Wobbly in Latest Debate

It doesn't seem to matter if Newt is an "insider"....Maybe people want someone who knows the corridors of power and how the deals are done in DC.
Michele Bachmann got high marks for her debate performance...Newt kept his cool and deflected the barbs....Mitt looks more and more desperate, even offering a $10,000 wager which was very un-Mormon-like....and Rick Perry is just creepy and his moral pandering on issues like divorce and gays is nothing short of 'Gormanesque".
With only one legitimate debate left (Thursday on FOX) before the caucus in Iowa, time is running out for Mitt Romney to transfer the love of the party establishment to the people who vote in caucuses and primaries....People just don't like him....That's a crushing thing to come to terms with after years of running for office.
Bachmann: Gingrich the "King of K Street" - CBS News

WDT: Chief Backs Dog Law

It's good to see Police Chief Goss add his voice of support to limiting the presence of dogs at certain public events. It's not a bid to ban dog shows, SPCA booths at fairs or service dogs.
It is merely saying what the private sector says in places of high density assembly and serving of food. That is not the place to bring Fido. Hopefully Council will resolve the issue at its January work session.
Meanwhile there are pet lover groups advocating against the measure.
Watertown Daily Times City police chief backs dog ban

WDT: Library Relations One Item to Work on for 2012

One of the interesting nuances of City government is the relationship between the Flower Library and City Hall. It's City property and the City is its primary funding source and provides personnel and financial infrastructure for things from payroll to janirotial services.
Yet the Library is technically not a department in the sense of DPW or Fire. It is under the direction of an autonomous Board of Directors who supervise the Library director.
One of my goals is to enhance the relationship so that smaller issues like parking don't become an us versus them issue. It's important to respect the Library Board's stewardship duties, and ultimately their control over expenditures once appropriated. However, as a $1.3 million line item, City Council understandably wants to make sure the public's dollars are put to the best use. From the Council view it's one of many functions we appropriate funds to, so there is a competition for dollars where as the Library Board has a more singular focus.
I just got done working with Library President Maxine Quigg on finding a new Library Board member to replace one who is retiring. I have asked City Council to consider the nomination of Robert Dalton at the next regular meeting.
I am pleased we have such an active and committed Library Board and look forward to working with them in 2012. I can see the Library from my office window, so just wave if you need something.
Watertown Daily Times Watertown officials will look at Flower Memorial Library parking woes