Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Look Back At Graham's Career As Watertown Mayor | WWNY TV 7

       In twenty years, plus four wilderness years, there is a lot you can talk about. I remember being a delegate to the DNC in'92 vividly....the US Senate bid in 2000 and all I learned from being on the inside of Indy Party business at the state level. I honestly learned a lot about how it all works from Frank MacKay and the crowd.
       Meeting Tom Golisano in his Penfield office was interesting, as was hosting the First Lady at the Flower Library in 1999.
        It was the insights from those events that allowed me to spot the ascension of Elise Stefanik in 2013 when the rest of the local cognoscenti was elsewhere.
         There were lots of issues in city government. Consistent support for the Zoo and the Library. The turnaround in downtown and turning lemons into lemonade on Mercy. The Watertown Industrial Center. Agreements with the County.
         I was pleased with shepherding the hiring of the Clerk and Manager when my colleagues had no plan. I also am proud of my judge appointment as Judge Palermo has done well, despite the sniping I got when I nominated her.
        All the appointments to the Planning Board and the Library Board and hosting many dignitaries to town.
        As John says in his report, the treasure I like is the one of a kind mayoral badge Mayor Hudson's widow gave me.
         Nothing lasts forever, but as many have said, it was a good ride.
A Look Back At Graham's Career As Watertown Mayor | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just watched that interview with John Moore. Fine presentation. We will not forget your service, Mayor G. You're a good man and we were lucky to have you working for us.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I am sure it is difficult to talk about your political career without sounding braggadocious. But your hindsight regarding the Harvard Gal is showing your myopia or else a penchant for revisionism.

It was your blog commenters (like me) who immediately predicted she would likely win, as soon as you told us about her candidacy announcement. And no one saw her ascension as more inevitable than Billy Owens, which convinced him to promptly announce he would not seek another term.

But you? You begin on the side of telling us how next to impossible it was to unseat the two term unlikely seat holder.

Sure, once she made the rounds and got the GOP in every county but ours, to endorse her, then you began to gain confidence in her electability. But by that time, everyone was on board but a few Fratty Matty fanboys.

Anonymous said...

Well put 636 but the fact you left out that all but a few of Fratty Mattys fanclub were on board.. They more than anyone were responsible for the mayors defeat and its not going to take long for Watertown to know just that.

Anonymous said...

She was well connected before even knowing where Watertown was. But y'all keep up that backslapping.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mayor would not have minded you staying around but your cronies like crazy ray are too much. You are just collateral damage. I hope he disappears his lack of knowledge is tough to stomach as he bloviates on every talk show.

Anonymous said...

Do you get to pardon people in you last days in office? Maybe you could pardon Jake or those that girl that was only charged with robbery instead of murder.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the mayor endorsing Stefanik. I was a Stefanik supporter (not as early as the mayor) but I agree with the Jefferson COunty Republicans in not endorsing anyone. I wished they followed that path in the latest DA race.

Anonymous said...

810.. Watertown is already feeling the mistake they made. I think Mr Grahams political career is not over but possibly just starting. A lot of the local state politicans and one Federal owe Mr Graham consideration for a position in or around their offices in the district. His personality and knowledge would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

7:39 is on it. Despite the heartburn you gave to the coddled class, you were always a model of honesty, preparedness, and hard work. Those days are over. We now will be run by the same people who got soaked over people living together that weren't married.

Anonymous said...

7:39 Agree with most of these observations especially 7:39AM.

Hearing that our one Federal Rep. is on the short list to rebutt the Liar In Chief last State of the Union made my day. WE continue to keep the faith that Graham's political career is just starting, WT and we did well by him. Once these Dems. have another embarassing spanking by our Rep. she most likely will make her next move and it will be big.

Danny, have you changed your soiled pants yet, another investigation of your Liar In Chief getting caught red handed spying on the one Democratic nation in the Middle East and the NSA were not told what to do with the conversations that were taped of the house members that were recorded as well. Wasn't Nixon impeached for that? What constitutional laws has Obama not broken? Maybe if you are lucky you will get to see the deserter Bergdahl or some members of the Muslim Brotherhood or a terrorist or two sitting right along side Mochele in the galley that night. Look what you have to look forward to. Any white male running with the letter D in any race should be run out of town with a pitchfork.

6:36 You are right and Billy Owens continues to think he is as relevant as much as George Pataki announcing last night he is halting his presidential candidacy.

Anonymous said...

810...have you lost your mind?? LOL Go hang out with Crazy Ray.

Anonymous said...

8.24 The great guy who jumps off bridges and thinks everyone else is screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Joe is certainly a decent alternative if your goal was to let somebody new try it, but the reason things turned was the brilliant messaging from Matt and his working with Demar to smear Jeff behind the scenes. The fireman spent the summer telling everyone the mayor was corrupt and that whole blog thing was nothing made to appear like something.
Add in the manager's overreaction and the attorney's phony investigation and Jeff had too many balls in the air.
And the media which didn't cover the race except whatever Demar said, most of which was made up.
Notice how quickly everything went back to normal after the votes were counted ?
Butler was smart enough to win on issues, but the people backing him weren't taking any chances.
Get ready for Jennings in 2019.

Anonymous said...

This is great!! We already have a new mayor in 2019!! What a great blog this is. The new guy is out already and hasn't been sworn in yet. Nostradumbass is on here!! Who would have knew?

Anonymous said...

"Nostradumbass"

Love it!!

Anonymous said...

5:53, one of the things that made Jeff such a good Mayor was the fact that no one owned him. He wasn't one of the Republicans and he didn't play golf, as it were. His support came from many people who had different views regarding partisanship. That's why this blog is so good. Thanks for noticing.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of revisionist blattasses you guys are.
No one beat Graham but himself.
Not Fratty Matty, not the MSM and not the GOP.
EVERYONE knows that the primary was a 100% accurate bellwether.
But instead of Butler getting all of Jenning's votes, like he should have, Graham managed to actually gain some of them. That is one of many indicators that Graham GAINED votes while imaginary and real boogiemen were plotting and carrying out his demise.

But nothing was more telling than when Graham barely eked out a win over Smith. The writing on the wall from four years ago told everyone who was listening that Graham could be beaten easily. Just as he was by Joe senior.

And why did the voters abandon Graham after all of his years of dedicated service? Because our mayor, the mayor who's there, is too wishy-washy. He has no real stand on issues and is mostly driven by politics with and a contrarian rancor.

A great example of his contrarian rancor, was his appointment of an extremely librul judge, not just because she was a womyn, although that was a big part of it, and not just because she was easy on the eyes, but mostly because she was not who the majority would want in the job and it was a good way to agitate his enemies.

A great example of his politics combined with his contrarian rancor, was when the law limiting the number of roomers was passed and Graham tried every day to spin that law into something it was not.

In the end, Graham irritated too many voters for too long for no good reason. He even caved in and voted for eminent domain, hoping to make amends and endear himself with the editors, to no avail.

It is great to muse but eventually you have to take a stand on issues and it should reflect what you stand for.

Anonymous said...

7:23, get off your horse, your butt must be sore by now. One doesn't serve as Mayor for this long without stepping on some toes. As far as "contrarian rancor", I commend you on your word choice but disagree entirely with your message. I saw Graham's terms as a model of openness and balance. You may come to miss this style of service as the new, secret policies take effect. You had more access and honesty in the past. Here's hoping we can keep a bit of that tradition. I'll bet you see more and more use of executive sessions now than before. That's not good. Just as the secret meeting with the firemen wasn't good. You don't happen to know what was promised there, do you?

ray lear said...

Jeff had to make so many hard core rulings this year. That's what hurt him. He had to do his job right. he could have been a hostage or a no show. But he went in a hundred percent and made the hard votes. Very unpopular votes. The biggest one being to fix the arena. Now look who is all cheery about that! Joe is patting his own back. Jennings is all smiles. I agree with some here. Let them come in and see how it goes. But don't pretend it's because Jeff did a bad job. He did what had to be done. Not what was popular. That was for the other so called team members.

Anonymous said...

8:20, take the blinders off. Graham has also inserted controversy that didn't need to be there, some that benefited only him personally. I'd say he's had a good ride because of the lack of alternative candidates we've had running over the years. My opinion, of course.

Anonymous said...

11:06, we can disagree on much, but I'm still waiting for you to explain, justify, or otherwise spin the fact that Butler met secretly with the firemen. That was wrong, but no doubt contributed to his win. We will wait until you want to address this. It is a new era, and you either benefit from this kind of thinking or you don't. I'm guessing you do.

Anonymous said...

5:55, who cares?? The election is over, this was brought out to the voters before election day. If they felt it was a significant issue and such a dastardly tactic the votes would have swung the other way. They didnt, it's done, move on.

Anonymous said...

5:55, what is your point? 11:56 gives you good advice to take your blinders off but you should also take your ear plugs out. I not only voted for Graham I sent Graham4mayor cold hard cash. But that doesn't take away the truth that Graham beat himself.

Tell me how many votes Graham gained by appointing a librul womyn judge? Did you notice the GOP keeps gaining seats in the upper and lower house, even though the war on womyn, gays and minorities song gets played everyday by MSM? Get a clue that voters are not buying it.

You whine about the fire department meeting and that's fine. But the guy who had that meeting, sent the message that city fire was going to cost less in the future. It was Graham who had the wrong calculus and softened his tone from mild to meek regarding fire budgets and contracts. And I bet Graham doesn't believe in the stance he took and just thought he was doing the right thing politically. Same goes for the McDonald's that got run out of town while he remained silent or on the fence.

Do you think Graham gained votes by voting for Western BLVD? He sat on that for years and then caved during political race thinking it would help him politically. It is difficult to know how he really feels about eminent domain, but its not hard to see that no one cared about that road but a developer and an editor. How many votes did it gain him?

And then there was his comments about Obama-phones. He pretty much agrees with the golf course guy on blaming Abe Lincoln for those and that we should make it easier for 'takers' to get them. How many votes do you think he gained with that stance?

Everyone who ran for mayor, voted for the ice rink, so quit using that as an excuse.

Quit crying about having the election stolen by "the machine", do the math and admit Graham died of shooting himself in the foot too many times.

Anonymous said...

7:32, I agree with many of your points. But the intial discussion here was about openness in the new city government. Meeting in private with the firefighters was a terrible precedent. If, as you say, Butler's message was one of cost control, why wasn't this meeting held publicly? You seem to know what went on, meaning you were either there or listen to someone who was. This might explain why you think the matter is no big deal.

Anonymous said...

2:25, What I know that went on was that the new guy voted to hire an expert to negotiate with the union thugs and Graham voted to let us give a try on our own again and see if we could screw it up and screw the taxpayers, as bad as the last contract did. I know that the new guy publicly stated the costs of fire protection needed to be rightsized and Graham tried to straddle the fence. I know that firebombed cars and burned buildings, did not influence voters to vote against the guy who would not allow the fire department to continue with a blank check budget, the way some hoped they would.

You can't have it both ways. DeMar went from a leading primary winner to losing by an embarrassing amount. The voters either were with Graham or with DeMar,on the city hall ban, but instead they rejected both.

I have no idea what Butler talked about at his double secret meeting. But I do know it didn't effect the election outcome. Unless maybe they rigged the voting booths?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the support for Demar was as strong inside the dept as once thought. Firemen votes went to Butler after his private meeting. The citizens will pay for the next couple decades, just as they have in previous years.

Anonymous said...

7:02, I think you finally drew enough dots for me to connect them.
Butler publicly voted to hire a heavy hitting lawyer to break the fire union. Then he publicly took the stance that fire department sacred cows make the best tasting hamburgers. But then he secretly met with the fire department to give them the nod nod wink wink, so that he could get the votes from the 1% of fire fighters who actually live in the city. Did I get your theory right?

Well I don't believe your theory. I believe Butler is the one and only mayoral candidate who spoke his true feelings about sacred fire thugs and he is going to cut some out of the $10 million annual fire budget if his hired gun comes through for him. And. And and...that's what the voters voted for.

Anonymous said...

9.45 you are dead on! Only the voters knew nothing. They put big signs supporting the Fire Dept and Butler in the same yards. That's the biggest joke this year!

Anonymous said...

5:45 you are so far off.. Jennings for Mayor in 2019???? God help this city if that happens.. Macaluso on the council is bad enough.. She is totally clueless and he is I think a little weaker than she is..
both need to be on a kids show where the kids don't know any different.
As for the firemen and pranks, how about the city managers prank of 165,000 for negotiations.. how is that playing out? I bet not very good since we haven't heard anything yet and the firemen are not crying over things not going their way.. I'm sure they and their attorney are winning this race too.. now the 350,000 for sly and 165,000 for NYC can be saved next time the city thinks about going after them.. They are hard eggs to crack and a strong force to be going up against.
9:45 how big of a joke is is really... they are winning again and if you ask a lot of the businesses around, they like the fire department for their hard work and low insurance costs because of their credentials. lets face it... there are many more supporters of them than city hall right now.