Albany's Budget Battle Hanging by Political Threads

I took a little staycation over the holiday weekend but that didn’t mean that I missed any of the political gyrations of my Councilman, Richard Conti.

Remember with me, if you will, last Monday night when Conti held his head down sipping water as Mr. Commisso slammed him for “carrying water for the ‘fools’ downstairs. He stammered and stuttered as he looked to Prez McLaughlin for assistance.

I can almost hear my little sister in Conti’s quivering little voice begging for an end to his “calling out” as he begged the girls (McLaughlin/Samel) for defense "point of order?" You all know this guy, he’s a sniper. He sneakily plots to “carry” the Mayor’s amendments to her own budget….lip quivering when he is publicly asked about his role in ripping the City Charter to shreds, then he plots to undermine those who called him out with a smirk.

Typical Conti.

Read more: Albany's Budget Battle Hanging by Political Threads

Sheehan's "Eight Men Out" Meet on Budget

Tonight, I'm at another historic meeting of the Common Council...historic because there are more television cameras in the room than there are council members. Oh, yeah, and it's being held at approximately 5:30 at night on Black Friday.

At 5:35, there are four council members....whoa, add one more to that with Mr. Igoe entering the room...and I think Mr. Robinson is caucusing in the hall (but I can't be sure....there was a big ole pillar blocking him.)

So far, no quorum with the agenda holding a single item, the approval of the "Mayor's" budget as presented.

At 5:36 the gavel smacked and Ms. Kornegay was called in from the hall and we have six members.

Yeah, best entertainment in Albany....Conti counting six members with two on the road toward the in the Chamber is of "the wheels of justice" in reference to Kornegay's protesting of Fergason grand jury verdict. (With that discussion, I discover that Ms. Fahey is "carrying" (as they say in Texas) Ms. Golby to the meeting and "the girls" are running late.

So, the public, who all showed up on time, waits.

(Oh, there's been an Albany Auditor siting...and guess what, the vacant Leif Engstrom has grown a scruffy beard! I have seen him in at least a year!)

And, at 5:40...they have seated eight members.









And, with eight of the "Mayor's" flunkies present.

I think it's important to note that Ms. Kornegay refused to stand for or say the Pledge of Allegiance. Protest or disrespect?  Both.

[Okay, so I got the story….Kornegay is refusing to say the pledge until HER children are treated with equal value! Here’s her Facebook announcement:

“ I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Yeah well if this isn't the biggest lie this country could tell. united? Liberty - when we tell our neighbors we don't want them here? Justice - when we say it's OK to take a life? And don't forget in some places its illegal to feed homeless people. I will not stand and pledge my allegiance until my children are treated with equal value.”

(logic) SIC

Ms. Kornegay waited patiently for her time in front of the cameras but the lights were going off in the Chamber and still the press hadn’t noticed. You bet this blogger noticed.

If you don’t want to say the pledge…so be it. Have the respect to stand for it.

Take a course or two in Logic, Ms. Kornegay…might do your constituents justice.

Oh yeah, and this is one of the “Mayor’s biggest allies!]

Apparently, the eight members were unable to get the single agenda item on the agenda with the correct title...Mr. Conti notes that  “as amended” should be added to the title...but it will be added when they vote on the budget on Monday night. Along with, apparently, the amendment which none of the Councilmembers I’ve spoken with have seen…nor has the public…but they and the “Mayor’s” budget will be voted on Monday night.

And, with that, they idiots call it a night.

A Reuniting with the County Legislature

I’m back!!! Well, sort of. Sorry for this long neglected blog but I’m still struggling with that winter-time injury so, after working my paying jobs, my urge to utilized injured limbs is limited. Thanks for all the inquiries about my health, I’m working from a different daytime location now so I may be able to cover more for my readers, if they are still out there.

So, tonight I’m at the Albany County Legislature and I’ve been told that I can expect this to be a fast evening. At this point, the public comment has included pleas for a Car Share parking space at 208 Washington.

Whew hoo...and the public comment ended with time to spare which is a good sign of an early evening. This is a legislative body moving a warp speed.

The first Resolution on the agenda is sponsored by Mr. Mendick and the GOP and, after having several pieces of legislation vetoed for "overlooked" legalalities by the County Executive, the Resolution proposed that all proposed local laws be provided to the County Attorney for comment prior to being considered by the Legislature. This of course, would insure that all laws would be legal (and constitutional) when they are considered and passed by the Legislature.

I've been away too long as I was halfway surprised when the Democrats rose to argue against this (NON-BINDING) resolution which would seek legal comment to be sure that their laws Mr. Nichols, whose ban on Tobacco Sales was vetoed for such reasons, rised to complain that this (NON-BINDING) Resolution would be too cumbersome.

It's not surprising that this Resolution was voted down by all the Democrats...cause, ya know, creating legislation doesn't need to be cumbersome, or legal. (Oh, I've forgotten what entertaining these folks can be!!)

The next issue was an interesting one involving the conveyance of land to, as I understand it, to create an easement for emergency situations for rail cars at the port…you know…THOSE rail cars. Now, I read through this request several times and still thought, “what ‘s the big deal?” until I turned to the final page and saw the signature on the last page. Richard Stack.

Now, there’s a lot you can say about Mr. Stack but I don’t have enough space here, in cyberspace, to bend your ear. What I can say is that I like him and that he has been dealing hands that have not made some of the local dynasties happy. So, this is what I hear. Stack proposed the property be conveyed for five years, but Mr. Commisso decided that one year would be good enough for now. So, this safety buffer for “bomb trains” in the South End, would be re-negotiated next year….when, perhaps, Mr. Stack has seen the Commisso light.

Whew, after a few discussions in which the GOP made good points and were voted out of the room, we are racing to rubber stamp all the legislation moved out of Committees with thumbs up.

And they called it an early night, see what happens when the Nursing Home folks take a night off!!

My Night at the Clown Show

I have never, in my entire life, been to a circus. It’s always seemed to me like the joke is always on the audience…and besides….I don’t like the stench. With that in mind, tonight was the closest I’ve come to being at a circus…my destination? The Albany Common Council’s Legislative caucus and budget meeting.

Since I’ve been with the Common Council since 6:30 and I’m no closer to my bed since the 22 bus drove right by me for the second time in three weeks, I’m going to give you the highlights and will write a full article between now and the next budget caucus…Friday night.

Yes, I said Friday night.

Yes, it was supposed to be passed tonight after Mr. Commisso and team put together the amendment to correct the errors in Ms. Sheehan’s budget. But, surprise, surprise….”Mayor” Sheehan’s water carrier’s (read that Richard “Mumbles” Conti and his progs) delivered the “Mayor’s” list of amendments to her own budget at 50 minutes prior to the meeting.

Read more: My Night at the Clown Show

AFD Fights More than Fire in "Mayor's" Budget

Last Wednesday night, I stood amongst Albany’s Bravest as they booed “Mayor” Sheehan’s slippery slope budget. My heart broke for these men who live their career for the people of Albany, they yelled and sneered at the “Mayor’s” plan which they believe will not only hurt their livelihood, but will harm the neighborhoods over which they, and their fathers before them, have protected with their lives.

I was met at the steps of City Hall by one of the more irritated Fire Fighters who declared that “she is destroying us,” I added, “one truck at a time.” In my heart, I knew it was not the surgical removal of Ladder One pulling my strings, it was the disillusionment.

This is a feeling all of us have experienced at least once, for me, I was sitting at the top of the stairs just days short of Christmas as my parents, the original “Mad Men,” entertained friends in the living room. With visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I heard my Dad above them all, “well, of course, Terri (Aside note: no one should ever call me this!) knows there is no Santa Claus.”

Read more: AFD Fights More than Fire in "Mayor's" Budget

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    Two seasons of tomatoes! Love it! Miss you !
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    I miss you also I miss the great times we had at the CC. Your blog on the trash was right on target.
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