Sunday, November 9, 2014

Kopka grew a set (WITH EMAILS)




KOPKA
As if to answer the immortal challenge put forth by Parks and Recreation head George Rogers – Councilwoman Lynn Kopka, D-At Large, is the only I know of who looked at Troy's fiscal dilemma and grew a set.
She is not afraid to look at the deficit (which, according to the state Comptroller, is currently $6 million and climbing) and look at where the most money is spent (51 percent of the budget on pubic safety) and put two and two together.
It’s kind of like legendary thief Willie Sutton. When the FBI asked him why he robbed banks he said:  That’s where the money is.”
Politically, to even look at cutting public safety takes guts or, as Rogers said, “balls.” But what are the alternatives? Jack taxes through the roof? That just chases some people out and deters others from moving in. I’m sure there are other spots in the workforce or the budget that can get cut too, but public safety is the big enchilada and it’s always been sacrosanct.
Sutton didn’t rob quicky marts.
I’m not even sure if she proposed the idea of closing the Fire Department’s North Station, but the fact she supported at least talking about what is a pretty decent idea brought down a flurry of nasty emails from her colleagues on the Council.
They can be read below since I generally get the juicer ones sooner or later.
(My favorite is from Councilman Bob Doherty, D-District 4, asking why Kopka is sending former Councilman Mark McGrath the emails.  “As has happened before when you email speculate using our communications to Mark they wind up in Franco’s [hands] with accusations of black people colluding or other’s alleged criminal behavior,” Doherty wrote on Nov. 9. I really have no idea what he’s talking about when he says “black people colluding” but I’ve been called worse. At least I think I’ve been called worse.)
Back to the issue … What Kopka is proposing, or supporting, makes at least some sense since the North Station is tiny with only one door and is home to just one pumper truck - although, someone did send me a photo of an ambulance sitting outside the station at the corner of North and River streets on Sunday. Provided the ambulance will find a permanent home along the curb of North Station, I can’t help but wonder what will happen should it get called out in January at, say, 3 a.m. Let’s hope the patient can wait while firefighters scrape the windows.
Also, while there is just one pumper truck – and possibly an ambulance – it has to be manned with two firefighters 24-7, which equals the full time equivalent of 14 shifts.  And when one of those 14 firefighters calls in sick or goes on vacation, that shift is filled with another firefighter on overtime.
It was closed down in 1993 when Central Station was opened on Sixth Avenue, the 14 shifts were disbursed to other stations and it was re-opened for political reasons a few years later. Then it was closed again, and then opened again. I don’t think many knew if it was open or closed for the last two decades.
Troy currently has 133 cops, which is the most since I’ve been at The Record. And shortly before I started covering Troy it was under 100. And Troy just hired 14 new firefighters. Not everyone loves cops but everyone loves firefighters.
It takes a “set” to even talk about cutting the Fire Department.  
Without further ado, here are the emails (I just cut and pasted them so I can’t take credit for the typos):
From Councilman Jim Gordon to Kopka on Nov. 7 at 5:40 p.m.
“I'm hearing that you and Erin are in favor of closing the North Central fire station. This would be a huge hit for this community, loosing it's police substation and now you want to close its fire house. 
I'm sure you're well aware of the minimal manning clause in the UFA agreement, are you willing to layoff firefighters to be able to realize any cost savings from this closure - after just hiring 14? Are you aware of how operationally this rig works with engine 1 in Lansingburgh? Would there be a public safety and first responder safe concern?
There has been no constructive bargaining sessions with the UFA, why aren't you calling on the mayor to initiate constructive negations. This could address cost savings and open the door for discussion on FD operations. Just like with the PBA contract, efficiencies can be had if we had the leadership in our administration to properly negotiate.
Additionally, you voted in support of the purchase of a new fire truck and two new ambulances, now what do you do with equipment such as this, that I believe is in the process of being ordered at a hefty price tag, and the debt it creates.
While I applaud your ambition it sounds like this proposal wasn't that well thought out before making public statements. Is the mayor supportive of your proposal? Is there more to the story than we are understanding? Please enlighten us.”
From Kopka to Gordon on Nov. 7 at 10:59 p.m.
“Rodney does not speak for either Erin or me. If you wish clarification on our suggestions, please contact us directly.”
From Councilwoman Anastasia Robertson to Kopka on Nov. 7 at 11:50 p.m.
“Regarding the suggested closure of any FD house is not a viable option especially in the North Central community.
Concerns addressed by Council Gordon are definitely issues that should be researched before any such closure were to be suggested let alone take place. North Central has minuscule resources and cannot afford to have more deflected to Lansingburgh or any other community.
Both Lansingburgh and North Central seem to shoulder the bulk of both fires and crime. Would you consider the FD house servicing your area for closure as the need appears to be less? I don't believe you would see that as a viable option.
I realize the constraints and fiscal responsibility we are facing there are many things to consider but to suggest taking resources out of a suffering community is not right or responsible.
On another note I also do not agree with decreasing the NI Grants to 6500 from 9k. This grant though small in scale serves many communities with an opportunity to beautify and in a small way bring a touch of sunshine and neighborly cohesion. If there were other grants for communities to draw from I might begin to understand, however this is not the case. The NI Grant is a viable and necessary grant toward the building and bridging of positive communities.
If you believe there are one or two who failed to utilized their grants, then next year deny those applicants.
Just my thoughts. ...”
From Kopka to Robertson on Nov. 8 at 1:02 a.m.
“Anastasia - Had you participated in the Wednesday caucus, you would know that I did not suggest that we close a firehouse. I did suggest that Troy adopt the Albany model of identifying savings in the public safety area (where the OT is creating problems) thru joint efforts - the administration and the police and fire work together to identify achievable savings.
Again, had you participated in Wednesday's caucus, you could have voiced your opposition to the NIP cut.
In order to accomplish the ads that many members wanted (Code Inspector, Grant Writer, Comptroller, Powers Park, etc), reductions in expenditures must be found. As it is, the majority submitted $47K in ads (not including fringe benefits for the positions) and has not identified a like amount in expenditure reductions.”
From Doherty to Kopka on Nov. 8 at 5:47 a.m.
“If there is a concerted effort to manage and reduce personnel costs, it must target the workforce in its entirety. Assuring management effectiveness to accomplish budgeted targets is our core responsibility of stewardship and accountability to Troy’s citizens. Because the uniformed Public Service sectors are our largest costs does not mean they become the sole target of attention and actions. Given the fundamental critical support of safety to citizen’s wellbeing, we should not speculate on drastic proposals, unless and until our reviews efforts are universal. The only effective effort will be a shared one with Administration. If there is not willingness on all of our parts, that must be addressed and remedied.
Passing our budget and acknowledging the content of the State Comptroller’s communications is the immediate challenge. Our next responsibility is to gain accurate and timely reporting of fiscal performance. We must start gaining the tools we need that will lead to control and stability. Controls and varied effective administrative actions to produce necessary outcomes need to be applied forthwith and continually throughout the year.
Speculative targets that gain attention for discussion don’t get us nearer to accomplishing our tasks.”
From Kopka to McGrath on Nov. 8 at 9:25 a.m.
“Mark - here is why it would be difficult to close a firehouse.”
From Robertson to Kopka on Nov. 8 at 11:10 a.m.
“Is there a reason why the council's communications are being shared with Mr. McGrath?”
From Kopka to someone on Nov. 8 at 12:19 p.m.
“I wanted to let him know about the feasibility of closing a firehouse”
From Doherty to Kopka on Nov. 9 at 8:22 a.m. (my favorite)
“Then please write your own communications and do not use mine. Adding Mark to our communications render them subject to hyperbole and insult.  As has happened before when you email speculate using our communications to Mark they wind up in Franco’s with accusations of black people colluding or other’s alleged criminal behavior.
Sincere interest in solving problems or even being thoughtful of the interests of Troy become an opportunity to scorn.
I’m disappointed you continue this behavior in spite of the chilling effect it has on your participation and reputation.  The answer to the question “Do you ever embarrass yourself?”  Is  apparently never.  It is impossible to know when you are being your usual contemptuous hurtful self or when you might actually want to be taken seriously.  I had hope you might collaborate and dialogue about City finances, but disruption is more to your liking.  Bob”

 





89 comments:

  1. She's setting Rodney up to take heat if he runs for Mayor, you watch--The Queen of mean been grillin' him where is the money since he took her throne. I smell political angling all the way to next November. Smoke, mirrors and political shenanigans gotta love Troylet.

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    1. Rodney's set himself up.

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  2. #DraftMarkMcGrath

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    1. If that's all you got, the Dems win again.

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  3. Franco's got it right. Kopka has the b---s to state the obvious even if it affects her chances for reelection. Since half or more of the cops and firemen live outside the city, I doubt she will be effected for showing courage.
    No mention of the spineless council members (Wiltshire, Zalewski) who want to be on all sides of every issue.

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    1. This is the worst council in recent memory, and that's saying a lot.

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    2. where do you live?

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  4. Doherty shows his hatred for Kopka again in closing remark. his utter hatred of her is so deep that he could never be on the same side as her on any issue.
    He is the biased councilman.

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  5. The e-mail from Bob Doherty is a disgrace. He is an embarrassment to the city of Troy..He is rude and the way he speaks to people is outrageous. Something needs to be done about him. His behavior is very troubling. I thinks he is dangerous and in dire need of help.

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    1. Early stage dementia. Seriously.

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  6. Franco, you gotta get you numbers right bro. 14 shifts? 4 shifts with a total of 3 per shift. Add that up and get back to me.
    Good idea to cut a firehouse? Where do you live? Lets cut public safety in your neck of the woods. Closing a firehouse in the city's poorest, densely populated neighborhood, which nets about 10-15 runs per 24 hour shift, That's a good idea huh? So you want the Rescue Squad, which has about 15 runs per shift, Truck 2 which does about 8 runs per shift, or Engine 1 which does about 15 runs per shift to cover Eng 4's district. So if all else fails, best case, on any given day as a very busy department, your talking about someone in Burgh, Or North Central waiting 5 or 6 minutes for a company from South Troy or RPI. You wanna stand out front of your burning house waiting that long, or stand out front holding you young child that isn't breathing waiting a lifetime for those sirens? Throw the dice kids. See what happens.
    You got some set on you saying that closing a firehouse, the city's 2nd busiest, "A good idea"
    I'll wait for you to approve this message.

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    1. Glad he approved it because it's bullsh*t. EMS calls are the No.1 calls in that district, and they don't have an ambulance. You wanna bring up kids? You wanna talk about 5th avenue? Go volunteer and save the city.

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    2. Your an idiot. I state facts and numbers. Unlike the blogger or the posters...... Your post makes less sense than Franco's blog. But thanks for playin with the big boys....go lay down now.

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    3. Ambulance? 5th Ave? What?
      Nominate for the greatest off the wall dumb post of the week that has nothing to do with the rest of the topic.

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    4. If My child stops breathing I will call Kevin McGrath. He does it for the kids.

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    5. What is Jim Gordon doing about this. This is bad news for his constituents. A year of arsons and murders and shootings and now he's going to let one of the nearby stations close? He's the most ineffective councilmember Lansingburgh has ever seen.

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    6. Nice try Superhero or is it Wonder Woman ? you've lost the transparency powers. Go away. We know you won't but go have another glass of Pinot !

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    7. didn't realize that Gordon was the D#2 rep. Hey, great job by that crack at-large team though. Voting Row A all the way baby. How's that working out?

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    8. don't think for a minute he is not. Jimino is a resident of d2 and has Jim's ear on the regular. Actually, she owns him, she gave him the politically appointed position of stop dwi coordinator and he will do as he is told.

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    9. Wtf. Engine 4 responds to Gordons district all the time which is why he should fight the closing. Does he not remember all the fires this year under his watch? What a joke

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  7. The state and county should be kicking in dollars for this deficit that has been created by the need for public safety. Entirely too many folks are moving to Troy, not because it's a nice city. They are moving here cause the social services is the Cadillac...

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    1. The trend is people are moving out of Troy, especially taxpayers. Social services are across the board, same in Troy, Albany and Schenectady.

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  8. Children fighting on their computers. Its no wonder why the city is the shape its in. Lynn was council president for two years while this financial crisis developed. what did she do other than use get her property taxes lowered and use city money to rescue cats?

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    1. Harry was Mayor when this started.

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    2. And you were pro temp bill

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  9. I think it's embarrassing that Lynn Kopka is the only one who can spell and write coherently. Jim Gordon needs to go back to fourth grade. Doherty needs a guardianship proceeding.

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  10. Does the city still own the fire boat good ship crawly pop? Sell it

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  11. Who let her claws out? Who, who, who, who, who??

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    1. The guy from cinema art

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  12. Recall all the roadblocks and circus commissioner dunne created on the city coucil. Making illegal last minute budget changes and taking the reins on the city hall move tying the hands of the former administration and costing the taxpayers. That was councilman dunne who's pattern of behavior is to blame then as it is today

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    1. He tried to fire his current administrative assistant

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    2. You are proving the point that Harry was a worthless Mayor, if you are blaming Dunne who was 1 of 9 on a city council while Harry could veto stuff.

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  13. All harry worries about is astronauts forget be are on brink of state control because of him

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  14. Chapter 9 bankruptcy is the only answer.... Lou Ponzi!

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  15. Lou's secret weapon against state takeover. Send female auditors. We will take if the rest hehe. Bill dunne come to my office. I need you to act your normal self. I knew you would come in handy hahahahaha ahhhhahahaa ahhhh haaaaaa

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  16. The problem is the unions are killing the city. The hell with their work rules, too hell with the padded pension hours, cancel the contracts, lay offs etc... like any business. Look at Clifton Park booming, no police, no fire department, its over unions, when you break the city a guardian is going to end this racket anyway, its time to end it.

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    1. So who would police the city of Troy? Who would respond for your loved one who has stopped breathing? Who would respond when your house is on fire and your child is trapped on the 2nd floor? It's funny, these dumb politicians screw up and then you all try to point fingers and put the blame on all the brave men and women who keep us safe. It's easy to criticize the police and fire because they still will show up no matter how bad you talk about them.

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  17. How foolish. Ufa minimum manning states 24 FF's per day. So close engine 4, and the 12 guys who work there will just run out of 6th ave. no savings!!!

    She should stick to feral cats.

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    1. When one calls in or goes on vacation you won't have to supplement the minimum staff with a lieutenant or and assistant chief (seniority). Good try though, the overtime train is coming to an abrupt halt.

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    2. 24 a day means 24. no matter where they are stationed.get a clue.

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  18. Dunne in glens falls. I thought u said no more cameras

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  19. Seen a big F-you Troy today. Mike Hayner driving around in the white city truck. What's today triple time? The prick is getting $600 week in overtime that's $30k a year that could be cut. Mirch never got overtime.......and by the way the city was a lot f-ing better taken care of when he was there.

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    1. Moral
      Intelligent
      Resourceful
      Compassionate
      Heroic

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  20. My motto regarding bill dunne and kenny z. Never trust a man who has never and will never change a diaper

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  21. Cod enforcement in albany is done by firemen on duty not fighting fires. Get rid of that screwball Sheeran and his merry band of misfits and use Garret's men

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  22. It's depends on if he's had his share of oxy for the week if he's a screwball or not

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  23. Rented City Hall 360 Thousand Dollars a year X 7 years 5,520,000 Plus Electricity and maintenance ,Insurance =252,000 = 5,772,000 Thanks For Destroying Troy for the next 40 Years

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    1. Move back to Florida on your pathetic motorcycle

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    2. Rented space in your head by Peter and Vito. Priceless.

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    3. Robert

      Jay vandenburgh told you "sit down and shut up".

      Vito told you "sit down and shut up"

      Peter Ryan told you "sit down and shut up"

      Now in January your bother and nephew will go to the zoning board and Kathy Conroy will tell them to "sit down and shut up".

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    4. Jack leg vandenburg the single person ruining this city is you and chaberlain

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    5. "Jack leg vandenburg the single person ruining this city is you and chaberlain "

      Are you on drugs? Please do everyone a favor, don't vote and never breed.

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  24. Isn't it ironic that Kopka works with cats ?

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    1. Nooooooooooo it never dawned on us.

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  25. If anybody knows that sheriff from saratoga county could you have him stop by Troy city hall he could slap a few people in the back of the head there.

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  26. Mark McGrath gave the idea to Lynn. Another wedge between dems.

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    1. That makes sense since it's the first good idea and action this administration or council has had.

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    2. McGrath gave lynn the idea to close station 4.... wow

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    3. @ 425 if you think that is a good idea take your hands out of your pants please!!!!

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  27. Breaking. Tomfoolery in city hall must stop says anti police Doherty after he stumbled across picture of sheriff of 5th floor with a prominent empoyee in a chokehold

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  28. Maybe the sheriff from saratoga county can come teach Doherty real policing skiills not just the ones he sees in city hall break room walls

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  29. Doherty demands no pranks in city hall Isn't just the site of this clown a joke in itself.

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  30. It's ok Doherty. It was white on white

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  31. While galuski threatens kenny zzzz the morale of city hall employees is threatend by Doherty

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  32. Solar rodney to hold public hearings regarding city hall break room photo found earlier this week. First to testify. Russ reeves

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  33. Will reeves bring barb?

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  34. Non taxpaying, fake reverend and new TFD spokesperson Tim Sherman threatens taxpayers with rant in today's record. Match made in heaven, getting hosed by both.

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  35. It seems many of you have Cox in your heads. Why? He's nothing more than an insignificant little wannabe. Just look at his mentor, K McGrath, who feeds him his material, and that should speak volumes.Love the fact that Vito's going to meetings again though. Bye bye Bobby.

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    1. Vito is the most non essential emplyee the city has. 15k to plan concerts is a joke. His job should be the first one to go.

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  36. Doherty vs Guluski? 5-1 on the tall poughleese luvin guy!!!!!! Bill it as, "dumb vs dumber..Worse council I've ever seen. Row A all the way!

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  37. Seen.....Doherty crawl up in a ball after city employ demand he resign.

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  38. Go cry to the mayor like a baby was touted by an employee today as they laid into bob doherty

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  39. At city hall today and seen Fred guine being yelled at by employees. Whats weirder is the mayors gatekeeper was emerged in today's listings on match dot com

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  40. Get off the elevator to see joe peci yelling at Fred guine and Lou's new gatekeeper trolling match dot com. What a day at city floor

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  41. Had to laugh at Mary Sweeney accusing Rodney Wiltshire of cronyism today in the Record. Rodney hires is wife's BFF who has a problem spelling and then says Sweeney's daughter was overqualified. On the other hand Sweeney works with Galumpski in the BOE and he'll never be accused of being overqualified. In summation if it wasn't for political payback jobs none of these people would ever have a job and the thread that ties them all is they're all democrats. Vote row A.

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  42. Volunteer for Events Coordinator Troy NY 12180

    I will do it for free and will also double as a Real Person

    We are in Negotiations Now

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    1. Go back to Florida, please.

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    2. Even your brother Jack laughs at you Robert.

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  43. I hear Rodamis punted on the budget in violation of Charter. Asking admin to propose cuts for him. You wanted the job Rod. Do it, lazy@$$.

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  44. Bob Doherty does not work and play well with others

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    1. How long before cox and Doherty team up as the crew who can't play nice with others

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  45. the city Council leader is expected to LEAD...not kick the administration's budget back to the Mayor and ask him to reduce it more. Why doesn't the Council take the deductions needed to balance it and conform with state comptroller ? Another exhibit of spineless leadership by Wiltshire and Zalewski.

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  46. Any one notice Bill Dunne got the job as CIA director on Homeland ?

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  47. From Kopka to someone on Nov. 8 at 12:19 p.m.
    “I wanted to let him know about the feasibility of closing a firehouse”
    From Doherty to Kopka on Nov. 9 at 8:22 a.m. (my favorite)
    “Then please write your own communications and do not use mine. Adding Mark to our communications render them subject to hyperbole and insult. As has happened before when you email speculate using our communications to Mark they wind up in Franco’s with accusations of black people colluding or other’s alleged criminal behavior.
    Sincere interest in solving problems or even being thoughtful of the interests of Troy become an opportunity to scorn.
    I’m disappointed you continue this behavior in spite of the chilling effect it has on your participation and reputation. The answer to the question “Do you ever embarrass yourself?” Is apparently never. It is impossible to know when you are being your usual contemptuous hurtful self or when you might actually want to be taken seriously. I had hope you might collaborate and dialogue about City finances, but disruption is more to your liking. Bob”

    Funny Mark McGrath gets many votes from the African American community then he turns around and defames them
    Any one see a pattern

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  48. They didn't see it for four terms and I'm sure they don't see it now. What they do see is a representative with creepo handlers representing the individuals and the grift that is the cause of the problem in that district.

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