Thursday, March 5, 2015

The power of Mother Nature


The frost line dipped below the four-foot mark, the benchmark to which most things are built and/or installed, and some pipes froze. I guess that happens when we don’t hit 32 degrees for like six weeks in a row.
And from this brutalist of brutal cold snaps a couple amazing things happened.
-Councilman Jim Gordon, R-District 1, and former Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, actually agree on something – the city should help out the residents of Lansingburgh.
-Mayor Lou Rosamilia grew a spine and is on the right side of an issue. If you remember the memorable quote by then City Engineer Russ Reeves when a pipe froze, burst and filled South Troy resident Ken Dufty's basement with silt: "It was an Act of God." I criticized Reeves and his boss, then Mayor Harry Tutunjian, for the "Act of God" defense but they too stuck to their guns and as far as I know Dufty filed a claim with his insurance company.
-Rosamilia, despite his “nice guy” persona, is sticking to his guns despite what he said is his personal inclination to help out anyone in need.
And some things even Mother Nature can’t change.  
-When it happens in Troy, something like frozen pipes in February makes the big news and gets everyone riled up.
-The Council used the issue to whack the mayor upside the head.
-The mayor loses another public relations battle by disappearing when the story first broke and staying disappeared for no less than nine days. He loses another battle by not having a very good explanation for the why the city can't thaw the pipes when he held his press conference on Thursday.
-Emotions trump logic once again, and politicians and are quick to take advantage.
Here’s my take on it.
The city can’t just go in and help out the residents for a couple reasons.
A section of code only allows those with a particular license to use the equipment – electric, plumbing and/or welding – necessary to thaw the stretch of pipe from the home to the main line.
There is an exception to that rule – if there is an emergency. I’m sorry, but a homeowner that didn’t heed the city’s warning to leave the water dripping or run the risk of the pipes freezing does not, in my book anyway, constitute an emergency.  
I suppose the city could hire licensed contractors to go in and do the job on a private residence but think of the door that would open. And, along those same lines, the city, in case anyone has been living under a rock, is broke.
No, in the grand scheme of things, if the city hired a plumber it wouldn’t make the big financial picture any better or worse but as I’ve been saying right along you have to start somewhere, and to start by hiring private contractors to help homeowners out of a jam they helped create is not a good spot.
In the old days, if a neighbor needed a hand he went next door or down the block and asked for some help with the unwritten understanding of returning the favor down the road. Now, for some reason, the nearest neighbor is the government.
I applaud Rosamilia for sticking to his guns and I too applaud the plumber, Matt Ward, who listened to his mom and went to help out those in need. 
In the end, though, if I were mayor, I'd probably thaw the damn pipes. It wouldn't be worth the headache. 

   

67 comments:

  1. It's just a no-win situation, the proverbial sticky wicket.

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  2. Lou if you infact do not run for mayor this year then I ask two questions.
    1.) do you have any money in your campaign account?
    2.) if you do why not help these family's out with those funds?
    You're a good man Lou your just in over your head and picked very incompitant people to be in your staff starting with your deputy Mayor. Mike Morris should be fired today for saying you where to sick to talk to these people unless you knew he was saying that to the press. Do us all a favor this week Lou and tell us all your done so we can start to look at who can clean up your mess.

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  3. My compliments to Jim Franco for posting the reality of a sad situation instead of pleading the case of the unfortunate residents whose pipes were frozen. The media sensationalists have had a field day with this unavoidable tragedy even though the harsh winter is the culprit---not Troy or its Mayor.
    Compliments to Mayor Rosamilia too for not opening the door to make the city eventually responsible for all home owner problems.
    BTW, the Mayor should look for a new press person.

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  4. What a joke. I don't mean to sound callous, but if you can't afford a plumber, you shouldn't own a home.

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    Replies
    1. does your statement apply to elderly widow's?

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    2. We can't all be rich and insensitive.

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    3. really? the woman is battling cancer. you are heartless!

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    4. What about family and friends? You 'burghers all claim to be so close. Lots of bitching. Almost no one standing up.

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    5. Amen 3:46. If people in the 'Burgh spent just one minute helping for every five minutes bitching, maybe the neighborhood wouldn't be such a fucking dump. Try shutting up and getting off Facebook. Go help out your neighbors.

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    6. 346 and 919 you sound like Dunne and Chamberlain...assholes

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    7. Only the little people pay for plumbers. If they don't like it, let them live in Colonie.

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  5. I bet Carmella would pull 90% of the vote at this point... This administration has been a disaster!

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    1. Thanks eager beaver

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    2. I doubt she gets 90% of the registered Republicans.

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  6. Voters will NOT forget this one. Especially since people from OUTSIDE of Troy and Rensselaer County stepped up to help.

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    1. No we will not.

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    2. They had to. Their councilman was completely ineffectual.

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    3. Go away McGrath, we all know its you behind the Gordon comments. Stale, tasteless and spineless.

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    4. No I am a professional who does not have any ties with this pathetic situation. All other municipalities thaw residents pipes and then advise them on trickling their water or doing a load of laundry as precautionary measure but they never ever leave them without.

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    5. Oh Jim. Don't go to bed mad.

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  7. $1.4 million dollars so Peter Ryan can water his lawn at Frear Park golf course and nothing for the 3 people with no water from frozen city owned pipes. Turn out the lights the party's over...........

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  8. This was wrong and you know it, Franco. It had nothing to do with Lou gaining balls, but everything to do with bullsh*t politics. They can bulldoze King St. for a rich lawyer and refuse to help people in the middle of winter. Pukeworthy!

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    1. Bulldozing King Street most likely involved a kick back, or under the table payment. Fixing a poor taxpayer's water line gave nothing to no one so it was not deemed an emergency. Think about who would really have benefitted from the King Street tear downs while the city engineer is out of town. Who authorized it and why ? Why were barricades delivered either the night before or early the morning of the tear down? Someone knew what was going to happen in advance. Who remains to be seen by a government report.

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    2. Payment under the table for what? An "emergency" declaration offers no relief from asbestos regulations. That's the point people seem to miss. The demo contractor got fined for not having an air monitor. Someone needs to look into how many demos Reeves did in exactly the same fashion - dozens.

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    3. bill dunne at 1:58

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    4. my mistake. A review of the syntax of the comment at 1:58 indicates the author to by Amy O'Connor

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    5. At 1:58 -- wrong; relief is indeed provided -- see below.

      A variance from the aforecited provisions of Industrial Code Rule (ICR) 56 is hereby granted, relative to felling a structurally unsound asbestos containing buildings which has been inspected and condemned by a local building official or a currently registered New York State Professional Engineer or Registered Architect licensed in the State of New York after the building was deemed structurally unsound/unsafe as a result of damage incurred from fire, rain, snow loads or other unpredictable natural disaster. Pursuant to this variance, the condemned building may be felled without surveying the building for the quantity and locations of asbestos and without remediating the asbestos and asbestos containing materials prior to proceeding with building demolition,

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    6. The former city engineer has more than enough things he'll have to answer for in the end.

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    7. Yes i saw some of the tweets from amy oconnor as well. Pretty un- educated and bizarre for an attorney. I've gotta tell ya, i have known amy forr a lng time. What she lacks in intelligence and honesty, sh makes eup for in sheer chutzpah

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    8. Excellent command of the English language, 8:03. Sounds like a Jimino hire.

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    9. @1:58 is correct. You can take it down with asbestos in place, but all the demo is considered asbestos containing and must be disposed of as same. There is no cost savings to owner.

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    10. Can you allow a bar/restaurant to remain open while you do it ?

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  9. BRING BACK DICK CASEY!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. No shit! Guys like Dick are a thing of the past. The water fepartment now has rookies. Dick was and is an expert, hard working, engineer and smart. The water guy now was handed the job never having gixed a pioe!

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  10. The fire hydrant at 123rd and 8th has been out of commission for almost 2 weeks now. Rather then making the repair, traffic cones line the hill so cars don't park and allow the water to flow down in the sewer. What a joke!

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  11. Why, then, did the city help out people on the East side? No, I disagree with you Jim. The residents should not have to pay to thaw out water pipes that are in the middle of the street. I am fed up with the powers that be and I wish I lived in another County.

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  12. Thank you Mr. Franco for remembering 2005. This is not the first time a decision like this has been made. My thought is that instead of saying vote them out - why not look into making the charter language more clear? If a Republican administration and now a democratic administration have said the same thing, what makes anyone think the next administration, of either party, could say anything different?

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    Replies
    1. Great point. Maybe the City Council can get off Facebook and legislate to change things.

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  13. As mayor and a leader Lou should have taken control. He left it up to Pete and Morris who are two of the most useless humans anywhere. At least now we have a choice of leaders in Rodney and Gordon. Troy can't lose.

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    1. If Troy's only choice of leaders is between Rodney and Jim Gordon, we might as well pack it in now and move to Detroit.

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    2. BWAHAHAHA the words Gordon and leader shouldn't even be in the same sentence.

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    3. Oh hush Superhero, go clean your Cape its got some---stains on it.

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    4. Fantasizing again, Char?

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  14. Jim your in great company. Amy OConnor and the ex-Dan Doren but then again you never let anyone say anything bad about the unemployable campaign killer Amy OConners. Her support for campaigns is as deadly as going door to door with Kevin McGrath.

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    Replies
    1. She does go door to door with Kevin McGrath; they discuss plea agreements and plot to take back the Burgh.

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    2. After reading Amy O's opinion that the council is responsible for the pipes freezing it's good to know she has now entered the mental stratosphere of Bob Cox. Two delusional peas in a pod.

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  15. Street lights are out. Residents must hire an electrician since it's not the city's responsibility. What a joke.

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    Replies
    1. FYI. It's not the city's problem, it's National Grids

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  16. Troy residents will NOT forget this. If Lou and his administration were so compassionate, they would have dropped off water, stop trying to use his daughter as a pawn. We all have lost someone to cancer. I would bet Harry Tutunjian would have at least dropped off water...ON DAY ONE of this whole fiasco..

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    Replies
    1. It would never have been an issue under Harry's administration.
      As mayor, Harry was responsive to the needs of constituents.
      He would personally inspect with a drive by the snow removal situation if called.
      Plowing was far better under Harry's administration.

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    2. Harry realized the limits of his mental capacity. That's why he stuck to snowplowing.

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    3. Harry is running, na na na na na. Please find another job, maybe with Dan!

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    4. I'm a dem and even I recognize that Harry cared very much for the residents and no one can say he didn't,because he did. True Trojan.

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  17. Its been a bad winter, cant we all just get along?

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  18. Pathetic Peter Ryan and mindless Mike Morris. That's your brain trust Lou. Thank God this is almost over.

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  19. I personally saw harry hand his own cash to victims of the congress street landslide. In addition he took them shopping at Stewart's across from the carnage

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure it wasn't his cash!

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    2. Hey now. Fran gives him an allowance.

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    3. Speaking of carnage, anyone look at old Mickey Doyle's lately? Bricks falling off of the building onto the street, signs of plants growing inside the building,why no X for that death trap

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  20. Thank you Jim Gordon for advocating for the home owner.

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    Replies
    1. Give it up Jim. Go put some makeup on in case you pass a camera.

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  21. This Sheriff's race is starting to take shape.

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    Replies
    1. Yea, Pat Russo has won.

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    2. ASHE will win

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  22. Hopefully, for the CO's sake, it won't be Pat Russo. If so, it will only be more of the same.

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  23. Pat Russo has won. The last I heard Pat has not gotten out of his chair. When he does he needs to answer the law suits. This is going to be a long summer for Pat.

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