In a scathing audit, the state Comptroller said Troy has run a $6 million deficit over the last three years.
That’s not a slight miscalculation – that’s a structural problem. In other words there is no money from anywhere to continue operations as they are now. The water and sewer funds are tapped to the max, the contingency fund has been spent down and the capital fund was spent on operational costs rather than things like paving roads.
The city has to cut expenses or raise more revenue and it doesn’t appear anyone has any idea how to go about doing that.
Mayor Lou Rosamilia has ignored the problem and his proposed 2015 budget includes massive one shots on each side of the ledger, a $650,000 source of revenue for the sale of the old City Hall site and he proposes to defer $1.9 million of pension costs until 2016. That’s just pushing the problem off and will make things worse.
Council President Rodney Wiltshire, appearing on Talk1300, said Trojans can expect a tax hike. That’s pretty much a given at this point in time but the revenue generated could be offset by people moving out.
Councilman Jim Gordon has the most creative idea – eliminate public safety from the budget and charge everyone a fee, including the non-profits which currently don’t pay taxes. But, that’s years out since it would take participation from the state Legislature and turn the entire taxing structure on its head.
One proposal, though, that makes sense and supported by Councilwoman Lynn Kopka, is closing the Fire Department’s North Station. It would bring immediate and long term relief, but for some reason her Council colleagues crucified her for even talking about cuts to public safety.
Here’s a bit of history.
The Fire Department’s central offices were located in the Police Department building and while it wasn’t practical or efficient it was crowded. So, the city set out to find a new home and set its sights on what was then Bloomfield’s junkyard on Sixth Avenue.
Part of the justification behind building a new station was the savings generated by closing the North Station at the corner of North and River streets. It’s a small station with only a pumper but it is manned 24-7 and that constitutes some 14 shifts that have to be filled by firefighters. And the city just hired 14 new firefighters ... get the possible correlation?
In 1993 Central Station was open and, with the union’s blessing, North Station was closed. As an aside, at the time Gary Favro was head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and there is no one I know of who is more of a union guy than Favro.
Skip ahead four years, Mayor Mark Pattison had been in office about a year and a half. In an effort to help an ally on the Council, Christine Stone, win re-election in District 2 Pattison re-opened North Station. Stone lost anyway.
Skip ahead a few more years, the station was close for about 18 months for repairs that included a new roof and other structural work. I’m guessing nobody noticed.
And nobody would notice if it were closed now. Central Station is blocks away and was designed to handle the calls taken by North Station.
Kopka has the the wherewithal to realize the city is in deep trouble and the guts to say public safety is not sacrosanct.
Public Safety constitutes 51 percent of the city’s budget. A bank robber goes to the bank for one reason – that’s where the money is. If you want to fix structural deficiencies in the budget – you have to look in the same place.
It's bobby treeman cox birthday. Vito seen driving around looking for the party so he can show up and have bobby uncle lugg nutt cox removedReplyDelete
Yeah well I used to work up at wards and I sat down like a puppy when the zba chair td me to. Wanna here my resume?Delete
there is talk about a surcharge on season ticket holders at the golf course-what that does not consider is-there is a point where the ticket holder-senior-resident or nonresident-will elect not to buy a season ticket(advanced revenue)THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAKReplyDelete
The season pass is worthless unless you are a retired senior.Can't play during the week too many leagues,weekends are filled with drunken golf tournaments the city has been supporting and i'm sure at some point will be sued for when someone leaves there and kills someoneDelete
$6,000,000 over three years is clearly unacceptable.ReplyDelete
Who was in charge of reconciling the numbers and why does that person still have a job? To even entertain bonding additional debt is inappropriate, so the council should undo whatever bonding they may have committed Troy to. Raising property taxes, after the new assessments, is not an acceptable solution. It will drive people out of the city and be an impediment to having others move in. Drill down into the budget, the savings associated with closing the station, and stop the padding of overtime to increase pensions. Gordon's ideas need to be pursued. Perhaps the council should lead by example and all should take a significant pay cut and then apply a real pay cut to all employees, elected and appointed.
To All you Lovers of Troy and all you haters of Troy too Lets Try thisReplyDelete
Why don't the all of the City Employees City Wide take a 50% Pay cut all across the board and Budget like we people in the Private Sector have to do.
I predict that if the real down to Earth Lovers do this others will follow suit and contribute for one full year.
Also if they did this it would be in all the news papers and news outlets all over this nation.
Roads would be paved I talk to Truck Drivers all across the nation and they all curse in anger when they get into NY State.
Bridges could be built parks upgraded South Troy could be fruitful again especially Little Italy.
North Central could flourish in True Trojan spirit.
The Burgh would be a wash with now growth and people moving in instead of moving out.
Come on you guys go for it lets do this.
Also start a fund to Rebuild most of these dilapidated houses one at a time and also start a pool of Volunteers who are in the trades to supervise these activities.
WTF does this mean? Talk about a manifesto for public neutering of delusional people. Bobby it time to take your meds and stay on the program. Between Vito and Peter Ryan renting space in that dome of yours there's nothing left in there.Delete
November 9, 2014 at 5:24 PMDelete
Happy Birthday Jack Ass
"PETER YOU SET ME UP"!!!!!! While Vito laugh his ass of at the meeting. That a Happy Birthday Robert ass. Your family gets nothing and Vito will be at that meeting as well. No city hall for you asshol€Delete
Have him at the next zba when the zba chair says no for the 8 timeDelete
Ok so here is the CORRECT information on Engine 4. The building was built in 1923. This was the cities busiest companies up until it was closed in 1995 when the new Central Station was opened. Increased fire and Emergency calls is the reason it was re-opened in 1999ReplyDelete
-In 1995, the house and vehicle were removed from service and firefighters were distributed through different stations. In that time period the Troy Fire Dept took a big cut in staff. Engine 1 (Lansingburgh) and Engine 5 (Downtown) took over Engine 4 calls
1999 when the station was reopened, the city did not add staff, it relocated Engine 5 firefighter and truck to the station and renamed Engine 4. Central Station calls were taken over by apparatus already stationed there.
- Engine 4 was closed in 2009 for 6 MONTHS when the apparatus floor was re-enforced (TRUCKS WEIGHT MORE THESE DAYS) and some a parapet wall was repaired. And believe me the neighborhood noticed.
-ALL TROY FIREFIGHTERs operate on 4 NOT 18, 24 hour shifts. 4 shifts at Station 4 with 3 firefighter assigned a shift is 12 firefighter.
-Engine 4 is not only important to its community, but it is the closest to give back up to the Lansingburgh units at every fire.
Ok so look at all the half burned out building that will be gone without the backup for Lansingburgh sounds like a win win close it and let these houses burn all the way down.Delete
Exactly one minute and forty seconds away from Central Station at 25 miles per hour. The overtime train is OVER!Delete
OK, lets follow Rodney's plan and raise taxes to pay off the deficit. Between foreclosures and folks fleeing the city we should be down to around 35000 residents. No tax base and we then lay off 40 firemen. Your call fellas.Delete
Kopka did you ever think of asking the firefighters? It seems you are getting your ideas from Albany Mayor. Lynn you wouldn't DARE recommend the Canal Avenue Station to be closed now would you???????ReplyDelete
or the one up on Bouton Rd. RPI would raise suck a stink!Delete
She's just jealous some other woman has the Bitchy Woman in the City spotlight.
Closing Canal Ave. station is a good idea, in addition to closing North Street. Neither house is needed.Delete
Great to hear former Mayor Tutunjian on your radio show Jim. Finally, an adult discussion about Troy finances. Taxpayers like me cannot afford the Nice Guys.ReplyDelete
I guess you missed the part where it was said that the budget included the year 2011 which was put forth by harry and had a $2.3 million deficit.Delete
Tutunjian put together 2011 and 2012 budget. Remember, Rosamilia took office January 2012. That means he put together the budget for 2013.Delete
Harry shot down the nonsense about the 2011 and 2012 budgets. Numbers don't lie...but the Nice Guys do!Delete
Thanks ace. U approved it as council pres pro temp commissioner dunneDelete
Harry? An adult conversation? Now that's funny!Delete
So, that would mean that harry is "on the hook" for 2 of the 3 years with the total being $6,000,000.00, and 2013 budget being over by $2,700,000.00, that means harrys 2 years are $600,000.00 more than lous 1 year. It would also mean that the $92,000,000.00 school budget for middle school was passed on harrys watch.Delete
Councilman dunne did everything in his power to stop the former administration. Before pointing fingers you were pro temp commissioner dunne and it's followed into mayor Lou and his merry bunch of misfitsDelete
Franco: you really should impose a competency test for the commenters on this blog. Dunne was the voice questioning the incompetent and slippery Tutnjian administration while others on the City Council sat back and listened. 6:59 PM needs a brain transplant.Delete
Yes, @6:59 PM. What are you saying about Harry if 1 of 9 council members blocked him? Dunne was Operation Snip to Harry.Delete
The entire City Council pay would only total $150,000.00 a year. Yet you don't even mention anything about a $92,000,000.00 Troy School budget while they close neighborhood schools. :PReplyDelete
It is reported that Troy spent 17 million dollars on Police and Fire salaries and pensions. That is a large amount of the debt that this city faces. I understand the idea that these are dangerous occupations and they are highly paid. Troy has given large tax breaks to developers looking to invest in the city in a effort to develop an economic base, however, the residents of this city have not benefited from these businesses and their tax breaks. Many residents are looking to sell their properties and leave this city due to tax increases and poor services. People moving to Troy to receive Social services benefits are also a large burden on the tax base. The closing of engine 4 is a great concern to me as it will impact the neighborhood I reside in and it concerns me that the people who are in the most under served areas are the first to receive a cut in city services. Perhaps it's time some public service employees consider their contracts and pension benefits in order to save the jobs and services for this community. There are many options that can and will be implemented,it's just a matter of time. If the State takes control of the city budget, taxes will rise and services will be cut, and the residents, the mayor or city council will have no say.ReplyDelete
Get the facts. Dont just post "assumed numbers"ReplyDelete
Here's a list on non essential jobs that can be cut coupled with some jobs that can be shifted to the county with no interruption in city services and a million dollars in savings. Hopefully council members will take an honest look.ReplyDelete
Move to the county:
Vital statistics $166,841
Youth services 73,000
civil service commissioners 6,000
reduce council salaries by 5,000 35,000
eliminate pro tem 2,500
council pres to 15,000 5,000
Mayor reduced to 90,000 5,000
public info officer 47,457
let mayor speak "tough times"
purchasing agent 66,473
dept heads can control purchasing
obviously purchasing agent is not working
-1 dep corp counsel 20,000
3 still remain
title searcher 66,473
solid waste mgt coord 82,266
no longer a need for this position
the person doing this job now
calls himself dir of operation....
each dept has their own director
total savings 855,852 plus benefits
clearly more than a million in savings and the elected officials responsible for this mess actually share in the pain.
Naw-- they'll cut DPW and all the other "low man on food chain" jobs before they'll cut their cronies from the tit.Delete
You mention a lot of hard working people in this list. Might look good on paper to get rid of them, but I wouldn't comment unless you've worked a day in their shoes.Delete
and cops and fireman arent hardwoking? Its time everyone takes a hard look in the mirror...stop pointing fingers...and talk abou the real issuesDelete
No one is pointing fingers, just disagreeing with the term non-essential.Delete
Thanks Carmella. If anyone cared what you thought you would have been elected the last twenty times you ranDelete
Please someone stop these idiots before they ruin the city any more than they already have.ReplyDelete
Harry seems awful quiet on his troy politics twitter after it was found the budgetary issues are contributed to him but we have chickens right harryReplyDelete
Harry was on the radio, and did a great job explaining...hardly hiding. Quite a difference from the No Comment Nice Guys in City Hall.Delete
Hey Ace its 13 months and counting till your the most unemployable person in troy. Stop with Harry and look at Lou. You won't even be able to sell pencils with Peter.Delete
9:05 put down the crack pipe. Harry couldn't explain himself out of a paper bag. He and Wiltshire were both pathetic.Delete
Sorry we can't all get jobs in the republican county. Luckily I have a degree and don't share the same trade as the cox people banging hammers at cars.Delete
Bill Dunne Will not even last the next 13 months. I suspect that the feds will close in well before then. And bill, They don't call it the pokey for nothing.Delete
You have no clue...ReplyDelete
What are the revenue figures for the 3 city operated ambulances? Is it even viable having city operated ambulances? Somehow with all the calls in Albany using Mohawk they survive never hear AFD union requesting to do their own Ambulance service.ReplyDelete
I got thinking which is a big mistake...
Station 2 (15th & Bouton) has one engine and ambulance that's crossed staffed meaning station 2 is usually operating it's ambulance while the engine sits idle in the bay.
Close station 2 relocate the Ambulance and staff to Campbell Ave (makes sense 1-Ambo Burgh 1-Ambo Central 1-Ambo E. Side/S Troy) and sell station 2 to RPI. Or ask RPI to directly support the station do you know how many false alarms occur at RPI or RPI associated buildings on any given day?
Take 2's pumper 2003 model give it to one of the stations which has the oldest front line pumpers 1 or 3 1999 models and then place the old pumper in reserve and retire Engine 7 1993 reserve.
RPI would have a Rumplestiltskin fit if this was proposed ! You don't think Lynn would want to upset RPI now would you ?Delete
How about eliminate the confidential assistant to the mayor? Also deputy mayors spot. Also two at large council spots which would reflect troys population in 2014 not 1970s. Eliminate deputy mayors secretary's spot. And eliminate bill dunnes spot. There's some extra savings on top of the other 855,000 the other person listed above.ReplyDelete
Stupid is as stupid rambles.Delete
Obviously that above comment struck a nerve. You must be one of the useless political cronies who should lose their job ASAP and could never hack it in the private sector.Delete
Our firemen are the bedrock of this city. The are like brothers and share everything, meals, sleeping facilities, wives........ReplyDelete
452, right on the nose, utilize people the city already has on hand and weren't hired politically they are dead weightReplyDelete
Lets just close all the fire houses and have the firemen roam aimlessly throughout the city until there's a fire. And while we're at it lets close the police stations too. We don't need cops. The citizens of Troy can police themselves. They are all god fearing people. Isn't that what is always said when a known criminal/thug gets arrested or shot? Oh he would never do anything bad, he's such a nice kid, he's a god fearing man, a gentle giant etc. This administration and council makes me sick but you all elected them and now you got to deal with them.ReplyDelete
Cops and firemen are two completely different issues. If you really want to save money put the firemen on the same shifts as the cops. Three shifts seven days a week. No more three days on four days off and can the extra jobs. Please will someone look at the numbers of the ambulance service? Only Troy runs one, Albany and Schenectady don't. Why?ReplyDelete
Let the firemen do code enforcement. 5 guy and their loser boss off the payrollDelete
Public Safety, Police & Fire have ALWAYS bled the property taxpayer and that will continue. Cops & Fireman collect pensions which are LARGER than what the working stiff Troy property owner "earns"!ReplyDelete
What planet do you live on? Our police officers are one of the lowest paid departments in the state. You must be living in bizzaro world. And what city has more firemen than police? Only Troy. Ass backwards like alwaysDelete
Thank Allah for that!Delete
what about school taxes and teachers pensions bleeding the taxpayers!!Delete
Bizarro funeral homeDelete
@515....3 days on 4 off? Its ignorant people like you that makes things worse. Fd works 24 hours on 3 days off. Btw firemen start 30,000 a year. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to risk my life for that. Like someone else said: people want to talk bad about firemen and how greedy they are but when you call at 3am who shows up?ReplyDelete
Then you like them right. Get the facts people.