Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Everyone's a Critic

Today's Register-Star has another "My View" on its op-ed page from Dan Grandinetti. That makes three in as many months. On October 26, Grandinetti reminisced about growing up in the First Ward and criticized city government for spending more for the police department and less for youth programs; on November 23, Grandinetti used the rhetorical device of apophasis to criticize Third Ward alderman John Friedman and then challenged Friedman to correct the City's wrongheaded priorities when it came to funding the police department and the youth department; today, Grandinetti criticizes the Common Council for giving raises to its members and annual stipends to the City's commissioners while eliminating $27,000 from the youth department budget.

Grandinetti's renewed attention to the civic affairs of Hudson has piqued a lot of curiosity and speculation about his motives. Prior to leaving Hudson, not long after a well-funded but unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2005, Grandinetti held a position that was something of an anomaly, ultimately requiring a change in local law to legitimize it. His title was Youth Commissioner--traditionally an unpaid position--but his function and salary--which started out as $46,000 and grew to $57,600--were that of Youth Director. Grandinetti held that position from January to November 2004 and again from January 2005 to February 2006. During his second stint as Youth Commissioner, some things happened that raised eyebrows, among them allegations about mysterious purchases made by the Youth Department--a kayak that couldn't be located and $4,000's worth of gift cards--and an audit by the State Comptroller's Office in 2007 of a Community Services Program Grant from the State Education Department that revealed Grandinetti had "received $7,500 for services, which were not approved in the Grant narrative or in any budget submitted to SED."

For those who wonder if Grandinetti's letters suggest that he may be planning a comeback, the first paragraph of today's letter seems meant to allay those suspicions: "I am sure many are asking why Daniel J. Grandinetti would continue to speak on issues/decisions impacting a community that he no longer resides in. I have a simple answer, 'why not?' (I have no dog in the fight and there is no threat for my comments to be seen as politically maneuvering.)"

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