Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Another Night to Remember at City Hall: Part I

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about tonight's Common Council meeting, which lasted for two full hours, was that Richard Franklin, the architect for the police and court building, sat through the whole thing--for an hour and a half after Alderman Robert "Doc" Donahue (Fifth Ward) had insinuated that the original design may have gone over budget so that Franklin's firm could earn more money amending the original plan; Rick Scalera, former perennial mayor and now Fifth Ward supervisor, castigated him for designing a building that went over budget in the first place; and the resolution that involved the police and court building had been voted on. One wonders if, had Franklin witnessed Hudson government in action a year ago, his firm would have bothered to bid on the project at all.

With Council president Don Moore warning that if the resolution to pay Sabir, Richardson & Weisberg a sum not to exceed $33,500 "to modify the existing plans and specifications to accommodate value engineering specifications" did not pass "this project comes to an end," the resolution eked by with 1,104 affirmative votes (1,015 are required for a majority). 

Support for the project seems to be eroding. Before casting his yes vote, Alderman Bart Delaney (Fifth Ward) said he was doing so because he wanted to see the new design based on the recommendations of the value engineering, and Alderman Rick Rector (First Ward) said he was voting yes "with lots of reservations." Alderman Henry Haddad (Third Ward), however, prefaced his yes vote by reminding his colleagues that, if the Council were to abandon this plan, OCA (Office of Court Administration) would build a facility for the court only, at the City's expense, which would not accommodate the police department and was certain to cost more than the project currently proposed, and the City would not be able to offset any of the expense with the sale of the current police and court buildings on Warren Street. 

The aldermen voting against the resolution were Donahue, Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), Alexis Keith (Fourth Ward), and Abdus Miah (Second Ward). Voting in favor of it, in addition to Delaney, Rector, and Henry Haddad, were Council president Don Moore and aldermen John Friedman (Third Ward) and Nick Haddad (First Ward). Alderman Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward) was absent from the meeting. 

To be continued . . . 


  1. Its far more important to gift pretender to the throne Galloway $100K - as King Scalera paves the way - for his successors coronation.

    We must all bow
    to an indecipherable
    mix of
    blurred perception
    and distorted

  2. If it was a business, you'd be dumbfounded to explain how the Common Council survived this long. (On subsidies of course: wasted local, state, and federal tax revenues.)

    Mistaking themselves as managers rather than representatives, council members lurch forward on the merest understanding of issues. Satisfied with whatever plausible-sounding explanation is nearest at hand (see: Corporate Counsel), they rapidly move from one Resolution they can't grasp to the next, confident they'll never be held to account.

    The rate and terms of our Great Progress is set by the city's central self-styled manager/director, Mr. Moore, of whom it is accepted by all that he advances the agendas of special interests at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

    In the immediate story - the proposed court and police building - the emerging portrait of incompetence and pomposity begs for a timeline, to know exactly how the sausage got made, at what rate, by whom, and at what expense (the latter is in progress, but it's well worth a running tally).

    Will we ever learn that throwing good money after bad can't fix personnel problems?

    In the wild, the Common Council, that echo chamber of incompetence, would have become extinct eons ago.

    The electorate is rarely as smart as nature, but let's try a thought experiment.

    If you see an incompetent running unopposed this November, you don't have to vote for them! Send a message by withholding your vote: YOU ARE INCOMPETENT.

    Let's rehearse that as a kind of counter-campaign, though I doubt there's any cure for the arrogance of politicians.