City Feud: “Survey Says…”

The Daily Gazette has a good article on the recent community survey in the article “Survey finds residents have dim view of Amsterdam”.

I daresay it’s a bit more than the view that is “dim”.

Before you think this unduly harsh, look at the underlying ideology that contributes to the blight, the inability to move forward, the stagnation in the city — the very things the survey respondents lament.

The fundamental ideology killing the city has at its heart the following principles :

  1. You fix blight by demolishing stuff even if you have to incur more and more debt to demolish stuff. Meanwhile, you incur zero debt to build anything that might yield a positive return in the future.
  2. You invest nothing, zero, on development or turnaround.
  3. You believe that the symptoms are the problem, namely, that blight, poverty, rundown housing are the problem, instead of what they really are– symptoms of a larger problem. The larger problem is lack of growth and lack of investment , both public and private.
  4. You actively turn away and reject outside investment — whether that investment is conceptual or financial. But more than anything, you reject any idea that represents something new or something different to the way things are.
  5. You preserve and protect the status quo no matter how completely dedicated that status quo serves for its own benefit versus the collective benefit.
  6. You oppose any initiative or view that embraces Amsterdam as a city, choosing instead to make it into anything but a viable city.

Honestly ask yourself if the principles above are any less prevalent than years past in the public and in the public office holders. I daresay prospects are getting dimmer , not brighter.

And the view remains grim when you look at it from a private investment and private stakeholders viewpoint — it literally does not exist. How the city can reinvent itself with no significant private investments and initiatives is simply not possible.

But let’s get to a key point in the Gazette piece:

Divisions, be they racial or political, were themselves identified by many as a problem facing the city.

Let’s be blunt: this city fuels itself on division so what the survey respondents don’t quite get is that division, divisiveness, and for good measure, vindictiveness, really gets to the true character of the city. In other words, division is not a bug in the system; it’s a feature.

Again, that might be harsh, but that’s what my survey says.

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Endorsement for Gerard DeCusatis for City Court Judge

Tomorrow, Thursday September 10, 2015 is primary day.  

For City Court Judge, I am endorsing Gerard DeCusatis based upon his experience and his exemplary qualifications to be City Court Judge. In the spirit of disclosure, I am helping behind the scenes on his campaign.

As it’s a judicial race, I’ll say nothing more and just let the following make the case for why you should cast your vote on the Democratic or Green Party lines for him tomorrow:

 

 

 

Common Council Spending Millions and Adding to City’s Crushing Debt

I’m merely playing back — with my sarcastic headline — the current Council members past rhetoric and demagoguery on the city’s financials given their recent actions. From today’s Recorder: 

Fourth Ward Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler suggested the Common Council bond for $1 million for emergency items and postpone a bond for other capital projects until the budget is done.

I would find this really funny if I did not live in the city and have to deal with the implications of such a dysfunctional political climate that assures lower property values, higher taxes and less services.

And let’s remember: the current Council and their legions who bought in and promulgated the ‘city is bankrupt’ and ‘we can’t spend’ should not now get a free ride when they are doing exactly what they railed against. But as it’s campaign season, they now realize they might have to actually accomplish something.

They can’t have it both ways.

Apparently, and most troubling, our Council doesn’t care about our seniors with their runaway spending either.

 

2014 : The Year in Review

Here are the Top 5 blog posts of the year in terms of popularity according to my blog statistics. Interestingly, 4 of the Top 5 posts are larkish satirical pieces.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2014:

  1. The 5 Pictures of the Mayor’s Car That Mayor Thane Does Not Want You to See 
  2. Council Feelin’ Pretty Good About a $20,000 Tent for the Golf Course, Not So Good for $15,000 for the Fire Department and Public Safety (
  3. City Reaps Budget Windfall From Eliminating Department’s Luxury Goods (
  4. How the Common Council and You Can Keep Kids Safe (
  5. Former Mayor Enters Mayor’s Race in Amsterdam (

As a 2015 preview, here is what you can expect:

  • The Golf Course will continue to be the Council’s top priority at the expense of every other priority.
  • Local radio and print media will continue to misinform on issues related to municipal finances given their dismal record in 2014.
  • It’s a local election year so expect an even louder drumbeat for “protecting seniors”, “running things like a business” and “listening to the people”; meanwhile, kids and families should just shut up — no one wants to listen to them.
  • Chalmers will sit vacant as an ongoing tribute to the locals who work tirelessly to tear things down, literally and figuratively,  while literally creating and building nothing of value.

Happy 2015!

 

Former Mayor Enters Mayor’s Race in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, NY (December 9, 2014) — With less than one year to the mayoral election for the city, the race for the mayor is heating up with the announcement of a former mayor entering the race. Long-time mayor of Sombertown, Burgermeister Meisterburger, announced his candidacy today on the steps of City Hall surrounded by current and former officials.

Touting his no-nonsense, no-frills style of leadership, Burgermeister Meisterburger addressed how he would forcefully address the challenges facing the city , ” It’s a difficult responsibility, that you accept from the number one lawmaker, me. And let it known across the land from sea to sea.”

While some officials were a bit surprised by Meisterburger’s reference to “sea to sea”, local supporters interpreted the statement as an attack on the current mayor’s suppport for the pedestrian bridge. “I’m glad Burgermeister Meisterburger pointed out how ridiculous the pedestrian bridge that Mayor Thane supports really is. The bridge doesn’t go from sea to sea, in fact, it doesn’t go anywhere!”, explained 6th Ward Alderman Noel Nothere. “It’s about time someone pointed that out to voters.”

Burgermeister Meisterburger also made a direct appeal to local seniors by promising to protect them from taxes with a tough, socially conservative message meant to resonate with seniors on the issue of benefit programs targeted to anyone but seniors. Specifically, when asked of policies for the working poor and child nutrition, Meisterburger asserted, “I, take care of a baby? Outrageous! Take the little, er, baggage to the orphan asylum. That’s the proper place for foundlings anyway. Get that brat out of here!”.

Burgermeister Meisterburger sharpened his message to voters by referring to many of Mayor Thane’s policies on economic development, community development, the arts and beautification as wholly irrelevant to solving the key issues facing the city. Meisterburger dismissed these policies as mere “toys” in that they would not really fix the city. Meisterburger was adamant in his attack on these policy “toys”, “I hate toys! And toys hate me! Either they are going or I am going and I definitely am not going! Toys are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful AND anyone found with a toy in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon. No kidding!” Meisterburger was no less kind in response to questions of actual toys such as basketball hoops or any object or activity generally geared to children and parents.

I sent a request for an interview to Burgermeister Meisterburger questioning what policies he would actually propose as solutions instead of just attacking the current mayor.

I received the following reply: “You? How dare you! You are obviously a nonconformist and a rebel! Arrest this man immediately! Arrest him!”