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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Rush To Build

Sunday's Times Union featured a front page article in the Business Section detailing the mess created by the rush to build in the Capital District. The feature half page photo was of our own empty nest full of concrete posts and a road to nowhere, the intersection of Rts 4 & 43 which cradles the unbuilt Van Rensselaer Square Mall. The mall originally pushed through by John Nigro and since sold to BET Development divided this town and produced major changes at the polls, a lesson still unlearned by the current Supervisor. Nigro himself, now asks, "How can anyone build a shopping center where the investment depends on $18-per-square-foot rents if rival centers, desperate to keep existing tenants, are leasing space for $6 per square foot?"

The ignorance of those in charge of the town board and planning board at the time of the approvals was not so much a lack of foresight on the economy, but rather the lack of foresight on the potential impact of the proposed I-90 Connector which would, once built, take the traffic away from RT4 which the mall depends on, and place it away from this residential gateway. It is along the connector that these projects should have been encouraged, not at what has proven to be a dangerous and congested intersection.

But a look back reminds us that those making the push were all deeply connected to the development community and the companies they worked for stood to make substantial profits selling materials to the companies building the mall.

Here is a link to the Times Union article. The photo mentioned above is not on line.

Legislator Calls for Return of Campaign Cash

Rensselaer County Legislator Kevin Harrington has a valid point. Joe Bruno made a cool 3 million from his connections without doing any work for the money. Those same folks also poured money into his campaign war chest which he recently shared with his buddies on the Rensselaer County GOP who in turn gave the $20,000 to County Executive Kathy Jimino.

Was the same "pay to play" influence used to pocket more than 3 million dollars used to solicit and taint the campaign cash being funneled to the GOP County Executive? That answer seems obvious.

Here is Legislator Kevin Harrington's full press release. (Gee, Lou Desso and Leon Fiacco sure have been quiet about their buddy Joe Bruno lately. What's their stand on this issue?)

Here is Harrington's press release:
Harrington Return Cash 209

Private Matters Off Limits

We have been repeatedly provided with information related to an extramarital affair involving a town official. Let's be clear, this is not Ms. Judy's web site and we will not use this site to expose the shenanigans of any politician whether we dislike him or not.

So keep the evidence and protests out of the data stream. We will not post any of it here. People who engage in these activities do not care about their families, wives or anyone else. They play with a fire for which there is no cure or excuse.

Perhaps when Ms. Judy returns to work and her town computer, she can post the material provided to this publication. The fellow involved will be beat on his public record, not his private record.

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