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Friday, May 13, 2011

Keeping Them Straight

To listen to the Town Board Majority and their new unsalaried Legislative Assistant Lou Cotrona, who by the way is worth every cent he is paid, you would think all they ever care about in hiring is consistency and preferences in hiring of town residents.

Last night they tried to make an example out of Mark Premo’s hiring of a non resident, part time secretary, last January. The appointee needed to have a town board vote to make the hiring legal. Board member Joe Bott approved the hiring along with the Highway Committee he chairs but apparently did not realize the position still needed a vote of the Town Board.

Lou Desso and his ace reliever Lou Cotrona thought this was their big opening to question why their non resident choice to be a part time clerk in the courts was not sailing through because the Town Judges prefer someone else. That someone happens to be a town resident, what Councilwoman Hoffman referred to as “someone’s neighbor”, inferring that this was the reason the judges want to hire the candidate. That apparently bothered Hoffman, Desso and Democrat trying to be a Republican Supervisor candidate, Al Spain.

What didn’t bother them was the fact that the non resident from Albany County that Lou Cotrona and his majority were trying to impose on the judges comes to North Greenbush due to his position as Lou Cotrona’s “Personal Trainer” , his Masseur if you will.

Well we all just love Planet Fitness, but that’s no reason to try and hire a non resident when a qualified town resident is available, which by the way is the reason a prior board Al Spain loves to point to, had to hire a Grafton attorney as a Deputy Town Attorney. Al just can’t seem to understand the difference between the hiring of non resident attorney’s he approved and the instances on prior boards which had no resident alternative available. Besides, the Grafton resident did not have a criminal conviction resident as Al’s buddy did and was not removed from his elective office for misconduct as his other buddy was.

As for our Planet Fitness buff, Ms. Hoffman agreed to table Desso’s move to appoint Lou’s PT until a background check was completed. Funny, neither she nor her allies recalled that just over a year ago they were shown some of the background check on two nonresident attorneys they hired over two qualified town residents who asked for the jobs. At that meeting they were shown the criminal conviction record from Colonie of one appointee and reminded that the other was removed from the Troy bench by the State’s Highest Court for misconduct. That didn’t bother this majority a bit, they not only hired their out of town buddies, they changed the town law to allow it. You see, the first time they were hired, two years earlier, (before Hoffman was on the Board), they were hired illegally by the Spain Desso team in violation of Town Law requiring residency. But heck, that’s no worse than Lou Desso getting his buddies on the County Legislature to change the County Law so he could grab a second public paycheck as a town board member as well as his gig on the County Legislature. And it’s no more ironic than Al Spain being employed by the City of Troy while paying his taxes here in North Greenbush.

This crew should also be reminded that they have done nothing to correct an illegal hire by the former Supervisor, Mark Evers, who unilaterally, without a Board vote, hired two secretaries. All Lou Desso has done about it was to give the one still with the town a raise in his last minute budget, jumping her to full time with paid benefits from part time and no benefits. Now that’s showing who’s boss Lou!

The fact of the matter is that the judges have the right to approve or reject any Town Board appointment to the court clerk position. The Board majority is trying to impose a politically connected choice on the judges. They have refused to accept the Board choice and rightly so. The clerk must be someone who they trust and can work with handling sensitive information. The court clerk does not work for the Town Board and their role should be to simply approve the choice of the judges. Let’s face it, the last thing we want is a court clerk who releases some of the conviction records of say, a sitting Board Member!

So here we sit with the courts short a clerk, hours of operation curtailed as a result, revenue not coming in as fast as it should and all because the Town Board majority wants to impose Lou Cotrona’s Personal Trainer on the Courts rather than a candidate approved by the judges who pays taxes here in North Greenbush. Well, look at the bright side, it shows how much they care about Lou Cotrona’s heath. Putting his PT and masseur right down the hall in the courts is sure to provide all the motivation Lou needs with a short walk down the hall instead of a long drive to the nearest Planet Fitness. Maybe he can help out Lou Desso who appeared to be overdosing on “Preparation H” due to suffering from a nasty hemorrhoid as evidenced by his inability to sit down during the meeting. Pass the body oil junior, these guys need that special touch!
Spain a Republican?

Republicans deserve some credit for apparently demanding that turncoat “Democrat” Al Spain officially change his stripes and enroll as a Republican if he is to receive the GOP endorsement for Supervisor. Imagine that, Al Spain being told to do something that makes sense in order to receive the nomination of a party whose endorsement he seeks rather than his own party’s nod. Of course Democrats want nothing to do with Spain who has sold his soul to the GOP over many years, including his remarkable betrayal for job retention when David Grandeau was the Troy City Manager. Al kept his job while 47 city employees were fired only to successfully fight the firings in the courts.

Paving Roads Not Desso’s Problem

We had to laugh when County Legislator,Town Councilman and now would be Highway Supervisor and Court Administrator, Lou Desso moved to table a resolution to approve a list of the town roads to be paved this year. Councilman Joe Bott, Chair of the Highway Committee that developed the list, protested, clearly stung by Desso’s insinuation that the list was not communicated in a timely manner to the Board. Desso could not make his apparent target, Highway Superintendent Mark Premo, look bad without throwing his supposed ally, Joe Bott, under the bus. So under the buss he went!

We give Joe a lot of credit for his willingness to stand up to Desso’s insinuations last night. Joe had approved the hiring of the part time secretary in Premo’s department last December at a Highway Committee Meeting. His acknowledgement diffused Desso’s efforts to make Premo look as though he had done something wrong in the hiring. Bott also fired back at Desso for tabling his committee’s work to approve a list of roads to be paved by warning that the delay will make shorter an already narrow window of time to get the work completed before the end of fall. Poor Joe, Desso will not be happy that he stood up to him and Desso is sure to let him know it. When he does, know you did the right thing and perhaps suggest Desso take a crash course in the concept of State approved contracts as a legally approved substitute for what most understand to be competitive bidding. Imagine Desso demanding competitive bidding for blacktop after he voted to approve a $40,000 no bid contract to redo the Comprehensive Plan. That’s hypocrisy for you, two public paychecks and all!

Assessor Delays Plea

The Town Assessor appeared before a county judge yesterday and delayed entering a plea on his felony DWI arrest. Once convicted, he will automatically be removed as the Town Assessor under the State’s Public Officer’s Law. The Times Union reports that the judge was not pleased.“You understand the longer you drag this on, the longer it’s going to take to get your license back?”Rensselaer County Judge Robert Jacon asked. “I want this case disposed of.”

You can read more about in the Record, here.


joe spairana said...

a democrat i be but a "way to go" to joe bott for trying to do the right thing. keep fighting for the "town" joe.......

Anonymous said...

joe bott gets it.....it's about people not politics

Anonymous said...

'bout time, god for the 'bott....
.....Attripa Kellum