Last Tuesday, we Americans went to the polls to elect our leaders. For Albany voters, the choices were limited. Our new representative in the 109th State Assembly District is Democrat Pat Fahy, who of course won in a landslide. Our representative in the State Senate is Democrat Neil Breslin, who of course won in a landslide. On the national level, our representative in the House of Representatives is Democrat Paul Tonko, who of course won in a landslide. Our representative in the United States Senate is Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who of course won in a landslide. Not to mention, Democrat Barrack Obama won re-election as our President of the United States, which as it turned out, won in the Electoral College by a landslide. Now these results could be bad, or good. The bad is that the city is still in the stranglehold of the Democratic party. The good is that we will probably end up with a majority in the senate — but you still have to deal with that pesky four member Independent Democratic Conference — as well as the assembly, which means that along with Democratic Governor Cuomo, maybe we can get down to fixing the problems with New York.……….I was going to lead with this, but nobody would click on the site to read. It appears that because of Hurricane Sandy, Empire State Development has extended the deadline for Albany County to apply to the state for the permission to establish a land bank for two months. For once and for all, can we change the title to a City of Albany Land Bank, because that is what it will become if the system goes into affect. The county has ”pulled” it’s supposed funding, so who do you think will end up picking up the tab for the funds? If supporters think that a land bank will motivate people to get interested in the urban blight of the city, they have another thing coming to them. All that a land bank will probably do, is encourage well heeled developers to scoop up some prime-time property downtown to build townhouses for well heeled tenants or buyers, to live in a trendy downtown townhouse so they can drive to (nobody walks to anywhere downtown) a trendy downtown restaurant (that most current downtown residents can’t afford) for dinner. Another two months is not going to make a difference. Seeing they have nothing to lose, the legislature will probably think they are doing a great thing, and give it their thumbs up. County Exec. McCoy will have the final say, and I hope that he continues in making sound decisions for the county, and gives this one a veto.……….I will not waste too much time on this one. That being the subject of redistricting in the city of Albany. Now I’m not stupid, but what does it matter if you draw the lines square, rectangular, round, or in my case in the 15th ward, some shape that defies geometry, if every representative is a democrat (note: no capitalization of democrat.) Now I know that from my blog stats given me by the company who manages this site, a lot of people who read this page are visitors to this city and do not know how ridiculous the politics are in a city run by one party for so, so many years. I lied abut making this short. You see we have 15 wards that divide the city. They are all run by one party as they have been for long before I was born, as long before my father was born. Every ten years by law of the City Charter — which was written long ago to probably keep the city democratic (notice once again no capitalization) — according to the census, we have to re-divide the city into 15 new wards that will all be run by the same Democrats. Now this process is given to a committee who has hearings, and more hearings (which can include the people who lead these wards), until they come up with these new lines. After the hearings, the members of the Common Council (which is the official name for the people who lead these wards) vote on them. Now considering that the redistricting is predicated by the census, the new ward lines could actually be drawn out of the current ward leader’s place of residence. This can’t possible happen, nor can you expect any leader to have to walk more that 10 minutes in either direction for him/her to cover the whole ward. So basically, the new lines will inevitably be drawn by the ward leaders As a visitor to this city, you may think that I’m kidding. How can the capitol city of the state of New York have such a ridiculous form of government? Be assured that I am not. The Common Council is a clicky bunch of people who can’t agree on anything short of approving measures like “No Hydrofracking in Downtown Albany.” So visitors, go enjoy our fair city; it’s fine architecture, the Hudson River, and it’s great restaurants (this site can recommend many.) Go back home and tell your friends what a great time you had in Albany watching a Devil’s game and going out to dinner afterward. Please re-visit my site, or follow me on twitter @jonmazur, and I will keep you updated on the foils of the city that is called Albany, N.Y.
And that is “The Daily Take”