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Revisions To Troy Charter Set

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Efforts to repair Troy's new City Charter are progressing. The City Council has advanced toward authorizing the document.

By a 9 to 0 vote Thursday, the council moved to authorize the charter, which had been in surprise limbo because it bore a date of 2015.    "The charter will be fully in effect. It's on the mayor's desk to sign. Once the mayor signs it we'll send it to the department of state and the paperwork will be corrected from the mistakes that happened last year."

Republican City Council President Carmella Mantello says the council compared the old versus new charter, finding about 19 of what she characterizes as "substantial changes" from the old charter to the new charter, along with some "glaring omissions." "For instance, the City Council, as we speak right now, has no attorney. The corporation counsel was our attorney, and now the city council is without an attorney because they deleted that section of the charter, and there are a couple of other major omissions, however, the voters did approve this and we're gonna watch very cautiously."

A workshop is set for Monday evening, where the council will publicly talk about the changes. Mantello says once Mayor Patrick Madden signs charter paperwork the document will be in effect. She believes the charter challenge could have been avoided.  "Months ago when we began the process I offered the mayor an opportunity for us to work together to transition into the new charter, and the mayor didn't take me up on that, and so we went about it on our own."

Madden says he's more than happy to work with the council on addressing any issues or concerns. He's responding to each of 19 items raised by the council, and says most of them will be easily cleared up.         "I think that was the charter commission was attempting to do and what they did do is create a charter that was more streamlined, more efficient and more in keeping with the way city charters are drafted and revised in this day and age, removing a lot of minutia of day-to-day activities of running the city, moving that out of the charter and looking to enshrine that in the city code, something that is a little more easily modified in the event that circumstances on the ground change. So I think the charter commission did a good job. If we went through essentially an 80-page document and there were two omissions, that's not too bad, I think that's a pretty good record."

The workshop and public meeting is set for Monday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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