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Troy Mayor Patrick Madden Vetoes Latest Iteration Of The Sanctuary City Measure

Composite Image by Dave Lucas

Late Friday, the Democratic mayor of Troy, New York vetoed a sanctuary city measure passed by the city council the night before.

After months of debate, Thursday night the City Council voted  4 to 3 to pass the FACT act, formerly known as Sanctuary City Resolution 113.

The measure was sent on to Mayor Patrick Madden, who told reporters after the meeting  there is no meaning to the term Sanctuary City and he doesn't consider Troy to be a Sanctuary City under the resolution.

Madden doubled down late Friday afternoon when his office announced he had vetoed the measure.

Immigrant advocacy group ICE-Free Capital District joined Troy Democratic Socialists of America in condemning the veto, claiming the Democratic mayor “aligned himself with the area’s most xenophobic, far-right extremist elected officials,” namely Republican Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Republican Sheriff Patrick Russo. Troy DSA member David Banks:   "The Democrats hold a supermajority on the city council, that means it's veto-proof they could pass almost anything they wanted. And a Sanctuary City resolution would be something that is quite in line with the Democratic Party here in New York State, and we appear to be far to the right of that."

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Carmella Mantello

Republican City Council President Carmella Mantello voted against the FACT Act, announcing Monday the first public hearing for a local law mandating a referendum to decide the sanctuary city question.   "So moving forward now my local law that I've sponsored will have three public hearings, one being Tuesday night at the veterans of Lansingburgh in the burgh and it's at 6 p.m. I encourage all Troy folks to attend. The following week will have one on the east side. I'm not going to keep it down in City Hall much like Mr. Bissember did. I'm going to bring it into the neighborhood to really hear from folks on both sides of the aisle. What this will do, will force the referendum if the council supports the local law in August, it will go to referendum in November. So I'm hopeful that my colleagues support it and let the people decide and then we'll move forward.

District 3 Councilor Coleen Murtagh Paratore is calling for fellow Democrats to caucus as soon as possible...  "...so we can decide what we're going to do next."

I asked Paratore  "Do you think it might be a wise idea to go with this referendum, on what the people of Troy decide?"

She responded:  "The people of Troy already did decide. They decided on November 7th 2017 when they voted into office a new, fresh, dynamic Democratic majority, when they voted for me, Coleen Paratore, David Bissember, Anasha Cummings, T.J. Kennedy. The people of Troy did decide. They voted for us, and it's our duly-elected responsibility to become informed and to listen, and to make our best decisions and to vote on important matters facing the city of Troy. This idea of putting it up for a referendum is a pure political move. It's the local version of what the president of this country is doing on a national level. Polarizing people."

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Councilor David Bissember

Councilor David Bissember:   "I think it is disappointing that the mayor decided to veto our resolution and unclear as to why he did that particularly as our resolution mirrors the executive memo he introduced on July 2nd."

The Madden Administration responded to a request for comment by email, stating: "The administration is moving forward with an ambitious agenda focused on neighborhood investment and economic growth, including renovations to the South Troy pool, demolition of the former Leonard Hospital in Lansingburgh, construction of the South Troy Industrial Park Road, and redevelopment of Monument Square.”

Madden is running for a second term against Republican Tom Reale, who is also against the sanctuary movement.

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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