Archive for October, 2009

I attended the candidates forum at Riverfront Center. I paid particular attention to those running for aldermen, as you may expect. There was much ado about the ominous upcoming budget, holding the line, improving infrastructure, and cleaning up the city, but not a word about how we will pay for it. Cut, cut, cut… but no ideas to grow. You can only prune so far before the plant dies. “We need to be creative” is not a plan. This void of ideas in regard to growing our economy is disturbing and anything but creative.

It also seemed that even those candidates that touted their “knowledge” of government were not terribly informed. You’d think a “line-by-line review of the budget” is a new idea. It’s what we do every year. “Shared services” are buzz words that are the flavor of the day, amorphous as clouds, offered up without concrete plans, statistical data or cost/benefit analysis included. Don’t misunderstand me; I am grateful for the help we’ve received with demolition and the health trust, but I do not believe every suggestion I heard to be in the best interest of our city.

As far as the budgeting process, I hope each candidate already has begun a careful review of this year’s document. As well, it’s important to analyze past budgets, to understand the dynamics of our many departments and the needs of our constituents, and to view the budget as a policy setting tool. Fiscal responsibility must be weighed with provision of services.

I hope that our voters choose candidates that are willing to move this community forward. We need a governing body in the city that will work collaboratively with administration, that is pro-development, that is intelligent, and completely committed to carrying out the responsibilities it is given. Personal agendas and political affiliations must be set aside. Aldermen must inform themselves by reading the charter, meet regularly with my office and staff, and review materials they are given. They must hold committee meetings and be responsive to employees and residents alike. I think many people would be shocked at how little some (not all) sitting elected officials spend on city affairs beyond showing up for the TV cameras twice a month at the Council meeting. Unfortunately, there’s little media coverage of this lack of responsible commitment. If he comes to your door, query your current alderman as to his direct involvement with city hall & staff, committee attendance, and cooperation. Make sure there’s meat on the bones.

Anyway, get out and vote. It’s important. It’s a time of great challenge, but also of opportunity. We need elected officials that will capitalize on our strengths. VOTE!


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City of Amsterdam
National Make A Difference Day

Saturday, October 24th (rain-date October 25th) • 9am

– West-end: War Memorial Park
– East-end: DPW parking lot at East Entrance
– Arnold Avenue area: Bunn St & Lindbergh Ave

Neighborhood clean-up.
Bring your rake, shovel, weed-whacker, hedge cutter.
Garbage bags/pick-up provided.
Volunteers appreciated. 🙂

It’s all good.

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When I die, let them judge me by my company of friends
Let them know me as the footprints that I left upon the sand
Let them laugh for all the laughter
Let them cry for laughter’s end
But when I die, let them judge me by my company of friends
When I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe
Let them raise a glass to consciousness
And not spill a drop for grief
Let the bubbles rise at midnight
Let their tongues get light as thieves
And when I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe
I believe in restless hunger
I believe in red balloons
I believe in private thunder
In the end I do believe
I believe in inspiration
I believe in lightning bugs
I believe in slow creation
In the end I do believe
I believe in ink on paper
I believe in lips on ears
I believe what’s shared is savored
In the end I do believe
I believe in work on Sundays
I believe in raising barns
I believe in wasting Mondays
In the end I do believe
I believe in intuition
I believe in being wrong
I believe in contradiction
In the end I do believe
I believe in living smitten
I believe all hearts will mend
I believe our book is written
By our company of friends

– Danny Schmidt

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Albany Tech has offered $50K to secure a new option agreement for the Chalmers luxury apartment project, and should the project not come to fruition, they will pay any additional cost beyond what the City has secured in grants for demolition.

It’s an estimated $24-40M construction project with the potential to produce over a million dollars a year in taxes and fees. Sitting at the southern terminus of the $16M pedestrian bridge, a showpiece of this caliber could revitalize our waterfront and downtown areas.

Decisions, decisions.

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Mark Picture

Sunday, October 25, 2009
12:00pm – 5:00pm
at LaCucina, Port Jackson Square, Amsterdam, NY

Seventeen year old Mark Martuscello was involved in an extremely serious motor vehicle accident on September 21, 2009. As a result, Mark is now paralyzed from the waist down. He has gone to Atlanta, Georgia to the Shepherd Center where he will receive rehabilitation to teach him how to function on a daily basis with a severe spinal cord injury. He’s a sweet kid and we all can’t wait until he’s home.

Benefit tickets $20.00 each
$5.00 raffle tickets for a $100.00 gas card
50/50 Raffle
Other Raffles will take place the day of the benefit

Contact Erin Tracy at 842-0223 for tickets.

All proceeds are going towards Mark’s rehabilitation. Thank you for your support.

ps… prayers appreciated. Miracles happen every day.

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Good friend, gosh-darned great accountant, amazing folk artist, community activist and, now, boogie-woogie star of Amsterdam’s Muni: Michael Zumbolo!


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“Reflect on your present blessings,
of which every man has many,
not on your past misfortunes,
of which all men have some.”

– Charles Dickens, 1812-1870

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My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.

– metropolitan of moscow (1782-1867)

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Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.
– George Bernard Shaw

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