Monday's print edition
Well, not necessarily true. Mayor Harry Tutunjian did introduce his pick for police chief, John Tedesco, which is a pretty big deal.
The sideshow, however was kind of like a rock tossed into a puddle. There is a splash, a few ripples and then nothing.
Police Benevolent Association President Bob Fitzgerald tried to convince us and you that Tedesco’s plan to reorganize the department — he wants to disband the Special Operations Section and roll it in with the Street Crimes unit and put the whole thing under the umbrella of community police to get more officers in uniform onto the streets — was somehow tied to an investigation into drug use or sales by City Hall employees.
An absurd allegation … and that’s being kind.
It’s all about control.
The PBA thinks it should run things — according to its contact, Fitzgerald is the full time PBA union representative. That’s his job, 40 hours a week, and you pay for it — and Tutunjian and Tedesco think there should be a chief running the show rather than a bunch of Indians.
Tedesco is shaking things up. The PBA doesn’t like it.
The SOS focuses on long-term drug investigations, which certainly has a place in law enforcement, but they also rack up some serious overtime and is widely known as a pre-retirement place where officers can rack up overtime and boost pensions. Pensions we pay for.
As a side, did you know that if a police officer, any police officer, has to work overtime it’s automatically at least four hours, even if they show up at court for 30 seconds.
In all, the city paid $1.3 million in overtime to the 125-member police department in 2009, over $625,000 more than was budgeted. That’s a ton of money considering there is a bunch of people out of work and a pretty good number of officers given the size of Troy.
We think Tedesco deserves a chance to make the best department in the Capital District better so the PBA should just take a step back and work with him rather than whack him upside the head with a phone book before he even gets out of the gate.
He did handle the allegations against him with class and professionalism.
But, as one observer said to us, “Tedesco is one of those karate-type people, and they just sit back and sit back and sit back and then they rip your *&^^#$@# arm off.”
Kind of graphic but to the point, Tedesco may have taken the PBA’s welcoming with class but that doesn’t mean he’s gonna forget. We hope he doesn’t.
It was the Democrats on the City Council who held the Public Safety Committee meeting that allowed Fitzgerald his platform but we don’t think they knew what was coming either.
Of course the GOP are jumping all over it.
This isn’t about politics.
It was a busy week at the Troy Housing Authority with executive Secretary Bill Meissner getting the axe for unknown reasons and longtime Troy Comptroller Deb Witkowski interviewing for a job.
Witkowski has been a staple in the city through two administrations of different parties and is a pretty straight shooter but her looking there is a sign that Tutunjian’s administration is running for the hills. And the THA is gonna be the dumping ground.
The THA is now in the hands of Tom Houlihan, a respected and competent individual.
What’s funny is that Meissner, knowing he was getting his head cut of, appointed himself to his old position with the THA before the ax fell.
Needless to say, that didn’t fly well with the board that had just let him go and he was let go from that one too, with the help of a police officer.
The talk of the town is the board, appointed by Tutunjian, will hire his deputy mayor and long time friend Dan Crawley as the next executive secretary but the timing of Meisnner’s dismissal is suspect considering Crawley has a year and a half left as deputy mayor.