The Council voted 5-4 last night to re-appoint Rick Mason as a city marshal and that means Councilman Kevin McGrath won another round against Rensselaer County Democratic Party Chairman Tom Wade, who, as you know, called for McGrath's resignation.
Those on the Council who voted for Mason include McGrath, obviously, Ken Zalewski, D-District 5, Rodney Wiltshire, D-At Large, Nina Nichols, D-At Large, and Republican Dean Bodnar. Those against were Council President Lynn Kopka, Bob Doherty, D-District 4, Gary Galuski, D-District 6 and Republican Mark McGrath, District 2.
As I mentioned earlier when the Council initially approved Mason’s appointment – they screwed up the process and had to do it all over again – it’s surprising Kopka couldn’t get the votes and if she knew she couldn’t then it’s surprising she sided with Wade rather than her own caucus. Earlier this week she would not return phone calls but my guess is, after knowing Kopka for a while, she just wants the whole thing to go away because corralling feral cats is easier than corralling Democrats.
Another thing that’s surprising is McGrath and Bodnar, the two Republicans, split their vote. Generally it wouldn’t matter much but without Bodnar Mason isn’t a marshal. On the one hand, if Bodnar were playing politics, his vote certainly keeps fuel on the Democrats infighting. On the other, I have no doubt Mason has done a decent job which is a valid reason to vote in favor of him. Bodnar isn’t known for playing the political game so it could be the latter, but it certainly accomplishes the former.
Zalewski has butted heads with Wade for a long time so his vote comes as no surprise. Wiltshire has only been on the Council for a few months so he’s obviously staking out his own ground. The same can be said for Nichols in that she too has only been in office for a few months. Though, it is a little more complex with her. On the one hand McGrath worked hard on her campaign but she was recruited as a potential mayoral candidate by city Chair Jack McCann (Wade) before the party officially picked former Council President Clement Campana. She didn’t get the mayoral nod, but she was elected so in the end it makes sense.
As for McGrath, he and Mason are buddies and friends are thicker than politics.
On the no side, Doherty is Bill Dunne’s guy and Dunne and Wade have a love, hate, love and hate again relationship. He also made a decent argument against Mason by saying: “I’m not comfortable with questionable practices lead to quick retirements and investigations by [The FBI] for misuse of funds.”
Galuski still has his county job at the Board of Elections and while Wade might not have a direct say in if he keeps it, the county chair probably could make his life a little more difficult than it is considering Galuski is under indictment for his alleged role in voter fraud.
Mark McGrath is the new vocal opposition so I’m guessing he voted no because the majority of Democrats wanted it. And then there’s Kopka.
Like Nichols, Kopka was also recruited to run for mayor thanks to McCann and Wade but she’s a Pattison Democrat and I didn’t think she’d blindly follow Wade. As I said, I’m guessing she’d just as soon the whole thing go away, but at least it’s taking attention away from the Council’s other missteps.
So, since the Council voted 5-4 earlier this month but screwed it up and then again 5-4 last night it’s 2-0 McGrath – but given the memory Wade is known to have, I’d say it’s the top of the third with the Council to vote again next month and Wade’s up.
Labels: bodnar, Dunne Doherty, galuski, Kopka, mason, McGrath, nichols, Wade, Wiltshire, zalewski