Races for Schenectady mayor and Colonie supervisor won't be settled this week, Saratoga County sales tax increase proposed, grocery shopping after alleged kidnapping

The results of a handful of close local political races are still up in the air pending absentee ballot counts, including the Schenectady mayoral race and the Colonie town supervisor race. Absentee counting in the Schenectady race could start Monday. Absentee counting and machine recounts will start in the Colonie race next Wednesday and Thursday. Both the Saratoga Springs mayoral race is also technically still not settled and the Malta supervisor race are technically not settled, though it appears the incumbents in both races have comfortable leads. [Daily Gazette] [YNN] [TU] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Saratogian]

The League of Women Voters' Barbara Bartoletti called voter turnout in this election cycle "abysmal." [WNYT]

The ongoing ballot fraud case apparently has not hurt Troy Democrats at the polls in two consecutive elections now, as the party has taken back the mayor's office and possibly built its council majority to 8-1. On mayor-elect Lou Rosamilia's agenda Wednesday morning: teach a managerial accounting class. [TU] [TU]

The state Department of Health is planning to move 600 employees from Hedley Park Place and Flanagan Square in Troy to the Corning Tower, prompting concerns about the effect the loss of people will have on downtown Troy (map). [TU]

The proposed Saratoga County budget would increase the county's sale tax rate from 7 to 8 percent in order to help fill a budget gap. Saratoga County is currently one of only five counties in the state with a 7 percent sales tax. (Albany, Schenectady, and Rensselaer counties are all 8 percent.) [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

An Occupy Albany protestor says he plans to dare State Police to arrest him by staying in the state-owned Lafayette park past curfew (it's adjacent to the Albany-owned Academy Park where protesters have been staying). [TU CapCon]

The Cuomo administration has missed the deadline for the midyear budget update, which is required by law and intended to increase transparency in the budgeting process. [AP/Troy Record]

Federal prosecutors allege an Albany man was running a ring that stole more than $83k from Price Chopper by cashing counterfeit payroll checks via a group of people using AdvantEdge cards. [TU]

After an Albany drug dealer was kidnapped, prosecutors say his alleged captors went to Price Chopper to buy eggs, milk, bacon, potato chips and a $100 gift card. [TU]

Two Albany men were charged with assault after allegedly beating two other men with bottles outside of a Madison Avenue bar (map). Both victims were struck in the face and head and were taken to the hospital. [Fox23] [YNN]

Albany police say they've arrested two men for a mugging at gunpoint in September on State Street across from Washington Park (map). [Fox23]

An Albany man has been indicted for allegedly attacking a co-worker with a fire extinguisher at the GlobalFoundries construction site this past summer. [Daily Gazette]

The Schenectady County Sheriff's office new K-9 officer, a Belgian Malinois named Joker, was purchased with seized drug money. [TU]

Critics of a proposed Sunday construction ban in Malta say it could affect homeowners who work on their houses on the weekends. [Fox23]

Reportedly the new thing to get high off of: "herbal incense" sold at smoke shops and described as "synthetic marijuana." [Saratogian]

Stillwater police say a bear has been roaming around a section of the town (map). [Saratogian]

Matt Baumgartner put up $565 for a Troy man to get his dog back from animal control. [CBS6]

This year's Empire State Plaza Christmas tree is a 35-foot-tall Blue Spruce donated by a Rotterdam couple. [YNN]

Comments

Rough day for P-Chopper.

"The state Department of Health is planning to move 600 employees from Hedley Park Place and Flanagan Square in Troy to the Corning Tower, prompting concerns about the effect the loss of people will have on downtown Troy (map). [TU]"

Just one of the many costs as state government gets smaller and reduces services. Funny, those politicians and conservatives who strongly advocate a smaller government never seem to articulate the effects a smaller government will have on the public, other than "less taxes, less taxes, less taxes." Be prepared for a long, drawn-out economic stagnation and a lower quality of life for most folks.

Bob, If as you say, New York's government is too small, which state has too much government?

Is there such a thing as too much government in your estimation? On aggregate, nobody's quality of life is going down because 600 bureaucrats have to move 10 miles down the road.

If some people in troy take a hit, some people in albany will benefit. It's madness to turn government employment into a stimulus program. Employees are hired to do their job not prop up a chosen site's economy, if they can do it more efficiently someplace else, then they should.

Ike, my comment isn't a statement against a smaller government and reduced services as such, although I do harbor a suspicion against those who advocate such actions. And yes, I believe there is such a thing as too much government, just as a libertarian might argue that a government that fails to enforce contracts, keep the local peace, and provide for national security is too little government.

If your point is that government needs to do its work as efficiently and effectively as possible, then no one would disagree (except, possibly, a few anarchists.) My concern is the lopsided debate on taxes and the size of government that we've had in NYS fails to include the negative effects of a smaller government and reduced services. This past year, the governor and legislature, as a whole, made decisions on cutbacks without an adequate discussion of what the public would lose as a result. As time goes on, I think we'll see more stories on the negative effects of the governor's, and legislature's, policies and actions.

One of the many roles of government is to compensate, up to a point, for the natural tendency of capitalism to corrupt and collapse on itself, and to the extent practicable, ameliorate the negative results of capitalism on people and the environment. We sure can't count on corporations or voluntary associations to do that.

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