The Spin Doctor

In the midst of an election year, Tim Becker decided to restart his stalled Amsterdam WordPress blog Pars Nova after about a year of inactivity.  The blog was only active a few months and contained some excellent commentary on marketing the City, the Comprehensive Plan and economic development. I am glad he is back with his honest, insightful commentary.

Checking his blog today, I came across Becker’s most recent entry, The 2011 Mayoral Race So Far, describing the ineffectual communication on the part of our Mayoral candidates and lack of a good plan to move the City forward, which reflected my sentiments exactly. I’m sure the majority of Amsterdamians that are paying attention also agree.

With less than three months until election day, our candidates need to vocalize their plans for the city. They also need to make themselves available to the public to answer questions posed by the citizens of Amsterdam.

Becker did manage to stroke Mayor Ann Thane’s ego a bit in his blog entry, by complimenting her website and structured approach. This, of course prompted a reply from the vacationing Mayor.

Thanks for noting our many differences here, Tim. The fact is, I have also have been dissatisfied with the lack of a well thought out vision or plan by elected officials (please see my post:, at local levels and all of the way up the state and national chains. There is quite a bit of rhetoric and very little substance. We deserve better.

For almost four years, I’ve made it a point to articulate my goals and the processes I expect to follow to get us there. My successes are many and can be measured against what I said I’d do from the start. I hope that my methodology is plainly evident to the electorate come election day and will distinguish me from my opposition.

As far as a pay cut from either of my opponents, they’ll both be taking payment from the retirement system. They’re just taking money from my state tax pocket instead of my city tax pocket. It’s a parlor trick, really, and we are wiser than that.

I, like many others, know who posts the anti-Emanuele site, though I didn’t at first. It is no more my right or responsibility to insist that the author take it down than it would be to think I could make Gerry Skrocki or Bob Going or any number of local bloggers, including you, take down their sites. Misinformation and cruelty are stingingly served up daily on some of these sites and have, in fact, destroyed two sites that had were considered staples of the local blogging community.

I have no need to participate in the dysfunction. I have my own blogs ( and I always state my name when I post elsewhere, I stick to the truth as I know it, and I am interested in issues, not nonsense.

I like your blog. It is thoughtful and offers solutions. I wish you’d consider running for office. You’re just the kind of person we need (intelligent, organized, committed and honest) to move this community forward. In the meantime, thank you for focusing on topics that are salient. Please continue to point out the stark differences in platforms, or lack thereof, as the election season moves forward.

Ann Thane must be visiting the Spin Doctor wherever she is vacationing because her accusatory comments are way off base.  In order to be a good leader, you have to listen to your constituency.  This quality is severely lacking in Ann Thane who prefers to censor those that do not agree with her rose garden views.

I find it ironic that the Ann Thane campaign is using the goals created for Amsterdam’s Comprehensive Plan as her ideas for the future of Amsterdam.

The Comprehensive Plan was created under Mayor John Duchessi Jr.’s administration that included a Common Council composed of Joe Emanuele III, Anthony Pallotta, Vincenzo Nicosia, William Wills and James Martuscello.
The Comprehensive Plan Committee was composed of Michael Chiara as Chairman, Bob Fetterly, Vice Chairman, Mark Zumbolo, Bob DiCaprio, Anthony Duchessi, Doug Nadler, Mike Palmer, Joe Emanuele III, Fr James Gulley, Dr, Ronald Marsh, Walt Curran, Diane Hatzenbuhler and Todd Fabozzi.

Ann Thane was not involved with the plans creation or any other part of public service until elected Mayor in 2008. Mayoral candidates Joe Emanuele III, William Wills and 4th Ward Alderman candidate Diane Hatzenbuhler CAN claim the goals of the Comprehensive Plan as theirs.

My personal experience with Mayor Ann Thane’s censorship  is chronicled here:

I am not alone in this opinion, it has occurred with others as well. Government Officials should have a policy of open communication that supports our Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech.  Any citizen who emails or writes their elected representatives should have their questions or comments respectfully answered, not ignored.

Receiving no responses, my inquires were literally ignored by Mayor Ann Thane. This was a factor that contributed to establishing The Grove Street Grumble to speak for me.


We need more information about the positions of all three candidates and a debate should be held for the benefit of the voters. Unfortunately Ann Thane cannot handle controversial questions or issues, preferring to ignore them in hopes that they will just go away. As critical as she has been about local blogs and WCSS radio, she participates in both to further her agenda, using her position to help silence the Bob Going and Mike Chiara radio show on WCSS as shown in the following link.

Bob Going, Mike Chiara, Gavin Murdock and Jim Nicosia now broadcast live every Friday morning from 10am-12n at the Go Where I’ve Bean Coffee Shop on Church Street in Amsterdam, NY, run by Mayor Ann Thane’s first executive assistant Sue Blazejewski.  The show is re-broadcast from their website so you can listen at your leisure.

Speaking of local radio, I have to give a big shout out to Bob Cudmore who gave my blog, The Grove Street Grumble a big plug on his morning show Monday. The Bob Cudmore Show can be heard every weekday from 6am-10am on WVTL 104.7 FM.

Getting back to the Mayoral Race, Ann Thane must be dizzy from all that spinning.

Did anyone forget the Uri Kaufman debacle, or Mayor Thane wishing her fellow Common Council members’ demise at the bottom of the river? That doesn’t say much for her ability to work as part of a team.  Refusing to let go of the Chalmers development scheme after the public repeatedly said no, reflects an inability to listen to will of her constituency.

How about the time Ann Thane tried to raise our water rate by 37%?

Or failed to address the socio-economic concerns of our ever-growing Latino Community?

Freedom of Information and Freedom of Speech are ideals that I hold dearly as should any American citizen. I expect the person elected the next Mayor of Amsterdam will also recognize their importance. Censorship should never be an act of an elected government official sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of New York State.

Spin it as you will.

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8 thoughts on “The Spin Doctor

  1. diane

    Thanks Jerry and I have to agree with you 100%. I am sure that the mayor’s and Karin’s complaints got me off the air as well. The mayor cannot handle criticism, nor can she answer questions off the cuff if she has not been prompted on what to study for. And in my opinion any debate with her and Bill Wills, he would win. You either follow her mantra or you are out. Remember last time she debated at BUG with Bob Cudmore, she lied right out of the gate and said she had not chosen a corp counsel yet, when every one of us knew she had chosen GD. Since this has been brought up on ocassion, it is probably a reason she will not debate. But the fact that she intends on keeping GD in place if reelected is not a good sign. This city cannot afford another 4 years of this duo.

  2. The Mayor’s refusal to answer Tim Becker’s question on his blog Pars Nova just reinforces the fact that she fears debate and is incapable of handling criticism.

    Yet in the same thread she had no problem using Tim’s blog as a platform to further her campaign, patting herself on the back while taking a jab at both Bob Going and me.

    How hypocritical!

  3. Alayne

    Don’t feel bad about the digs towards you and Mr. Going, the mayor simply cannot control herself. If you notice she constantly makes snarky comments to the press regarding Mr. Wills and/or Mr. Emanuele. The best part of all of this is the mayor is so blinded by her own arrogance that she is unable to realize that all of these childlike comments will cost her the election. Amsterdam is in desperate need of a mayor that takes the position seriously and acts in a professional manner.
    Did anyone notice how well the CC meeting ran the other night? It was run in a professional manner, and things went well…it was actually very refreshing!!!

  4. Anthony Leggiero

    Stop the bus.

    Drop – even raise the tax cap?

    Divide the opinion of our city with asinine bridges and painted buildings?

    Punish homeowners and business owners if their is scribbling on their walls?

    Employed the guidance of a failed alderman who’s been told to “lay low”?

    Botched health insurance and then try to say “I’m Sorry” to recipients?

    Shunned the Veteran’s of our City and giggled along with an agenda of hate and bigotry? Thommy can ‘ya hear me?

    Played the “do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to city owned vehicles?

    Sits back and watches as Gerry (Geri, Jerry, Gerri) retaliates against our DPW?

    Sends thousands of taxpayer dollars into “something” called a museum she was part of—and let that place go into the red as well.

    Drained the city budget, reduced services, reduced manpower.

    Retaliates (I’ll say it again) against those who do not share her rosey red poltical picture with her and Gerry (Geri, Jerry, Gerri).

    I could say more, much more but I won’t, lest somebody comes to where I work and wants to tangle with me; or the APD comes knocking on my door trying to pin something on me that they believe I am part of concocted by her and her stooges.

    And….Do you think she really writes, or at least conjures up HALF of what she blogs? I’ve used the thesaurus a bunch of times myself, but I started to confuse people with big words like a former Alderman of the Third Ward used to do (before your time), and paying somebody was not an option to write for me.

    This city is messed up because of who we have in leading the ship. Nothing against the US Navy. Period. True, she (Thane) has minions (some local, some not) defending the agenda by using hatred and bigotry in some cases—of which the public rarely sees yet what do they see; the pictures and the flowers, pretty this and pretty that. Our city has become jaded, there’s no other way around it and all you hear is “oh she’s a nice person” after a few carrots are thrown out to the crowd. Didn’t somebody else try that mid 30’s early 40’s so—explain the difference? Ribbons and roses don’t, won’t and can’t pay my bills and I don’t own the greenhouse, yet. Do you honestly think quality of life is abounding here? If so, I want some of what you’re taking.

    Four more years of Mr. DeCusatis—do we want that? I don’t. I know the kind of player this guy is (i.e. surrender my position CRB because of a contrived “conflict,” or lose my job, his attempt to cut health insurance for new employees in the early 90’s, the mill on Forest Avenue, the “not paying his help” episode, not handing over pertinent information which support resolutions). Four more years of this?

    “Use your mentality, wake up to reality” – taken from “Under My Skin” by Frank Sinatra

  5. diane

    Great editorial in today’s paper on GD, and he will be there if she is reelected, she has already said so. He is lying low though so he does not become an issue. He is a very big issue, no pun inteneded. (sorry I am off subject )

  6. Alayne

    Did you call into WCSS offering your services to record the debate? The city of Amsterdam deserves to hear from ALL of the candidates in debate style forum. Who is the mayor to decide who the people of Amsterdam should hear from or not hear from? This is completely unfair to everyone involved, including the rest of the candidates and the voters! When Thane ever realize it is not always about her and her WANTS!

    • Alayne, I don’t listen to WCSS.

      • Alayne

        LOL. I could not pass up the chance to listen to the mayors reasoning behind not having a debate with Mr. Wills…and it was simply that did not want to.
        I have to admit that lately I start to listen to it until I hear all of the misinformation given by the two 9:00 a.m. guys and the racist comments that are allowed to be made. Last time I listened I someone used the word “colored”. WTH(?) …wanted to call and ask them “what color, purple, green?”

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