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The City Revisited

To the Editor:

Aside from the blatantly partisan headline, and the lack of balance as it relates to the number of people arguing a point in your cover story last week [“The Trouble With Harry,” Aug. 2], the article by Chet Hardin discussing my administration was quite poignant, even if you must dig deeper first.

As a public official, one of the first things you learn quickly is that some people will not like you no matter what the case, and even if it is bothersome, you must brush it away and move on.

I would like to clear up a few misstatements by my opponent. Laughing was the only emotion I could muster when I read him trumpeting the recent movement of Congress-Ferry Street as something he laid the groundwork for during his term as deputy mayor. Perhaps Mr. Conroy needs a refresher course. If so, I can provide him a 250-page grant application in which he signed two letters of support that would have brought 260 units of public housing to the Congress-Ferry Street corridor, while turning over all land to the Housing Authority. Could Jim please explain how that laid the groundwork for the $160 million of private investment we have fought for?

Then there is the South Troy Industrial Road, which Mr. Conroy claims no one is pushing. While we continue the planning process for the road, it is prudent to point out that we’re not convinced that a strict Industrial Road is what is needed for South Troy. Unlike Mr. Conroy, we have worked diligently to secure more than 35 acres of land on the Hudson River for the purpose of redevelopment. Why spend millions of dollars in taxpayer money to build a road, when a little vision and effort could change the landscape there for years to come?

James again takes credit for our success by saying he applied for the grant that eventually purchased the King Fuels site. That is an interesting take, to say the least. I am sure he simply forgot to mention that the city refused to collect taxes on the 20-acre parcel while he was deputy mayor. Troy could have had that property at any point, but Mr. Conroy failed to capitalize. Amazingly, when I came into office, Jim suddenly became the listing agent for King Fuels. He was trying to sell the property that for years he protected as deputy mayor. We foreclosed on it, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My final point will address the notion that the ongoing redevelopment of downtown was because of Conroy’s willingness to rip up the road and lay some fiber in the ground. I can’t imagine he’s serious, but to each his own. The ongoing redevelopment of downtown is taking place for dozens of reasons, some of which have to do with government, most of which do not.

The people of Troy have great memories. When they vote in three months they will remember when your administration refused to acknowledge that there were gangs in Troy, and promoted voluntary compliance of the law instead of enforcement.

They will remember going three days at a time without snow removal, and employees telling the newspaper, “We’ll get to Emerald Greens tomorrow.” They will remember the filthy streets, and the complete lack of maintenance of all alleys throughout the City of Troy. They will remember the constant planning with no doing.

I believe most of all they will remember how that has all changed, and though we sometimes make a misstep here and there, we will never run the city down for our own benefit as you and your party appear ready to do for the next 90 days, and we will always do what we believe is right.

Mayor Harry Tutunjian, Troy

Side Effects

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to “To Educate or Intimidate?” [Newsfront, July 26]. While you may have felt it your duty to make the public aware of a campaign of attempted intimidation targeting local businesses, we at Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood believe that Metroland only played into the hands of Life Decisions International.

LDI obtains very few results through its threatening letters and list of targeted businesses (a list that is only made available if you donate to their organization). Those who support Planned Parenthood are aware of—and support—the services we provide. The overwhelming response to these letters has been to throw them in the garbage. Unfortunately, your coverage provided much greater reach and credibility to the acts and opinions of this obscure, fringe organization than they would have obtained had you ignored them.

In addition, the manner in which you covered their actions also helped LDI focus public attention almost exclusively on Planned Parenthood’s provision of abortion services. While we are proud to provide over 2,000 safe, high quality abortions each year, abortions, nonetheless, account for only 12 percent of our visits. The overwhelming majority of our patients come to us for prevention services; for annual GYN exams, birth control information and supplies, cervical- and breast-cancer screenings, treatment for abnormal Pap tests, pregnancy testing and options counseling, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Each year, UHPP serves over 11,700 Capital Region residents; many do not have insurance and would not otherwise have access to any form of medical care, including reproductive health care.

If anti-choice extremists like Life Decisions International really wanted to make abortion rare, they would work to expand access to family-planning services and comprehensive sex education.

Patricia A. McGeown, President/CEO, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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