There are some legitimate reasons for opposition to the creation
of a Business Improvement District in the City of Troy—apprehension
about what a BID is and a 5-percent increase in property taxes
during a tough economic climate, are chief among them.
Unfortunately, as with most subjects in the City of Troy,
personality and conspiracy theories tend to trump good intention
and ideas. As is the case with Michael LoPorto.
In last week’s edition of Metroland, Mr. LoPorto displayed
his bizarre side by claiming, among other things, that the
main proponent of the BID was a plant of Mayor Harry Tutunjian’s
administration, that she was dating the puppet master behind
the BID, and that this was all some coup to rob taxpayers
of their money [“Sustaining the Boom,” Nov. 20]. These would
all be considered illegitimate reasons for doubting a BID,
if they were not already downright delusional.
Mr. LoPorto is intent on trashing the reputations and hard
work of honest people, a platform he does not belong near.
His comments in Metroland are blatantly sexist (“She
is a beautiful girl and she speaks well, but who is Elizabeth
Young?”), and his recent comments outside of City Hall were
mind-bogglingly racist: He claimed to a group of people that
he would “not vote for Jesus if he were black.”
We can add unethical to Mr. LoPorto’s resume when we remember
that the single reason he is angry with the mayor, his nephew
by marriage, is that Mr. Tutunjian refused to give the Frear
Park Golf Course restaurant concession to him because of family
ties. Where one man saw a conflict of interest, another saw
an opportunity to try and make a quick buck—relatives or taxpayers
Would it be piling on if I added that the man who has, in
eyes of many, shown himself to be sexist, racist, and unethical
also happened to run for a seat on the City Council despite
the fact that he does not live in the City of Troy, and lied
to get on the ballot?
For five years I have listened to the nonsensical ramblings
of people like Mr. LoPorto. If you want to disagree with the
BID, I have absolutely no issue with that at all. The notion
of everyone being on the same page on any issue has long left
our society. However, to tear down the hard work and effort
of organizers of the BID simply because you are incapable
of normal, civil discourse does not do a disservice to any
proposed plan, but the community as a whole.
Despite Mr. LoPorto’s efforts of labeling the BID a dramatic
failure before it gets out of the gate, I would like to remind
him that this summer, the City of Troy took a dramatic step
forward in branding itself as the place for free, family-friendly
entertainment. If he had taken part in the ChowderFest, Troy
Pig Out, River Street Festival, or any other of the great
events that brought more than 100,000 people to downtown Troy,
he might know this. In this tough economic climate, you would
hard-pressed to find anyone who would say that this is a detriment
The BID is not a one- or two-person effort, as Mr. LoPorto
claims. It is a conglomeration of businesses that share the
hope that times will be great once more if the people in the
City of Troy can band together for the betterment of the community.
Director of Public Information
City of Troy
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