26 DAYS TO ELECTION. IS ANYBODY COUNTING?
Halloween and November 8 are just around the corner. Trick or Treat?
Voter turnout will likely be very low. At least, that is what the Mayor and Common Council incumbents are hoping.
The people feel secure in their homes. They don't seem to mind the violence or gunfire in the streets. The unsolved arsons are forgotten.
Disorderly, failing city schools, violence in the schools, lack of a safe environment conducive to learning, lack of K-8 neighborhood schools, and annual property tax increases to support city schools and pay the long term debt on magnet schools and the ill-conceived school facilities construction bond act, use of a lottery system to gamble with the educational futures of the children - none of this seems to matter much to the senior citizens who make up a large block of the partisan, partyline voters because they don't have any kids in school. Besides, many are glad that they are nearing departure from this life and are looking forward to the peace that will bring them. The only ones that are concerned about these issues are the families with school age children. Those, that can, move out of Albany when their kids complete grade 5. Those, who are left behind are pawns of the system.
9-11, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes -they are terrible things that happen somewhere else. Albany is safe from natural and man-made disasters and terrorist attacks. So, the Mayor and Common Council haven't bothered to prepare a City Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates what could happen here, and how we might survive whatever may befall us in the days ahead.
The people know that the city water supply is secure from disasters and terrorist attacks. The sewer treatment system too. An earthquake would never happen here, destroying the aging city water and sewer infrastructure rendering the city unliveable and prone to destruction by raging fires.
But, just in case, the Mayor and Common Council do have a plan - winters in Albany bring lots of rain and snow.
Sorry, you still will have to pay the 15-30 percent increase in water and sewer rates. The bills will be in the mail after November 8 -Election Day.
What are the chances that, in the dead of an Albany winter, we would suffer a disaster or terrorist attacks that would leave us without water, food, gasoline, home heating oil, electricity and all the other things we take for granted? What are the chances of the Downtown elevated highway system collapsing like a row of dominos in a quake? The bridges and highway system? Nah. Never happen. Just ask Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.
Not to worry, you'll be ok. The Mayor and Common Council have a plan. Bags of coal and turkeys will be dropped off on your doorsteps to help you along. However, you will only get the turkeys on Election Day.
Never mind all the chaos and disorder in the streets outside your homes. No, it's not the armed gangs and criminals, the Mayor and Common Council failed to disarm. It is not they who are running amok through the neighborhoods pillaging and plundering - it is the disenfranchised citizenry who failed to anticipate and prepare for this day. They were too dependent upon the government. But, now they have to fend for themselves.
Just double bolt your door and pile some furniture against it. Fire a few rounds, into the air, from your 30/30 or 357 magnum. They will get the idea, and leave you alone - until your ammo runs out.
Don't try to call 911 because all systems are down, including cell towers. Won't matter anyway, the police and firemen, most of whom live outside of Albany, won't be able to get into down. Besides, they will be taking care of their own families.
No free rides to the ER for medical treatment. Besides the hospitals might not even be there. Hope you know first aid.
Forget about running over to your nearby church, synagogue or school. They didn't anticipate and prepare either. Their kitchens are bare. No stored food and water. No blankets. No emergency generators and fuel to provide electricity and heat. Of course, as you know, do not underestimate the power of prayer.
You are on your own. Hopefully, you had the foresight to prepare.
Regardless of what happens, the mail will get through. You will get your city and school property tax bills . They will never go down, even if your home and property are worthess.
The revaluation/reassessment will take place sometime after the November 8 General Election. Your property values are sure to skyrocket, because they will be based on this year's outrageous comparable sales in an overinflated housing market.
Not to worry, it really isn't a huge property tax increase. Just ask the Mayor or Common Council. The Mayor will tell you to be glad that your house was once worth so much.
Just shut up and pay your city and school property taxes. Stop your whining. You know the Mayor doesn't like people who complain or run Albany down. Anyway, this is HIS city - NOT yours.
He and the Common Council hope you don't bother to go to the polls and vote on November 8. Then they, and their small band of partisan, partyline voters (about 10,000 in number) ,who benefit from the status quo, will remain in power. The rest of the 45,000 Albany voters (more than half of whom don't go to the polls anyway) can go whistle dixie -even if that is not politically correct in this day and age.
In conclusion. Don't bother to become informed or to vote. Don't demand that the local media provide you with the information to permit you to cast informed votes on November 8. They already told you that the election was decided with the September 13 Democratic Primary results.
Of course, you believe that, and you are resigned to your fate. I hope you are happy and confident that government will take care of you in any event.
On November 8 just stay home and watch Survivor on your telly's and never let it cross your minds, that one day, you and your loved ones may be in the same situation, except that it will be for real.
J P Sullivan
PS: this was not written by Mark Dunlea - I can think and write on my own.