Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Here I was ready to concede that Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo deserves some praise for speaking out against the latest proposed Verizon acquisition:
Mayor Shayne Gallo on Monday said competitive pricing cannot be achieved for high-speed Internet services unless federal officials stop a proposed deal between Verizon and wireless providers and cable companies.

“If you don’t have competitive alternatives, consumers and businesses in our city will have rising prices for cable TV, Internet, voice telephonic services, less innovation, and a reduced quality of service,” Gallo said as he explained why he joined eight other mayors in the state in signing a letter opposing the deal.

“Even though (high speed Internet) is widely available in New York City and affluent suburbs it basically removes any incentives for Verizon to provide high speed service to the other urban centers,” Gallo said. “We’ve become dependent on high-speed Internet for access to education, economic development, critical services.”
Verizon is a terrible company, and it will chase a nickle to the gates of hell in order to increase profits. And infrastructure upgrades will be an ongoing issue in the coming years, what with deregulation threatening to eliminate rural phone service altogether. Do you live in the boonies? You can probably kiss your land-line goodbye in the next ten years.

So, kudos to Gallo for taking a stand against Verizon's disgusting, penny-pinching overreach.

Then, today, we get more business as usual from the Gallo administration:
Steve Finkle, the former head of the city’s Office for Economic Development, has taken a consulting job with the developer that plans to build a large housing development at the city’s Hudson River waterfront.

Both Finkle and Mayor Shayne Gallo called the arrangement ethical, saying Finkle had virtually no official contact with officials of Yonkers-based AVR Acquisitions Corp. during the city’s review of AVR’s proposed 1,658-unit housing project.

“He (Finkle) had no official dealings with officials ... with AVR — none whatsoever,” Gallo said.

“I have never had any official dealings with AVR during that whole process,” Finkle said. “I might have made comments on it (to the media), but I never had official dealings.”

Finkle said the city attorney’s office also has deemed his current role with AVR to be ethical.
Any time someone prefaces a statement with, "The seemingly unethical thing I am doing is in fact ethical," you know that you're witnessing a serious tap-dance.

And so what if Finkle didn't have any direct dealings. He sure as hell will now, won't he? And it's not like his friends in Kingston are going to stop taking his calls because he's no longer a member of local government. In fact, Finkle will be on everyone's speed dial. He'll know exactly which wheels need to be greased in order to make this project happen. I wonder how much AVR is paying him for his "expertise"?

The revolving door between local government and private business doesn't seem to bother Gallo. In fact, he seems to welcome it. For shame.

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