Monday, May 21, 2007

"I've Got Your State Audit RIGHT HERE!"

On Thursday the Democrat and Chronicle editorialized that Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle's "Proposal to disband the Water Authority is premature."

It occurs to us that if Morelle had intended this as a serious policy initiative, he'd have done his homework to show, for example, how abolishing the Monroe County Water Authority might affect the price of water paid by Monroe County consumers. Since the county's water rates are "among the lowest in the Northeast," according to the Democrat and Chronicle, maybe this was too tall an order for Little Joe, at least from his perspective out on the Albany Ponderosa.

So we'll have to take the proposal as undoubtedly it was intended, as a political shrapnel bomb meant to sow confusion, disorder and to deflect attention from the gnawing embarrassment that County Democrats don't have a candidate for County Executive. Hence its release mere hours before the Republican convention to renominate Maggie Brooks.

But that's not the interesting part.

What captured our interest was the rhetorical question the D&C chose to headline the editorial: "Where's the State Audit?" When, it pondered, will we ever see the second State Comptroller's report of its audit of the Water Authority's practices before 2004? The editorial tells us it "was completed months ago but withheld."

Now, here on the Street we like the D&C's editorial page a lot more than its news operation. Yet we wonder: can these people be as obtuse as their question suggests?

They really don't know when the Comptroller will release the second report?

We do. We know exactly when.

It will be released the weekend of November 3 - 4.

See, Election Day is November 6. Releasing it just before the election will allow Monroe County Democrats to carp about the Water Authority (even though it was the Republicans who cleaned it up) without giving Republicans time to respond before the election.

That's the least Comptroller -- and former Democratic Assemblyman -- Tom DiNapoli can do for his old Assembly comrade-in-arms Joe Morelle.

And if that's too difficult for you to figure out, look at the bright side: you have a future writing editorials for our Newspaper of Record.


DragonFlyEye said...

Well, election years are election years. Maggie "Porna-Paluza 2007" Brooks can hardly complain of a Democrat who's taking the opportunity to sow a bit of political mayhem for his opponent.

But at the same time, I think that the end-game for Democrats is to fend off any attempt for the County to build their proposed water treatment plant in Webster. Discrediting and eliminating the water authority goes a long way towards accomplishing that.

Nefarious you might call that, but part of the reason for Monroe County's exceptionally low cost of water is the fact that a large percentage of suburban communities get their water from Rochester's plant. . Which is about the only thing in Rochester City Government that's really working correctly.

Man About Town said...

The Water Authority has tens of millions of dollars in its coffers that were being wasted on lining the pockets of already wealthy Board retirees and planning for an unneeded plant in Webster. A County takeover would allow those funds to go to better use such as putting a dent in the County's growing deficit. Furthermore, the logical merger of the City and County water agencies is DOA without a sea change in how the Water Authority operates. Politically-timed as it may be, there is real merit to this. Our Republican overlords are doing the people of this county a serious disservice by not even considering it.