Friday, November 2, 2007

Persuasive Leadership

One of my most proud moments as Mayor came this year when the entire City came together the day of the black out and pitched in. It was a memorable day, and it proved that we can accomplish anything in Troy when we stick together.

Tonight I am going to show the editorial from the Troy Record about the event. I think they really nailed the spirit of community from that day.

City was a bright light when power went out

Reprinted from the Troy Record
July 16th, 2007

Residents of Troy can be proud of the way their leaders handled the situation on July 10, when National Grid abruptly and without warning pulled the plug on power in the city.

We are happy and proud to be the hometown newspaper of a place that from the top echelon of government to the average person on the street, people banded together to pull everybody through a potentially lethal situation.

With traffic lights out, people didn't give in to the urge to race through the city unchecked, but rather, were careful and courteous at intersections. That was great to see.

And people checked on seniors and in general checked to make sure their neighbors were doing OK. That's the very definition of community. But the primary reason there were no disasters on that sweltering day is that the city was prepared.

Under the guidance of Mayor Harry Tutunjian, a plan was activated to deal with health and comfort issues, which meant there was no mad scramble despite Grid's decision.

The police were involved, (as were) firefighters, emergency response teams, city hall employees, elected representatives. The Action Team spent a day doing hot work, then, after hours, delivered ice and water that had been donated by state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno with the assistance of Price Chopper supermarkets.

Lifeguards worked after hours so pools could stay open until 9 p.m., providing needed relief.In a way, the whole city became an Action Team, and we want to reserve our highest praise for Mayor Tutunjian, who demonstrated persuasive leadership qualities.

He could have settled back and said National Grid created the problem, let them deal with it. Instead, he and his team turned his city into an Action Team and dealt with problems quickly and efficiently.

Only when the day was under control did he direct his wrath, justly, on National Grid. More of our leaders should deal with the immediate crisis, then assess blame, rather than putting the cart before the horse.

All in all, July 10 wasn't exactly a great day, but swift action, cooperation from the people of Troy and a coherent game plan saved the day.

A salute to everyone involved.