It's been awhile since we've talked about the buffoonery at the New York Power Authority. It's not that we haven't had plenty of fodder, but we've been laying low as the discussions of what NYPA is going to come to the table with for Niagara County play out. Unfortunately for NYPA President & CEO Richie Kessel and his cronies at the Power Authority, this one is just too good to pass up.
Sources have told Niagara Times that none other than former North Tonawanda Mayor Larry Soos is to interview for the Senior Community Relations position with NYPA tomorrow. Yes, that would be the same Larry Soos who got crushed in the North Tonawanda mayoral contest last year, garnering just 30% of the vote. The same Larry Soos who chased not one, but two extremely successful concert series out of NT (Lockport still thanks Soos each and every Friday night during the summer). The same Larry Soos who went on LCTV for a live, one-hour interview with a huge wad of gum in his mouth, smacking and chomping like a cow. That was only overshadowed his answering of his cell phone during the show. Right...I want him in that Community Relations position.
Of course, Soos and NYPA have had a relationship for some time. After all, it was Soos who put $250,000 in anticipated revenue from the Power Authority in the 2010 North Tonawanda city budget. Unfortunately for the residents of NT, they will be forced to make up for Soos' deception in the 2011 budget. Thanks Larry, way to represent. But back to the position with NYPA.
The circumstances that have created this vacancy in the Senior Community Relations position are quite interesting. Up until a few weeks ago, the job was held by Khisha Arnold. She was hired at the direction of Senator Antoine Thompson. In fact, it was for Arnold that Thompson had demanded that NYPA relax its job requirements, eliminating the education requirement. Unfortunately for Arnold, she did something very bad to a man by the name of David Valley, who just happens to be a good friend of Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (we know what she did, but we're holding that for now). Now, we're not going to say that Arnold was terminated from her position, but we will say that the circumstances surrounding her departure are questionable.
All of this leaves the Power Authority with an opening, presumably for Soos. Obviously someone from North Tonawanda is on good terms with NYPA since they were able to hook up Mark Houghton, former clerk of the city market and current chairman of the NT Democratic Committee, with a nice patronage gig with the Power Authority. Maybe Niagara County Democratic Committee Chairman Dan Rivera, who hails from North Tonawanda, is being rewarded for his many, many successes in local elections (roll of the eyes).
I'm not sure how much a Senior Community Relations position with the New York Power Authority pays. What I do know is that this is a freakin' travesty and another indication of everything that is wrong with NYPA and the State of New York. Folks, we have a $9.2 billion deficit. Authorities across this state, like NYPA, are allowed to conduct business without answering to anyone. People like Francine DelMonte and Antoine Thompson not only turn a blind eye, they perpetuate the problem by using the Power Authority as their own personal job placement service. Every single one of us should be outraged at what is going on here. Everyone except Larry Soos.