Mantello's record at the Canal Corporation deserves a closer look
By Jack McCann, Chairman, City of Troy Democratic Committee
Since announcing her candidacy for Mayor of Troy earlier this year, Ms. Mantello has cited her tenure as head of the state's Canal Corporation as the experience that qualifies her to chart the course for our city's future. However, after researching the finances of the Canal Corporation, we found that many of the claims being made illustrate that after her appointment by Governor Pataki, Ms. Mantello's record is one of huge budget deficits and poor administrative oversight.
According to audits by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Canal Corporation under Ms. Mantello’s direction ran annual budget deficits of in the tens of millions of dollars. During her tenure, the Canal Corporation ran in the red in the hundreds of millions dollars. These deficits had to be made up by the taxpayer, and contributed to the need for successive toll hikes on New York's bridges and highways, including the Thruway regularly traveled by thousands of city residents.
The Comptroller attributed some of the deficits to continuous cost overruns on capital projects, noting that the Canal Corporation had a deficient project management system that lacked critical information necessary to protect taxpayers from cost overruns. One example of such a failed project was the attempt to privatize part of Syracuse's inner harbor area. After spending $15 million on the project the Canal Corporation under Ms. Mantello failed on three occasions to complete the project prompting Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner to ask that the City be allowed to take it over. In response Ms. Mantello said she was not opposed to Syracuse managing the project's completion explaining that "we are not economic development specialists". The City of Troy cannot run the risk of having its finances managed by a career politician with a record of large deficits and deficient management skills.
Ms. Mantello's real record is one of political appointments - she has never held anything but appointed positions since 1987, deficit spending and project mismanagement, and the only qualification we're aware of is her affiliation with the Republican Party, as she refuses to release her academic credentials.
Link to one of the audits:
Syracuse Post-Standard story: