Saratoga County

Office face-lift at Saratoga Springs City Hall draws questions

One city official’s spruced-up office is raising eyebrows in City Hall.


One city official’s spruced-up office is raising eyebrows in City Hall.

Shortly after about two dozen Department of Public Works employees were laid off at the beginning of the year, DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco moved into DPW Director William McTygue’s former office in the basement of City Hall.

But first, department laborers put in new sheetrock, painted, installed new doors and a ceiling fan, put up new blinds and covered over the radiator.

A tall mirror also sits nestled inside a recessed area in the wall where there used to be a door to the police department.

“It makes for a nicer meeting place when you bring people in,” Scirocco said. He converted his former office into a conference room. That room was renovated in 2008 when Scirocco took office.

Most of the other commissioners haven’t been inside, since they and Scirocco have feuded at the City Council table and are currently not speaking to each other.

But they’re curious about — and maybe a little envious of — Scirocco’s new digs.

“The man cave? No, I haven’t,” accounts commissioner John Franck said when asked if he’d seen Scirocco’s office.

Scirocco defended the work, saying it cost very little in materials and only took three or four days of a couple city laborers’ time — laborers who wouldn’t have been occupied anyway because of the lack of snow this winter.

“There’s nothing in here except a little bit of sheetrock and a ceiling fan,” Scirocco said.

The money is budgeted in his department this year, because fixing up City Hall is part of DPW’s job.

Workers have made cosmetic changes for other commissioners in their offices.

Commissioner Ken Ivins got a new coat of paint in his office in 2008, and the front finance office was restructured, with DPW workers putting up walls so the finance director could have her own office.

Mayor Scott Johnson said his office got a new coat of paint that same year when he took office for his first term, although Johnson noted that was before the recession.

“I would certainly hope that in times of crisis, the right priorities were adhered to,” Johnson said.

And Franck expressed frustration that work requests in his office have gotten slow response from DPW — much slower than the workers’ renovations of Scirocco’s office.

It took DPW two years to return doors to the assessment office that were removed during a Homeland Security-required renovation, he said.

No one was outwardly critical of Scirocco’s office face-lift, but some officials questioned how he could do it with fewer workers.

Franck said his department is cutting back on every expense possible in case a planned $1.3 million in paid parking revenue never comes to pass.

“To be doing anything right now outside the basic stuff is ridiculous, man cave included.”

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