If you ask Tom McTygue, he didn’t lose on Nov. 6.
McTygue’s challenger for commissioner of public works, Anthony Skip Scirocco, won every district Tuesday night and had the highest total votes, with 5,190 to McTygue’s 3,222, according to the unofficial tally by the Saratoga County Board of Elections.
`I said before the election and I’ll say it again, this was a win-win situation for me,` the 32-year public works commissioner said. `This is a hell of a load off of my shoulders. People wanted a change, they got it. They’ll have a new commissioner, and now I’m retired and I’m happy.`
McTygue ran on a long list of accomplishments over his long tenure in public works. His challenger, however, said that tenure was riddled with scandal, investigations by federal agencies, questionable environmental practices and charges of racism.
A crucial blast came on Election Day itself, when McTygue was allegedly caught stealing Scirocco’s election signs. Scirocco sent out two press releases regarding the incident: one stating he had no choice but to press charges, a later release stating that he decided he would not.
McTygue, the day after the election, said he had permission to remove the signs, which were on one of his supporter’s property. He also said a DPW employee that was with him at the time of the alleged incident was off the clock.
`It was a nasty campaign,` McTygue said. `They threw a lot of mud at me, and it looks like the mud stuck.`
Scirocco, 59, an elected city supervisor from 1998-2005, campaigned on a platform of teamwork, openness and professionalism.
`I’m going to bring that to the City Council, stability to the City Council. I think that’s what needs to happen, and we need to work together, and I think from there, good things will happen,` said Scirocco after the final election results came in at the Holiday Inn on Broadway.
Scirocco commended McTygue for his long career in city politics. `The guy did a good job, and I think he deserves a hand,` Scirocco said. `Tonight, this is history.`
McTygue, in turn, had some words of caution for Scirocco.
`This is a pressure cooker job. Mr. Scirocco’s not walking into a picnic,` McTygue said. `He’s in for quite a surprise, because now he’s got to deal with all the people who were whining to him about me.`
McTygue argued during the campaign that two separate smaller recreation facilities should be built, one on the east side and one on the west side of the city rather than one larger center on Weibel Avenue. He has also been vocal on going to Saratoga Lake as an alternate source of water for the city, instead of signing on to the Saratoga County plan. When asked if he would still be vocal on these issues after he left office, McTygue said he’d try to get as much done in the next two months as possible.
`I know that’ll be difficult, but it should be easier to get things moving when the City Council changes. A lot of the inactivity on the council has been due to the mayor, who cannot move off the dime on anything,` McTygue said of Mayor Valerie Keehn, who was upset by Republican challenger Scott Johnson. `That should change when the council changes.`
But will residents see McTygue on the other side of the City Council table, advocating his recreation center or water plans?
`Oh, you never know,` he said. `But for the present, let’s see what can be done before the end of the year.“