Albany Mayor Kathy

February 20, 2012

Mayor Jerry Jennings is ripe for an electoral takedown and there is one woman who can do the job

*Update* An Albanyweblog exclusive:
Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin makes a statement about running

Whether you want to think about it or not, the 2013 campaign for the next mayor of the City of Albany has already begun. You probably haven’t heard much about that yet. But the prime challenger to current incumbent mayor Jerry Jennings is already laying the groundwork for an upset victory.

…Did you catch that? I did not say “challengers,” it’s not going to be like last time. The array of pro-Albany political forces are quietly lining up behind a unified candidate, so it doesn’t look like we’re going to have another miserable three way campaign like we did in 2009.

It looks like incumbent mayor Jerry Jennings is going to face a solid, competent challenger who has both the ability and the support to drop Him like a wounded elephant.

Ladies and gentlemen, readers of this blog, allow me to be the first to introduce to you City of Albany Treasurer Kathy Sheehan as The Next Mayor of the City of Albany:

Kathy Sheehan... Mayor Of Albany? Kathy Sheehan… Mayor Of Albany?

Okay, the September 2013 primary is a long ways away, but that’s how you have to play the game to win. We didn’t see this kind of long-range planning among the two challengers to the incumbent back in 2009, rather both challengers waited to announce their campaigns until the last possible moment. Some say they both waited until too late.

That’s not going to happen this time, not with Kathy Sheehan. Everyone can instantly see that the Treasurer is not waiting for chimeras and she’s not kidding about becoming mayor. Anybody who is planning to announce a run for mayor will be arriving after Kathy, and that includes the incumbent.

Of course it’s too early for her to officially announce. This past December, after watching Kathy give an all too fast and detailed presentation of the City annual budget for the amount of time allotted to her at a public meeting, I asked her one final question. “I keep hearing rumors” I said, “from certain people that you are going to run for mayor. Is there any truth to these rumors?”

Kathy Sheehan On January 22 Kathy Sheehan On January 22

Caught her by surprise I did. She hadn’t settled on a pat answer at that point and after some hesitation replied, “Who are these people you’ve been talking to? You’ve got to stop listening to rumors.” Which was funny, because she knew exactly which people I’d been talking to.

So, how can the first term Treasurer who is holding her first elected office even presume to run for mayor? Why exactly would a voter choose her rather than choose one of the experienced Old Boys who are currently still imbedded in City Hall?

I’ll mention one good reason that pretty much says it all. After only one year in the Treasurer’s office after ousting Jerry’s creature Betty Barnette, Ms. Sheehan was able to report good news to the Common Council, as related in these excerpts from the Hearst Times Union report:

A year after a parking-ticket scandal roiled City Hall, Albany has collected nearly $1 million more in parking fines and surcharges so far this year — despite the fact that its parking enforcement officers are writing fewer tickets, Treasurer Kathy Sheehan said… Overall, collections were up 36 percent, or $915,540, through Sept. 30 of this year, Sheehan told city lawmakers…

"It’s the benefit of having a 21st century computer system," said Sheehan, who took office in January and immediately oversaw the implementations of the changes… Through July, the total number of tickets written was down about 4,000, or seven percent over last year, and the total dollar value of those tickets was down 27 percent, Sheehan said.