The Mayoral Waiting Game Ends

March 10, 2009

Finally! But now we have a split race as two viable and competent
candidates take on the current mayor of Albany . . . and each other

For the past four months the potential candidates for mayor have been talking and maneuvering through the political circles in the City, bouncing off each other like bumper cars. And there have been secret meetings, along with secret meetings that were not so secret. But until this month no one has made a formal announcement. And as of this writing, the incumbent has not formally announced His intentions.

Last Tuesday I bopped on down to the Crowne Plaza, the hotel on State Street with no proper front door, to hear Corey Ellis, who was born and raised in Albany and is a former South End resident, become the first candidate to publicly announce that he intends to ask the voters to elect him Mayor of Albany this coming September.

Corey Ellis Announces His Run For Mayor Of Albany Corey Ellis Announces His Run For Mayor Of Albany

It was a well managed event with a fair sized enthusiastic crowd and the media in full attendance. The mood on the podium, though, was mostly serious, an attitude which reflects that of the recent Obama presidential campaign, with which Mr. Ellis is closely connected. The clear message from the candidate and his supporters on stage was that the City of Albany is in very serious trouble and we need someone serious to put things right.

First ward Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro gave an enthusiastic endorsement speech, in which he said that Mr. Ellis is the one member of the council “whose commitment to good government matches my own.” That would be a lot of commitment, and a powerful endorsement.

Dominick Calsolaro Endorses Corey Ellis Dominick Calsolaro Endorses Corey Ellis

Sad to say, as I reported on February 28, Dominick has declined to take City Hall for himself. He has wide name recognition in the City and a record to be proud of over his two terms as the progressive leader the of Common Council. In a fair contest Dominick would have kicked Jerry’s Butt. And Jerry knows it.

Mr. Ellis’ announcement speech was solid, a well considered short and to the point statement why the current administration has got to go, and why he is qualified to do a much better job. Here are some excerpts, first Mr. Ellis’ assessment of Jerry Jennings:

Too many opportunities have been squandered, even during a time of great economic expansion… For the past 16 years, we have seen a dramatic loss in our population and ever-increasing property taxes. We have seen entire neighborhoods given up on, given over to crime and demolition by neglect.

And in response to these problems, this administration has grown inward, more secretive, less transparent.

Instead of working proactively to develop new sources of revenue and create new opportunities for our residents, we’ve remained dependent on shrinking state aid and payments and from a landfill that’s almost full.

What is the plan? Where is the vision? Getting more handouts from the State? Building a convention center? Shall we re-capitalize Albany yet again?

For too long, the people have been shut out of the process. You have not been given access to information. You have been treated as though you can’t make a contribution.

That’s no way to lead this city.