The Next Mayor Of Albany

November 24, 2008

The Next Mayor Of Albany

The blogger asks a rude question, hoping to find
out who wants to run the City

*UPDATE* The Hearst Times Union claims that Mayor Jennings is launching his reelection campaign, but all The Mayor is doing is holding a fundraiser. He has not announced.

You may think that the elections are over. But next year here in the City of Albany, The Mayor and the entire Common Council are all up for reelection along with several other citywide positions. If you carefully read the back pages of the local newspapers and listen to the political chatter around town then you don’t need to be told that the 2009 races have already begun.

Mayor Jerry Jennings and his loyal minions are exhibiting signs of nervousness. We are seeing Common Council members, who have never shown any signs of life other than voting as The Mayor tells them to, are suddenly attracting attention in the local media. “See? We ARE alive after all!” It’s almost as if some of these elected representatives are actually representing their constituents.

The Mayor, you see, is very aware that out here in the wilderness, beyond the bogus security checkpoint at the door of City Hall, there are some very serious people who are plotting His overthrow. And the voters in Albany, like voters everywhere, are dissatisfied with the usual incompetence and are ready for change.

Mayor Jennings Mayor Jennings

The big topic of conversation around town is whether Mayor Jennings will run for another term or not. Is The Mayor burning his bridges by spending the City into oblivion so He can go out with a bang, which is what His predecessor Thomas Whalen did ? Or is He spending our money like crazy to prepare for the reelection of Himself and His minions? Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

Perhaps He Himself doesn’t know yet. My thought is that He is waiting to see what sort of person is going to announce a run against Him and how much money that person has. Jennings has a sputtering but still functioning political machine at his disposal, and he is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Plus, he’s the incumbent. He doesn’t need to be first to signal his intentions.

But listening to Him at the opening of the Neighborhoods Work conference at First Lutheran Church this past Saturday morning, He plunged right into a commentary about the City of Albany’s financial condition. Jerry Jennings sure sounded like He planned to stick around.

“Things are only going to get worse,” He said. “We are going to have to make some tough decisions. There is a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s come up with solutions.” The Mayor then explained at length to the auditorium full of neighborhood activists that the public school system is the cause of most of the City of Albany’s problems.

Jennings knows perfectly well that anyone who wants to run for Mayor had better announce soon if they are serious. Like, in the next few weeks, certainly no later than the end of this year. Mark my words, folks.

The other big conversational topic around town is who has enough stature to run against The Mayor and win. In my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of other people there is only one person. My own first ward common council member, Dominick Calsolaro.

Dominick Calsolaro: Albany's Next Mayor? Dominick Calsolaro: Albany’s Next Mayor?

Will he run? The other day I asked Dominick, “Do you want to be mayor?”

He threw his head back on his shoulder and rolled his eyes. “Do I want to be mayor? I don’t know if I do. But somebody has to do the job so I might have to run.” He also indicated that he has to consult some more with his family.

My impression is that Dominick doesn’t know yet either. Like the current mayor is doing, he is waiting as long as he can before making a time consuming life churning commitment. But he indicated that he knows perfectly well that if he wants to run, he can’t wait much longer to announce.

Meanwhile, I’m hearing escalating rumors that Common Council President Shawn Morris is about ready to announce her own run for mayor. Word is that she is busily preparing an organizing committee, lining up funding sources, etc. All this is supposed to be secret, of course, but such doings are necessarily public and thus hard to hide.

The other day I sent an email to Ms. Morris titled, “Shawn – Quick Question, Please.” My inquiry was brief: “Are you planning to run for mayor? The rumors are intensifying, you know.” Here is her entire reply:

That’s neither a quick question, nor one that can receive a quick answer.