Why Frank's Running For Mayor
It’s becoming clear to many residents that the City of Albany is headed in the wrong direction and needs a change of leadership. Albany is less affordable for seniors, working families and small-business owners that struggle to pay property taxes, fees and fines. Tenants in Albany have endured large rent increases and our municipal workers no longer feel valued.
Kathy Sheehan became Mayor of Albany in January 2014 after serving four years as City Treasurer. Since then:
Albany’s reserves were depleted by $15 million (audited) during the Sheehan Administration’s first two years in office, resulting in a credit-rating downgrade with a negative outlook.
The Sheehan Administration implemented a red-light camera program that was budgeted to generate $3.9 million in revenue over its first two years in operation. The city has yet to receive a cent. All fine revenue generated by this program has been paid to a Massachusetts-based vendor.
To generate revenue, the Sheehan Administration and its self-proclaimed “progressive” allies on the Albany Common Council imposed a trash fee on renters – many of whom are working families, seniors or young professionals already struggling to live in an increasingly unaffordable city.
The Sheehan Administration has failed to develop a responsible economic development strategy while the city’s homeowners and small business owners continue to pay among the highest property taxes in the country. Instead, an unfettered system of corporate welfare has been established. Millions of dollars in property, sales and mortgage-recording tax breaks have been provided to developers, and in addition to those tax breaks, the Sheehan Administration is most recently attempting to artificially depress assessments (1475 Washington Avenue) for newly-constructed luxury student housing.
As the former treasurer, Mayor Sheehan should have understood the challenges Albany faces. But instead of working to address them, the Mayor kicked the can down the road and left Albany’s financial future – its 2017 Budget - in the hands of state leaders. This isn’t the kind of leadership that Mayor Sheehan promised she would deliver. This isn’t effective leadership. That’s why we need a new mayor.
Born, raised and married here in Albany, Frank Commisso Jr. has the competency and integrity to turn our city around. During his time on the Albany Common Council, Frank has been a leader by identifying irresponsible budgets, new debt and giveaways that will cost Albany taxpayers millions of dollars. Frank has presented real solutions to the city’s financial challenges, such as promoting shared services with the county, eliminating the city’s system of corporate welfare and receiving fair-market value for city assets like the Palace Theater.
As Mayor, Frank will implement solutions that benefit all residents. Three significant components of Frank’s plan include:
Imposing a cap on executive and management salaries at $99,995. Such a cap can help to win back the trust of taxpayers and employees that have lost faith in Albany City Hall by demonstrating that we’re in this together.
Implementing a workforce succession plan that can close the structural deficit that will be left behind by the Sheehan Administration without layoffs of city employees.
Initiating an audit of the tax-exempt status of SUNY Poly. In 2018, all hands will need to be on deck to begin rebuilding Albany’s reserves to pre-Sheehan levels. This requires that the many private and profitable companies being sheltered under the tax-exempt status of SUNY Poly finally pay their fair share toward the cost of city services.
In 2017, Frank Commisso Jr. is offering voters a real plan to create a sustainable city budget and a fair economy. Over the next several months, Frank is committed to offering city residents an honest plan to put Albany back on the right track.