Meet Frank

Frank Commisso Jr., 32, and his wife Brittany, own their home on Wellington Avenue in Albany’s Eagle Hill neighborhood. Frank and Brittany are loving parents of their two-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Frank is Director of Municipal Affairs at the Albany County Department of Audit and Control, where he submitted a government efficiency plan on behalf of Albany County and its cities, towns, villages, library districts and fire districts. The plan achieved nearly $2.5 million in property tax rebates for homeowners throughout the county. Prior to his service for Albany County, Frank worked as an auditor for the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, where he audited New York State health insurance programs.

Frank was elected to the Albany Common Council in 2009, and when he was sworn in, he was the youngest member to ever serve on the body. After only a few months on the Common Council, Frank had established himself as having a broad understanding of city finances and a command of financial best practices among local governments.

Frank graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2006 with a dual major in economics and government, and from The Albany Academies in 2002.

In 2013, Frank and Brittany rescued their best friend, a Collie-Shepherd mix named Bo.

 
 
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Frank's record on the Common Council

Shortly after taking office, Frank sponsored legislation to create a commission that recommended major not-for-profit entities in Albany make contributions to the city’s general fund. The results have been mixed. Some successes were achieved - both Albany Medical Center and SUNY Poly made contributions to the city in recent years - but much more needs to be done.

In 2011, Frank led an effort to have the city better control health insurance costs. In labor contracts negotiated shortly thereafter by the Jennings Administration, new cost-sharing provisions were instituted for new hires.

In 2012, Frank led an effort to reduce future debt issued for the Rapp Road Landfill. Frank pushed for a set-aside per ton tipped at the Rapp Road Landfill while others fought against any set-aside of funds. A compromise led to the creation of a $2 set-aside, which has been used to eliminate and/or reduce debt costs at the landfill in each year since.

In 2013, Frank fought for a fair redistricting process. When it became clear that other council members were attempting to gerrymander Albany’s ward lines by dividing SUNY dormitories (both vertically and horizontally), Frank stood up for student’s rights and called those members to task. A fair set of boundaries was adopted.

In 2014, Frank was critical of a proposed tax break promoted by Mayor Kathy Sheehan for SUNY Poly. Frank identified a conflict of interest whereby Albany’s IDA/CRC chairperson owned property that received benefits through STARTUP-NY while financing for SUNY Poly was under consideration. Within days of Frank’s critique, taxpayers received a far better deal, and an additional $2.4 million was provided for the City of Albany and Albany County.

In 2015, Frank achieved a new contract for Albany’s 9-1-1 dispatchers. Through collaboration with other council members, Frank steadily grew the number of co-sponsors on legislation awarding a contract to the dispatchers. Just days after Frank added a seventh co-sponsor ( Commisso, Bailey, Flynn, Kimbrough, Krasher, O’Brien and Robinson) to his legislation, the mayor capitulated and agreed to a new contract with Albany’s 9-1-1 dispatchers.

In 2016, Frank identified that City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar had illegally borrowed $6 million to cover payroll costs at the end of 2015. Faced with a lack of cash to pay city employees in December, the treasurer hid the borrowing from the Common Council and the public in an effort to conceal the embarrassing fact that the current administration squandered nearly all of the $20 million in reserves it inherited from the previous administration in less than two years.

 
 
Frank at the Salvation Army

Frank at the Salvation Army

 

Also in 2016, Frank alerted the public when the mayor attempted to unnecessarily issue $750,000 in debt to cover the cost of emergency demolitions - costs that were already paid and continue to be paid for by Albany County and the owners of demolished buildings. While the mayor’s allies on the Common Council moved ahead with the scheme and authorized the debt, they relented one meeting later and repealed the inappropriate debt authorization.

Most recently, Frank blocked the mayor’s $1 giveaway of the city-owned Palace Theater to the Palace Performing Arts Center, Inc. (PPAC). Mayor Sheehan sits on the board of the PPAC.

In addition to these achievements, Frank was first to identify that red-light cameras presented a tremendous fiscal risk to the city, voted for a prevailing wage on tax-exempt development projects that receive financing from the city, voted against charging children $85 per week to participate in recreation programs, voted against the Sheehan/Conti discriminatory trash fee numerous times, voted against two budgets during his first term and voted against three budgets proposed by the mayor during this term.

In his position as a member of the Common Council, Frank does not accept health benefits, longevity benefits or a buyout.