Race for Albany mayor ramps up

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – We’re now just a few weeks away from the Albany Mayor Democratic Primary election.

A lifelong resident of Albany and 8-year Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin says she has a drive to help, her campaign slogan for the upcoming Democratic Primary for the Albany Mayoral race.

“Our downtown right now cannot compete with some other cities that are within a stone’s throw,” Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin said. “We have the new Capital Center. We have the State Capitol. We need to do more to make sure that our downtown is bustling.”

McLaughlin says many she talks to in the city are also concerned about affordable housing and she plans to make it her top priority.

“Is Albany affordable for you? If you’re that single parent that has two or three children can you find affordable rent and quality housing?”

The second Democratic candidate for mayor Frank Commisso Jr. is a current Albany Common Council member, who says Albany needs a more open and honest approach to its financial problems.

“I think we offer a more accessible city hall. I think we offer sounder budgeting.”

Commisso cites Albany’s red light camera program that he says failed to provide a source of revenue that was factored into the budget.

“We would actually go have police officers that we invest significant dollars in as tax payers go out there and conduct traffic enforcement. We would end that red light camera program.”

Current Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan also running for re-election says the red light cameras have improved safety.

“It didn’t generate as much revenue as we had initially anticipated but overall the program has been a success and we knew that that was not going to be long term revenue for the city.”

Mayor Sheehan says she’s already implementing plans for more affordable housing, including those who don’t qualify for public housing but still can’t afford rent.

“We’re working with developers to identify whether they can build into their development plans housing that is affordable to people at 80 or 90 or 120 percent of area median income.”

“People want to have a government that has a balanced budget and is affordable for people to live in,” Commisso said.

Vacant buildings another issue all candidates say they’re dedicated to.

“We have funding now in place that we’re provided grant incentives to take these vacant buildings and rehabilitate them,” Mayor Sheehan said.

Primary Election Day is September 12th for this race. If you have not registered to vote yet, there’s still time. Learn how to register to vote.

Green Party Candidate Dan Plaat and Marlon Anderson have also announced their intentions to run in the Albany Mayoral Race.

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