Albany Common Council member Frank Commisso Jr. recently tossed his hat in the ring in a bid to capture the Democratic Party’s mayoral nomination. The son of the County Legislature’s majority leader, Commisso joins a field already featuring Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and Green Party hopeful Dan Plaat. First-term Democratic incumbent Kathy Sheehan has not yet announced a reelection bid. Commisso sat down Wednesday with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.
The following questions and answers have been excerpted from the lengthy interview with Commisso. The text quotes are from his recent official announcement that he is running for Mayor.
BONUS AUDIO #1 Commisso on the City Charter : "We need to have a new city charter, and that's something I'd love to do by 2020, is to get a new city charter on the ballot in the general election in November, when there's a presidential election. A lot of people turn out."
BONUS AUDIO #2 Commisso addresses the annual city budget shortfall : "First you're going to need a city budget that people know is a budget that is an honest document, without gimmicks, and is a budget that reflects our values in the city of Albany. In addition to that, we're going to need a growing economy going forward. So over the next three, five, seven years we need an economy that can grow, and that's not happening right now either when you look at taxable property. So that combination there, has really led to a case where we have this tremendous budget deficit, and it seems that the folks in city hall are just totally incapable of addressing."
BONUS AUDIO #3 Commisso on Albany as a Democratic Party stronghold
BONUS AUDIO #4 Commisso on the direction of the Albany Democratic Party