Three hopefuls have lined up to be the next mayor of Glens Falls, New York. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the race features two first-time candidates.
The Warren County city of Glens Falls has been led by Mayor “Jack” Diamond since November 2008. Diamond, a Democrat, won the seat in a special election, and is currently serving his second full four-year term. He is stepping down December 31st due to term limits and is currently seeking a county supervisor position.
Three candidates are vying to take Diamond’s place.
City Councilor-at-large Dan Hall, a Democrat with nine years on the council, is running on platform that he calls “keeping the momentum going.”
“With that, I can just tell you that over the last eight or nine years since I’ve been on the council with the current mayor, Jack Diamond, we’ve had some great things happen in the City of Glens Falls,” said Hall.
Hall, who has also secured the Independence and Women's Equality Party lines, pointed to residential development, the securing of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization grant from the state, and the sale of the Glens Falls Civic Center to a coalition of local business owners through a lease-purchase agreement. The Coalition recently purchased the ECHL Adirondack Thunder hockey team and will keep it as an anchor tenant.
Hall added, “We’ve got, on the infrastructure side, we’ve been able to get some grants that have helped us with our storm water runoff, and just a lot of things that people don’t think are very attractive, but it’s helping us stay above the water, as per se."
Running on the Republican ticket is political newcomer Tim Guy, a military veteran who retired after 27 years as a police officer.
The first thing Guy cited as a reason for entering the race are the circumstances surrounding the sale of the Civic Center.
“I asked my local councilman why we are selling our Civic Center to the lowest bidder instead of the highest bidder, which I was taught to do when I was in school, and his answer to me was, and I’ll quote you, ‘Well it’s really none of your business what’s behind closed doors.’ And that just did not settle with me.”
Guy said he is not against the Coalition in any way.
“I think they’re very smart, very great business people. And they have taken advantage of our local government who seems to want to be in real estate instead of protecting the taxpayer,” said Guy.
Guy’s entry into the race came without prior endorsement from the city Republican committee. Under election law, anyone can seek a party line as long as they are enrolled in the party and collect the required number of signatures.
Also on the ballot is Green Party candidate Rich Cirino.
“Well, I decided to run because Glens Falls is my home. I’ve lived there since 2007, and my first employment was back there in ’81, so I’ve always had an affection for Glens Falls. And I want to work for my neighbors,” said Cirino.
Cirino, who is also running for office for the first time, says he only recently registered as a Green, but says the party resonates with his personal values.
Cirino said he doesn’t consider the other candidates as political opponents in the race for the open seat. He said he wants to practice good stewardship in the city.
“Everything needs a little bit of attention, especially in the neighborhoods,” said Cirno. “We’ve got streets, sidewalks. We’ve got freshwater, storm water, wastewater, sanitation. We’ve got transportation issues. We’ve got hospitality and tourism to look after and recreation to maintain.”
There are no primaries set for next month. The general election is Nov. 7th.