Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia has announced he will not seek re-election in the fall. Potential candidates were already waiting in the wings — now that Rosamilia's officially out of the race, WAMC takes a closer look at Troy politics.
Troy has been in the headlines a lot over the last three years, and not always for the right reason, despite its downtown renaissance. The city is still plagued by gang violence. Arson fires. Frozen water pipes. Questions surrounding the demolition of buildings. But there were bright moments: the time Senator Chuck Schumer came to the Collar City to assure the aging sea wall would be shored up; Mayor Rosamilia spearheading the drive to give Troy a Comprehensive Plan, and the way he steered use of Community Development Block Grant funding.
For all the drama and politics, the first-term Democrat says it was personal issues that factored into his decision, announced Monday, NOT to run for a second four-year term. "One that I made with my wife Peg." Rosamilia pledged he'll "remain very active in the community." "The remainder of my term will be dedicated solely to continuing to do the best for the city of Troy and our residents."
Rensselaer County Democratic Chairman Tom Wade: "Being mayor is more than a full-time job. It's a very demanding job that requires a lot of hours, and of course a lot of pressure. He's made a decision that's in the best interests of what he feels is his remaining years, and all of us who know him well understand he's one of the finest people you will ever meet in your life."
As the door opens wider for mayoral hopefuls to come forward, District 1 councilman Jim Gordon, who, in his words is "fiercely considering" a run for the city's top spot, puts to rest rumors that Rosamilia may not serve out his term. "I don't see what purpose that would serve. The election's in several months. We'll just deal with that as it comes. Let the man finish out the rest of his term. I think that's all that needs to be said about that."
It's long been expected Democratic City Council President Rodney Wiltshire would announce he's running for mayor, and official word may come before the week is out. He says residents have had it. "They're sick of the politics that have been played in the city and have resulted in many of the debacles over the past few years. Politics are at the root of that. So we will step outside of that. And certainly an independent candidate. I think the voters of the city are looking forward to something that is different."
Ernest Everett, another Democrat, already announced he's making a run. "First and foremost, I owe a debt of gratitude to the city of Troy for making me the person that I am today. Secondly, I provide a vision as well as a blueprint on moving Troy into the future. And thirdly, and most importantly I believe I possess the leadership that Troy needs in order to be a success."
Sounding more like a candidate, Rosamailia's foe in the 2011 election, Republican Carmella Mantello: "We'll be evaluating and assessing whether I throw my hat in the ring for mayor or not. I'm very passionate about our city and we need new leadership in our city."
Although some names had been tossed about, no Republican candidates have declared, but that's likely to change in the days and weeks to come.