Mayor Kathy Sheehan

Patrick Garrett

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan marked her first year in office with her State of the City address Wednesday night. The speech mixed a review of 2014’s accomplishments and plans for this year.

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  Police in one Upstate New York city want to be able to access live red light cameras 24/7.The city wants capability to remotely monitor the cameras' live streams at all times.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Medical Center President and CEO James Barba have announced a new development project in the city.

New plans for the old LexisNexis site in North Albany: Albany Med plans to move 300 financial services and warehouse employees to the Broadway building.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan:  "They're bring 300 jobs downtown to a great area of the city that is seeing a lot of growth. They've decided to purchase property and voluntarily keep it on the tax rolls."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Four state lawmakers are proposing that all police cars in New York be retrofitted with bulletproof glass after two New York City officers were gunned down in their car Saturday.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The mayors of the tri-cities are on board of an initiative to try to keep the Half Moon replica ship docked locally on the Hudson River.

Built in 1989 by Dr. Andrew Hendricks, The Replica Ship The Half Moon is a working, full-scale model of the Dutch vessel noted explorer Henry Hudson sailed in 1609 when he discovered the river that bears his name.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Group lobbying to 'Rebuild NY Now' with state windfall funds brought its campaign to Albany Monday.  Rebuild NY Now is a coalition with a mission: to raise public awareness about the issues impacting New York State's infrastructure, with its eye on $5 billion - described as "unexpected cash" - a “windfall” of revenue from recent settlements against overseas banks to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

On deadline day, the Albany Common Council passed Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s 2015 budget last night. The proposed $176 million budget was approved by an 11-4 margin. But across the river, city councilors in Troy chose not to bring an amended spending plan to a vote last night.

Albany's budget comes with a 1.4 percent tax hike for taxpayers. It stays under the 2 percent cap, so homeowners will get a full rebate through Governor Cuomo’s tax cap initiative.

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The Albany Common Council passed Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s 2015 budget last night. The proposed $176 million budget was approved by an 11-4 margin after some stumbles last week when the Council tabled the vote. The meeting closed a $15 million budget deficit by making more than $5 million in recurring cuts. The mayor’s first budget was approved on deadline day.

Albany Budget Passes

Dec 1, 2014
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Tonight, the City of Albany Common Council passed Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s first city budget, a proposed $176 million budget for 2015.

“This is a fiscally responsible budget that controls taxes, prioritizes public safety, and invests in the future of all our neighborhoods,” Mayor Sheehan said, “and I’d like to thank the Common Council for working together and their overwhelming support of the budget.”

The budget was passed by an 11-4 margin.

In early October, the mayors of Albany and Troy released their 2015 budget proposals. The road from introduction to enactment has been a rocky one for both municipalities.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Albany Firefighters have overwhelmingly ratified an agreement its leadership negotiated with Mayor Kathy Sheehan that would maintain full-staffing and apparatus, including the South End-based Ladder 1. 

Firefighters Union president Bob Powers says his group worked cooperatively with the city to identify ways to recover costs for critical advance life support services and ensure minimum staffing levels across Albany.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

How do you make a city more just and equitable? Begin  with a "community conversation".

The Rescue Of Ladder 1

Oct 23, 2014
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

It is being hailed  as a "win-win" for citizens and government: the final curtain in Albany's "battle to save Ladder 1." 

In an effort to balance her 2015 budget, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan proposed shaving a million dollars in annual expenses by eliminating Ladder 1 from service in the South End, where it would be first responder to any oil train disaster. Firefighters and their union were up in arms.   "The South Station will remain open."   

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany firefighters, incensed over Mayor Kathy Sheehan's budget proposal that would eliminate Ladder 1, have kicked their public awareness campaign to save the company up a few notches.

On October 1st, Mayor Sheehan released her 2015 spending plan for the city. Her plans to shutter Ladder 1, located near the Port of Albany and neighborhoods bordering tracks used by "oil trains," did not go over well with firefighters.

The firefighters, who last year responded to more than 22,000 calls for help, fear taking Ladder 1 out of service will imperil the entire city.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

What some feared was the end of a 62-year tradition is having a new beginning. Hoffman's Playland, a suburban fixture that fell victim to development, is getting a new lease on life — in the heart of Albany’s gritty warehouse district. 

The first budget address of Kathy Sheehan's mayoral career was themed "Building a bridge to a stronger future."  Albany firefighters see that span as skipping over an entire neighborhood.

Both Mayor Sheehan and her appointed Fire Chief Warren Abriel were heckled and"booed" by firefighters when they announced the fire truck at Ladder 1 would be taken out of service during the budget presentation Wednesday.

Sheehan said " The South Station will remain open."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The mayors of Albany,  Schenectady and Troy released their 2015 budget proposals Wednesday. Tri-city residents are in for higher taxes. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Three days of public hearings on casinos planned for upstate New York began today in Albany County.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh has lost her bid to run for New York state Supreme Court in the 3rd Judicial District to the Democratic party-backed candidate, county legislator Justin Corcoran.

WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan today endorsed judicial delegates supporting Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh for state Supreme Court over the party-backed candidate, county legislator Justin Corcoran.

There is much at stake in the judicial delegates race in Tuesday’s primary: a 14-year term on the Supreme Court in the 3rd Judicial District, covering Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Sullivan and Schoharie counties.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

As established casinos across the Northeast close their doors or administer cost-cutting measures, New York is just getting into the game.  And although it won’t host a casino if its own, Albany has become a key player.

The mantra has been "jobs and the economy," and New York's capital is crossing its fingers, hoping for a windfall should a casino go up in nearby Rensselaer County.

Long before final word from the gaming commission, the casino siting process has local governments and residents taking positions and forming alliances to woo or shoo casino developers.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

  Albany city officials held a meeting Tuesday night, hearing residents' concerns after recent flash flooding. 

An August 5th storm dumped buckets of rain over a short timeframe, putting an unprecedented strain on infrastructure and flooding many low-lying and poor drainage areas of the city.

Residents in the 9th ward turned out at New Scotland Elementary School (formerly School 19) to air their flood grievances before Mayor Kathy Sheehan and water department representatives, who said they're working on the issues.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As upstate New York continues its ascent as a technological hub, Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering campus is now home to Tech Valley High. The cutting edge school is expected to become a blueprint as America's education system modernizes and tightens standards.

Tech Valley High had been ensconced in two different Rensselaer County locations. Wednesday marked the official ribbon-cutting for its new $8.5 million home at the NanoCollege, which is transitioning into SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

More than 30 U.S. big city mayors are vowing to fight growing income inequality in their hometowns.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted colleagues from other cities at Gracie Mansion. They pledged to push for higher wages, expanded pre-kindergarten programs and increased Internet access for poor neighborhoods.

Mayors Kathy Sheehan of Albany, Marty Walsh of Boston and  Rahm Emanuel of Chicago were among those at Monday's gathering.

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Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, a Democrat from Albany, introduced legislation back in the spring that would authorize the city to engage in a five-year demonstration program deploying automatic red light ticketing cameras at up to 20 intersections. City Police Chief Steve Krokoff and Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed on to the idea.

The city council voted 10-5 to pass a resolution in support of exploring the program.

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There have been several developments this week impacting oil trains, the subject of national and local debate.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday issued new proposed rules on tankers transporting oil including quickly phasing out the use of old DOT-111 rail cars for moving crude oil and other hazardous liquids. The rules would include new operational requirements to lower operating speeds and enhance braking capabilities for high-hazard flammable trains. 

Nano Deal Reconstituted

Jul 23, 2014
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Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Chief Executive Officer Alain Kaloyeros today announced a three-way financing agreement for the Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building currently under construction on the college’s Fuller Road campus.

The under-construction, $200 million ZEN building will house renewable energy and clean-tech research. It is designed to operate as a zero-energy building — hence ZEN — that generates its own power.

Nano Deal Evaporates

Jul 22, 2014
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Citing "misinformation in the media" that led to a "misunderstanding of the intent of the application," the Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering withdrew its application to the Albany County Industrial Development Agency for financing for a new building at the Washington Avenue complex. 

The under-construction $200 million ZEN building will house renewable energy and clean-tech research. It is designed to operate as a zero-energy building — or ZEN — that generates its own power. Although located in the Albany city limits, it will generate zero tax dollars.

Like so many other cities across the nation, Albany has had to deal with urban blight and aging infrastructure. When an old house along the city's storied Clinton Avenue crumbled, the mayor took immediate action.

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The financially-strapped city of Albany will be spared the bill for clean-up after a house collapse.

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