Search This Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2005



for taking action to curb illegal gun traffic and increase penalties for those who use guns to shoot police officers.

In 2006 Session expand upon the this legislation to provide the same increased penalties for those who use guns to shoot any citizen, as well  those who use guns in robberies and home invasions.

It was heartening  to hear Governor Pataki's announcement , today, that funds were being allocated for increased police efforts to curb illegal gun trade and disarm criminals; and that State Police were being deployed to assist local police, in this effort,  in high gun violence communities (like Albany).

Don't forget disarming gangs.

Congrats to Mayor Jennings and Chief Tuffey on stepped up Operation Impact in Albany.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to all.                                          J P Sullivan




Monday, December 19, 2005



Wednesday, Dec. 21 in Albany.  Proposed legislation to curb illegal guns, reinstitute death penalty for killing police officers.   Good moves, but not enough!

Use of guns, illegal or legal, to commit crimes including home invasions, robberies and violence is the problem. Killing or intentionally wounding anyone with gun needs to be met with severe penalties, sending a clear message to criminals, that there is zero tolerance in this city and state for these uses, and abuses, of guns.

Right now it is open season on law abiding citizens in Albany and elsewhere in New York State. The violent  crminals rule the streets . People are not safe on the streets or in there homes from these gun toting predators.

What to do?

1) greatly increase penalties for anyone using a gun  to perpetrate violence or death on another, to commit a crime including: robbery and home invasion.

2. reinstitute the death penalty for anyone who kills another with a gun intentionally.

3. provide funding to a) hire more police, particularly neighborhood foot patrols, b)  step up Operation Impact to disarm criminals and gangs in urban areas and c) to form, train and equip citizen neighborhood auxiliaries to supplement local police and fire fighters in times of  emergencies, disasters and terror attacks.

Set aside the intense partisanship that pervades government, at all levels, today, and do what is needed, and best, for the people.  Comprehensive action trumps piecemeal efforts every time. Time is short. Act now, while you have the chance.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy, Productive, Healthy New Year to all.











Best wishes to Albany's new Police Chief, James Tuffey. Good move by Mayor Jennings.

First order of business: install plexi glass windows in Mayor's home.

Next:   *  Sweep streets of Albany clean of anti-social, violent , disorderly rabble.

             *  Disarm criminals and gangs, who are eventual allies of foreign terrorists.

             *  Prepare a City Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates and prepares to  prevent/respond to the kinds of natural and man made disasters and terrorists attacks that may befall Albany in the days ahead.

Jim Tuffey with his 20 years experience with the APD and his service as SEMO Director for NYS, is the right man for the job, at the right time.





Wednesday, December 7, 2005



The 2005 city elections are history. I am over the disappointment and back in the saddle, with renewed determination.

There is much work to be done. No rest for the weary and the wicked.

1. On the City level, Jerry Jennings needs all the help, encouragement and cooperation to address the priority issues facing us:   * public safety/crime

                   * fixing the failing city schools

                   * creating a City Emergency/Disaster Plan

                   * creating a City Comprehensive Land Use Master plan and revised zoning code.

I will do all that I can to support Jerry Jennings and guide him to make the right choices and moves for the benefit of all city residents. He can count on me.


Nothing has changed. Jerry is still the Mayor. The Democratic Party in Albany is divided. The Lib-Dem -WFP Coalition made strides toward its goal of controlling city government, with the election of Morris as Council President and  the election or reelection of a number of Common Council Members.

The Albany Common Council remains a divided, ineffective, dysfunctional body as evidenced by the  current charade in progress over the rezoning of a 3.5 acre parcel on Holland Ave as "highway commercial" to allow construction of a big box store. A vote is scheduled for Dec 19. Christmastime and Hanukkah. So, what else is new, Standard Common Council practice for dealing with controversal issues.

Shawn Morris should demonstrate her leadership ability by:

1. as sponsor of the rezoning measure, withdrawing it from consideration ( at least until the new Council is seated  after January 1st.)

   Under no circumstances should they be let off the hook on this issue, nor should a lame duck Council with a number of retiring members be allowed to make such a crucial rezoning decision.

I will be watching for a press conference with Morris and the  WFP candidates and Party Leaders announcing the withdrawl of the Morris rezoning bill, before the Dec 19 meeting, and reaffirming the WFP Pre-Election Pledge opposing construction of big box stores in the City of Albany.

2. As Common Council President Elect, Morris should pledge to unite the Common Council and work with Mayor Jerry Jennings for the benefit of all the people of the City of Albany. Put aside internal divisiveness and political power struggle within the Democratic Party in Albany and focus on the 4 issues enumerated above.

3. Assuring the Mayor and people of this City that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (for whom her husband works) will play no role in the internal governmental affairs of the City of Albany.

The  Council Members who work for the State Assembly and those elected or relected with WFP Endorsement should join  Morris in  1,2 AND 3 above.

The Lone Ranger Blog will continue as a source of commentary on City of Albany politics and neighborhood issues.

I shall breathe renewed life and purpose into the City Republican Committee:

  see website/blog:   and

I shall improve the effectiveness of the Buckingham Pond/Crestwood Neighborhood Association:

  see website/blog 

Anyone who cares, can and should, consult this and those blog/websites periodically for latest news, views and activities.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and a Happy, Blessed, Safe, Healthy, Productive New Year to all.

                                                                          Joe Sullivan








Tuesday, November 8, 2005


Campaign 2005 in the City of Albany is now a footnote in history -if that.

I thank the enrolled Republicans who signed my designating petition allowing me to participate in this campaign as the Republican candidate for Mayor of Albany and I thank those who voted for me November 8. Your trust and confidence is sincerely appreciated.

Thanks to my running mates: Nacer, John, Joe, Ernest, Tim and David. You stood for something in the face of overwhelming odds of a lemming-like mindset in a sea of apathy.

Thanks to WAMC Radio for the fairest and most in depth coverage over the span of the campaign. Your initial interviews with the four Albany, mayoral candidates, done in the past summer, remained as links available to any interested voter, right up to election day.

Thanks to Metroland for a good start with questions presented to each of the mayoral candidates to which their unedited responses were published, and maintained on a link for the duration of the campaign.Unfortunately, Metroland lost all semblence of fairness and objectivity when making endorsements. The Rick Marshall interview was fine.

As for the Times Union, get out of the endorsement game. Just give the voters the information they need to make informed choices on election day, preferably in the candidates' own words. Your voters guide was a step in the right direction, but it was too little too late.

Paul Vandenburg (WROW) and Andrew Wilkow (WGY) provided some interview time early on in the campaign. Thank you.

Tv 9, 10, 13 and Fox 23 provided some great coverage in the waning days of the campaign. For this I thank you. It was great theatre and of human interest. However, it could not overcome months of pronouncements by media reporters, news anchors, and talk show hosts telling voters that Albany is a one party town and the November election  was decided in the September Democratic Primary. Such pronouncements only served to drive down November voter turnouts of an already apathetic electorate, that is without hope, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Thanks to AOL Journals for providing me with this Blog, where I could express my thoughts and positions. Unfortunately, the local media never let the voters know of my blog's existence -nonetheless, it was visited  about 1,400 times since March. It stands as a record of my campaign and the priority issues which I addressed clearly, and concisely.

Thanks to (DIA) for allowing me to post my diaries and comments, unedited. I enjoyed some of the exchanges with DIA readers/posters. Unfortunately, the general public was largely unaware of DIA because local media did not publicize the site.

Now, of course, there are also a fairly large number of Albany residents who do not have computer access to the internet. Also, a fairly large number who do, but, who don't bother to read blogs.


Congratulations to Jerry Jennings. You are a personable guy, who does the best he can. A win is a win. I am frankly relieved that is is you, not me. who will have the responsibility of leading Albany through the difficult times that lie ahead.

As I watched your victory speech, I could see in your face that you knew this was not a mandate for politics as usual.

The turnout was pathetic. You won a November election with not many more votes than you received in the September Democratic Primary. Yet, every one of those votes was hard won and literally dragged to the polls.

Being Mayor of the City of Albany, where the vast majority of eligible voters don't even bother to go to the polls- is a cause for concern.

The inescapable conclusion is that The City of Albany has a bleak future.

When the sun rises, the morning after election, the sober reality remains:

1. Albany has a serious crime/violence problem that will only get worse. Failure to disarm the gangs and criminals immediately, and to clear the streets of hostile, anti-social actors will lead to disaster. It is only a matter of time until these domestic terrorists ally with the foreign terrorists who will supply them with drugs, money and weapons. It not inconceivable that it will not be long, until Albany is afire like Paris and other European cities.

Dealing with this public safety priority , aggressively and effectively, now is your greatest challenge.

You lost your bid to control the school board. The failing city schools will continue to decline. City voters can expect another, business as usual high school construction bond act vote next May. There won't be a return to K-8 neighborhood schools which are best for kids, parents and neighborhoods.

Your rivals in the liberal Democratic-WFP Coalition have won the Common Council Presidency and a number of Council seats. You can look forward to more the the same political divisiveness, from within your own party,that has plagued you for the past 12 years, and rendered the Common Council a dysfunctional, ineffective body

Shawn Morris' husband works for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who will now call the shots on the Albany Common Council.

If this isn't bad enough : Albany does not have a viable Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates and prepares to cope with natural and man-made disasters and terrorist attacks that may come our way in the days ahead.

Nor, does Albany have a Comprehensive City Land Use Master Plan and Revised Zoning Code. Piecemeal urban renewal projects ,like Park South, are not the answer. The blight and blighters only shift to another neighborhood.

Mayor Jennings, set aside your capital projects including (1) the 7 mill amphitheatre, (2) the 235 plus mill downtown convention center and (3) privitization of the Harriman Office Campus - and reallocate any of the avialable funds to: (1) Expanding the City Police force, so that cops walk beats in every city neighborhood (2) build more downtown housing (3) create a city mass transit/light rail system that will get the speeding, air polluting commuter vehicle traffic off neighborhood residential streets, (4) prepare a City Emergency/Disaster Plan and (5) prepare a Comprehensive City Land Use Master Plan/Revised Zoning Code that will enhance neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life.

Best wishes for success to you, the Common Council and the people of the City of Albany.

This is the end of the political/neighborhood trail for me.

                                                                J P Sullivan























Thursday, October 13, 2005



Halloween and November 8 are just around the corner. Trick or Treat?

Voter turnout will likely be very low. At least, that is what the Mayor and Common Council incumbents are hoping.

The people feel secure in their homes. They don't seem to mind the violence or gunfire in the streets. The unsolved arsons are forgotten.

 Disorderly, failing city schools, violence in the schools, lack of a safe environment conducive to learning, lack of K-8 neighborhood schools, and annual property tax increases to support city schools and pay the long term debt on magnet schools and the ill-conceived school facilities construction bond act, use of a lottery system to gamble with the educational futures of the children - none of this seems to matter much to the senior citizens who make up a large block of the partisan, partyline voters because they don't have any kids in school. Besides, many are glad that they are nearing departure from this life and are looking forward to the peace that will bring them. The only ones that are concerned about these issues are the families with school age children. Those, that can, move out of Albany when their kids complete grade 5. Those, who are left behind are pawns of the system.

9-11, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes -they are terrible things that happen somewhere else. Albany is safe from natural and man-made disasters and terrorist attacks. So, the Mayor and Common Council haven't bothered to prepare a City Emergency/Disaster Plan that anticipates what could happen here, and how we might survive whatever may befall us in the days ahead.

The people know that the city water supply is secure from disasters and terrorist attacks. The sewer treatment system too. An earthquake would never happen here, destroying the aging city water and sewer infrastructure rendering the city unliveable and prone to destruction by raging fires.

But, just in case, the Mayor and Common Council do have a plan - winters in Albany bring lots of rain and snow.

Sorry, you still will have to pay the 15-30 percent increase in water and sewer rates. The bills will be in the mail after November 8 -Election Day.

What are the chances that, in the dead of an Albany winter, we would suffer a disaster or terrorist attacks that would leave us without water, food, gasoline, home heating oil, electricity and all the other things we take for granted? What are the chances of the Downtown elevated highway system collapsing like a row of dominos in a quake? The bridges and highway system? Nah. Never happen. Just ask Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.

Not to worry, you'll be ok. The Mayor and Common Council have a plan. Bags of coal and turkeys will be dropped off on your doorsteps to help you along. However, you will only get the turkeys on Election Day.

Never mind all the chaos and disorder in the streets outside your homes. No, it's not the  armed gangs and criminals, the Mayor and Common Council failed to disarm. It is not they who are running amok through the neighborhoods pillaging and plundering - it is the disenfranchised citizenry who failed to anticipate and prepare for this day. They were too dependent upon the government. But, now they have to fend for themselves.

Just double bolt your door and pile some furniture against it. Fire a few rounds, into the air, from your 30/30 or 357 magnum. They will get the idea, and leave you alone - until your ammo runs out.

Don't try to call 911 because all systems are down, including cell towers. Won't matter anyway, the police and firemen, most of whom live outside of Albany, won't be able to get into down. Besides, they will be taking care of their own families.

No free rides to the ER for medical treatment. Besides the hospitals might not even be there. Hope you know first aid.

Forget about running over to your nearby church, synagogue or school. They didn't anticipate and prepare either. Their kitchens are bare. No stored food and water. No blankets. No emergency generators and fuel to provide electricity and heat. Of course, as you know, do not underestimate the power of prayer.

You are on your own. Hopefully, you had the foresight to prepare.

Regardless of what happens, the mail will get through. You will get your city and school property tax bills . They will never go down, even if your home and property are worthess.

The revaluation/reassessment will take place sometime after the November 8 General Election. Your property values are sure to skyrocket, because they will be based on this year's outrageous comparable sales in an overinflated housing market.

Not to worry, it really isn't a huge property tax increase. Just ask the Mayor or Common Council. The Mayor will tell you to be glad that your house was once worth so much.

Just shut up and pay your city and school property taxes. Stop your whining. You know the Mayor doesn't like people who complain or run Albany down. Anyway, this is HIS city - NOT yours.

He and the Common Council hope you don't bother to go to the polls and vote on November 8. Then they, and their small band of partisan, partyline voters (about 10,000 in number) ,who benefit from the status quo, will remain in power. The rest of the 45,000 Albany voters (more than half of whom don't go to the polls anyway) can go whistle dixie -even if that is not politically correct in this day and age.

In conclusion. Don't bother to become informed or to vote. Don't demand that the local media provide you with the information to permit you to cast informed votes on November 8. They already told you that the election was decided with the September 13 Democratic Primary results.

Of course, you believe that, and you are resigned to your fate. I hope you are happy and confident that government will take care of you in any event.

On November 8 just stay home and watch Survivor on your telly's and never let it cross your minds, that one day, you and your loved ones may be in the same situation, except that it will be for real.

                                                    J P Sullivan

PS: this was not written by Mark Dunlea - I can think and   write on my own.




Wednesday, October 5, 2005



1. OPERATION IMPACT has not been stepped up to disarm criminals and gangs, and to clear the streets of anti-social individuals and groups. Law abiding citizens are not safe in their homes or on the streets anywhere in Albany.


   A) No Home Rule Request from the Common Council to the State Legislature calling for:

     a1) disbanding the City School District/School Board and vesting authority/accountability for the city schools with the Mayor and Common Council,

     a2) shifting school budget votes to November elections, with results binding - no reruns,

     a3) shifting public school funding from the property to sales/income taxes. so that all pay their fair share of public school support.

    B) No Action Locally to:

     b1) return to a K-8 neighborhood city school system, which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods,

    b2) require school uniforms and ban gang colors/insignia,

    b3) remove unruly, violent students from classrooms, so that serious students may enjoy a safe environment conducive to learning,

    b4)implement and enforce a strict student conduct code in schools, on streets and on buses.

PLAN AND REVISED CITY ZONING CODE, with the participation, advice and consent of residents of city neighborhoods.

      Piece-meal urban renewal projects like Park South and Mid-Town only shift the blight and crime to Uptown neighborhoods.

      The proper way to redevelop the neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life in the City of Albany is to secure the Uptown neighborhoods and work back through Mid and Downtown. This approach will contain the transfer of blight and crime and assure the the property tax paying Uptown neighborhoods continue to provide the revenue needed to support city services and city schools. Eventually, all neighborhoods can be redeveloped and improved so that they pay their fair share of support for city services and city schools.


 a) the 7 million dollar plus amphitheater for the Corning Preserve,

 b) the 235 million dollar plus Downtown Convention Center,

 c) privatizing the Harriman State Office Campus and relocating state workers to an already congested downtown where adequate parking and housing are not available.





 a) The derelict former gas station at Whitehall and New Scotland has not been razed and replaced with the Dan O'Connell Memorial Pocket Park,

 b) The Dan O'Connell Senior Housing/Neighborhood CommunityCenter has not been built on the adjacent 8-10 acres.

 c)  The 23 acre Neighborhood Green Belt bordered by New Scotland Ave/Krum Kill Rd/Crescent Dr/NYSTW and Rte85 has not happened. The  City already owns the western 10 acre parcel. The 5 acre landlocked parcel is for sale by the owner who favors a green belt. This 5 acre parcel could be acquired by a NYS Parks Dept matching grant (With support of Gov Pataki). The remaining 7 acres could be acquired by means of a Transfer of Development Rights arrangement between the city and the owners.

 d) The 7.5 wooded, steep-sloped ravine, containing a tributary of the Normans Kill, two small wetlands, Indian camp sites/artifacts, and a natural habitat for wildlife and birds , could be set aside as a natural area and rezoned as such/ The city could compensate the owner through a Transfer of Development Right arrangement, whereby, the owner (also a developer) could build needed high rise housing Downtown. The woodlands should not be removed from the steep slopes because this will generate flooding in the ravine and downstream residential areas of North Bethlehem. The trees also serve as a buffer to adjacent Thruway traffic noise as well as combatting air pollution to protect neighboring residential areas of the 14th and 15th wards. This is more important because of plans to add a third lane to the Thruway.

 e) Buckingham Pond Park is in great need of improvement. The pond and park are in dismal shape. The holding pond at Davis and Berkshire is a hazard as well as polluted with lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and road salt which drain into the main pond. The main pond is dying as a result. Flocks of ducks and geese, fed by unwitting individuals who feed them (in summer only) are polluting the shore area with excrement, and disease organisms. This is very serious for pets and humans with the likely arrival of a bird flu epidemic from Asia.





THANK YOU                                              Joseph Patrick Sullivan



No one will call. It is your duty to get to the polls and cast informed votes.












Monday, October 3, 2005



Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, and Third President.

Jefferson was an aristocratic, slave owning  Southern Planter who envisioned an agrarian society of small farmers as the basis for a representative democracy.

Ironically, Jefferson was leader of the Democratic-Republican Party and his appeal was to small farmers, working men, and small shop keepers.

His greatest legacy , as President, is  the Lousiana Purchase of 1803 , when hundreds of thousands of square miles West of the Mississippi River were added to the new nation including the prairies which are now America's grain breadbasket. Again, as an irony, Jefferson and Congress both acted unconstitutionally in purchasing Louisiana. But, the public, hungry for land, supported it.

Jefferson advocated a landed society of educated voters and was a  staunch supporter of free speech and newspapers as ways of educating the electorate.

As the years passed the Democratic-Republican Party split to become the two major parties of U.S. politics. Democrats became the party of  blue collar workers , ethnics and Southerners. Republicans became the party of the wealthy and business interests. Each party had a recognizable philosophy.

In Albany, in the early 1900's the Republican Machine of Billy Barnes firmly controlled local politics. It was a party run by Yankee aristocrats.

Dan O'Connell's father and grandfather were Republicans. They were farmers and saloon keepers. To be a saloon keeper, then, as now, required playing ball with the party in power.

Dan O'Connell and his brothers became Democrats because there was little opportunity for them to rise in politics in an aristocratic Republican Party. Dan built a viable political base from among the Irish and German ethnics of Albany's South End. Dan was a great leader and looked out for the ordinary people. This is the basis of the undying loyalty of so many Albany Democrats today.

However, what these partyline voters are unable, or unwilling, to admit, is that the Democratic Party of Dan O'Connell is no more.

When we look at the Democratic and Republican Parties, today, the inescapable conclusion is that there is very little difference between them. Both are far removed from the ordinary people.

There are no Democrats or Republicans at the upper levels of our society. They mingle together, make their deals of mutual benefit , while the most partisan adherehents to party labels are those lowest on the food chain.

Today, what we have is a two party system; those in power and those who seek to be in power. They call themselves by different names, at different times and in different places. There are some minor parties but they are only adjuncts of the party in power, in a particular place and time.

On a national level we have a "Republican" President who has failed to secure our borders and sea ports leaving the country open for future devestating terrorist attacks. He is unwilling or unable to halt a wave of illegal immigration into the U.S. which threatens to swamp Lifeboat America in a sea Third World poverty.

On a local level, we have a "Democratic" Mayor who can not , or will not,  disarm the criminals and gangs and make our homes and streets safe. Nor, can that Mayor (or Common Council -also all "Democrats") provide the leadership necessary to fix the failing Albany School System.  They are kept in office by a shrinking block of partyline, lemming like voters who view themselves as "loyal Democrats".  Loyal to what? Can they truthfully look at the last 12 years of the current administration and say that they like what they see in Albany?

Look at the record. Each election the number of people voting, grows smaller and smaller. The representative democracy envisioned by Jefferson is in danger. So, are each and every one of us.

The newspapers which Jefferson viewed as essential to creation of an informed electorate necessary to sustain this representative democracy have failed in their respionsiblity to inform the voters. Today, we get opinions, and few facts, or, no coverage at all.

The media has become a willing participant in creating the best government and judiciary that money can buy.

Those who fail to make the effort to become informed and to cast informed votes have let it happen.

We are nearing the end time of the American experiment in representative democracy that began with men like Thomas Jefferson.

Neither Jefferson,nor the other Founding Fathers,  ever foresaw the nation and world that we live in today. They can't help us. We must help ourselves or perish.

Let us begin, here in Albany, November 8, to create a city where all can live in safety, where children can be educated in K-8 neighborhood schools, where we anticipate and prepare to cope with emergencies, natural and man-made disasters, and terrorist attacks that may  befall us in the days ahead, where we restore our neighborhoods, build more and better downtown housing, and where we develop a comprehensive citywide land use master planand zoning code that will enable Albany to become a liveable city in the 21st Century.

When you go to vote, November 8th, vote with your thumbs.  VOTE  SULLIVAN    FOR MAYOR   ROW A.


Monday, September 26, 2005



The storm ravaged Gulf Coast and the suffering of the people there seem like a made for tv drama. This past Sunday's TU devoted much space to photos and stories from the Gulf Coast.

As local residents have watched and listened to or read about the hurricane disaster and the resulting unavailability of water, food, fuel and all the things we take for granted will always be there for us - has it crossed their minds what could happen here in Albany if disaster and /or terror attacks were to occur in the dead of winter?

Are our local governments and state government ready to respond to any number of scenarios? Are our churches, synagogues, schools and hospitals?  Do local governments and the state have mutual aid plans ready to implement?  Are food stores, pharmacies, medical providers, distributors, utilities, transportation agencies ready? Are individuals and households prepared to survive on their own?

With criminals and gangs heavily armed, who will protect us against the violence, chaos, disorder, pillaging and plundering likely to follow a major disaster or terror attack locally?

Campaign 2005 is not your ordinary politics as usual event. 9-11 changed all that. But the politicians and public are not willing or able to grasp this fact. We have to think and behave differently, if we are to survive what may come our way.

Alive at Five, First Night Celebration,  and the Tulip Festival , a 7 million dollar riverfront amphitheater and a 200 million dollar plus downtown convention center, redevelopment plans Park South, Midtown and Arbor Hill would instantly become irrelevant in a major disaster ot terror attack.

I am doing my best to prepare my family for any eventuality.  It is only fair to expect  our churches, synagogues, and schools to be doing the same. Do they have emergency supplies of water, food, fuel and electric generators on hand? Are they prepared to provide shelter to victims of a disaster or terror attack?

What plans have our Mayor and Common Council made? Let's hear them. Now.

Why is the local media not providing useful vital knowledge about what kinds of natural or man-made disasters or terror attacks might occur and what can , and should be done, to [prepare to survive such events?  Why is the media not investigating and reporting on the level of readiness of our local and state governments , our institutions and  all sectors of our economy?

Somehow, I get the nagging feeling that we are not prepared locally.

Only 41 days to Election Day.  Hopefully, the electorate will elect  a Mayor , Common Council, City Court Judge and County Sheriff who realize what can befall us, and who are able to articulate what needs to be done to prepare and who can provide the leadership that will be required to survive whatever may befall us in the days ahead.







Wednesday, September 14, 2005



The September 13 Primary has come and gone.

Goodbee did not prevail because: (1) he had no record of civic involvement in Albany for the past 20 years, (2) his campaign  lacked focus, (3) his message was weak, (4) the Working Families Party shunned him,(5) there was no infusion of George Soros cash and  (6)the African-American voters did not come out in sufficient numbers for Goodbee.

Best wishes to Archie Goodbee, a personable and well-spoken man who tried his best.

Jerry Jennings had the power and advantage of incumbency and received a significant amount of tv coverage, in the weeks immediately preceding the September 13, because of a spike in crime including several arsons and a bank robbery-hostage situation.

The  Pre-Primary Sunday Times Union endorsement of Jennings clinched it for Jerry. Primary turnout was about half that of the Joyce-Jennings 1993 Primary. Was the TU move calculated to ensure a low turnout?

A win is a win. Jerry righfully basked in the glow of the Tuesday Primary results. He won and his control of the Common Council is secure.

Jerry has rock star looks and persona, but that will not be enough to prevail in the November 8 General Election.


Contrary to Jerry's victory pronouncement,  and to the pronoumcements of talking heads and media pundits before and after the September 13 Primary, the November 8 General Election is not a sure thing for Jerry Jennings.

Why? Analyze this. Jerry's Primary vote total amounts to about 20 percent of the voters eligible to vote November 8. In other words 40, 000 plus, city voters did not vote for Jerry Jennings on September 13. If they come to the polls in large numbers, November 8, the election outcome may be very different.

Why? Jerry Jennings has had 12 years to make Albany a better place to live. This hasn't happened.  Albany has some urgent problems that have occurred, and /or worsened, on Jerry's watch. Now, Jerry has just 6 weeks to fix these problems:

First,   Albany residents are not safe in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, shopping places or on the streets anywhere in the city. Gun violence, arsons , school violence and disorderly conduct are on the rise.

The solution? A full scale deployment of law enforcement, utilizing Operation Impact, to disarm the criminals and gangs and clear the city streets of anti-social actors.It is essential to immediately disarm the criminals and gangs because they are the eventual allies of the foreign terrorists who are supplying drugs, money and weapons to these domestic terrorists.

Vest Firefighters with peace officer status. Arm them. Make ever fire station a neighborhood police substation.

Recruit and train  and equip civilian, neighborhood police and fire auxiliaries to supplement police and fire department regulars.

Second, The failing Albany City Schools must be fixed.  It is imperative that the schools offer a safe environment conducive to learning the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential for becoming productive members of society.

 A strict student conduct code in schools, on buses and in neighborhoods around schools, must be enforced. Require school uniforms to replace fashions and gang colors. Remove disorderly, disruptive students from classes. Place them in a boot camp type setting staffed by former military.

Return Albany to a K-8 Neighborhood School system which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods.

Press the Albany Common Council to send a Home Rule Request to the State Legislature: Amend State law to provide for  (1) shift school budget votes to November elections with votes binding, no reruns, (2) shift school funding from the property to sales/income taxes, so all pay their fair share of support for public schools, and (3) disband the Albany City School District/School Board, merge the school district with city government and make the Mayor and Common Council responsible and accountable for the city public schools.

Third, Albany needs to implement an Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan that truly secures the city water supply, sewer system and Port of Albany. Individuals, households, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, schools, health providers, food stores and distributors, utilities and the local transporation system are not prepared to deal with a major emergency, disaster or terrorists attack.

The recent tragic hurricane devestation of New Orleans illustrates how ill prepared government, at all levels, institutions and the citizenry are to cope with disaster. The looting, lawlessness and disorder will be sure to follow, if Albany suffers a disaster or terrorist attack. If multiple disasters, and/or terror attacks occur simultaneously, Albany would be on it's own. In turn, citizens would be on their own.

Therefore,the City Albany must prepare an Emergency /Disaster Plan that includes active readiness and preparation on the part of all city residents.

Scrap the plans for a 7 million dollar amphitheater at the Corning Preserve and a 200 million dollar plus convention center in Downtown Albany. 

Use those monies to provide for a truly effective Emergency/Disaster Plan, security of the Port of Albany , the city water supply and sewer system.

Build more and better downtown housing so commuters have the option of living near work.

Scrap plans to privatize the Harriman State Office Campus. It makes no sense to crowd more workers into an already crowded downtown with a  colonial  street pattern and inadequate parking.

Furthermore, stacking lots of workers in multistory glass office buildings in a congested downtown is inviting chaos in an age of terrorism.

For more: Go to Click on Election 2005. Scroll to Sullivan. Click on WAMC Radio Interview, Metroland Interview and Sullivan Platform, or explore earlier entries in this Sullivan Blog.

Want campaign reform? Term limits? A candidate with clear stands on issues vital to the future of Albany and all who call Albany home?

You have one!      VOTE   Joseph P. Sullivan for Albany Mayor

                                  Row A  Tuesday, November 8, 6 am - 9 pm


PS  Don't look for lawn signs blighting the cityscape, tons of literature litter dumped on your door step, or constant telephone calls bidding you to get your asses to the polls.

All you need to know will be posted right here.


It is your civic duty as an American.






Wednesday, September 7, 2005


Today is a fine, sunny warm day in late summer. Not a cloud in the blue sky. The kind of a day to savor and to Thank God for what we have - the harvests from the fields: red and green peppers, tomatoes, local melons, Paula Red apples, new potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, some Saranac Amber Lager. Now, aren't we living well. Yes. For now.

The Hurricane impact on New Orleans, the destruction, the chaos, the death and suffering, the civil disorder  and lack of preparedness on the part of  government, at every level,  on the part of schools, churches , and, most of all, on the part of the people themselves, should be a vivid lesson to all in Albany and the surrounding Capital District.

We had better be prepared for emergencies, natural and man-made disasters, and acts of terrorism .

The people of New Orleans were not. Nor, were their local governments. Nor were the state and federal governments.

You may be sure, the specter of New Orleans, and the lessons resulting, have not been lost on the terrorists who lie in wait to strike again.

Put aside Charter Reform, the empty lawn signs of candidates with no message, the media and mailing campaigns,  Alice Green in the dump, Jerry Jennings ' priorities of building a 7 million dollar amphitheatre at the Corning Preserve and a 200 plus million dollar convention center in Downtown Albany and Archie Goodbees' Crapstat proposals. 

The priorities are to (1) prepare for emergencies, disasters and terror attacks that will come our way. Anticipate what may happen, where and when. Be ready.

The Mayor and Common Council , incumbents and challengers, alike,  do not have emergency/disaster preparedness as a priority issue - which it is, and should be.

The ordinary people, the churches, synagogues,  mosques, temples, schools, medical facilities,health care providers,  food stores and distributors, transportation sector, utilities an suppliers of gasoline, home heating oil and natural gas, are not ready for a disaster or terror attack that could come when temperatures are well below freezing.

It is the priority task of our political leaders to call attention to this issue and to coordinate public and private sector preparations to deal with any eventuality.

Immediate steps must be taken, through Operation Impact, led by the Mayor and DA Soares, to disarm the criminals and gangs, now, before they ally themselves with foreign terrorists, and before we sufffer a disaster and have armed individuals and gangs roaming the city, pillaging and plundering.

Civil order, safe homes, streets, neighborhoods, schools and shopping places  are essential to the quality of life now; and are essential to be prepared for any emergency, disaster, or attack that may befall us.

For the individual, the lesson of New Orleans  is very clear. Do not depend on government to save you or your loved ones. You must save yourselves.

Every individual, household and the institutions in neighborhoods must make immediate emergency/disaster prepartions. Set aside water, food, fuel, batteries, flash lamps, radios and first aid kits. Devise individual and household disaster plans. Churches, synagogues, fire stations, schools should all make emergency preparations and be prepared to provide water, food, shelter, heat and other assistance.

You get my drift, but the people who aspire to be your leaders: the Mayor and Common Council, do not.

You will never be safe as long as they are in office. They have not learned the lesson of New Orleans, nor have they learned the lesson of 9-11. Sadly, neither have most of our neighbors.

In the event of multiple emergencies, disasters and terrorist attacks, occurring simultaneously, we would be on our own. There would be no outside assistance.











Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My Grandfather Michael J. O'Sullivan was born in Inchinteskin Townland , Eyeries Parish, Beara Peninsula, West Cork, Ireland in June 1873.

Mike emigrated to the mining camp of Butte, Montana in the late 19th Century, as had many of our relations. Mike wasn't without company. There were 1,268 Sullivans, all relations and nearly as many Harringtons (also relations) in Butte at that time. Many more were scattered about the Rocky Mountain mining camps in Montana, Colorado and Utah; and the desert mining camps of Nevada.

Mike was a tall man (6'3'') lean and hardy. He worked as a hammer and drill man in the hard rock mines, wielding a sledge hammer to drive the drill held by a partner. Terrible working conditions in the mines. Poor ventilation, no santitation, dangerous work far below the surface. In winter when temperatures dip to 30 or 40 below zero in Butte, Mike and his mates had to endure temperatures of 100 degrees, or more, above zero- a mile deep driving mine shafts. When they came off a 12 hour shift, the were soaked with sweat. As they emerged into the far below zero winter air, my father recalled seeing the men disappear in a vapor, before they tossed their uneaten lunches to the children on the Anaconda Road.

St Patrick's Cemetery, Butte ,is full of young Beara miners, row after a row, who died from fires, explosions, rock cave-ins and other mine accidents in their 20's and 30's. One old Beara miner, who returned to West Cork, said that men where cheaper than timbers in those Western mining camps.

The Beara boys did not live long lives like their relations back home. Quartz crystals from the mine dust shredded their lungs resulting in a premature, hard death from the "Miner's Con". The air was heavy with the fumes of lead and arsenic from the smelters.

Mike met, and married my Grandmother, Julia Harrington, in St Patrick's Church, Butte. Julia was from the Western (Allihies Parish) Beara. She had emigrated to Butte with her father Sean (A Buaile)  (Sean of the Field) a reference to an infamous field in Kilcatherine , Eyeries where the Harringtons and O Sullivans fought a battle over turf in the Famine times. Julia's brother's  Jeremiah, Daniel, Timothy and John went to Butte.

Her sister Mary and younger brother, Den, remained in the Western Parish. Den was raised on the Killaugh farm of my Grandmother's Uncle Paddy O'Sullivan (Sounish). There so many branches of the O'Sullivan Clan in Beara (23 in Eyeries Parish alone ) that they had nicknames to sort them out.  Sounish is Gaelic for "The Peaceful" . That nickname refers to our Ancester Owen who treatied with the English in the late 1500's and kept his lands.

The rest of the Clan fought the English and, most, were either killed or scattered to foreign lands after the fall of Dunboy castle (Castletownbere) in 1602. Some were transported to Barbados where they became slaves on the English sugar planations. Others were sailors, sea captains or mercenaries in the armies of France, Austria and England. Some even showed up in Northern New York in the French and Indian Wars.

 Back to Michael J. - After they were married in Butte, they went to the Cripple Creek Gold mining district  10, 000 feet up behind Pike's Peak in Colorado.

Their first born John and Mary Anne died as infants in an influenza epidemic. Uncles Rob, George and my father, Joe were born in Colorado. Rob in Cripple Creek, my father and George in Denver.

They were all caught up in the labor violence of the Cripple Creek mine wars. My Grandfather, Mike was an organizer for the Western Federation of Miners, who sought safer working conditions in the mines. The mine owners brought in scabs. Explosions and shootings followed. Army troops were brought in to restore order. Mike, and a 104 other Irish miners were rounded up and deported. Julia and the children went to Denver.

In 1907, Mike and family showed up in the Nevada gold camps of Tonopah and Goldfield. Aunt Liz was born there. I still have her birth certificate -a handwritten scrap of paper. She lived to 95, I knew her well.

More labor strife and violence in the mines. The Irish miners has to strip when they came off shift. The mine owners wanted to make sure that the miners weren't highgrading gold ore anywhere on or in their bodies. Needless the say, the Irish lads didn't stand for this. More strikes, explosions and shootings. More troops were called in to restore order.


This day in 1908, Mike died, at age 34, in the desert mining camp of Rhyolite, Nevada, at the edge of Death Valley where temperatures, this time of year hover well at 100 degrees or above.

Grandmother Julia was down with Typhoid, as were the children. My father, Joe, had Scarlet Fever. They weren't expected to live, but did.

My Grandfather's brother, Black Jim, who ran a saloon on the Anaconda Road, Butte,and Julia's brother,John, made the trek to Nevada. They brought Mike's body, Julia and the children back to Butte.

No welfare or social services or childcare programs then. People took care of their own!

Mike wasburied in St Patrick's Cemetery, ironically, the same week as Sean A Buaile (Julia's father and my GreatGrandfather). Sean died of the miner's con at 67 -rather old for a miners, because he had emigrated at  age 50.

Julia ran a boarding house for Irish miners, on the Anaconda Rd, a few doors down from Black Jim's saloon. Terrible air pollution from the mine stacks and smelters - a constant smog of lead and arsenic with copper dust.

The working conditions in the mines were still horrible. The young Irish miners were exploited by the mine owners.

My father told me there was a bottle under the bed of every young miner - a drop of the craether to help them rise up and do their work and to fall back to sleep when the shift was over.

Grandmother Julia decided enough was enough. Butte was not a place where a widow could raise three sons and a daughter. In 1913, she took the family back to Beara. She, Rob, George and Liz went to Killaugh to live on the farm of her Uncle Paddy Sounish.

Grandmother Julia became a nurse. She delivered most of the babies born in the Allihies Parish in the 1920's and 30's. No hospital. Julia would go to her patient's homes on a pony and trap. She is still fondly recalled by oldtimers, there, as Julia "the Big Nurse".

Paddy Sounish's farm is still there. Den's son Brendan, my cousin, raises dry stock on the same fields overlooking the wild Atlantic. that have been farmed by our family for centuries.

 My father was sent to work the Inchinteskin farm of his aging  Grandparents, (Mike's parents) because Mike and his six brothers had all emigrated.

My father's Grandparents were a pair. John was a very tall man, over 6'5''. Johanna (O'Sullivan (Shearhig)) was a hearty woman who dug potatoes with the men in the fields. Johanna came from Coulagh Ard (The High Field) just up Mishkish Mountain above Inchinteskin.

My father told me those were the best years of his life - even if his Grandmother was no one to cross, One day, when he was about 15, he drank about six bottles of stout and fell off the stone wall on his back. He heard his Grandmother calling him, but he couldn't rise. Suddenly, she appeared standing over him with a fireplace poker in his hand. He got the poker across his shin and bore the scar til they day he died. But, he never disobeyed his Grandmother agae

Black Jim brought his family back from Butte to the Inchinteskin farm. He built a fine house, but didn't live long after. Black Jim died in a Black and Tan raid. THey were the prisioners let out by the English to terrorize the Irish country people in the 1920's

So, here I am in Albany, with my thoughts. Grandfather Mike lies in a marked grave  in St Patrick's Cemetery, Butte, along with two of Black Jim's infants - John and Alice. Greatgrandfather Sean A Buiale lies nearby in an unmarked grave along with his sons Dan and Jerry. Dan's wife, and a cousin John Murphy - the latter 4 all died in their 20's.

They have plenty of company, lots of relations there. Our Lady of the Rockies , a huge statute erected on a nearby mountain, looks down on St Patrick's and Butte.

So, here I am in Albany today, with these thoughts. I  am proud of my Irish heritage and my Ancestors. They helped build America and they are the reason I am here, An American, today.

I am who and what I am because of them.









Tuesday, August 16, 2005



I have purposely not made a large number of entries on this blog.  I believe I have answered the fundamental questions that a voter would ask of a candidate.

If you aren't reading Democracy in Albany (DIA) (  you are missing out on the best interactive local political blog regarding Albany politics. Look at comments to a number of entries over the past several months, and you will recognize that I have been posting on DIA. I thank DIA for providing Albany voters with a site where they can become informed on the issues in Campaign 2005; and where voters and candidates can interact, exchanging views and information.

The majority of candidates, including incumbents and challengers have little or nothing to say - no message - no clear stands on the issues vital to the future of Albany and to each and every resident of this city.  Proof? The failure of those candidates to post and interact on DIA.

Metroland has done a public service by presenting the results of interviews with candidates for the various public offices. These can be accessed at or on DIA Election 2005.

WAMC aired interviews with the four mayoral candidates. Go to or scroll down to the entry below which provides the link to the WAMC interviews. WAMC will keep the full interviews available for your listening pleasure until  Election Day (Nov 8).

I urge you to take a close look at the Metroland series and a close listen to the WAMC radio interviews with the mayoral candidates. Also, read DIA regularly and contribute.

Pass the Word  tell your family, friends and neighbors about the above sources for obtaining the information needed to cast informed votes in the September 13 Primaries (polls open Noon to 9 pm) and the November 8 General Election (polls open 6 am - 9 pm).

Albany is still a word of mouth town. Do your part to create a truly informed electorate.  Thank You

                                                          Joe Sullivan

                                                           For Mayor  ROW A  NOV 8





Thursday, August 4, 2005

Reflections on Grandma Elizabeth

51 years ago, this day, we received word that Grandma Elizabeth had passed away to a life hereafter. She was 84.

I recall that evening as vividly as if it were yesterday. The Moon was full. It was a soft summer's evening. I stood on the porch of the old the old house, leaning on the porch rail and looking at the full moon.

I reflected on Grandma Elizabeth, just as I do now. She was a hearty, farmer's wife, who bore 14 children. A quiet, steadfast, humble woman who always had a pot of soup on the old stove. The salt of the earth.

In her last years, she would ask me to take her for a walk through the woods to visit the old house. Her gait was slow, but her hand was warm in mine. We never said much. The sun was warm and the oak woods filled with the songs of birds. Butterflies and bees were at work on the wild flowers. We would stop and pick some blackberries from the rambling brambles.

Time has not dimmed those memories. Grandma Elizabeth and those walks helped shape my views of what is truly important in this life -if only we will slow down and savor the simple beauties of nature that come our way each day and if only we can recognize that much can be communicated with few words being spoken.










Tuesday, August 2, 2005


2 August 2005


To hear go to:




Monday, July 4, 2005




May the spirit of 1776 be rekindled in modern day Americans.

Apathy, indifference and fear are far too prevalent today. On this July 4, Albany residents and voters should resolve to become better informed and to participate in this year's city elections.

The September 13 primaries and November 8 General Election are of critical importance to the future of the City of Albany and to the futures of each and every resident of this city.

If you are content with Albany as it is today. Vote for incumbents.

 If you want Albany to change course, vote for the challengers who present the clearest positions on issues vital to our collective futures:  (1) disarming criminals and gangs, (2) returning to a K-8 neighborhood school system, which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods,  (3) restoring order in city schools, on city streets, buses and in neighborhoods, (4) improving the residential integrity and quality of life in city neighborhoods by means of a comprehensive city land use plan, prepared with the advice and consent of neighborhood residents, (5) promoting emergency/disaster preparedness on the part of individuals, households, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, schools, health care providers and professionals, food stores,  utilities, transportation entities; fire-police and EMT's. This includes anticipating where, when and how terrorists may strike; being vigilant, and being prepared to cope with what harm may come our way.

                                                                   Joseph P. Sullivan (R) (Row A)

                                                                   candidate for Mayor of Albany    








Wednesday, June 8, 2005




June 8, 2005                                                J P Sullivan  Tel/Fax  438 5230



Joseph P. Sullivan, Republican candidate for Mayor of Albany, today, called on Albany Common Council candidates to end their power grab to undermine a strong Mayor in Albany.

This power grab is a distraction that is taking attention and energies away from resolving the issues vital to the quality of life and future of the City of Albany:

   * disarming criminals and gangs, making our schools, streets and neighborhoods safe for law abiding residents

   * strictly enforcing speed limits and safe driving on residential neighborhood streets

   * preparations to cope with natural and man-made disasters and terrorist acts

   * restoring a K-8 neighborhood school system with a focus on learning the knowledge and skills needed to become a well-adjusted, productive member of society

   * developing a comprehensive city land use master plan, with the advice, participation and consent of neighborhood residents, that will promote improved residential integrity and life quality in city neighborhoods.

Common Council incumbents, and challengers, must take clear stands on these and other vital city issues, in order to be worthy of re-election or election, before there is any further debate of the recent calls for charter revision and redistribution of power from the office of the Mayor to the Common Council in the City of Albany.

Stop undermining the office of the Mayor. Albany needs a strong Mayor more than ever. The buck stops at the Mayor's desk and the focus of the 2005 city elections must be his performance as a leader in addressing the above issues.

The current, weak, ineffective Common Council does not merit any additional powers. Their ineffectiveness is a major issue in campaign 2005.

They should do their jobs, fully exercising the powers already vested in them as individuals representing the constituents of their respective wards, and as a body representing the residents of the City of Albany as a whole.

In short, Council Members, and candidates, get to work and do your jobs! Demonstrate that you are worthy of re-election or election!

Lost for ideas? See Sullivan Blog:


Tuesday, June 7, 2005


     June 7, 2005




Joseph P Sullivan (R) applauds the emergence of participatory democracy in Albany, supported by 8 Common Council Members, as reported in the Times Union (Effort to weaken mayoral power.. June 7. 2005 pB7, by Brian Nearing).

Sullivan said the Common Council move supporting a November ballot initiative to amend the city charter to provide for a shift in power from the Mayor to the Common Council, has opened the door to November Ballot Initiative Mania.

Participatory democracy can be a fine thing, if the public is fully informed, said Sullivan. Full and fair reporting of all sides of ballot initiative questions, by the media, is an essential prerequisite for participatory democracy to work.

Sullivan challenges the Common Council to place questions on the November ballot aimed at fixing the failing city schools. The ballot questions proposed by Sullivan are:

Q1  Should Albany return to a K-8 neighborhood school system?

Q2  Shall the Albany City School District and School Board be disbanded and responsibility and accountability for the city schools vested with the Mayor and Common Council?

Q3  Shall city school budget votes be held in conjunction with November elections, with binding results? (No Reruns)

Q4  Shall the funding of city schools be shifted from the property to sales/income taxes, so that all pay their fair share of support for city schools?

The Albany Common Council should take the lead in fixing the failing city schools, by immediately adopting and forwarding a Home Rule Request to the NYS Legislature, for action before the current legislative session ends, said Sullivan.

But, will the Common Council act? They will, if their embrace of participatory democracy is genuine, Sullivan said.

If the Common Council fails to act, Sullivan said he will commence a petitioning effort to have the school questions placed on the November ballot.






Monday, June 6, 2005





                  Reject Liberal Dem-Working Families

                   Party Petitioning Ploy


Tuesday, June 7 is the first day to sign party petitions to qualify candidates for the ballot in the November city elections.

The Liberal Democrat-Working Families Party Coalition that now controls the Albany City School District and School Board, is seeking to gain control of city government this year.

First, the Coalition attempted to field a candidate for Mayor, who turned out to have no message and no credibility. That failed.

Then ,the Coalition announced that they would not endorse a candidate for Mayor.

Now, they are focusing their efforts on electing Shawn Morris Common Council President. The Common Council President, by law, becomes Mayor should the latter office become vacant for any reason.

Is Shawn Morris qualified to be next in line to succeed the Mayor? No! Unless voters want the rest of Albany to look like Delaware Avenue, which has become a blighted, crime-riden neighborhood under 8 years of Shawn Morris purporting to represent the Delaware Avenue neighborhood and Ward 7.

Morris is the sponsor of a resolution to rezone 3.5 acres on Holland Avenue at Hackett Blvd as "Highway Commercial" in order that a Walgreen's super store can be built at that location. This is an example of spot zoning at it's worst!

Holland Ave  and Hackett Blvd are primary emergency vehicle routeways to Albany Medical Center. there is alreday too much traffic congestion at that location.

A Walgreen's supers store would drive small independent and CVS/Eckerd neighborhood pharmacies out of business creating more empty store fronts on Delaware and New Scotland Avenues and at Crestwood Plaza.

In addition to electing Morris Common Council President, the Liberal Democrat-Working Families Party Coalition is attempting to gain control of the 15 Member Common Council. A hapless, ineffective body which can't even properly exercise it's current powers and responsibilities.

The Times Union (June 6, 2005, pB1 article by Brian Nearing) reports that the Liberal Democrat-Working Families Party Coalition will circulate a petition to weaken the office of Mayor and shift more powers to the Common Council. The Coalition already has the required 3,031 required signatures from the same flunkies who vote yes on every annual school budget increase, and who saddled Albany homeowners ans small businesses with a 200 million dollar (and growing) bond act debt to finance reconstruction of the failing Albany City Schools.

Albany voters should see this petitioning ploy for what it is - a raw political power grab under the guise of increasing participatory democracy.

I urge Albany voters not to sign this petition, nor the petitions of the Liberal Democrat-Working Families Party Coalition endorsed candidates who are their pawns in this power grab.

Albany needs a strong Mayor. If you feel you don't have one- elect one on November  8th.





Thursday, June 2, 2005


       2 June 2005




Does anyone in Albany feel safer after two days of media hype about the Guardian Angels coming to Albany?

Time for a reality check. A half dozen unarmed Angels are no match for legions of street devils armed with a variety of small arms, including automatic weapons.

All this media hype about angels only accentuates the ineffectiveness of the current Democratic Officeholders, including the Mayor, Common Council President and 15 members of the Common Council, when it comes to forcefully addressing the related problems of disorder, gangs and crime in city schools, on city streets and in city neighborhoods.

Albany Democrats have to pause and ask themselves this question- how would Dan O'Connell have dealt with these problems?

The inefectiveness of the current Democratic Officeholders in Albany with regard to resolving these problems, is proof that the party of Dan O'Connell is no more.

Angels? Albanians had better start saying their prayers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005



It is time for the City of Albany to take decisive action to disarm criminals and gangs now.

City streets and neighborhoods are not safe for law abiding citizens.

Dr Leonard Morgenbesser has been leading a one man crusade against gun crimes/violence, compiling a list of more than 240 incidents in the City of Albany in the past two years. His pleas for action have largely gone unheeded by the media and city government.

The best the Common Council can come up with is a resolution asking the Albany County DA to adopt a plan of "no plea zones for gun related crimes". What an absurd idea!

The answer is an immediate, combined effort by city, county, state and federal law enforcement and the New York National Guard, to disarm criminals and gangs on city streets and in city neighborhoods.

Operation click it or ticket should be replaced by Operation Lock and Load.

We need Minute Men here in Albany as well as on the Mexican Border.

Do this without further delay. The criminals and gangs are likely allies of foreign terrorists who can supply these domestic terrorists with drugs, money and weapons

This disarmament effort is as much a matter of national security as it is a matter of safe school, streets and neighborhoods.

The consequences of failing to act are ominous.



Tuesday, May 10, 2005


 FIXING FAILING ALBANY SCHOOLS NOW, KEY TO  ALBANY'S FUTURE                                                May 12, 2005

May 17  a school budget vote will be held in the City of Albany.

The ballot questions to be voted on are:

 #1 a 157 million dollar budget, a 3.9 percent tax hike.

 Every year the budget increases and the tax rate goes up. Do not be fooled by the relatively small percentage rate. Realize that successive years of budget and tax rate increases, plus revaluation and full value assessment combined,  translate to significant property tax increases and  financial windfalls to both city government and the school district.

What are we getting in return? Failing city schools that are unsafe , disorderly, unconducive learning environments for serious students who want to learn.

#2 Charter school funding: Do you support it?

Your answer doesn't matter. This is state mandated. This is a poll question to make you feel like you actually have a say in what goes on.

#3 Albany Public Library $4.2 million tax levy and three vacancies on the library board of trustees.rar

Albany residents deserve one good library. You are being asked to approve 4.2 million dollars for a library system that has no plan for the future. You are also presented with 3 candidates for election as Library trustees. They are unopposed (the kind of elections those in power in Albany really like). It doesn't matter who the candidates are or what they stand for-you have a clear choice- vote for them or don't vote -. It doesn't matter because even if they vote for themselves, they will be elected. Your vote is irrelevant. Maybe, that is why so few people come out to vote at school budget elections! Not to worry, because that enables those who control city schools and the public library to have their way. To further discourage voter participation, only certain polling places are open, thereby ensuring a small turnout.


Q1. Should the Albany School District/Board be disbanded and responsibility and accountability for the city schools vested with the Mayor and Common Council?

Q2. Should Albany return to a K-8 neighborhood school system?

Q3. Should school budget votes be moved to the November General Election, with results being final? (No reruns)

Q4. Should the Albany City Schools Adopt and Enforce Strict a strict conduct code in schools, on buses, and neighborhood streets around schools?


Despite my persistant calls for these questions to be addressed they are not! The Mayor, Common Council Members and School Board Members have all looked the other way.  Sure ,there has been some posturing and public handwringing, but no action.

Remember this when you go to vote (if you do) on May 17,  September 13 (Democratic Primary) and the Kentucky Derby of Albany elections November 8.(General Election)

Maybe you ought to vote on each of the above dates because things will  never change until you exercise the power you have to bring about improvements in our city schools and government, as well as our neighborhoods and city as a whole -YOUR VOTE!

                                                    J P Sullivan











Thursday, May 5, 2005

Tonto's Wanted

        5 May 2005

        Cinco de Mayo

        Lonerangeralbany seeks Tonto's

        Only fearless, hardriding, straightshooting buckaroos

        dedicated to combatting urban blight, litter, noise, speeding   

        traffic, grafitti, gangs, disorderly school mobs , Leftwing

        Liberal Democrats  and their Working Families Party sidekicks

        need apply.

       A Common Council President candidate who can rope and ride

       herd on the gang that can't shoot straight. A Comptroller and

       Treasurer who will safeguard the City payroll, and 15 RangeRiders

       (Common Council candidates) from the 15 City Wards.

       All must be native born, or naturalized, legal immigrants, who are

       proud to be Americans and honored to ride for the Row A Ranch.

       Apply without delay to: Tel/Fax 438 5230

       We saddle up and ride hard at first light, Tuesday, June 7.

       ROW A for ALBANY  NOVEMBER 8, 2005. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2005





The City of Albany is a big provider of public assisted housing for low income persons.

The Albany RC Diocese is closing many parishes and has a large inventory of substantial former rectories and convents that would make excellent sites for low income veterans housing.

Two examples: Our Lady of Angel's Rectory on Central Ave and the former St Teresa's Parish Convent on New Scotland Ave.

What kind of message do we send to our servicemen and women who put their lives on the line for us, when we are not there for them in their hour of need?

See Times Union article, today, "Veterans mired in losing battle" p B2 by Brian Nearing.

On his 9 am-Noon  WGY (810 AM) Radio Talk Show, this morning, Andrew Wilkow rightly asked why the City of Albany is providing housing for crack heads, but not for veterans? (Who have served their country and society..I would add)





 SULLIVAN LEADERSHIP has contributed to:

* Defeat of a 100 ft Verizon cell phone tower on Whitehall Rd (2005)

* Restoration of Crestwood Plaza as a neighborhood  retail-service plaza anchored by Crestwood Pharmacy (2005)

* Defeat of a proposed 12 story luxury apartment tower/parking garage comlex on a 7 acre steep-sloped, wooded ravine containing 2 small wetlands on Krum Kill Rd (2004)

* County clean-up of the "Boopsie" brownfield site, Whitehall at New Scotland Ave and defeat of 2 attempted commercial rezoning attempts for the three-quarter acre parcel  (1994-2000)

* Halting County second round spraying in result to emergence of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes, Advocated use of biological controls (2000)

* Defeat of 2 attempts to build a huge megabox drug store at Krum Kill Rd and News Scotland Ave (1999-2000)

* Defeat of proposals to build a 3rd middle school at Whitehall Rd or on Krum Kill Rd  (2000)

* Defeat of two attempts to rezone 635 New Scotland Ave (at South Manning Blvd) commercial  (1997-98)

* Rezoning Albany Muni Golf Course and Hartmann Rd Community Garden site Land Conservation (1994) Defeat of luxury housing proposal on 60 acres of old back nine, which would have obscured views of Catskill Mt  Three Sisters Peaks (1993)

* Rezoning Buckingham Pond and adjacent lands, Land Conservation resulting in creation of Buckingham Pond Park (1994)

* Defeat of proposal to convert Mercy convent, New Scotland Ave into office building (1994)

* Creation of permanent green spaces on New Scotland Ave at South Manning; and the conifer screened acre at Krum Kill Rd (1987)





Monday, May 2, 2005



Mayor Jerry Jennings, today,  declined to accept the Republican ballot line (ROW A) in the November 8 General Election.

In so doing, Jennings made a political blunder which he may regret, should he be defeated in the September 13 Democratic Primary by the Liberal Democratic-Working Families Party Coalition (Coalition) which has taken control of the Albany City schools, elected City Court Judge Tom Keefe (2003) and Albany DA David Soares (2004).

Jerry Jennings just tossed away his political safety net (Row A) which would have assured him a prime spot on the November ballot

Now the Coalition will step up efforts to defeat Jennings in the September 13 Democratic Primary.

The Coalition can nominate a ham sandwich in a Democratic Primary. They are bright, highly organized and have a proven ability to get their voters to the polls.

In contrast, the regular Democratic organization can't even deliver a pizza in Albany.

The Party of Dan O Connell is no more. The 2005 city elections are a watershed for the City of Albany. The Democratic Party is deeply divided and the Coalition is poised to take control of the party and City government.

I was hoping to run for the citywide office of Common Council President. There is no incumbent and my chances were good, However, Jerry Jennings declination of our ballot line would leave the Republican ballot line for Mayor unfilled. I can't let that happen.

Should Jennings fall in the Democratic Primary, I will be the Republican Mayoral candidate. I will be there for the people and City of Albany to repel the Coalition in the November 8, General Election.

Make no mistake about it, 2005 is the most important city election since Dan O Connell ran for Assessor after WWI and broke Republican control of the City of Albany.

Oldtime Albany Democrats are closet Conservative, Republicans. Even Dan O Connell's family were Republicans when they ran a saloon in the South End.

It is time for Albany Democrats to take a sober look at the City of Albany and what more than 80 years of one party dominance has wrought. If they take a hard look, and like what they see, keep right on partyline voting. If they are distressed at the urban blight, crime , violence,  out of control, failing public schools, and annual property tax increases to support a moribund Common Council and the failing public school system - it is time to make a change in November.

In the coming month, I will do my best to field viable candidates for the Common Council from the 15  City Wards; Common Council Presidency, City Comptroller and City Treasurer.

We can not allow the Liberal Democratic-Working Families Party to gain control of Albany City government.

If you want to become involved contact me without delay. Joe Sullivan Tel/Fax 438 5230.

Petitioning to qualify for the ballot begins June 7, 2005.

Prospective candidates should be qualified, able individuals , ideally with a track record of civic and political involvement, who have clear stands on issues vital to the City of Albany; who have a clear vision of what they hope to achieve by their candidacies and who are able to communicate effectively with the voters.

The number one priority of Common Council candidates is to effectively represent the people of their wards.

The position of Common Council President must be occupied by an individual with strong leadership abilities to shape up the moribund Common Council and to work with the Mayor to shape public policies for benefit of all the people of the city. Remember, by law, the Common Council President becomes Mayor should a vacancy occur in that office. So, the voters should pay close attention to that race and elect a person who is a leader and capable of being an effective mayor.

The Comptroller and City Treasurer positions should be filled with persons with fiscal abilities and integrity. They are guardians of the hard earned tax dollars, fees and state and federal grants which finance the operation of city government.

I advocate merging the Albany City School District with City government. The school district and school board should be disbanded. Responsibility and accountability for the City public schools should be vested with the Mayor and Common Council.

Albany should return to a K-8 neighborhood school system which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods.

Public school funding should shift from the property to sales/income taxes so that all  pay their fair share of public school support.

School budget votes should be held in conjunction with November General Elections, with vote results binding on the first round. No reruns.

I pressed the Common Council to send the necessary Home Rule Requests to the State Legislature for action on the above, this session. The Common Council failed to act! Remember that when incumbents come to your doors seeking petition signatures.

I pressed the School Board/District to put the above questions on the May 17 School Budget Vote ballot. The School Board failed to give the voters these choices. Send the School District/Board a message May 17 - let them know you are not going to enable failing city schools, beset by violence and disorderly, disrespectful behavior any longer - VOTE NO on the 157 Million dollar school budget. Serious students need safe, orderly learning environments. 

The criminals and gangs that have taken over streets and neighborhoods must be disarmed and brought to heel so that our schools, streets and neighborhoods are once again safe for the majority of law abiding citizens.

Urban blight, crime, violence, disorderly conduct,  litter, noise, speeding traffic, congestion and related air pollution are diminishing the residential integrity and quality of life in city neighborhoods. These issues must be effectively addressed by the Mayor and Common Council. Piecemeal neighborhood urban renewal projects like Park South must be replaced with development of a citywide master plan that is developed with the advice and consent of residents of the neighborhoods.

Voters have an obligation to make informed choices on election day. Toss away the partyline security blanket and think for yourselves. Only then will Albany pull out of it's downward spiral and once again become a city of distinct neighborhoods anchored by k-8 neighborhood schools, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and neighborhood commercial shops and services.

Lastly, the threat of terror attacks hang over us like a dark cloud. U.S. borders and ports are not secure. Individuals, households, schools, religious institutions and neighborhoods must take emergency/disaster preparedness seriously. When adversity comes, and it will, don't count on government to save you and your loved ones.  You are on your own and would be well advised to prepare for any eventualities. Be alert and watchful. We can all help root out the terrorists who lie waiting in our neighborhoods and city.

We must take extra care to make sure the criminal and gang elements in our neighborhoods and city do not become the allies of the foreign terrorists.

I will periodically update this Blog with commentaries on local political and neighborhood issues. Tell others about this Blog and check it now and again.

My incoming mail address is, but I prefer phone/fax communications. The fax is always on ready to receive: 438 5230.

Sullivan Blog: