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 DemocracyinAlbany.com (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