Mayors share experiences of running municipalities
SCHODACK, N.Y. » Mayors from Rensselaer and Albany counties Thursday discussed the challenges and the exciting aspects of running a municipality.
The Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce brought together Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse, Village of Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan and Hoosick Falls Mayor Robert Allen to sit on a panel for the annual Meet the Mayors Breakfast at the Comfort Inn & Suites. Rensselaer Mayor Daniel Dwyer and Watervliet Mayor Michael Manning were invited but were unable to attend the event. The discussion was moderated by John Craig, a news reporter for WNYTTV
he local leaders covered topics ranging from updates of things going on in each of their respective cities and villages, economic initiatives and collaborations with neighboring municipalities to infrastructure needs.
Since being elected in 2017, Allen has had to deal with ongoing PFOA water contamination issues, but he said that his community is way more than that and that they have been working diligently to overcome that obstacle.
“I think Hoosick Falls is a fantastic community and a great place to live,” Allen said. “The one thing I think that is the most
one thing I think that is the most challenging for us, besides the standard municipality issues that every municipality faces, is the perception of Hoosick Falls, we are over a year into our water filtration system and we still have people not sure if our water system is safe and drinkable and it has been for over a year. My goal and my job right now as mayor with the great village board of trustees, is to make sure as we get things resolved that all the pieces are in place. Hoosick Falls is a tight knit and accept- ing community, there are many new businesses taking a chance and opening their doors and we are excited to have them.”
During Madden’s update he said, “Troy is great and I think everybody here knows that,” while also mentioning some upcoming events this summer in the city.
Madden said how Riverfest will take place this Saturday in downtown Troy on River Street and how the city’s summer concert series Rockin’ on the River started last week as well. Madden also mentioned how The Great Race will be coming to Troy on June 24, where more than 100 vintage cars will pass through the city.
“There are a lot of activities going on in Troy that are very family- friendly and we have something for every taste,” Madden said.
The two Albany County mayors -- Morse and McNulty- Ryan -- also gave brief updates about things going on in their communities.
“We do have a lot of things going on in Green Island, but one of the most exciting projects we’ve had in my career and probably in Green Island’s history is Starbuck Island on Center Island,” McNulty-Ryan said. “Peter Luizzi, who’s a developer, came to us and wanted to put 268 residential units and a commercial venture over there. It’s a $60 million project on our little Green Island and we’re very, very excited about it.”
Morse said he tells everybody “Cohoes is alive and well,” and he believes that Cohoes is the place to be since it was recently labeled as the fastest growing city in the state.
“We are seeing some of the greatest transformations in the city’s history from both ends of the spectrum, whether it’s the $70 million of development that we’ve seen over the last 18 months or the biggest fire that we seen in the history of the city, we have seen transformation happening in Cohoes,” Morse said. “The city of Cohoes is coming to life with six new restaurants, arts, and cul- ture locations, downtown is now a destination and the place to be.”
The mayors also spoke about the challenges of dealing with old infrastructure and they all believe that more state and federal funding is needed to help the problem that many Capital Region communities face each year.
Morse said that his community dealt with roughly 30 water main breaks this past winter and that they are now looking at new ways to attempt to stop the problem from happening again.
“It’s been a challenge and I think it’s not only a challenge for Cohoes or anybody on this panel, I think it’s a challenge in the whole great Upstate New York and any place where it gets cold,” Morse said. “What we decided to do was we invested in a camera that can see some of our pipes underground, we put together a five year plan that say’s we’re going to do these streets and before we do them we’re going to run our camera through all of the underground piping that we can and anything that is broken we’re going to dig up and fix.”
“We all have infrastructure problems,” added Madden. “Our focus is on the capacity to repair quickly with minimal interruption and to be equipped, trained and ready to go.”
Four local mayors came together Thursday morning for the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Meet the Mayors breakfast panel discussion. Shown from left are Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan and Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse.
John Craig, a news reporter for WNYT-TV, introduces the four mayors participating in Thursday’s annual Meet the Mayors breakfast panel discussion hosted by the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce.
Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce President Kate Manley welcomes everyone to its annual Meet the Mayors breakfast panel discussion in Schodack Thursday morning.