Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rogers endorsed by sheriff union

TROY – At-Large Republican candidate Keith Rogers had been endorsed by the Sheriff's Employees Association of Rensselaer County in bid for election to the City Council.

“Our union believes that Keith Rogers is the best candidate to enact real change in Troy and will fight to ensure public safety concerns in Troy are addressed,” said SEARCO president Mark Piche. “As a lifelong Troy resident, Keith Rogers’ experience and qualifications in Troy City government and the private sector sets him apart in this election. Our members are excited to support Keith Rogers in this election and we urge the people of Troy to do the same.”

Rogers said that public safety would be a top priority for him on the council just as it was when served the legislative body in 2000 and worked hard to bring the South Troy police substation and Nuisance Abatement Law to help improve city neighborhoods.

“I am honored to have the support of the Sheriff's Employees Association of Rensselaer County and thank them for their confidence in my abilities to help make Troy a cleaner and safer place to live,” said Rogers.


Grimm's tax relief plan

TROY – Rensselaer County Legislator Peter Grimm, a Democrat, released his tax relief plan earlier this month with the hope of easing the high county tax burden on city residents if re-elected.

“The county tax levy has skyrocketed over 100 percent in seven years,” said Grimm. “That’s unacceptable. Taxpayers need relief and my plan offers that.”

Grimm’s plan would use the Republican Legislative majority’s $800,000 “pork” fund to reduce property taxes, roll back the legislative pay raises that were past just after the 2005 election, institute a hiring freeze for the county work force, increase revenues and create jobs with a dedicated fund to boost tourism, and make government more efficient and save taxpayers money by ending “Dark Ages” technology practices.

He also noted that in 2002, the county tax levy was $26.7 million, compared to the current levy of $54.5 million.

“The ‘pork fund’ was originally a small fund established for improvements to the county legislature’s chamber,” said Grimm. “It has now grown into something else that circumvents the approval process and harms taxpayers.”

“The legislative pay raises were enacted just after the election and the electorate was kept in the dark about it prior to the election. That’s wrong and that raise should be rescinded,” he continued.

More information on Grimm can be found at


PBA and UFA endorsements

TROY – The city’s police and fire unions have released their endorsements for City Council candidates in the upcoming general election.

The Police Benevolent Association and the Troy Uniformed Firefighters Association have endorsed Democrats across the board with the exception of Republican Mark McGrath to represent District 2.

The remaining endorsements include Clement Campana, John Brown, and Michael LoPorto for the At-Large seats, Kevin McGrath in District 1, Richard Hoffmeister in District 3, Bill Dunne in District 4, Ken Zalewski in District 5, and Gary Galuski in District 6.

“We really looked at each candidate and each district individually and asked ‘who is committed to public safety and who is going to support smart policies that will help protect the people of the city,’” said PBA president Bob Fitzgerald. “Based on that, we made our choices accordingly.”

Dave Paul, president of the UFA, agreed with Fitzgerald.

“With limited resources in the city and a growing need for fire, ambulance, and police services, we are looking for council members who will work with us and come up with ways to provide the necessary public safety, but not continue to pass it on to the city taxpayer,” said Paul.

Fitzgerald noted that if the city doesn’t have clean, safe streets, it cannot have businesses open or people living downtown.

“We need a strong, working City Council to help the Police Department and the Fire Department do their jobs and we hope people are informed when they go into the voting booth,” said Fitzgerald.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Galuski endorsed by PBA

TROY - Councilman Gary Galuski, D-District 6, has received the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association in his bid for re-election.

Bob Fitzgerald, president of the PBA, said that the union supported Galuski's efforts in actively fighting for public safety through his involvement in all of the district's neighborhood groups.

"PBA members are on the streets in Troy neighborhoods fighting hard to protect the lives of families and to assure the security of their property," said Fitzerald. "We recognize those Councilmen who are out there working just as hard."

Galuski said he was proud to be supported by "Troy's finest."

“I truly appreciate the recognition of my efforts to promote public safety by those brave men and women who diligently patrol Troy’s neighborhoods," said Galuski. “Promoting and supporting community involvement in Neighborhood Groups and serving as their liason to Community Police recently paid immediate dividends in re-opening the South Troy Police Substation and keeping it adequately staffed and effectively deployed.”

Galuski said that ensuring the safety of local families and the security of their properties has been and will continue to be his top priority as the District 6 councilman.

“Those public safety goals can be better achieved by collaborative efforts between our citizens and their Community Police, with the involved assistance of effective legislative leadership like City Councilman Gary Galuski," said Fitzgerald.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Brown's "Restore Troy" plan awaits state action

TROY – A “Restore Troy” plan proposed by Councilman John Brown, D-At Large, is currently awaiting action by the state Legislature.

Brown, who is seeking re-election in November, first announced the plan two years ago with hopes to place a moratorium on increasing residential units in homes and to create incentives for converting multi-unit residential buildings into single-family or two-family owner occupied homes through tax abatement.

The council passed the moratorium in early 2008 and Brown is now hoping the Legislature will approve the state incentives.

“The goal is to make Troy an attractive place for families and to try to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe. This plan will help people make the investment in Troy and make for stronger neighborhoods,” said Brown.

The proposed bills before the Legislature would allow the city to adopt a local law to freeze the assess value of a home and allow the city assessor’s office to gradually increase the property assessment over eight years.

Similar legislation adopted by the council in 2005 limited eligibility to improved properties that were one or two family residences, eliminating the opportunity for owners interested in restoring homes that were broken into multiple units from taking advantage of the incentive.

“I think this legislation will be extremely helpful to homeowner’s as the council begins down-zoning in North Troy and across the rest of the city.” said Brown, who thanked Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, and Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, for introducing the bills at the state level.

“When I ran for office two years ago I pledged to work with state leaders to do what’s necessary to get things done for our city. I want to continue to do that.”

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walsh seeks re-election

Tom Walsh Sr. announced he is running for reelection to the Legislature representing District 3.

"I am very proud of the fact that we have kept taxes stable in recent years, and seen the county’s financial ratings be upgraded during tough economic times. We also protected services for seniors, veterans and youths," said Walsh.

As co-chairman of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee, Walsh has improved emergency communications, and helped oversee the state-ordered expansion of the county jail and worked to keep the project under budget.

The Legislature’s vice chairman was elected to the Legislature in 1997 following service as Brunswick supervisor. He has 28 years of service with the Army National Guard, where he retired as lieutenant colonel. Walsh also worked at the Watervliet Arsenal, where he retired as chief of manufacturing.

Walsh and his wife Diane are the parents of five children and grandparents of 10 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Walsh has the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines and is running in District 3 with incumbents Ken Herrington and Richard Salisbury. They are running against James Brearton, Nancy Herrington and William McGreevy.

- James V. Franco

Grimm seeks re-election

TROY – Incumbent Democrat Peter Grimm is seeking re-election with hopes to continue representing the city as a member of the Rensselaer County Legislature.

Grimm is president and a founding member of the Friends of Prospect Park, the Troy Community Food Cooperative, and the Community of the Friends of St. Patrick. He is also an organizer for the PanCAN Cancer Candlelight Vigil and has been involved with the Victorian Stroll, the Mayor’s Beautification Council, Troy in Bloom, the Piggyback Council, Rensselaer County Historical Society, the Albany Symphony and the League of Women’s Voters.

Grimm has also worked to personally spruce up the city’s war memorials for a number of years.

“I believe I have made a positive difference for Troy and would like the opportunity to continue to serve my constituents for four more years,” said Grimm.

Grimm, who has served on the legislature for four years, voted against all county tax hikes, worked to strengthen environmental protections, supported dedicated funds to boot tourism and voted to improve veterans’ benefits.

Grimm also noted his work as a proven business leader with his work as a special projects manager at Tanglewood’s “Seranak” estate. Prior to that, he was a small business owner who ran the Spyro Gyro Café and founded Old Daley Inn Catering in North Troy, which has become one of the area’s top catering operations.

Grimm has lived in the city for 50 years and is a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College.

PBA endorses Brown

TROY - The Police Benevolent Association endorsed Councilman John Brown, D-At Large, for re-election.

"The members of the Troy Police Department make the neighborhoods of our city safe for residents and businesses," Brown said. "They put their lives on the line for our residents and their vote of confidence is very important to my re-election."

PBA President Bob Fitzgerald added, "The men and women of the Troy PBA work hard for the people of Troy and are looking for legislators who will work as hard as they do. John Brown has fought for Troy residents and public safety for the last two years."

Shannon running for re-election

NASSAU — District 4 Legislator Alex Shannon is running for re-election.

“I am very proud that we have been able to provide stable taxes and an improvement in county finances during difficult financial times. Rensselaer County has been able to protect needed services for our residents and help keep our county growing,” said Shannon.

Shannon has supported a farmland protection program that has protected more than 3,000 acres of open space and a comprehensive clean-up of toxic waste in the Nassau Lake area.

Shannon also sponsored legislation that helped remove a $3 million federal lien on the Fort Orange Paper Co. property, which will help efforts to revitalize the property.

Shannon was first elected to the Legislature in 2007 and serves as chairman of the Legislature’s Environment Committee. Shannon served as Nassau Village justice from 1987 to 2002 and as Schodack Town Justice from 2000 to 2002.

Shannon is employed as a sales representative with Walter S. Pratt and Sons of Rensselaer and has an extensive record of community service.

Shannon and his wife Linda are the parents of two children and have four grandchildren.

He is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines along with incumbent Martin Reid and newcomer Judith Bresselor.

They are running against incumbent Flora Fasoldt and newcomers Linda Underwood and Norman Young.

'Burgh Neighborhood Watch endorsements

TROY – The North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch has endorsed Republican District 1 candidate Jim Gordon and incumbent Democratic At-Large candidate John Brown for the upcoming election.

The endorsements were revealed as part of a recent news release from neighborhood group chairman Chris Lambersten, treasurer Darlene Simpson, and co-chairperson Lenny Kluz.

“Jim has been an active leader in the group since its inception,” wrote the group in their release. “Jim is young, energetic and has a proven commitment to the Lansingburgh community as a watch leader and organizer. Jim Gordon will be a tireless
advocate for the ‘Burgh.’”

As for Brown, while he does not live in Lansingburgh, the organizers noted that he has consistently participated in their meetings and has supported matters as a City Council member that are beneficial to all communities in the city.

“John has demonstrated that he is above the usual and often stalemated Troy party politics,” they wrote.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hammond to seek fourth term on Legislature

POESTENKILL — Keith Hammond is running for his fourth term representing District 2 on the Rensselaer County Legislature.

“People ask, ‘Why do you want to be in government?’ The answer from almost every politician is, ‘I want to lower your taxes, streamline government and improve your services.’ Those are very important goals, I agree,” said Hammond. “But it's also important to respond to the phone calls from people in your community who need your help.”

The father of six children who were raised in the district, Hammond grew up in Poestenkill and graduated from Averill Park High School and the state University College at Cobleskill. He owned Hammond Family Farm for 20 years and currently is employed by the Averill Park School System.

In addition to his experience on the Legislature, Hammond served two terms on the Poestenkill Town Board and was deputy highway superintendent. He was also a member of the Poestenkill Planning Board, Master Plan Committee and Business Association.

In addition to his official roles, Hammond has served on the Albany-Rensselaer County Agricultural Education Committee, the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board and the Adoption and Foster Parents Association board.

He is running with incumbent legislators Brian Zweig, Kevin Harrington and newcomer Phil Malone on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines against newcomers Leon Fiaco, Phil Danaher, Lous Desso and Michael Cristo who have secured the lines of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.

District 2 includes the towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush and Poestenkill.

— James V. Franco