King sets ‘lofty goals’ for new year

Gloversville mayor delivers annual state of city address

Mayor Dayton King, addresses the Common Council and the public during Tuesday's state of the city address. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council began its new year on Tuesday with its annual organizational meeting.

Mayor Dayton King gave his annual state of the city address highlighting significant events in 2016 and what he would like to see in 2017.

King also welcomed new council members Marcia Weiss, Vincent DeSantis and Steven Smith, the arrival of a new department of public works director Dale Trumbull, police chief Marc Porter and mobility manager Brent Warren.

“Rebuilding a city takes time. Rebuilding a city takes patience and a vision,” King said. “Rebuilding a city takes people who are patient and have a vision and know when to make sacrifices to move a city forward. Rebuilding a city also takes risks.”

“I have some lofty goals and expectations for 2017 and beyond,” King said.

King said he would like to see the city increase its state aid by at least $500,000 and increase sales tax by $300,000. King said he would like to see the city have another 2 percent tax decrease in the 2018 budget.

And he would like to see the city council consider holding a referendum this fall that would reduce the number of supervisors in the city from six to one or possibly two.

“Currently, our 10 towns in our county have their supervisor also represent their municipality at the county level. I think it makes sense to do it this way. The way the two cities do it currently, I really just don’t understand, and why they do it, I’m not sure,” King said.

King said he’ll be looking to provide council members and city residents a cost analysis with a total savings if the councilman-at-large position doubles as a supervisor instead of having six separately elected officials.

King has broached the idea in the past, but said he did not have council support at the time.

The proposal would need approval of a local law by the council and a referendum vote in the city.

“I think consolidating six positions into one may be more effective and have someone really involved in city affairs is a good place to continue the movement in 2017,” King said.

King highlighted during his speech a number of private businesses and developments including the Gloversville Public Library’s planned total renovation, the opening of the dialysis center at Nathan Littauer Hospital and the planned $2.5 million renovation of Parkhurst Field.

King called the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s hiring of Jennifer Jennings as the new Downtown Development Specialist something the city can look forward to in 2017.

“This is the first time we will have someone specifically and explicitly working for downtown projects,” King said.

During the meeting, the three new employees were sworn in: City Clerk Jennifer Mazur, Deputy Clerk Kristy Kemmet and Deputy Commissioner of Finance Maryann Reppenhagen.

Tammie Weiterschan was promoted to Commissioner of Finance during the meeting. She had served as Deputy Commissioner of Finance under previous Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen. She was promoted when Van Genderen retired at the end of 2016.

“There is no doubt in my mind that [Weiterschan] will make this transition very well,” King said.

King said the city has more than $20 million in planned projects going on; from the planned Shoe Dept. project to the various housing projects. He said the city is in a strong place and he is confident the city will keep moving forward.

“The truth is many people wouldn’t think about tackling some of these goals because they fear failure. I’ve come to a point in my quest to move our city forward that I do not fear failure, I fear being in the exact same place next year as we are today,” King said.

“I am confident that our city council members and department heads and the city as a whole feel very similar and [are] willing to take on the risk to handle some of these major issues the city has been struggling with for years, including tackling blight, adding more private-sector jobs and decreasing the tax burden and making Gloversville a great city once again.”