Don’t return to partisan politics
I took office as mayor in January of 1994 as a Republican. At that time the city was in financial crisis. For the six years immediately prior, the city had experienced annual tax increases averaging 11 percent per year. In spite of these increases, the city was $575,000 in debt.
For the first two years of my four year term, the city council was evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Frank Lauria, a Democrat, was my deputy mayor. During those two years we were able to comply with the state mandate to close the former Gloversville Landfill, and we began the process of eliminating a two-tiered tax system that was toxic to business. Moreover, we had to absorb a $700,000 per year reduction in state aid.
The final audit at the end of my term (1998 budget year) showed the city debt had been reducted to $64,446, sales tax revenue had risen, and the total taxable value of real property in the city had risen. We had stabilized taxes, eliminated the debt and achieved growth.
These accomplishments were the result of non partisan cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. But the election of 1996 gave Republicans, my own party, a solid majority on the council. From that point, party leaders began to undermine my administration because I would not allow partisan interests to take precedence over the interests of the city.
After I left office, those same party leaders took control of the decision-making process. The 2001 budget audit showed a deficit of 1.4 million with the city publicly considering bankruptcy. It took 12 plus years of austerity budgets to put the city in a position to invest in improving the quality of life.
Fast forward 20 years and we again have a non-partisan cooperative city government making great progress. The Gloversville Party is essentially Republicans and Democrats working together and putting the city first. Again we see Mayor King, a successful mayor and a Republican, being undermined by his own party because he is not under their control.
Voters this year can choose to keep a cooperative non-partisan government by voting for Mayor King on the Conservative line, the other Gloversville Party candidates lower down on the ballot, or unravel it all with a return to partisan politics.
Peck Lake, Gloversville
Gloversville mayor from Jan. 1, 1994, to Dec. 31, 1997.