Posts Tagged With: mayor of amsterdam

The Next Mayor of Amsterdam, Mike Villa


The Clubhouse of Amsterdam’s Municipal Golf Course, run by Laura Elmendorf, hosted the first social gathering for City Amsterdam Mayoral candidate Michael Villa last night. In attendance were about 150 people representing many generations, occupations and political parties. This show of force was a large sign that the citizens of Amsterdam want a change in leadership. Mike Villa believes he is the candidate with the leadership experience to make that change. Introduced by Amsterdam businesswoman and Recorder VP of Sales and Marketing, Pat Beck, Villa spoke of his plan to bring much-needed leadership, integrity and fiscal responsibility back to our city. He wants our citizens to once again take pride in the fact they live in Amsterdam, New York. Mike Villa was both grateful and overwhelmed by the large number of people supporting his candidacy.

You can contact Mike Villa or give to his campaign through his website, Mike Villa For Mayor.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, History, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Prediction or Prophecy?


While researching the 2007 mayoral election in Amsterdam, New York, I found a couple of interesting articles from the Recorder. The first, written as a letter to the editor, was published October 7, 2007:

Ann Thane not qualified to be mayor

 As a former member of the Walter Elwood Museum board of directors and as a non-city resident I would like to say that I was not sorry or surprised to read of Ann Thane’s departure from the museum. Simply by looking at the museum’s non-profit public information (form 990), which is available online, you can see that during most of Ann’s seven years, the museum has been run at a deficit, has had a minimal face-lift and the number of children that the museum serves has been steadily declining. Yes, she is an artistic person and has a pleasant and fun-loving personality. However, financially the museum is not in good shape. Ann has only managed a staff of two part-time people, of which one position has turned over several people within a four-year time frame. This does not quantify an effective manager and cannot even compare with the overseeing of a city’s personnel that includes eight unions. Had Ann implemented and followed some form of her four-point plan that she proposes to the residents of the City of Amsterdam, perhaps the Elwood Museum would not be on the verge of closing its doors yet again. As director of an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of heritage and tourism whose own vision statement is to “promote a dynamic, rich, unified community that values its heritage” Ann really stunned me when she commented to the press about tearing down one of the Town of Amsterdam’s most historic buildings, having a nearly 200-year history. Before city residents vote for the mayor take note, take action and vote for the person with the most qualification to run the city effectively, that in my opinion is John Duchessi.

TOM FOSTER, Amsterdam

The second, written by Recorder Staff as part of an editorial titled Duchessi is the right choice for Amsterdam,was published October 31, 2007. This is the section describing 2007 mayoral candidate Ann Thane:

Thane, former director of the Walter Elwood Museum, is another one of the quirks about this race. This is her first foray into the political arena — and she’s shooting way over her head for the top job. She has already defeated (by more than 200 votes) Duchessi in the Democratic primary. Her candidacy has created a lot of buzz. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. We have for years lamented the lack of effort on the part of the local party committees to drum up enough qualified candidates to run for office. So when someone does volunteer to put their ideas on the line and their personal life on hold to make a run for a thankless job, this should be greeted with respect and appreciation. That being said, we admire Thane for her willingness to try to make a difference. After speaking with her, however, we don’t believe she can. Our concerns are numerous and are topped by the fact that she has a real chance of winning — which could send the city into a downward spiral. With the swift pulling of the wrong lever, the part-time lack of leadership we have stumbled through in the past four years at City Hall could very well be replaced by a full-time lack of leadership. Substance is a key word in any election campaign, and is the main ingredient missing from Thane’s. She initially comes across as a fresh new package — the bright light so needed in this wounded city. The package, however, is empty. Her platform has no legs. She appears comfortable with her lack of accountability, is exceptionally vague on major issues, has no real idea of how toimplement any plan she may have for the future of Amsterdam, and gives little indication that she understands how city government operates. She says economic development efforts should be more coordinated but offers no solution (“It’s something we need to look at,” she says); she admits she hasn’t been privy to the latest city/town water negotiations (“I don’t know the whole picture”); she speaks of starting up a community business center but offers no concrete information about it (“We need to look at that”); she would consider rezoning Main Street west of the mall but is not clear on the how or why (“We need to start thinking out of the box and not recycling the same old ideas”). Thane admits the 8-to-5 aspect of the mayor’s job is attractive to her. She believes her talents are for leading, jokes that she suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, and can juggle many balls at one time. Thane appears hooked on marketing the city of Amsterdam, developing a Web site, and selling the city. And although she’s not entirely clear on who her target audience might be (“That needs to be assessed”), she is confident her marketing strategies would work. “You can sell ice to Eskimos. It worked for me,” she told us. Mind you, there is little substance to this plan, other than her interest in having town residents help pay to maintain the Web site. Or maybe AIDA could help pay for it. Her answer was vague. As if she, too, was hearing it for the first time. She’s enthusiastic, energetic and in way over her head. We wish her luck, however, because this is, after all, Amsterdam. And the electorate is impossible to handicap. Can this city afford to wait while its next mayor completes on-the-job training, or would it be in our best interests to choose an administration prepared to hit the ground running? The answer, and the future of the city, are in the hands of the voters.

It’s something we all need to look at!

Categories: Amsterdam, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

Wills Excluded from Planned Mayoral Debate


In a tersely worded letter to Recorder Publisher Kevin McClary, Amsterdam Mayoral Candidate and 4th Ward Alderman, William D. Wills expresses his displeasure after finding out he is excluded from a planned mayoral debate.

Mr. McClary,

Please explain why I am being eliminated from the debate that the Recorder and the Chamber are putting together. Although I am not a “main” candidate, the opportunity for the electorate to hear only from a past and present mayor and not from another who hasn’t held the position but is well qualified is discriminatory and shortsighted on your part. It also looks like the “fix” is in. I have always been loyal to your paper and open to your reporters when questioned on various issues. Although I don’t spend as much as others I have taken out ads even when I ran unopposed in the past just to show that support albeit in a small way. You tout yourself as a community paper but then play God when making decisions like the one you have made here, all in the secrecy which your paper despises when public officials even try to do that on some sensitive issues which I have always objected to. It seems strange to me that the one who has advocated for a debate all along is the one who gets eliminated regardless of not having the status of being a “main” candidate.

I request that you reconsider your position and Mr. Capobianco, temporary President of the Chamber, who has been copied here I request as a member of the Chamber that if the Chamber is involved that you advocate on my behalf to be part of the debate.

Thank you!

Alderman Wills

I spoke with Bill Wills today about this letter.  While the event has not yet been publicized, he found out through various reliable sources that the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the Recorder, the Leader-Herald along with local radio stations WCSS and WVTL are in the final planning stages for hosting a debate between Amsterdam mayoral candidates Joe Emanuele and Ann Thane.

Neither Emanuele or Thane responded to my personal request to answer a series of questions I sent them with the intended purpose of helping voters choose the best qualified candidate. William D. Wills was the only candidate to both answer my questions and push for a mayoral debate as shown in my blog post 10 Questions With Bill Wills.

Aldermen Julie Pierce, Gina DeRossi, William D. Wills, Richard Leggiero listen to public comment concerning Thane's proposed elimination of Amsterdam's 3% tax cap.

William D. Wills is a valid write-in candidate for Mayor of Amsterdam and should definitely be included in any planned mayoral debate.  Enough of the partisan politics!

From Bill Wills Facebook page:

The Recorder coverage of the 2007 Amsterdam Mayoral Debate that included write-in candidate Diane Hatzenbuhler can be found here.

Update: Recorder sponsored debate to be held October 25th.

This scheduled mayoral debate will take place in Amsterdam’s Riverfront Center Conference room. The event is not open to the public and will only be attended by a maximum of 50 people who will need a special invite to attend. Mayoral candidate William D. Wills wanted to participate but was excluded by Recorder Publisher Kevin McClary.

Categories: Amsterdam, Media, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mayor Joseph Emanuele III


With the support of Hugh T. Farley, Republican Senator for the 44th District of New York State and George Amedore, Republican Assemblyman for New York State Assembly District 105, Joseph Emanuele III formally announced his candidacy for Mayor of Amsterdam. Running on the Republican ticket, Emanuele has on the job experience as former Mayor of Amsterdam (2004-2007).

It was a beautiful day for the announcement held at his home on Coolidge Road. Surrounded by Republican members of City, County and State government and a large constituency of supporters from the community as well as his family, Emanuele outlined his plan for the City of Amsterdam.

Joe Emanuele plans to retire from his teaching position in the Fonda-Fultonville School District in June of 2012. When asked how this will affect his job as Mayor, Emanuele responded that he will work as a part-time Mayor from January to June. Emanuele worked as a part-time Mayor from 2004-2007.

I asked Mayor Emanuele how he plans on dealing with economic development since he was responsible for removing this department from City government during his last stint as Mayor. He responded by stating that he plans on working closely with Montgomery County Business Development Center, that local government needs streamlining to be efficient and cost-effective.

I then asked who he had in mind for the position of Corporation Counsel should he be elected again as Mayor. There was a brief pause, followed by, “That’s a good question!” Emanuele then stated he has two candidates in mind that will be announced further down the road of his campaign.

Mayor Joseph Emanuele III, it has a nice ring to it that I think will catch on!

Categories: Amsterdam, Politics | Tags: , , , ,

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