Albany mayor 2013: Corey Ellis

corey ellis 2013-09-04 1
Corey Ellis. He also ran for mayor in 2009, losing to Jerry Jennings in the Democratic primary.

For the first time in 20 years, Albany will have a new mayor next year. The changeover is important not just for the city itself, but for the tens of thousands of people who go there each day for work or entertainment. Even if you don't live in Albany, what happens there probably affects you in some way.

The key point in the process of electing the next mayor is next Tuesday, September 10, primary day. Because the voter registration in Albany is overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor will almost certainly win the general election.

This week we talked with the two Democratic competing in the primary -- former common councilman Corey Ellis, and current city treasurer Kathy Sheehan. We asked them each the same set of questions on a range of issues -- from why they want to be mayor, to an aquarium downtown, to what books have influenced them -- and we're sharing those answers at length. The Q&A is set up so it's easy to scan and focus on the questions that interest you.

First up: Corey Ellis.

Update: Here are the responses from Kathy Sheehan.

To see the answers to each question, please click the text of each question -- the text of the answer will be revealed below it. (You can also roll the answer back up by clicking the question again.)

Why do you want to be the next mayor?



What specific plans do you have to deal with the budget gap in the city?



What are some of the specific ways that government could be more responsive to requests and complaints and ideas from residents in the city?



A persistent criticism of the city is that residents of its less well-off neighborhoods -- such as West Hill and the South End -- have a hard time getting their voices heard, and don't enjoy the same level of service from local government. How can city government make sure each neighborhood is getting the attention it needs and deserves?



What's your take on the current job being done by the police department and what are some of the ways it can improve fighting crime. Specifically, gun violence.



What are your thoughts on an aquarium or some other sort of destination museum or attraction for downtown?



What's your vision for downtown?



Albany is a very old city, and much of the infrastructure in the city is also very old. And there have been ongoing infrastructure problems -- like the exploding manhole covers. What is your take on the state of the city's infrastructure and what plans do you have to maintain it and/or upgrade it?



What can city government do to help reduce the number of vacant buildings?



Over the last few years there has been a tension between the city, residents, and owners of entertainment businesses over concerns such as noise and crowds. The shows at the Washington Ave Armory are one example. How can that situation be resolved -- or, at least, moved toward a point where there's more common ground?



The mayor of Albany doesn't have any direct control of the city's schools, but it's an issue that concerns a lot of people in the city -- especially the graduation rate at Albany High School. So, as mayor, what specific actions would you take to address the issue?



It's not uncommon for families with small children in the city to think hard about whether they should stay -- because of concerns about the schools, or taxes, or other issues. What's your pitch to keep them here?



What's an issue the city's facing that you think not enough people are talking about or aware of?



What's an experience or idea or person -- or even a book or movie or something similar -- that's significantly shaped the way you look at the world?



What does the Albany of four years from now look like to you?



This interview was conducted in person. It's been lightly edited and condensed.

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