COMMON COUNCIL? HOW
ABOUT BETTER INFORMED
VOTERS, ELECTING BETTER
Public hearings will be held on two
proposals to restructure the Albany
For summaries of the two proposals
Local Law E (2010) and Local Law F
(2010) and some of the arguments for
and against these proposals, read:
Copies of the proposed local laws
are not posted on the websites of the
City or Common Council.
Restructuring of the Common
Council would be by amendment to
the Albany City Charter subject to
city voter approval in a public
The summary of the proposed local
laws, does not adequately address the
question of who fills the office of mayor
when a vacancy occurs in that office.
The City of Ithaca has adopted a
procedure whereby the mayor
selects an acting mayor. Scroll
down to Local Law__ 2010.
Under the current Albany City
Charter and state law, the Common
Council President, is elected by
voters citywide, and fills the unexpired
term of the Mayor when a vacancy
occurs in the latter office.
Both proposed local laws would
require changes in the City Charter
and state law.
A somewhat dated, but useful
review of city charter changes
and related issues is found here:
There are legitimate questions and
arguments pro and con regarding
these proposed local laws.
Will city wards be reduced and
Retaining election of the Common
Council President citywide, is a
better option than the revision
appearing in both proposed local
However, the issue of filling a
vacancy in the office of Mayor
should be addressed by amending
the city charter and state law to
provide for a special election to
be called when a vacancy occurs.
Questions of how much money
would be saved and whether the
proposed local laws would result
in better representation are not
adequately and convincingly
addressed. Fewer, more highly
compensated council members
may not produce savings or
To the contrary, larger districts
will mean more expensive campaigns
subject to more influence by special
interests who can bankroll campaigns.
In sum, leave the wards as they are
and retain the current 15 member
Common Council. Ward voters
simply have to make more informed
choices in electing their representatives
and those representatives have to do
a better job of representing their
wards and constituents.
However, the question of filling a
vacancy in the office of Mayor needs
to be addressed by an amendment
to the city charter and state law to
provide for a special election when
such a vacancy occurs.
In any case, redestricting ward
lines cannot not occur without
the Common Council conforming
to the NYS Constitution which
provides that aliens must be
excluded from the population
count upon which reapportionment
Read relevant redistricting posts
The Albany Common Council
is on record of Albany being a
sanctuary city for illegal aliens.
This statement is for entry into
the hearing record and is being