Walkable Albany's Candidate Scores are now available! Below is a list of the candidates for Mayor who responded to our questionnaire, Kathy Sheehan, Greg Aidala, and Alicia Purdy. The questionnaires contained a variety of issues, in several categories:
Below we will share the candidates' scores in each category and overall, along with answers to longer-form questions. This page shows the candidates for the Mayor; other offices are listed on separate pages. Here are the overall scores for the Mayoral race:
Kathy Sheehan— Overall Score 88.44 (A rating)
Alicia Purdy—Overall Score 68.71 (B rating)
Greg Aidala—Overall Score 53.06 (C rating)
Below are the detailed responses.
My administration drafted legislation that was approved by the Common Council to reduce the period of time between the last snowfall and the time a property owner must clear snow from the sidewalk adjacent to the property from a 24 hour minimum and a 24 hour notice period to a strict 24 hour rule. I believe that and hiring a crew dedicated to enforcing the sidewalk snow removal rules and citing offenders immediately will help increase further compliance.
I support the Lark Street Redesign project because it is meant to improve pedestrian safety and walkability but also attract and retain businesses and residents through a comprehensive repaving project, undertaking sidewalk repairs with ADA compliant sidewalk ramps, and adding semi-permanent curb bump-outs and lighting enhancements.
The Albany Skyway will be one of the most transformative projects our region has seen in decades, and will provide one of the most historically underserved census tracts in our region with a revitalized park, new economic opportunities, and a welcoming gateway between the Hudson River waterfront, Clinton Square, Arbor Hill, and Sheridan Hollow. It is important to continue to activate unnecessary highway space with green space, and it’s even more important to create additional connections to our waterfront.
Yes - I believe that the only way we can increase our population, grow our tax base and overcome the burdens of being home to a significant amount of tax exempt property is to attract more development, which is why one of my first acts as Mayor was to initiate the first rezoning of the City in more than 50 years.
I support more aggressive code enforcement against absentee properties. I also believe there is more we can do to combat blight and ensure our residents have secure, quality housing in our City which is why I have worked with four Common Councilmembers to introduce transformative fair housing legislation designed to stabilize our neighborhoods by empowering the City’s Buildings & Regulatory Compliance Department to proactively address building emergencies, modernizing the City’s Rental Dwelling Registry, and creating the first Good Cause Eviction Law in New York State.
Part of my "a community of neighborhoods" plan is to harness the power of the people in Albany, to help employ residents in need of income to be part of the plan to clean and care for our city. Whereas Albany's current leadership does not prioritize its residents, small businesses nor the local economy within the city, my plan includes residents and incentivizes them to help be part of the solution to the problems we all face. As a walker in Albany, my children and I have slipped and stumbled many times over the snow on Albany's sidewalks. We have also shoveled it ourselves many times! Snow removal is ignored because the "powers that be" rarely have to walk on it. It is a major issue to "liveability" in Albany and street maintenance across the board will be part of my plan to increase the joys of city living.
Lark Street is one of Albany's most beautiful streets and there should be more like Lark across the city where residents can walk to small businesses for their needs, or just enjoy their city and feel safe with their friends and families. The Lark Street Redesign Study is important because there are a number of factors that prevent Lark St. from being its most attractive to people, including the road itself, as well as safety, and exploring how to support the area's increased accessibility will be beneficial to the city and its residents, and businesses.
I support walking area throughout the city of Albany, and I support the efforts to bring increased visibility and accessibility and safety to the city's streets, in addition to creating more areas where small businesses thrive, residents enjoy life in their area and visitors can come into the city. However, part of the support of these endeavors is increasing safety across the city and on streets frequented by residents, which means that homeless and poverty must also be addressed. The Albany Skyway park would bring more vitality to walking spaces, yet there are other parts of the city that need more immediate attention and using funds to restore or build homes, or mixed use buildings and support families and individuals who need access to housing and food is a top priority as well.
I believe that one of the major keys to Albany's success is attracting new business and tourism while reducing blight, poverty and economic depression. In terms of development, this is a multi-faceted approach that requires a sweeping resolve from all areas of Albany in order to address fully and fundamentally- including residents, contractors and developers, planners, business owners and lawmakers. Albany's financial success will be secured by supporting development as well as ensuring resources flow back and forth into the city's communities.
Absentee property owners are part of the problem with the city's blight. ALL owners of ALL buildings who are not actively involved in their maintenance and care will be addressed and brought into alignment with the vision to create a more beautiful city, all around.
As a member of a family that owns a business and property in Albany, I'm a proponent of holding property owners accountable for keeping the sidewalks in front of said properties cleared and safe. We start there, and then would take into account if the city would need to get more involved in certain areas of the city to assist the property owner(s) - if needed. My administration would work with the residents / property owners in assuring all sidewalks are safe for everyone to enjoy.
I feel that Lark St. is a jewel within the city. If the redesign study can provide adequate and clear reasons why a overhaul would be needed, I'd look into it further. The businesses and residents on and around Lark St. are essential for future growth not only to the street itself, but also families visiting Washington Park that would feel safe walking and/or driving around the Lark St. area.
No. As much as I think the skyway might look aesthetic pleasing, I do feel that our finances could be better spent reinvesting in existing roadways to beautify these passageways as focal points for residents and visitors to create a more welcoming and navigable Albany.
Yes. In the way of reinvesting in existing infrastructure and also, opening the city's doors and inviting new small and large businesses to build infrastructure that would create a larger tax base, all while being aesthetically pleasing to the city and encourage people / businesses to want to call Albany home.
Yes. I am a strong proponent of holding absentee landlords accountable. I have listed this concern as my second point on my five point campaign plan which can found on my campaign's website. My motto is: Garbage promotes chaos. Beauty promotes hope.
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