Dominick Calsolaro

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Jennings legacy is set in stone

Letters to the Editor

Published on 9/13/2009 by the Times Union written by Dominick Calsolaro Jr.

Your decision to endorse Jerry Jennings over Corey Ellis in the Albany Democratic mayoral primary seems to have been made on the basis of the mayor's experience alone. That certainly factors in, but that does not necessarily mean that he is the right person to be mayor.

The editorial states that Mr. Jennings "should also consider some of the key issues Mr. Ellis raises." Mr. Ellis has made his stance on those issues very clear, even before running for mayor. Why has the mayor not considered them before? Wouldn't it stand to reason that Mr. Ellis would be the best candidate to deal with his key issues?

I question some of the points made in favor of Mr. Jennings, including the implication that he was behind the funding for the Park South restoration, as well as the city's movement toward improving its abandoned building problem.

The Park South restoration was made possible by the hard work of community organizations and legislators. And it was Mr. Ellis who first proposed to assess all the abandoned buildings in the city. He has a solid plan of restoration and homeowner incentives to improve those abandoned buildings and lots that have created a blight in certain parts of the city. The mayor's answer is to paint them over until a better solution is found.

The editorial states that Mr. Jennings has alienated the school district, yet expects him "to continue cultivating" his relationship with it. You expect him to improve that relationship because he has made efforts to mend the bridges during the election year? Why didn't he make this a priority throughout his years as mayor?

The editorial also states that crime and violent crime are down overall, while failing to mention that murder and forcible rape are up. The fact that there have been six police chiefs since Mr. Jennings has been mayor would point to an inability to appoint competent officials.

The editorial concludes, "So, yes, Mr. Jennings, another four years. Four years that we hope will see a greater sense of urgency. Consider it -- as all politicians should -- a last chance for a legacy." That the Times Union editorial board does not believe Mayor Jennings has cemented his legacy is bordering on ignorance. He has proven that he does not work with a "sense of urgency," that he does not take enforcing the codes and regulations of this city seriously. There is no changing his legacy now, not after 16 years.

Dominick Calsolaro Jr.

The writer is a college student in Rochester. His father is an Albany Common Council member.

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