Glens Falls Mayor Will Stay In Office
After some recent confusion, Glens Falls mayor “Jack” Diamond will remain in office until the end of his term. And for the next year and a half, the Democrat says he plans to continue working to bring more business downtown.
Earlier this month, Mayor Diamond spoke at a press conference, telling the media he would leave office at the end of 2016. He said the reason was language in the city charter that says an elected official cannot serve more than 8 consecutive years.
Diamond, a Democrat, has served as mayor since November 2008, when he was appointed to the position after a special election following the passing of mayor Roy Akins. He was then elected to serve a full term beginning January 1st, 2010.
Diamond’s original math was that by the beginning of next year, the last in his elected term, he would begin a ninth year in office, necessitating his exit and a special election. Mayor Diamond…
“But upon additional review and the board of elections getting involved, that wasn’t the case. Becasuse I wasn’t vacating the position, they weren’t going to recognize an election. Therefore, if I did vacate at the end of the year, there would be an appointment made. However, it was determined with the city attorney in discussing with the board of elections, that it was incorrect; that I was eligible to serve the additional year,” said Diamond.
So, he says, he won’t be forced to leave office this year after all, and intends to serve the rest of his four-year term that concludes on December 31st, 2017.
“So we’ve got a lot of things we want to continue to do. We’ve made a lot of momentum. I’ve had a wonderful council to work and I look forward to spending the next 20 months working with them to make Glens Falls a better place,” said Diamond.
The mayor said he will focus on strengthening the city’s workforce and bringing more sales tax revenue downtown.
“It is going to be an advantage to the City of Glens Falls. Last year we had a really good year with sales tax. That’s an indication that we’re seeing more and more people come down. And the idea and concept of living downtown is really taking off,” said Diamond.
The city has seen the recent construction of new apartments and condos downtown. A $23 million project by Bonacio Construction and Galesi Group is currently under construction next to Glens Falls Hospital, with a completion aimed for early 2017.
The mayor also says he will no longer push for consolidation of the city’s police force with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. He says he’s decided to forgo the initiative after a lack of movement at the county level. He says he’s optimistic about new businesses gaining a foothold in the South Street district, which has long been home to bars and clubs.
This month, Glens Falls said goodbye to the State Boys Basketball Tournament after 36 years. Though the Federation tournament will return to the Civic Center next year, the State tournament will move to Binghamton for the next three years, after Glens Falls was outbid in December.
The mayor said he’ll also continue cheerleading for the Glens Falls Civic Center, now being operated by a coalition of local businesspeople in a lease-purchase agreement.
“Quite honestly, the city still has skin in the game. We’re still paying the capital debt on the building and we want them to be successful, and I think over time they will be,” said Diamond.
And with some extra time, the mayor says he’ll try to keep pushing Glens Falls forward.