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In his final year, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden delivers State of the City address

 Troy Mayor Patrick Madden is unable to run for a third straight term under the city charter.
Dave Lucas
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden is unable to run for a third straight term under the city charter.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden gave his final State of the City Address last night.

At Bush Memorial Hall on the Russell Sage Campus, the second-term Democrat reflected on his accomplishments, including retiring more than $41 million in debt.

“Working with the council we have secured seven consecutive structurally balanced budgets," said Madden. "An accomplishment we should all be proud of. Our reserves, while still slim, continue to grow each year. Moody's Investment Services has increased our bond rating three times, the latest being in January of last year. Our bond anticipation notes are rated at a mid one level. That's the highest grade for municipal notes. And despite the extreme inflationary pressure, adding more than $3.8 million to our 2023 budget, we were able to keep the tax increase below the state's tax cap. These achievements are the results of our commitment to fiscal discipline, and truthful realistic budgeting.”

Madden pointed out that a chunk of American Rescue Plan Act funding has gone toward infrastructural improvements and upgrades including playgrounds, drainage and new sidewalks.

He said public safety efforts include getting 89 illegal guns off the streets.

“Last year our police department received over 54,000 calls for assistance," Madden said. "That's an increase of 7.3% over ‘21. The advent of COVID reversed a downward trend we had been experiencing in crime across the country. And Troy is no different. Crime statistics show an increase in both property and violent crime. And while it remains lower than it was in 2016, the trend reversal is concerning. Perhaps most concerning is a dramatic increase we have seen in gun involved violence. Our police department has responded. Confirmed shots rose by 13% year over year, gun crime arrests rose 100% and recovered firearms rose 97%. That's 89 illegal guns removed from our streets.”

Madden says his priorities for this year include investing in Troy's neighborhoods. He cited projects underway, noting "the possibilities are endless."

"Lansingburgh, the Lion factory on Second Avenue, is being converted into 151 apartments, bringing life into an underutilized building and providing modern apartments in the north end of the city," Madden said. "In North Central Troy we are partnered with Habitat for Humanity to construct four new single family homes. The first two are underway, in the ground and framed and we look forward to the completion later this summer... Wright properties has proposed a five story apartment building with street level parking on the north side of Broadway between 3rd and 4th, the building would house 100 residential units. Conceptual approval has been granted by the Planning Commission and the developer is looking to break ground this spring."

Madden is unable to run for a third straight term under the city charter. He says he has enjoyed "seven years of progress."

“Tonight," Madden said, "I would characterize the state of our city as stronger, more resilient and more optimistic. Stronger by way of the residents and businesses whose passion fuels our desire to improve and grow more resilient in our commitment to invest in our future and boldly optimistic that our present challenges pale in comparison to our possibilities. I'm also optimistic that we can create a future that measures favorably with the greatness of our past. I remain boldly confident in our future.”

Republican City Council President Carmella Mantello, a likely candidate for mayor, hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with Madden. She says overall, State of the City addresses tend to be positive because they look back at events considered to be "accomplishments."

"You know overall optimistic, but in the same breath I really want to say I would have liked to see more in depth in terms of some of the shortfalls that I've seen over the last two three years," said Mantello.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden gives his 2023 State of the City address on the Russell Sage campus.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.