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Watervliet Mayor Charles Patricelli delivers State of the City address tonight during re-election bid

Watervliet Mayor Charles Patricelli (D)
Dave Lucas
Watervliet Mayor Charles Patricelli (D)

The mayor of Watervliet delivers his State of the City address this evening as he gears up for a re-election campaign.

Charles Patricelli has dabbled in politics for 50 of his 69 years. He ran for Watervliet city council in 2017, then ran for mayor in 2020. Looking to serve a second term, Patricelli is facing a re-election challenge from fellow Democrat Albany County Coroner Tim Cavanaugh.

"I don't think I anticipated being challenged for the merits of the of the office," said Patricelli. "But I did hear the rumblings of, you know, the individual that, he was, you know, they'd never really mentioned that he would run for mayor, but kind of looked like it. I didn't really know the true reasons why, or the, let's say, the reasons, you know, whether or not, there was certain issues within the city that I needed to, you know, that I failed to accomplish. I feel like what we've been able to accomplish has been, in a short period of time, unbelievable, especially when we were working through COVID, you know, almost a whole year and a half really working on COVID. And still trying to administer the city at the same time, you know, and providing a lot of services. I mean, I think, I think we did a tremendous job, and I'm very proud of what I've been able to accomplish in the three short years that I've been there now."

The Cavanaugh campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Patricelli says he'll be running on his record of public service.

"I have almost 40-some years working at the Housing Authority," Patricelli said. "You know, before that, all my, let's say, my own experience, and you know, running the campaign, the United Way board running a campaign for United Way, being on several boards, the leadership that I've been able to have, as part of some of these, you know, these activities and show what I had accomplished at the Housing Authority, what I've been able to accomplish, you know, in the city. That's what my strategy is, I don't plan on having any bruising campaign will be able to, you know, discredit anybody or go after anybody negatively, that I can't speak for anybody else. But that's my strategy. I'm going on my experience."

Patricelli says he is always accessible to Watervliet's 10,000-plus residents.

"Everybody in the city has access to my cell phone number," said Patricelli. "So if you need me, they call me and I get them sometimes all day and night. Either a text or a message or basically Facebook, I try my best to answer them all and I tried my best to answer them as quickly as I possibly can."

Patricelli will present his State of the City address at 5:30 p.m. He gave WAMC a short preview:

"I couldn't be prouder of the accomplishments we made in the last few years," Patricelli said. "And just a few of the topics, the major topics would be a 0% tax increase for two years now in a row, and all our fund balances were increased, including our sewer balance, which was in a negative and now in the black. We fully staffed our police, our fire departments, and we're at the highest manpower now in our building departments. We added vehicles to our fleet, new ambulance, police vehicles, trucks for DPW. One other major accomplishment we did this year is we finally signed the contract with National Grid to convert our streetlights to LED. There's the splash pad. And our new equipment that we put into our parks, were all donated, almost close to a million dollars that we received this year, some major improvements for our residents, and major improvements to our own building, City Hall."

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.
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