Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has delivered his ninth State of the County Address.
Highlights of the Democrat’s address at the Times Union Center included the county executive’s focus on long-term economic growth, his Equity Agenda, which "promotes equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion in all levels of decision-making and the Albany County community," and the years-long upgrade of the Albany County Nursing Home. "You know, it's about an equity agenda that I put in play eight years ago. And working with SUNY Albany, we embedded it into all of our departments and continue to put it through all of our agencies and out to the public. And it's about economic development. But with the Camoin study that we produced from the Albany County Business Bureau that we work together, the advisory committee we put together, it's going to give us a blueprint of how we can change, effectively make economic changes here in the county, and it's also about helping children that are in poverty to give them opportunities to fully grow to reach their full potential."
McCoy spoke of the creation of a new Social Isolation Task Force. "Medical research has shown that social isolation is more lethal than smoking 16 cigarettes a day or even obesity. In fact, research has shown that social isolation leads to heart disease, dementia and higher death rates. We're already seeing the success of the Department of Aging congregate senior diner initiative to combat online, combat loneliness and isolation with older residents. They can serve as a model for what we can and will do in Albany County to lead on this important mental health issue."
The Democrat also touched on opioid addiction and the county's battle with big pharma, teen suicide, the rising cost of Medicaid, and the convening of the Albany County Business Advisory Board to develop a strategic plan to boost economic growth and development.
Democratic County Legislature Chair Andrew Joyce reacted to the address. "I'm particularly very proud and anxious and motivated to look into some of the issues he mentioned relating to veterans' addiction issues, engaging seniors in the home, keeping them more socially active. Some of the figures that he raised with seniors and mortality rates as it relates to socialization were pretty alarming. We're also keen on learning more about his economic development plan, what his staff has learned through their research with Camoin, and kind of bringing all those issues together and working with the county executives' office in how we can bring the legislature to bear in tackling those three issues in particular to me, were very important.”
McCoy noted that next year the Albany County Nursing Home will be in the black, completing a goal set eight years ago. County Legislature Deputy Chair Wanda Willingham represents the 3rd District. She says the nursing home is the crown jewel of McCoy's accomplishments. "We had spent millions of dollars on plans. It took him to become the county executive to actually deliver on a place where people can live out their years, with dignity. It's something we can be proud of."
Former Deputy County Executive Albany County Airport CEO Phil Calderone: "I think he did an outstanding job as always, I'm proud of his many initiatives, particularly the Equity Agenda and the Economic Development Plan he outlined for the county. I think he knocked it out of the park."
2020 State of the County by Dan McCoy