Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has tapped a member of the common council to become city auditor.
Current auditor Sue Rizzo was elected Albany County Comptroller, a position she will assume January 1st. Her unexpired term will be filled by 1st ward Common Councilor Dorcey Applyrs. "I'm really thrilled that Dr. Applyrs is willing to accept this role and responsibility. I know that she takes seriously the importance of this position in ensuring that we provide efficient effective and responsive city services here in the city of Albany."
Sheehan says Applyrs, who has served on the council for six years, has led by example. "She's taken on city wide issues in a very effective way. She also has a very outstanding background for this role. She holds her PhD in public health. And she's demonstrated a really deep understanding of the importance of having data and information to inform our decisions and to bring a rigor to that collection. That includes reaching out to and listening to our residents, which is really a very important voice for the city to ensure is at the table as we make decisions about everything from our city budget to how we deploy our snow crews."
Applyrs thanked Sheehan for the opportunity and her vote of confidence. She promises to bring "additional flair and flavor" to the office. "So I plan to lead the office with a spirit of collaboration, which I think is important for anyone in public service in order to get things done. You have to be willing to work with everyone, so that collaboration will be key in this role. Additionally collegiality, starting from a place of respect."
Applyrs, who is 38, says she'll be looking through "a lens of equity" at innovative solutions for complex problems that are plaguing the city, keeping residents’ "best interests at heart."
Special elections are being planned for 2020 to fill 1 council seat and to determine who will serve the remainder of Rizzo’s auditor term, which ends in 2021.
The mayor’s 2019 budget proposal allocated roughly $98,000 for the chief auditor position.
Sheehan says she will appoint a Ward 1 council replacement in the interim. Rizzo is replacing fellow Democratic Comptroller Mike Conners, who is retiring.