Mayor Kathy Sheehan gives her State of the City address on Monday, covering where Albany has been and where it's going.
Top items on the second-term Democrat's agenda will likely once again include securing state aid to plug a city budget gap. "We're again looking for the 12 and a half million and optimistic that we will be successful."
10th ward Common Councilor Owusu Anane: "Some of things that I'm looking for as relates to being the council member for the Pine Hills neighborhood is what is the administration’s plans to direct city infrastructure needs like sidewalks, street improvements, parks. Those infrastructure issues are a concern for many residents and they would like to see some updates, so I look forward to hearing from the administration what the plans are. I'd like to hear from the administration updates on local economic development efforts that have taken place. Over the past couple of weeks there's been concerns for the South End, West Arbor Hill neighborhoods, but I believe we need to look at the citywide approach as relates to addressing economic development efforts."
11th ward Common Councilor Alfredo Balarin expects the mayor will speak about the budget, traffic and one issue his constituents are always talking to him about: trash. "I get phone calls and emails constantly, I'm actually looking to set up a couple of community clean-up days this year throughout the ward."
Anane adds he'd like to hear Sheehan's plans to address what he calls Albany's "digital divide." "Particularly to see some type of municipal internet approach taking place with the purchase of the streetlights from National Grid."
Sheehan promises "many changes" coming this year: "We're going to be really looking at the final execution of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is, thanks to the governor and to the state, the $10 million dollar really boost to Clinton Square that we're going to be seeing take shape, as well as the $78 million dollar redevelopment on Pearl Street and Sheridan of properties that have been, you know, empty and underutilized for a long time. We're going to see those converted into residential units with retail on the first floor. We're going to see the apartments completed on Ontario, so, a lot of development happening really across the city. We're going to be reengaging with the South End, revisiting the South End Plan, which was created many years ago, long before my time, and it's time to revisit that and work with the neighbors. We're gonna see the finalization of a new plan for Lincoln Park, which is very exciting. So there are a lot of great things going on across the city."
Sheehan's 2016 and 2017 State of the City addresses were disrupted by civil rights activists and union workers. In 2018, Sheehan broke tradition, opting to give the address in Common Council chambers instead of the rotunda while citizens were urged to watch it on Facebook. This year's location and format have yet to be determined.