Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan hosted a New Year's Day ceremony at City Hall to swear in three new leaders.
"The three leaders that I'm going to be swearing in this morning are people who are dedicated and passionate," said Sheehan prior to welcoming William G. Kelly, Jr. as Albany’s newest City Court Judge, Dr. Dorcey Applyrs as Albany’s new Chief City Auditor, and Sonia Frederick to fill Applyrs’ former role representing Albany’s 1st Ward on the Common Council. "They will have an indelible mark on our city and I look forward to the work that they are going to do."
Kelly, who is 51, has practiced law for 15 years—as a prosecutor in the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office, as a criminal defense attorney and as the Corporation Counsel for the city of Albany. "The faith and trust you have given me shall not be dismissed nor betrayed. It will serve as a constant reminder of my commitment to ensure a fair, compassionate and equitable process for all who come before the court."
Applyrs, who hails from Washington, D.C., was a political newcomer when she ran for the council in 2013. She says she won't sit in an office all day. The 37-year-old Democrat plans to tackle "hot button" quality-of-life issues. "My approach will be leading from outside. Going out, listening to the community, listening to department heads, what are our gaps, what our blind spots that we think, and then starting to come up with ideas about what needs to be audited from that standpoint."
Her First Ward common council seat goes to a 25-year-old member of the city’s Democratic Committee, Sonia Frederick, who was appointed Monday by Mayor Kathy Sheehan to serve the remainder of the term until the next election in 2021. Frederick says she will look to run again in 2021. "First and foremost, I want to have an open door to all of my constituents to make sure that I hear are the issues that are impacting them. And I truly can act upon the ones that are, will better our community. In addition, my priorities I want to focus on, is addressing the food desert in the South End. I think that's a public health crisis. And I want to work with organizations that are addressing that currently do everything my power to help. And secondly, I want to create more youth initiatives. I think it's important to uplift our youth in the first ward, and make sure that they have opportunities to succeed and they feel like their community is truly behind them."
Sheehan points out that Frederick is the second Latinx common councilor and is also a volunteer EMT. Frederick, who works on government risk compliance for KPMG, came to the city to attend the University at Albany in 2012. She is a native of Waterloo in the Finger Lakes region.