Gloversville, New York has a new interim mayor after the resignation of Republican Dayton King as part of a plea agreement on Wednesday.
Gloversville Councilor-at-large Vince DeSantis was sworn in to serve as mayor Thursday night.
DeSantis, a retired city judge, was chosen unanimously by the Common Council.
On Wednesday, third-term Mayor Dayton King resigned pleading guilty to misdemeanor official misconduct. He admitted in court to using the city postage meter for personal use. He was arrested twice during his term.
As the newly appointed mayor, DeSantis delivered a brief State of the City address during the council’s organizational meeting Thursday.
In it, DeSantis praised the “amazing turnaround” seen in Gloversville over the last few years. He mentioned improved city finances, the establishment of a Comprehensive Plan, an update to city zoning, and a new downtown development strategy.
In the next year, DeSantis said he wants to pursue an aggressive marketing strategy to attract the creative class to the small Fulton County city.
“I just think that we’re very marketable to that segment of the population. And studies have been done to show that there are millions of people out there that are educated, that are entrepreneurial, that are making their own businesses, and are looking for great places to settle down, to invest, to raise a family, and I think Gloversville could be a viable place for people like them,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis, a Democrat, served as city judge for two decades. An attorney, DeSantis was elected councilor-at-large in 2017 on the Gloversville Party line. He has also represented Ward 3 on the Common Council.
Ward 4 councilor Steven Smith was appointed councilor-at-large in place of DeSantis. Smith, who campaigned with DeSantis for city council in 2016, said he has been working with him on various causes in Gloversville for a long time.
“He and I have been helping each other and interested in the same thing for the City of Gloversville for literally 30 years, so it’s gratifying for me to have him ascend to that seat and also gratifying for me to back him up in his capacity,” said Smith.
DeSantis will serve the rest of the year as mayor and would have to run in a special election in November to serve out the remaining two years of King’s term.
“I think it’s going to go very well. I’m very optimistic about it. And if it does go very well, I’ll certainly be running. The incentive is, is that it’s only a two-year term,” laughed DeSantis.
If he chooses to run in the special election, DeSantis could see a challenge from Republican Bill Rowback, who after an election night celebration, wound up losing to King in a recount in 2017.
Rowback tells WAMC he’s interested in running.
“I’m looking forward to running for mayor of Gloversville. When I go away for a few, couple more weeks just to get going here, and then the campaign will start,” said Rowback,
A member of the community can be chosen to fill the vacancy left on the city council.
For his part, King must pay more than $470 in restitution. He was also ordered to pay surcharges and fines totaling more than $700, and must complete 50 hours of community service.
The next Gloversville Common Council meeting is set for Tuesday, January 22nd.