Hiring a Mayor in 2015
Endorsements, especially for mayor, are the stuff of elections. I do have a recommendation, but mine is first about Hudson's future, a future where those of us in public service work together thoughtfully and positively, where, as a community, we put our best people forward for office based on the candidates' proven capacity and desire to serve and to lead.
Hudson's challenges are significant, and addressing them takes leadership and management. Replacing the Ferry Street Bridge; developing the Dunn's warehouse and the Kaz property; creating affordable, safe and decent housing; establishing a working relationship with the Hudson business community.
When we elect a mayor, we are --think of it like this--hiring a manager; someone who understands the business we are in, and has the best accumulated skills and track record to be hired for the job.
What is in the job description? Having a grasp of the whole city. What does that mean? It means understanding the various group and individuals who make the city tick; what their needs and their values are. It takes a self-starter. The ideal candidate will be aggressive and use his or her time efficiently. He or she will prioritize the projects to be worked on (with limited budget resources), and will create initiatives both to conserve resources and to find new sources of revenue.
So, let's look at the candidates we will interview. First, Tiffany Martin Hamilton. Tiffany is a Hudson native. She has worked for major technology corporations, where she specialized in financial management, human resources, and operations management. Most recently she was employed by iRise, publisher of a visualization software platform used by Fortune 500 companies, and by NXN Software recently acquired by Avid Technology, a major international provider of audio and video creative editing technologies. Tiffany has skills tested in complex organizations over more than 20 years.
And our current Mayor, Bill Hallenbeck? Bill's argument to keep his job is based on creating lists that unfortunately, upon examination, don't add up to a record. Especially over the past two years, when Bill's time in office has been defined by the things he is against, not the things he is for. Bill says he lowered taxes. He did not. He, the City Treasurer and the Common Council approved no or slight increases in taxes.
Another example: regarding the Ferry Street Bridge, on WGXC, Bill explained his inaction since the bridge was closed by saying that the city could not pursue grants until the city attorney had issued an opinion that the city owned the bridge. It is fair to ask, was he paying attention? In February of 2013, the City, namely your Grant Writers and I, with Bill signing the application, filed a $2.4 million Strategic Transportation Enhancement Program application with the NYS Department of Transportation. We were not successful but there was no impediment to our application.
We all have to decide who we will hire this November. I believe Hudson's future would be in much better hands with Tiffany Martin Hamilton.