With the announcement that Mayor Willie Adams will not be seeking re-election, and with the departure of former City Manager Al Lott, there’s a significant chance for change to actually occur here in the Artesian City. Who knows, it might really become the Good Life City once again.
Mayor Adams presided over the city during a time of significant troubles. He accused the media of driving away businesses by reporting on those annoying facts of corruption within the city. He failed to take responsibility for a great many things, but he wasn’t the only one responsible.
His decision to not run again was his own, and I respect it, regardless of our differences of opinion on what this city needs. However, his departure leaves a void for the upcoming mayoral election that should definitely make things interesting.
Discussions have commenced all over Albany as to who will succeed Adams as mayor. Early speculation has first-term City Commissioner Christopher Pike as a popular choice. Also discussed has been Pike’s fellow commissioner and Darton College professor Roger Marietta. Other discussion revolved around City Commissioner Bob Langstaff. Even yours truly has been asked if I was going to run. (At this point, it isn’t likely to happen.)
An open seat makes for an interesting race for one reason above all others: no one has the advantage of incumbency. Everyone is jockeying for position during the race with no one having the clear inside edge due to position. Basically, everyone starts off equal. You can’t get more American than that.
Whoever takes over from Adams will have their hands full, to say the least. Should any sitting commissioner win the seat, then a special election for their vacant seat will change the look of the commission even more. This is a good thing.
Our commission, as a whole, has let the people of Albany down. Now, an opportunity presents itself that we would be foolish not to take advantage of. Sitting commissioners, business leaders, or whoever you feel should be mayor has an equal shot at the prize. We can inject new blood into the offices and roll up our sleeves so we can get down to work rebuilding this city into what it once was.
I won’t pretend to know how it will end. I won’t even pretend to know that whatever the elections yield will be good news for Albany. What I will say is that, no matter what happens, this campaign season should make for one wild ride.