Monday, March 21, 2011


Even as the drizzle dampened the spectators, a good size crowd gathered at the Shayne Gallo Mayoral announcement Monday evening. I have posted the speech below:

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming out today.
I don’t have to remind all of you what distinguishes Kingston from other upstate communities; a beautiful waterfront, rich historical heritage and architectural infrastructure that rivals many other river cities throughout the region. You have to look no further than the Stockade district and the Senate House as well as the trading port of the Rondout to realize that Kingston is truly an historic gem that we should be proud of.
However, the building you see behind me is NOT one of the historical structures we should be proud of.
I chose this location to announce my candidacy for Mayor, because I wanted to focus attention on putting the interests of our residents, business owners and professionals first. This property represents one of the roadblocks facing us as we attempt to better our community.
As Corporation Counsel of the city, I worked with the current administration to shut down this eyesore; the former King’s Inn. It was a welfare hotel whose owners had no vested interest in our community and while reaping the benefits of a lucrative contract with DSS, let their clients inhabit substandard, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially life threatening conditions. Working with our city agencies and administration, we were successful in closing a near tragic situation.
The fact that we address the King’s Inn issue as we step forward is because we can learn so many lessons from mistakes made in the past. Some day in the near future, this building will be raised. As Mayor, I intend to swing the first sledgehammer as the crews begin demolition. What a great day that will be.
I believe Mayor Sottile has contacted the Army Corps of Engineers to see if the demolition can be done as an exercise so that the city is burdened with just the tipping fees. This avenue has been taken before, saving the city serious amounts of money.
Another location, just around the corner, is UPAC. A grand theatre and performance arts venue managed by the Bardavon. It serves as a year round entertainment destination. Serving the City of Kingston since 1927, has hosted three U.S. Presidents and some of the best musical and theatrical performers in the country. We are truly fortunate that past boards had the vision and tenacity to renovate this grand theatre for it has become the anchor for the revitalization of midtown. In order for UPAC to BE that anchor, we have to be diligent in our efforts to clean up the immediate neighborhood. That means working with residents, business & professionals to curtail the neglect along the Broadway corridor.
But let’s not forget the rest of our city.
I have talked with Kingston residents, taxpayers and business owners from uptown to downtown, and there is a strong consensus that the next Mayor of the City of Kingston must improve the “quality of life” for ALL Kingstonians. Therefore, the next Mayor must continually listen to the concerns of business owners, professionals and residents alike.

As Mayor, I will utilize city agencies to their fullest extent; assisting them to communicate & coordinate information with each other for laying the groundwork for vigilant building, zoning & solid waste code enforcement. I shall recommend to the future council to provide the necessary resources for implementing a "quality of life" task force.

Mayor Sottile has initiated the ‘Block By Block’ inspection program;

The neighborhoods we inspected proved to serve as a reality check as we discovered violations stemming from neglect and illegal housing modifications. In addition, the program had an unexpected positive effect on the rest of the city in that landlords now suspect that authorities would visit their streets at any time. I plan to continue this approach to fixing our stressed neighborhoods.

As assistant Corp Counsel, I recommended the Nuisance Abatement Laws and the amendment to this local law to include all code provisions pertaining to quality of life for our city. Working together with then retired D.A. Donald Williams & Don Ryan from the Sheriff’s Dept, the tools were created to rebuild those areas in our city that are plagued by indifference & neglect with no accountability by absentee landlords and DSS agencies thus resulting in a disservice to the public & substantial waste of taxpayers dollars.
I am truly thankful that the Council at the time saw fit to embrace a potent tool in shutting down unsafe substandard housing.

As Mayor, I intend to require more accountability from social service agencies who provide income to absentee landlords reaping the benefit of taxpayer dollars & leaving a plague in neighborhoods throughout our great city.

Now let me speak about our hard working men and women in our police department. My administration will have a strong police presence in midtown. I intend to bring back the mobile police precinct and put beat cops on the streets. We will continue to work with other police agencies such as the Sheriff’s office and the New York State police. We will also look at utilizing funds such as “operation impact” dollars, tapping into a program that has been very successful in areas like the City of Rochester in decreasing crime. Our Blue & Gray shared beat program yielded terrific results; I intend to continue that tradition & will work to expand the scope of "Operation Impact". Our neighborhoods deserve no less.
I am a firm believer that our youth should have the same sense of safety around their homes no matter where in our great city they reside. Parents should expect those of us in position of authority to be working toward that goal with every decision we make. If there is one reason I announce my candidacy for Mayor, it would have to be for the betterment of our city for generations to come.
My experience in both the private and public sector make me uniquely qualified to tackle the tasks that lie ahead and I am proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor here in midtown.
Let me remind you, as assistant corporation counsel in the current administration, I am familiar with all City departments, the inner workings of City government and have worked hard to make sure that Kingston’s resident & professional interests come first.

When addressing our local economy, the reality is; before we can bring more jobs to Kingston we must first focus on keeping the jobs and business that are currently here.
I plan to hold a series of meetings over the next few months with business leaders, where I will listen to their concerns and get their input on what they feel are the priorities of making Kingston more business friendly. Including the creation of a quality of life task force.

In these tough economic times, every business owner and resident has had to tighten their belt. The City of Kingston needs to look at ways where we can do the same. A prime example would be assisting the Mayor and County Executive’s office to help implement the merger with the UC Emergency Communications division. This merger has an annual savings to taxpayers of over $80K per year.
Having navigated that venture, I see no reason not to seek future inter-municipal mergers to better serve the taxpayer. Reducing taxes though the consolidation of services can only help.
I encourage employees and residents of the City of Kingston to contact me with any cost saving ideas that you may have, and I will continue to foster the dialogue with the state and county & other local officials to continue to look at ways of saving even more taxpayer dollars.
As the Mayor, I will use my professional background of almost 20 years experience in the collective bargaining process to foster a dialogue of cooperation with our dedicated City employees and make them stakeholders in our city. Our administration will negotiate fair contracts that are in the best interest of the Kingston taxpayers and our hard working employees.

Let me address the legacy issue. Some have questioned that I am running on the name of my brother, the late TR Gallo. Let me stress that my name is Shayne Gallo and while both he and I shared a deep love & passion for the City of Kingston, I am not looking to merely succeed his term. I should be so lucky to achieve the accomplishments of his administration. I am however, my own man. I will serve the citizens of Kingston following my own vision for the future.
I want to stress again, this campaign will be about putting people first. I was born, raised & work in the city of Kingston and I do not want to see us lose anymore of our residents. As the election season continues, you and your families will make your decision as to who should be the next leader of this great city.
Consider my experience, willingness to work with our citizenry and my desire to make Kingston the best place to raise a family.

Citizens and members of the business community have indicated that without serious changes, they will be leaving for better environments to raise their families and commercial opportunities.

We are at a critical point. Without addressing the quality of life issues that plague our city, we shall not move forward. The time is now. Please join my campaign to become part of the "Quality of Life" task force to make Kingston a better place to live & work.
Thank you and God Bless the City of Kingston.


Anonymous said...

Well, you can't say Shayne is short on words and substance. But I didn't see anything about how we need new people to replace the old people.
Where's the push for artist lofts and galleries?
All this nonsense about fixing what's broken first isn't going to arouse our friends in SoHo. C'mon Shayne, the time is now!


Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. If Shayne's speech is on your Blog, does that mean you are supporting him for Mayor? If so, what does that mean when the guy you walked around your neighborhood is the other Democratic option and you're not supporting him? How are we supposed to read into this?

Anonymous said...

Mike, Shayne is a nice guy but I am concerned about his lack of working in the "REAL" world, like the private sector. How can he relate to the businesses in the city of Kingston when all of his career has been in government. I don't want anymore government entities in our city. We need PRIVATE business. Saw you in the background in the Kingston photo. Supporting Gallo? Didn't see ya at Clements announcement.

Anonymous said...

Gallo works as a private lawyer with George Reeder. His oponent sales ads for a magizine give me a break.