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In State of County Address McCoy Commits to Fulfilling the County’s Mission; Delivers Call to Action

3/10/2014 5:30:00 PM

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today delivered his third State of the County address to the County Legislature where he outlined the accomplishments of his administration in 2013 and a call to action to keep Albany County moving forward in the coming year.

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today delivered his third State of the County address to the County Legislature where he outlined the accomplishments of his administration in 2013 and a call to action to keep Albany County moving forward in the coming year.

"This address is as much about how we can work together to shape our future as it is about our accomplishments," said County Executive McCoy. "We have made significant progress in working as County leaders to fulfill the mission of serving those in need, providing expanded educational opportunities for County residents and improving the quality of life for seniors."

In the State of the County address, McCoy noted that even though the administration had accomplished much in 2013, there is still much work to be done on behalf of the 305,000 residents of Albany County.

"It is only through effective and strong leadership, strategic partnerships and inclusive vision that we will meet the challenges we face and to have a positive impact on those who live in Albany County."

McCoy said the County has: successfully implemented measures to get County finances in order; advanced a solution to the issue of the Albany County Nursing Home and enacted a 2014 budget that met the property tax cap.

"Despite the burden of unfunded mandates, my budget proposal met the cap and included no lay-offs or reductions in service," said McCoy. "We also made progress in 2013 by working with the Legislature to craft a viable framework to turn the nursing home over to a Local Development Corporation."

The speech further highlighted several significant accomplishments of the administration that were the result of partnerships with the private sector and other government agencies.

They include:

  • The announcement that the $66 million Albany Capital Center project will move forward, which will now serve to anchor a number of complementary development projects in downtown Albany.
  • After years of neglect, a partnership with the state will enable Wellington Row to be redeveloped, a project which will include housing and office space for private sector employer Aeon Nexus.
  • The plans to invest $48.5 million to build a Renaissance Hotel at the site of the Dewitt Clinton Hotel on Eagle Street.
  • A partnership with Schenectady Community College came to fruition in January as the college began offering classes in its new Albany Extension location in the County Office Building at 112 State Street.
  • Continuing the County’s partnership with Soldier On as the non-profit veterans’ assistance agency moves forward to develop a multi-million project to house homeless veterans at the site of the Ann Lee nursing home.

McCoy also used the speech to highlight those initiatives that demonstrate how Albany County is a leader in service delivery, government efficiency and innovation.

In the address McCoy proposed a change to the County’s Family and Medical Leave policy. He asked the County Legislature to ratify a new policy that would provide four weeks of paid leave for employees following the birth of a child or an adoption.

The County Executive also cited his collaboration with County Sheriff Craig Apple, District Attorney David Soares, the CDTA and local non-profits to re-open Lawson Lake as a place for youngsters to visit during the summer.

The County Executive also cited those County agencies that have worked to make a difference in the community, through initiatives or partnerships with other entities.

Examples of these successful partnerships:

  • The Department for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) partnered with local hospitals and non-profits to execute a successful media campaign to educate families that babies sleep safer alone, on their backs and in their cribs.
  • In another project, DCYF is working with the state and local academics on Project Growth, a grant-funded initiative seeking to determine how to reduce the number of youth held in secure detention facilities.
  • The County’s Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center established the Bullying Prevention Task Force, which works with local school district and community groups to educate youngsters on bullying prevention, intervention strategies and creating a positive environment for youngsters.
  • The County’s Traffic Safety Education Program, which annually holds car safety seat check events and has shown hundreds of people the correct way to install these lifesaving devices.
  • The County Executive partnered with other local leaders to share with the state DEC their concern about a plan by Global Companies to significantly expand the amount of crude oil shipped through the city of Albany and down the Hudson River. Governor Cuomo reacted immediately, announcing an extension of the comment period and directing state agencies to beef up state oversight of the shipment of petroleum products.

In the speech, the County Executive discussed how he will continue to make Albany County the greenest county in the state. The first step came in December when McCoy signed landmark legislation banning the use of Styrofoam containers for chain establishments. He pledged to expand the legislation to all businesses in the county within three years.

In addition to the Styrofoam ban the County Executive’s green agenda includes:

  • The establishment of the Albany County Public Service Agency, which will be tasked with reducing the county’s carbon footprint, managing renewable energy project for county facilities and providing county resident the ability to purchase excess power not being used by county facilities.
  • Continuing to lead the discussion with local government partners on revising the 2011 Comprehensive Solid Waste Study with the goal of developing viable long-term solutions to the issues around solid waste disposal in the region.
  • Moving forward with the County Executive’s agenda to preserve and conserve the land where possible. Citing the success of the Albany County Rail Trail, the county will continue to work with partners to determine parcel suitable for conservation and preservation. To date, McCoy’s office has dedicated 372 acres for this purpose.

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