Gloversville mayor campaigning for seat, opposition unclear

GLOVERSVILLE – City voters won’t head to the polls for the mayoral election until November, but already Mayor Dayton King and his supporters have begun campaigning.

The early start comes through both word of mouth and several letters to the editor sent to The Leader-Herald – some by people who don’t live in the city or the state.

“My wife and I have had a tremendous amount of public support and the letters to the paper have been fantastic,” King said. “People have been commenting on Facebook publicly and privately. Obviously it is an election year, and we are super excited about it.”

King said earlier this week he is planning to run for re-election this year and will seek Independent, Conservative and Republican lines on the ballot.

“I represent all of the Gloversvillians, and I am not a party player,” King said. “I am going to look out for the best interest of the taxpayers and provide services rather than promote a party.”

He said he will formally announce his bid for re-election and begin fundraising later in the year.

King said he believes the city is starting to turn around and head in the right direction because it has the “right people in the right places.”

“We have council members that are working hard and looking at the budget and have department heads that are being fiscally responsible and hopefully we can keep it that way,” King said. “I don’t know any mayor [who] has been re-elected back-to-back in 50 years.”

During the budget process the mayor proposes a budget while the council and department heads begin a painstaking process of paring it down.

According to the city website, the last mayor to be re-elected was Richard H. Hood when he served the city from 1962 to 1969.

King said the key to being re-elected this year will be consistency.

He said he is happy the city has been able to keep the taxes flat the last two years and is hopeful he will be able to reduce them in the future. He also said the police department has made the city safer and is currently at full force creating a more visible presence in the city.

“It would be hard pressed for me to have someone tell me I wasn’t acting in the city’s best interest at all times,” King said. “Whether it is night meetings or weekend meetings, I think I am one of the most accessible and visible mayors the city has had.”

He said being available through his personal Facebook account and openly providing the number to his cell phone has allowed him to interact with residents of the city and be aware of the issues that concern them.

Some people have complained they were unfriended after making comments on his Facebook page.

“I think that availability goes a long way,” Dayton said. “Whether it is noticed dollar and cents wise, I think people will miss it if it’s gone.”

King said it took the first few years to understand aspects of the job such as interpreting union contracts.

“I think those that say ‘run the city like a business’ have never tried to run a government because with labor laws, unions and the way we pay for health insurance, most businesses would either lay people off or change health insurance immediately, but we have to live within the parameters of the contracts that were previous to us,” King said.

King’s opposition for the mayoral seat in November remains unclear, but several people have informally expressed interest.

Fifth Ward Gloversville Supervisor Michael Ponticello said in another publication he is interested in running, but when asked by The Leader-Herald, he said he was undecided and had no comment.

Councilman-at-Large James Robinson previously expressed interest in running for the seat, but said he is still weighing his options and discussing the possibility with his family.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

By -