Johnstown mayor declines to seek re-election

JOHNSTOWN – Mayor Sarah Slingerland announced Monday she won’t seek a third four-year term.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at City Hall,” said Slingerland, a Republican and the city’s first female mayor. “I have some other interests.”

In a prepared statement issued Monday, the 63-year-old Slingerland, who was first elected in 2005, said she feels she has been a good steward of city government for more than seven years.

“After much consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for the office of mayor of the city of Johnstown in the fall of 2013,” she wrote. “It has been a true honor and privilege to serve the city of Johnstown for 10 years – eight years as mayor and two years as a member of the city council.”

Slingerland said that during her tenure, she has “worked hard to ensure a high quality of life for the residents, promote economic growth and maintain fiscal stability for the city.”

“I look forward to staying active in the community and spending time with my family,” the mayor said.

Slingerland, a mother of two with four grandchildren, taught English in the Greater Johnstown School District before getting into politics. She and her husband, David, live on Union Place.

Slingerland said today she has been especially proud of “stabilizing” the tax rate in the city. She said her administration has played a role in “huge economic growth” in the city since 2006, including the spread of more businesses on Route 30A and more industrial growth.

She said her administration has helped stem property blight and presided over the demolition of several old tanneries and the building of multiple homes. The city created a comprehensive plan and new zoning regulations during her administration.

“The quality of life in Johnstown is certainly as good as it’s ever been,” she said.

Slingerland has been involved in promoting Johnstown as the birthplace of women’s- rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

She presided over many activities in 2008 when the city celebrated its 250th anniversary, including a parade that September.

The mayor said she has tried to strengthen her ties with Gloversville. However, during her administration, the city has been involved in land, revenue sharing and transportation controversies with other municipalities. A Gloversville Transit System run within her city ended during her administration.

Nevertheless, Slingerland said she continues today to have a “very good working relationship” with Gloversville Mayor Dayton King.

King also is up for re-election this year. He said he intends to seek re-election.

Johnstown Councilman-at-Large Bryan Marcucci today praised Slingerland’s service.

“I think she’s done a good job,” he said.

No one publicly has expressed an interest in the mayor’s seat yet this year.

City Republican Chairman Russell Martin couldn’t be reached this morning to comment on whether there is any Republican interest in the mayor’s position.

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