GLOVERSVILLE — Mayor Dayton King says he has quit the insurance game and become a real estate agent for CMK Reality.
King announced on his Facebook page Friday that he is, “very excited to join the team at CMK!! 😉 [wink emoji]” and posted a photo of his new real estate agent card.
King had previously worked as an insurance account manager at NBT-Bank Mang Insurance. King said he quit Mang Insurance on Feb. 24 because he felt the job didn’t offer enough opportunities for commission. He said he was paid a base salary of approximately $40,000 by Mang, but found he spent most of his time servicing existing accounts for the agency, such as insurance policies for the towns of Bleecker, Oppenheim, Little Falls and Herkimer County.
“There are no conflicts of interest with being the city mayor, if there are any properties the city owns, obviously I won’t be selling that,” King said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me and my family.”
This is the second time King has been named an employee for one of Northville native Christian Klueg’s companies. King was briefly listed as a business development specialist for CMK Marketing on the Albany Business Review’s website. King and officials at CMK Marketing told The Leader-Herald for an Aug. 4 story that King never actually worked for the marketing firm because it was determined he would have too many conflicts of interest with Mang Insurance.
In 2014, King brought his employment with Mang Insurance to the Gloversville Ethics Committee for approval, Jo-Ann Clear, chairwoman for the committee at the time, said the mayor’s employment met the state’s ethics guidelines.
King said he will not be taking the real estate position to the city ethics board. He said the reason he asked for the board’s review of his Mang employment was that Mang represents the city of Gloversville, as well as the city of Johnstown and Fulton County. King said his employment with Mang passed muster because he was not involved as an insurance account manager with the accounts that his mayoral duties would interact with. King said the only conflict he could see with being a real estate agent would be in representing the sale of city owned property, which he said he will not do.
King said he became licensed to sell real estate on Thursday, after passing a test at the conclusion of a 75-hour online course on Tuesday.
“It’s a new venture. It’s something involved with Christian Klueg who I’ve obviously been close with for a long time. I have high praise for him and I think he’s a dude that has a great moral system. I like the culture of CMK, it is on the cusp of everything new with technology,” King said.
Klueg was a candidate in the Republican Party primary for the 49th state Senate seat against now-elected state Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville. During a debate on radio station WENT Tedisco criticized Klueg’s pricing policies as lowering the price of local real estate.
In a profile of Klueg’s business in the Feb. 28 Sunday Leader-Herald, Klueg explained that his pricing policies are based on a analytical approach that attempts to determine the realistic market value of a property and stems from his background as a licensed real estate appraiser.
“We want to be honest with our customers and tell them what their properties are worth,” Klueg said for the article. “Sometimes it’s hard to do. It’s hard to tell someone their house is not worth what they thought it was worth.”
Klueg’s approach may differ from some realtors who might be more inclined to list an aspirational price closer to what the homeowner wants to receive for the property.
King said he supports Klueg’s pricing philosophy and he believes it helps drive sales volume and market share, which may result in jealousy among some of his competitors.
“I’m going to work for Christian, I certainly support his philosophy. At the end of the day, you can list houses or you can sell houses and we’re going to sell them,” King said. “When you’re in a position where you’re on top you’re going to have some people who don’t like that.”
King has come under fire for his job responsibilities outside of being a full time mayor. Former Gloversville 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth, a longtime critic of King, blasted his latest employment outside of the city.
“My only comment is a reminder that when King first ran for office, his comments were that he would be a full-time mayor,” she said. “No matter how youthful or energetic anyone is, I do not believe he puts in the amount of hours that warrant a $42,000 per year salary as mayor. I believe the city deserves better.”
King said he believes the flexibility of being a real estate agent will be less of a burden on his time than working 40 to 50 hours per week for Mang.
“At the end of the day, the council or the charter doesn’t restrict the mayor from having any outside income. I think I want to do what is right for me and my family and the city. I think this will make me a better mayor,” he said. “I think the people who support me will continue to support me, the people who see our city going in the right direction don’t really care what I do outside of my mayoral duties. I have been, 24/7, the mayor. I’m going to be representing people and helping people find houses. I’ve reduced taxes. We have added to the general fund and we have added police and it’s still not going to be good enough for some people.”