The city of Gloversville is finally headed in the right direction when it comes to finances, addressing blight, improving recreational opportunities for citizens, securing grants and making the city more friendly and open to business.
To keep that momentum going, it needs a steady hand at the top with the experience, temperament and a history of solving problems.
So when Gloversville voters go to the polls to elect their mayor on Tuesday, they should stick with incumbent Democrat Vincent DeSantis.
DeSantis, a former prosecutor, city judge for over 20 years, former councilman and councilman-at-large, is just finishing out the term of former Mayor Dayton King.
Having served three years as mayor now, DeSantis says he wants a full four-year term to bring to fruition initiatives that have been undertaken during his tenure.
He’s earned that opportunity.
Under DeSantis, the city has effectively addressed blight, bringing down the number of vacant properties, in part due to DeSantis’ efforts before and since becoming mayor. During his tenure, the city has replaced street lights, secured $18 million in grants, improved parks, upgraded the condition of streets (for which he credits the city’s new public works superintendent) and saved taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars on trash collection.
The city is now in the process of securing permission and grants to remediate industrial sites in the city in hopes of turning them into valuable property once again.
His approach to attracting business makes sense in a small community — not silver bullets, but “silver BBs,” helping small local businesses be creative.
Among the challenges DeSantis will have to overcome is boosting the police force to deal with the city’s rising crime. He’s counting on increases in sales and property tax revenue generated by economic growth to help the city afford more police officers and make a greater investment in public safety.
DeSantis’ opponent is Councilman-at-Large and longtime city firefighter William Rowback Jr., who lost his last bid for mayor to King in 2017.
Earlier this year, Rowback was the subject of a city council Special Investigation Committee report that concluded he exceeded his authority as councilman-at-large in threatening to fire city employees, that he exposed the city to potential lawsuits and that he was “untruthful” when he testified before the committee. He’s running on a platform of lower taxes and job creation.
Whether the report accurately reflected his conduct or not, it doesn’t inspire confidence that he’ll be able to work in a team environment with other members of the council or city officials on his agenda.
DeSantis has proven he has the ability to work with others on a forward-looking agenda to continue the city’s progress.
He’s earned a full term as mayor.