Already, both Mayor Sheehan and Mayor Yepsen have been faced with significant, controversial issues during their short tenure in office. The Port of Albany is increasingly becoming a major terminal for tanker cars transporting fracked crude oil from the Bakken Shale, while both communities have become prospective locations for the potential development of full-scale, Las Vegas-style casinos after voters statewide approved Proposition I last November, which authorized the legislature to issue up to seven casino licenses in selected regions across the state.
Recently, the Albany Times Union profiled Mayor Sheehan on her first 100 days in office, while The Saratogian profiled Mayor Yepsen's first 100 days in office:
From The Times Union (on Mayor Sheehan), April 11, 2014:
Mayor Kathy Sheehan chronicled her first 100 days in office Friday, underscoring her plans to rebuild downtown Albany — and warning that any casino built in the city cannot hinder that effort.From The Saratogian (on Mayor Yepsen), April 11, 2014:
The first-year Democratic mayor's comments came as she spoke of challenges that have ranged from fires and snow to the city's $16 million budget deficit.
"There is still much work to do, but we have taken initial steps on what I consider to be a road to a revitalized and renewed city," Sheehan said while surrounded by top city officials outside Washington Park Lakehouse.
In the last month, Capital District OTB and Rochester developer David Flaum proposed a casino at Exit 23 of the Thruway near Albany's southern border with Bethlehem.
"One thing that it cannot do is impact what we are trying to accomplish downtown," Sheehan said. "We need to move forward, full-speed ahead, with our effort to bring back downtown Albany and to strengthen every single one of our neighborhoods. That has to be the focus. So if a casino can help benefit that, then we need to have that conversation. But we need to make sure that we're represented and that we have an agreement in place that is going to deliver on all of the promise that the casino could bring to the city of Albany."
SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Mayor Joanne Yepsen on Friday marked her 100th day in office with an informal media reception and a discussion about how her term has gone so far.
Yepsen talked about a variety of issues, such as economic development, the arts and waterfront development, among others.
The mayor discussed the hot-button issue of casino gaming, saying the council’s March decision to formally oppose the law that allows for gaming expansion represented the “sentiment of the community.”
“It’s up to the [Saratoga Casino & Raceway] to change the sentiment of the community,” she said.
The racino has been eyed as a possible site for a casino after a statewide referendum allowing for gaming expansion passed in November. However, a majority of voters who turned out in Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County opposed the measure.