ALBANY, N.Y. - Mayor Jerry Jennings was greeted by a standing ovation as he took the stage for his State of the City Tuesday, his 18th since taking office.
This time around, a more auspicious backdrop, moved from City Hall to Kiernan Plaza. The former Union Station and future site of a high tech business incubator that will be linked to UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
"I commit to you that from this location not only will we continue the work of building a better city but we will begin the work of building a better world. It is a bold promise but we have put into place through the strategic partnerships we have established the framework to make the new smart city center the epicenter of technological innovation," Mayor Jennings said.
The project was made possible through a $4 million state economic development grant. Just one of more than a dozen other projects in Albany that will be financed through the same program. Jennings was quick to tout that progress, speaking in grand terms but offered few specifics on any new plans or initiatives. The closest he came was on the convention center; offering a scaled down proposal.
"It is totally realistic to move forward in collaboration with the state and Albany County to improve existing facilities at the Times Union Center and at the Empire State Plaza and include the construction of a new ballroom and hotel that will connect into these facilities via the existing walkway," Jennings said.
President of the Common Council Carolyn McLaughlin said she was supportive.
"It is important that we begin to think outside the box and I think the concept that he presented tonight is doing just that," McLaughlin said.
Jennings declined to say if he would seek re-election. If he did and won, it would be his 6th term in office.