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David Price

Albany Common Council, Ward 14, Republican

Why are you running?

Iím running because the ward needs better representation on the Common Council, and it is my civic duty to do what I can to maintain the residential integrity and quality of life in the city of Albany. Iíve been in Albany my entire life. Iím a self-employed consultant. Iím an accountant. I have a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, and Iím awaiting my bar exam results.

What kind of development is appropriate for your district?

Ward 14, my ward, is primarily a single- family-dwelling residential district, and it should remain so. As a board member of the Buckingham Pond Crestwood Neighborhood Association, I opposed putting a big-box store on Krumkill Road and New Scotland [Avenue]. I support a 23-acre greenbelt bordered by Krumkill Road. I also opposed the plan to build a 12-story high-rise apartment building and parking garage on a seven-and-a-half-acre parcel on Krumkill Road. [Incumbent Councilman Joseph] Igoe supported the proposal, but switched because of overwhelming opposition from the community, and I support keeping this parcel as an open space.

What should Albany do with its garbage?

I think Albany should expand the landfill by [using] adjoining land. I believe they should not allow other municipalities to dump in it.

Do you support the mayorís Charter Reform Commission?

I thought it wasnít going to come on the ballot. Iím for charter reform, and my opponent voted against allowing people to vote for charter reform. And whether it was poorly crafted or not, people should have a right to vote. I thought it was not going to be an issue anymore.

Do you think having more than one party represented on the council would improve how the council functions? If so, how?

Yes, different people bring different viewpoints, and I would bring different viewpoints than my opponent. My opponent is chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and he has not provided any leadership on that. I think if there are different people with different viewpoints it helps the city.

What should the Common Councilís role be regarding the Citizensí Police Review Board?

I believe the police should be directed to clear the streets of bad actors. I believe the police should be directed to disarm criminals and gangs in Albany. I believe the police should strictly enforce speed limits on neighborhood residential streets. Iím for abolishing the review board. I believe the handcuffs should be taken off the police and [they should be] allowed to do their job. Keep in mind they are here to ensure safe homes, streets and to serve the public.

What a Week

Spreading Democracy, or Something Like That

According to a recent poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, most Americans think a coin toss is more democratic than their nationís current system of government. Administered by several of the largest independent international affairs and policy-study agencies, the study questioned Americans about the level of influence they felt they had on their elected officials. Among the pollís findings: Americans feel that their representatives act in accordance with their constituents only 39 percent of the time, and two-thirds of Americans feel they have little or no influence at all on decisions made in Washington.

Abu-what? Guantana-where?

The U.S. Senate approved an amendment prohibiting the use of torture against anyone in federal custody last week, voting 90-9 to attach the amendment to a $440 billion military spending bill. The amendment, introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), would require soldiers to follow procedures outlined in the Army Field Manual during interrogations. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said the legislation is unnecessary, because the confusion over procedures and systems of abuse cited by McCain in the legislation do not exist. If the bill passes the House, White House spokesmen have indicated that the amendment might cause the president to veto the billóalong with the funding for protective equipment and benefits it contains.

Nice Idea, Maybe We Should Try It

The proposed new Iraqi constitution includes a right to health care in Article 2. Have they been letting non-Americans help them draft this thing?

Breaking Free, Independently

New Yorkís Independence Party finally got fed up with being manipulated by Lenora Fulani and her supporters, and voted her and five others off the executive committee on Sept. 18. While the ostensible (and sufficient on its own) reason was public anti- Semitic comments, Fulaniís devotion to the cultlike practice of Social Therapy, founded by Fred Newman, and the Newmanitesí history over the past several years of steering the party into supporting several wing-nut candidates of no consistent political bent, likely had something to do with it.

photo:Chris Shields

Jason Wright

Albany Common Council, Ward 11, Republican

Why are you running?

Iím not happy about things just in my area. Not just in my ward, but in my block. I want to try and change it the best way I can. I actively work within the community. Iím on the Washington Square Neighborhood Association security committee. I want to get people more involved. I have a degree in political science. I am the program director of a Boys and Girls [Club] in Schenectady. I want to give people representation. I want to bring about positive change. I am 24, 25 in another month. Iím an upstate kid. I grew up in Syracuse. I have been in Albany for about four years. I was born in Jamaica.

Do you support the convention center?

I do support the convention center. I donít know where else they will be able to put it that Albany will be able to market it. Itís going to create jobs off the bat and itís going to make people want to come to Albany more often. Iíve spoken to members of the community, and they believe Jennings may be concentrating on bringing in new people rather than taking care of people who already live in these communities. I feel just to bring in other funds from other areas is going to help the area. Itís going to put Albany on the map. Itís already there, but this is going to benefit plenty, I believe, in five or six years.

What should the Common Councilís role be regarding the Citizensí Police Review Board?

I havenít had time to look into it much. Iíve had my share of interactions with the Albany Police Department in positive and negative ways. I feel that theyíre doing the best they can with the resources they have. I know some politicians are talking about bringing in Guardian Angels and all this other crap. There is always room for improvement. The best way I think we can help them is having more involvement with them.

Do you support the mayorís Charter Reform Commission?

I think it can be effective, and I do support it. What we should have done is given the citizens a chance to vote on it and see how they feel about it. When you vote for someone, you are giving them the opportunity to be your voice, and when obviously the people out there want this change and if you donít give them the opportunity to make that change or make that judgment on their own, then how are you representing them?

What is your position on charter schools?

Iím a proud product of the public-school system. I work for the Boys and Girls Club. I see firsthand what they are doing. Some people lump them together; not all charter schools are bad, not all are good. We should look more into the good and bad rather than lumping them all together. Some are pretty good. Some kids in fourth grade, Iím helping them with their homework and going, ďWow, youíre learning this and you are in fourth grade?Ē I personally prefer public schools. I donít really back charter schools. They havenít been around long enough to say whether they are good or bad for the area.

Do you think having more than one party represented on the council would improve how the council functions? If so, how?

Definitely. Representation! I feel that thereís not enough, not everyone is represented in this city. I donít think charter reform would have gone through like that if there had been a second party. It doesnít make any sense. . . . Itís not even the fact that they voted against it; they didnít even allow the citizens that live in this area the opportunity to vote on it. The current council is all just of one mindset.

óInterviews by David King

For interviews with other candidates in these races, and interviews in other races, visit

Loose Ends

On Oct. 2, members of the Newspaper Guild/CWA voted down a Times Union contract proposal 170-3 [ďScouring for Sympathy,Ē Newsfront, Feb. 10]. The concerns were the same as they have been during the 15-month negotiation process, said the guild: raises, employer control over days off, health-care costs, and changes to the pension system. . . . State Supreme Court Judge James Canfield ruled in favor of local preservationists last week, preventing the owners of Lansingburghís historic Freihofer Bakery and Riverside Club [ďWhat Makes History?Ē Newsfront, June 16] from demolishing the two buildings without first submitting their plans to state Environmental Quality Review Act review. Canfield also ruled that the plaintiffs had the right to petitionóan issue that the city of Troy and the buildingsí owners had disputed because none of the petitioners lived next to the buildings.

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