Editor’s Note: Frank Duci passed away Sunday at the age of 97. He was sworn in as mayor of Schenectady for his first term in office Jan. 1, 1972. This is how the Gazette wrote about the event at the time.
Before a crowd that overflowed into the corridors, Mayor Frank J. Duci said in his inaugural address New Year’s Day that Schenectady “stands at a crossroads in its historical development which challenges its very existence.”
Duci made the statement after he was sworn in by Family Court Justice Howard A. Levine. The new mayor then swore in new City Councilmen Ed Eckert, Charles Seber and George T. D’Annunzio, all Republicans.
Hundreds attended the ceremonial meeting, which was followed by a reception at City Hall. …
Duci, who said he was as “nervous as the day I was married,” told the audience which included family, friends and well-wishers of the new members of the City Council that it was his “wish that when historians write about this stage in the development of Schenectady they will say that this administration cared about the people, and the people had confidence in it and supported it.”
The new mayor said he would start work immediately on:
-Establishing a charter revision committee that will “evaluate the effectiveness of the present (city manager) form of government versus the strong mayor form of government.”
-Ask the City Council to establish a City Environmental Council since the “health and well-being of the people of our community demands that we guard against further deterioration of our environment and that we make every practical effort to correct conditions which now impair it.”
-Make plans “as callous and tough as they may be” to bring the city’s fiscal responsibilities within the range of its capabilities. “This administration mus make every effort to adopt a policy of realistic planning and budgeting and we must not spend beyond that which we can afford.”
Mayor Duci said he would like to “positively state that certain things would be accomplished, events such as immediate construction of a new Western Gateway Bridge, a consolidated Planning Department, a combined county health care program, or a consolidated recreation unit.”
- Frank Duci, Schenectady’s longest-serving mayor, dies at 97, April 28, 2019
- Archives: Duci going strong at 95, still loves Schenectady and its people, June 26, 2016
- Images: Frank Duci through the years, June 26, 2016
But, Duci said he could not make those promises since the “City of Schenectady is constricted somewhat needlessly by overlapping governmental agencies and old outdated concepts of what a local government is and how it should serve the people.”
He pledged that he and his “colleagues” would “work tirelessly with all levels of government to bring to the city the progressive development which rightfully belong to it.”
Duci commended former Mayor Malcom E. Ellis, who did not seek re-election, “for his earnest and forthright activity in carrying out the responsibility as mayor of this city these past 12 years.”