Cinquanti to seek 2nd term as Amsterdam mayor

Man speaks at desk, hands out

FILE - Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti.

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AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti will seek re-election to his second term in office this year.

“We have made a lot of progress in three years and I hope this year is going to be more of the same,” Cinquanti said Monday. “There are more things I would like to try and get done.”

Cinquanti announced he will run for another four-year term on his personal Facebook page late Friday afternoon.

“I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’m in for another four years if the people want it,” Cinquanti said. “I like the direction the city is heading in, I enjoy the challenge of the job, but most of all my family was behind the decision.”

Cinquanti, a Democrat, was first elected mayor after defeating incumbent Republican Michael Villa in 2019.

The city’s massive accumulated budget deficit loomed large during the last mayoral election. Chaotic past bookkeeping practices led to the deficit that grew to over $8 million at its height after it was uncovered during the 2015-16 audit.

The deficit was eliminated last year and replaced with a $3.6 million budget surplus, according to Cinquanti. The debt was knocked down through a combination of new revenues, replacing local spending with federal pandemic relief aid and careful budgeting supported by city staffers.

In particular, Cinquanti has commended Deputy Controller Cassandra Kinowski for unraveling old accounts to uncover $3.5 million in unused capital project funds to apply to the deficit.

Steps have also been taken to develop sound financial policies and procedures to prevent a recurrence of past issues. Cinquanti said he wants another term to continue those efforts, as well as initiatives focused on Amsterdam’s revitalization and growth.

“I’m an effective administrator and I get things done,” Cinquanti said. “I think I’m the best person for the job and I think continuing on for the next four years is something I have the energy for and the desire for.”

Sustaining and expanding efforts to remediate blight, redevelop deteriorating properties and build communication with residents through the traveling Improve Our Neighborhoods Initiative Conversations are among Cinquanti’s priorities for another term.

Additional goals include seeing through the demolition the former strip mall off the Five Corners Intersection and ushering in its redevelopment and securing additional aid to cover escalating costs for projects funded through the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative to build a recreation center and South Side boardwalk.

“I want Amsterdam to become the number one hometown choice in the Capital District,” Cinquanti said. “It’s been my hometown for 68 years and I know why I live here and I want other people to realize those reasons and take advantage of what we have to offer here. In order to do that we have to give them compelling reasons.”

The successful deficit elimination and initiatives shepherded by Cinquanti have convinced the Montgomery County Democratic Party to endorse his re-election bid, according to Chairman Terry Bieniek.

“Overall, he’s done a very good job,” Bieniek said. “I believe he deserves a second term.”

Although no challengers have come forward, Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Emanuele said the local GOP hopes to run a full slate of candidates in Amsterdam races this year.

Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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