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ARC of Delaware County: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy at Rensselaer Education Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy of the Holy Names: ClosedAchievements & Kids Express Mplwood: Delayed 2 Hrs, no before careAchievements St Kateri Tekakwitha: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements and Kids Express TBGC: Delayed 2 HrsAdams-Cheshire Regional SD: ClosedAesthetic Science Institute: Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes will begin at 11 amAlbany Law School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All classes starting before 11 am are cancelled Staff report at 10:30 amAlbany Leadership Charter High: Delayed 2 HrsAlbany Public Library: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All locations open at noonAmbleside School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All School Luncheon remains on scheduleAmsterdam City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastAmsterdam Head Start: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportAn Nur Islamic School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Building opens at 8:30.Andes CSD: Delayed 2 HrsArkville Head Start: ClosedArlington SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Delay 2 Hours ALL JISP CANCELLEDAugustine Classical Academy: ClosedAverill Park CSD: ClosedAverill Park Pre School: Closed, No AM Program, No Morning ClassesBArT Charter Public School: Closed, Full-year staff reportBallston Spa CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBattenkill Community Services: ClosedBennington College: Delayed Until 10a, Essential staff report as normalBennington County Head Start: ClosedBennington Early Childhood Ctr: ClosedBerkshire Christian School (Lenox): ClosedBerkshire Community College: ClosedBerkshire Country Day School: ClosedBerkshire County Head Start@Conte: Closed, No AM Head StartBerkshire Hills Regional SD: Delayed 2 HrsBerlin CSD: ClosedBerne-Knox-Westerlo CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastBethlehem CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESBishop Maginn HS: ClosedBlessed Sacrament School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No After School Events, Regular DismissalBoght Montessori: Delayed 2 HrsBrighter Choice Charter Schools: ClosedBrite Beginnings Day Care & Dev Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsBrown School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Morning PLUS ProgramBrunswick (Brittonkill) CSD: Closed, Updated statusBrunswick Center Services: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesBrunswick Children's Academy: ClosedBrunswick Community Library: ClosedBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, 2-hr delay (Final) HS students check email for exam scheduleBurr & Burton Academy: Delayed 2 HrsButterfly Dreams Daycare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Daycare will open at 9;30amCEO Head Start (Rensselaer County): Delayed, All CEO programs and sites delayed until 10:00amCOARC Adult Transportation: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransCairo-Durham CSD: Closed, Offices ClosedCambridge CSD: Delayed 2 HrsCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Albany): ClosedCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Schenectady): ClosedCapital Milestones Child Care: Delayed 2 HrsCapital Reg Career & Tech (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No AM BOCES, No AM classesCatholic Central HS: ClosedCatholic Schools Office: Delayed 2 Hrs, Principals Meeting at 10:30Catskill CSD: ClosedCentral Berkshire Regional SD: ClosedChatham CSD: Closed, Pops Concert Pstpnd to 1-18Chatham Kids Club: ClosedChildhood Friends Inc.: Delayed 2 Hrs, We will open at 9amChrist the King Church: Closed, No morning Daily Mass. Parish Office opens at 11 a.m.Christ the King Early Childhood Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsChristian Brothers Academy: ClosedCircle Of Friends (Delmar): Delayed 2 Hrs, Wrap around two hour delayCircle of Friends (Ravena): ClosedClifton Park Nursery School: Delayed 1 HrCobleskill-Richmondville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCohoes City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, CDTA buses running on Delay schedule - 9:30 amCohoes Community Center, Inc.: Delayed Until 9a, /Day Care delayed until 9am /No AM care at elem schoolsColonie Youth Centers: Open, No AM ProgramColumbia Christian Academy: ClosedColumbia Co Nutrition Pg (Philmont): Closed, Staff ReportColumbia-Greene Comm College: Delayed, No Day Classes, The College will open at 4:00 pm.Community Access to the Arts: ClosedCorinth CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCoxsackie-Athens CSD: ClosedCrossFit Schenectady: Delayed, No morning classesCrossroads Center for Children: Delayed 2 HrsDiscovery Place Learning Center: ClosedDoane Stuart School: Closed, NO Snow CampDoors of Hope: ClosedDuanesburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESDutchess Community College: Delayed Until 5p, No Day Classes, Opening at 5 pm for evening classes. Student Services offices open 5 - 7 pm.EOC (Capital District): Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 a.m. staff/sudents report at 10Early Childhood Learning Ctr: ClosedEarly Childhood Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsEarly Childhood Education Ctr-Troy: Delayed 2 HrsEast Greenbush CSD: ClosedEast Greenbush Community Library: Delayed Until 11a, Storytimes cancelledEco Baby Daycare & Preschool: Delayed Until 9aEddy Senior Care: Open, Schenectady Center is open Buses may be lateEmma L. Miller Memorial School: ClosedEmma Willard School: Delayed 2 HrsExcelsior College: Delayed 1 HrFarmington River Regional SD: ClosedFirst Friends Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Program, Enrichment program begins at 11:30amGabriel Abbott Memorial School: ClosedGalway CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastGateway Community Industries: Open, No Transportation, GCI open,trans cancelled SNP meals/cong.sites cancel PROS cancelled,Staff report, GCI is open but transportation is cancelled. Staff report., The Ulster County Office of the aging home delivered meals service and congregated sites are cancelled for today. , PROS is cancelled. Staff report. , George Washington School: ClosedGermantown CSD: Closed, Office staff report at noonGood Ground Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:30Grace Chapel of Clifton Park: Open, All groups cancelled.Grace Christian School: ClosedGrand Gorge Head Start: ClosedGrapeville Christian School: ClosedGreen Island UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, School opens at 9:40Green Tech High Charter School: Delayed 2 HrsGreenbush Child Caring: ClosedGreene County Nutrition Program: Closed, No TransportationGreene County Transit: Closed, No Transportation, all buses cancelledGreenville CSD: ClosedGreenwich CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESGrowing Up Right at the C.D.C.: ClosedGuilderland CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESHVCC: Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 am. staff and students report at 10 amHancock Regional SD: ClosedHappy Kids Day Care Center: ClosedHawthorne Valley School: ClosedHead Start - Adams: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start - Lee: Delayed 2 Hrs, No TransHead Start @ Becket/Washington: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start @ Johnson - North Adams: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Meadow Lane Pittsfield: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Muddy Brook - GB: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHebrew Academy - Capital District: Delayed 2 HrsHelderberg Christian School: ClosedHelping Hands Pre-School: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolHoly Spirit School (East G'Bush): ClosedHoosic Valley CSD: Delayed 2 HrsHoosick Falls CSD: ClosedHope 7 Community Center: Open, for after school, Food Pantry Open 9:30-11:45aHousatonic Academy: ClosedHudson City SD: Closed, Offices open at noon Board Meeting as scheduledHudson Day Care Center: ClosedHunter-Tannersville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESIchabod Crane (Kinderhook) CSD: ClosedJefferson CSD: Delayed 2 HrsJohn Paolo's-Ballston Spa: ClosedJubilee Child Day Care Center: ClosedKIPP: Tech Valley Charter School: Closed, Both the primary and middleKid Kampus: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 8:30AMKiddie Academy II: Delayed 2 HrsKiddie Academy of Albany: Delayed 2 HrsKidsFirst Childcare Center: Delayed 2 HrsKinderhof Waldorf School: ClosedKinderhook Memorial Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at noon.Kingston City SD: ClosedLa Salle Institute (Troy): ClosedLanesborough Regional SD: ClosedLansingburgh CSD: ClosedLatham Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KLee Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLenox Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLife Kids Before/ After School: Open, No AM ProgramLifeSong Inc (Saratoga): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc (Schenectady): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Rensselaer): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLil Peeps Preschool: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationLil' Lambs Christian Daycare Inc.: Delayed 2 HrsLittle Feet Daycare Center: ClosedLittle Tot Nursery School: ClosedLiving Res DCOP (Albany): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Rensselaer): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Saratoga): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Schenectady): Delayed 1 HrLiving Resources DCOP (Columbia): Delayed 1 HrLong Trail School: Delayed 2 HrsLoudonville Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsMalta Montessori School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No toddler programMargaretville CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMass. College of Liberal Arts: Delayed Until 10aMechanicville City SD: Delayed 2 HrsMekeel Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolMenands UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastMiddleburgh CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, One Hour Early DismissalMilford CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMillbrook CSD: ClosedMohawk Trail Regional SD: ClosedMohonasen CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESMontessori School (Schenectady): Delayed, No AM Program, Early care open at 11.Mother Teresa Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, No morning care Doors open at 9:45Mount Greylock Regional SD: ClosedMountain Road School: ClosedMt Moriah Academy: ClosedMyers Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsN. Greenbush Little Red School: ClosedNew Lebanon CSD: ClosedNew Paltz CSD: ClosedNewmeadow at Clifton Park: Delayed 2 HrsNewmeadow at Fort Edward: Open, Upstate Trans delayed 2 hrsNiskayuna CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESNorth Adams Public Schools: ClosedNorth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Check website/email for SHS exam scheduleNortheast Parent & Child Society: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransNortheastern Baptist College: ClosedNorthern Berkshire Voc SD: Closed, No After Sch EventsNotre Dame-Bishop Gibbons: Delayed 2 HrsOak Hill School: Delayed 2 HrsOakwood Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsOhav Shalom Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Pre-School, No AM Program, opening at 9:30 all staff report at 9:00One Love Preschool: Delayed 2 HrsOnteora CSD: ClosedOrlo School of Hair Design: ClosedOtego-Unadilla CSD: Delayed 2 HrsOur Lady of Victory Early Childhood: ClosedOur Savior's Lutheran School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-School, No LaunchpadOur World Montessori: Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 10:45 a.m.Parsons Early Head Start Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff report by 9Parsons Early Learning Center: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff in by 9Pine Cobble School: Delayed 2 HrsPine Plains CSD: ClosedPineview Comm Church Pre-School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, opening at 9:30Pittsfield Public Schools: ClosedPoughkeepsie City School District: ClosedPumpkin Patch (Albany): Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III BOCES - Sarah's Sisters: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Catskill Academy: ClosedQuestar III Columbia-Green Ed Ctr: Closed, New Visions open house will be rescheduled to tomorrow night, Thursday, 1/18.Questar III Rensselaer Academy: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Rensselaer Edu Ctr: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, Q3 New Vision is closedQuestar III Sackett Educational Ctr: ClosedRavena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD: ClosedReadsboro Central School: Delayed 2 HrsRed Hook CSD: ClosedRensselaer City SD: Delayed 2 HrsRhinebeck CSD: ClosedRichmond Consolidated: Delayed 2 HrsRiverRun Community Montessori: ClosedRiverside Enterprises: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesRobert C. Parker School: ClosedRoots and Wings Montessori: Delayed 1-1/2 Hrs, Open at 9am no before careRosa Venerini Early Childhood Cente: Delayed 2 Hrs, Before Care Cancelled Doors Open at 9Roxbury CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSUNY New Paltz: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 10:45, Offices will open at 10:45 a.m.SW Vermont Career Dev Ctr: ClosedSacred Heart School (Bennington): ClosedSacred Heart School (Troy): Closed, TSL is opens at 2pmSage Colleges (Troy & Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes begin at 11 amSaratoga Central Catholic HS: Delayed 2 HrsSaratoga County Senior Meals: ClosedSaratoga Independent School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Before Care or AM Pre-KSaratoga Springs City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSaugerties CSD: ClosedSchalmont CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastSchenectady City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSchenectady County ARC: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesSchenectady InnerCtyMin Food Pantry: Closed, Food Pantry is closed. Will reopen Thurs, Jan 18.Schenectady Jewish CC: Delayed, Early Childhood Education will open at 8:30 amSchenevus CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchodack CSD: ClosedSchoharie CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Career and Technical Scho: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSchoharie County Com. Action Prg.: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 10:00 AM.Schoharie Cty Child Dvp Cobleskill: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Cty HeadStart (Schoharie): Delayed 2 HrsSchool's Out, Inc.: Closed, No AM ProgramSchools Out Childrens Center LLC: Open, 6am - 2pm no transportationSchuylerville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastScotia-Glenville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShaftsbury Early Childhood Center: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationSharon Springs CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShenendehowa CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCESShooting Stars Nursery & After Sch.: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolSkidmore Early Childhood Center: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolSmall World Nursery School: ClosedSouth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Closed, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School EventsSouthern Vermont College: ClosedSouthwest Vermont SU: ClosedSpa Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-SchoolSpotted Zebra Learning Center: Delayed 2 HrsSt Ambrose School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM PgmSt Catherine's May School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastSt Clement's Regional Catholic Sch: Delayed 2 HrsSt Edward's Church: Closed, No 9am Mass No daytime eventsSt George's School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, AEP begins at 11:30 amSt Gregory School: Closed, Classes CancelledSt Jude the Apostle School: ClosedSt Kateri Tekakwitha School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, No Before Care. School doors open at 10:00 am.St Madeleine Sophie Pre-School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Madeleine Sophie School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Mary's Academy (Hoosick Falls): ClosedSt Mary's Institute ES (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No BreakfastSt Mary's School (Ballston Spa): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, Before Care Opens at 8:00amSt Mary's School (Waterford): Closed, No AM Pre-KSt Pius X School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KSt Thomas the Apostle School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KStepping Stone Pre & DCC (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 9:00Stillwater CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, FinalStory Place Preschool: ClosedStorybook Academy: ClosedSullivan BOCES: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 11 am for 12 month staffSunnyside Center Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Day Care open at 9am. All staff report at 9am.Sunshine Kids Corner: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9 amSusan Odell Taylor School: Delayed 2 HrsTLC Christian Day Care: ClosedTaconic Hills CSD: ClosedTech Valley High School: Delayed 2 HrsThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): Closed, Check web later for athleticsThe Beagle School: Delayed, No AM Program, PM Class OpenThe Children's Museum at Saratoga: Delayed 2 HrsThe Kid's Place Preschool: ClosedThe King's School: ClosedTiny Tots Early Learning Center: ClosedTri-Village Nursery School: ClosedTroy City SD: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Prep: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Public Library: Delayed 3 Hrs, The library will open at 12:00 pm today. Twin County Recovery Services, Inc.: Closed, No groups or appointmentsTwin Valley Elementary School: Delayed 2 HrsTwin Valley Middle High School: Delayed 2 HrsUlster County Community College: Delayed 2 Hrs, Employee code orangeUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No Transportation, transportation cancelledUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, All Classes Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Cancelled Training Center Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Canceled., Rosendale Training Center classes Cancelled. , , Unity Sunshine Program: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, Day Care Open, Special Ed delayed 2 hours. UPK delayed 2 hours. at A Child's PlaceUpstate Transit: Delayed 2 Hrs, School DivisionVillage School of North Bennington: ClosedVoorheesville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES No BreakfastWWAARC—Albany & Queensbury: Open, Albany Location on Snow Routes; Queensbury Location normal routineWaldorf School (Saratoga Springs): Delayed 2 Hrs, 2 Day PreK begins at 10:30Warren Street Academy - The Bridge: ClosedWarrensburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No AM Head Start, No BrkfstWashington County EOC: Open, Cambridge HeadStart delayed 2 hours, No AM transportWaterford-Halfmoon UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastWatervliet City SD: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines (Cobleskill): Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines - Schoharie UPK: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines Pre Sc (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No morning Toddler Program No morning wrap aroundWhispering Pines Pre-sch (Delanson): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No Toddler ProgramWildwood Adult Day Services: ClosedWilliamstown Public Schools: ClosedWilton Baptist Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KWindham-Ashland-Jewett CSD: ClosedWonderland Nursery School: ClosedWoodland Hill Montessori School: ClosedWorcester CSD: Delayed 2 HrsWynantskill UFSD: ClosedYMCA (Bethlehem): Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA (East Greenbush): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, Child watch Opens at 9am, Snow Day Program opens at 8amYMCA (Greater Glenville): Open, No programs until noon. No AM Childwatch.YMCA (Guilderland): Open, No AM Pre-School, No Morning Classes, No AM branch childwatchYMCA (Schenectady): Open, No Morning Classes, Child Watch Closed for AM Classes Cancelled til NoonYMCA (Troy): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, No Child WatchYMCA Duanesburg: Open, No Morning Classes, No morning child watchYMCA Greene County Branch: Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA Southern Saratoga: Open, No Morning Classes

Schenectady's political history written by diverse characters

Schenectady's political history written by diverse characters

Joseph Yates, then governor of New York, was caught between a rock and a hard place. The citizens of

Joseph Yates, then governor of New York, was caught between a rock and a hard place. The citizens of New York were clamoring for popular elections, but while his political party held control of the legislature, changing the structure of state government early in the 19th century seemed like an unnecessary risk.

It was a dilemma Yates failed to handle successfully, and as a result, the only Schenectady native to rise to the highest office in the state had a single, two-year term as governor. Yates’ experience put him at the highest level of state and for a moment even national politics — in 1822 he was being considered as a vice presidential candidate.

For the most part, however, Schenectady politics has retained a strictly local but almost always colorful flavor, the inhabitants of the city’s highest office including people from a variety of walks of life. Mayors have been powerful bankers and lawyers with enormous wealth, while others, such as small businessmen, teachers and factory workers at The General Electric Co. were more representative of the working class.

Karen Johnson, elected in 1983, is Schenectady’s first and only female mayor, while others with special distinction include Mordecai Myers, a Jewish war hero of 1812, and George Lunn, our minister-turned-Socialist mayor from the early 1900s.

Getting personal

Often, the politics got personal, and in Yates’ case, he eventually was at odds with two of the most powerful politicians in state history, Martin Van Buren and DeWitt Clinton. Both men, one a future president and the other a vice president, publicly questioned Yates’ intellect, and as history and the popular election controversy demonstrated, he wasn’t nearly their equal when it came to playing politics.

“The issue was who was going to choose the presidential electors, the people or the state legislature,” said former Schenectady County Historical Society president Frank Taormina, who has studied Yates and his family extensively since he retired as high school principal at Niskayuna 20 years ago. “If he came out clearly in favor of the people, it would have been contrary to his political party’s interests, and if he didn’t, he was against the will of the people. He kind of danced around the issue, and as a result, he lost the governorship.”

Yates had won 97 percent of the vote in the November election of 1822 and was inaugurated governor on Jan. 1, 1823. His near-unanimous victory didn’t help him while he was in office, however, and as a result of the battle over popular elections and other patronage issues, Yates’ popularity took a dive. His lone distinction in many history textbooks is chronological; Yates’ time in office was sandwiched between the second and third terms of Clinton, one of New York’s most celebrated governors.

In Schenectady annals, however, the Yates family’s influence and role in local politics is unmatched. Joseph Yates’ father, Christopher, distinguished himself during the French and Indian War, was named chairman of the first Committee of Correspondence in Schenectady at the outset of the American Revolution and then played an important role for the patriot cause during the Saratoga Campaign in the summer of 1777.

He died in 1783, well before his eldest son, Joseph, would officially become the first mayor of Schenectady in 1798. Joseph was followed in the mayor’s office by a brother and a cousin, all of them either appointed by the governor of the state or selected by a common council. Joseph Yates, an attorney who also was appointed to the state Supreme Court bench, was a Democrat, although political parties in those days weren’t so clearly defined.

Popular choice

In 1842, John Isaac DeGraff, also a Democrat, became the first mayor of Schenectady to ascend to the office by popular election. DeGraff, a wealthy banker whose money helped build the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812, was also a U.S. Congressman and was offered the post of Secretary of the Treasury by U.S. President Martin Van Buren, though he declined. Instead, he returned to Schenectady, where he served as mayor for five terms.

It was in the decade before the Civil War that Schenectady had its first Jewish mayor. Myers, a Democrat, was also a mason when he was elected to the mayoral office in 1851 at the age of 75.

“It was unusual, but Myers was also a very high-ranking mason and a very good politician,” said Schenectady High School teacher Neil Yetwin, who is writing a biography of Myers and is also producing an annotated volume of Myers’ writings. “He never hid the fact that he was a Jew, but he also never talked about it. It just doesn’t seem to have been an issue.”

Firmly ensconced in politics in New York City and Kinderhook before moving to Schenectady in 1848, Myers was also elected in 1854, but resigned before the completion of his one-year term because of a heated dispute over the city’s drafting of a public school system.

“He said, ‘It would be an irrevocable tax burden upon the citizens of Schenectady for all eternity,’” said Yetwin, quoting Myers. “He resigned over it. He was a very strong-willed individual, and he did what he thought was right.”

Born in Newport, R.I., Myers died in 1871 at the age of 95.

“He had a long and varied life before he even moved to Schenectady,” Yetwin said of Myers. “He knew all about politics and how the process worked, having watched closely the political machines of Aaron Burr and Martin Van Buren, and he had already served six one-year terms in the state assembly. He was a very good politician in the best use of the term. He got things done.”

The mayoral position was upgraded from a one-year term to two years in 1862, and Republicans Benjamin Franklin Potter and Arthur Hunter served as mayor during the Civil War. But while Schenectadians voted for Republicans in the mayoral elections, they weren’t too enamored with Abraham Lincoln, voting instead for the Democratic presidential candidate in 1860 (Stephen A. Douglas) and 1864 (George McClellan).

A different voice

Throughout the second half of the 19th century, neither party gained a stranglehold on the mayor’s office, and in 1911 the Progressive Era helped spawn the highwater mark for a third political group, the Socialist Party. While it was four-time presidential candidate Eugene Debs who spearheaded the national movement toward socialism, it was Lunn who carried the Socialist Party’s banner into power in Schenectady. The city’s population explosion, fueled by the emergence of the General Electric and American Locomotive companies, made Schenectady ripe for something a little different. In Troy, socialism only made minor inroads during that same time, and in Albany, the movement was practically nonexistent.

“Its roots lie in the rapidly expanding industrial base of the city and the diverse laboring population drawn to the city as a result of this rapid expansion,” University at Albany history professor Gerald Zahavi said of Schenectady’s surge toward socialism. “Among the new workers were a substantial number of European immigrants who were very sympathetic to syndicalism, worker control of industry and socialism.”

In the November election of 1911, Lunn defeated both the Democratic and Republican candidates and became the first mayor to turn his duties into a full-time job when he took over on Jan. 1, 1912. Lunn served as mayor for four terms and also won election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. Later, again as a Democrat, he nearly reached the highest office in the state, serving as Al Smith’s lieutenant governor in 1923.

While Lunn was a gifted orator, according to Zahavi there were others who helped foster socialism’s growth in Schenectady.

“It’s important to note that the working class radicals were supported by many of Schenectady’s middle-class community,” said Zahavi. “Lunn was mayor around that time, but also some of GE’s engineers and scientists and managers brought with them ideological traditions that were anathema to corporate capitalism. [Charles] Steinmetz, the most famous research scientist, was a German-born socialist who hosted Socialist Party meetings at his home in the prestigious GE Realty Plot.”

In 1935, a four-year term was adopted for the mayor’s office, but at the same time, the city manager form of government took over and lasted until 1979. The switch back to a strong mayor form of government took place as Frank Duci was beginning his third term, having succeeded fellow Republican Malcolm Ellis. Ellis had also won three straight elections in 1960, 1964 and 1968.

Woman’s touch

In 1984, however, the Republican run ended, as Democrat Karen Johnson became the first female mayor of Schenectady, defeating Duci by a slim 302 votes of more than 24,000 cast. The campaign attracted state-wide attention.

“It was a very well publicized race, probably because I was a woman and Frank was very colorful,” said Johnson, who won a second term in 1988 before Duci returned to the office in 1992. “It was a very tough race, I won by a very small number of votes, and in those days the Democrats didn’t have the large edge in enrollment numbers like we do today.”

During the last two months of the campaign, things got a little heated.

“He was a scrappy campaigner, and things got pretty rough,” remembered Johnson. “In the middle of all this, I had a dispute with Frank about whether or not he would agree to a debate. It was all kind of difficult to deal with because his wife wasn’t well, and he ended up just leaving town to be with her in New York.”

Duci’s wife, Bette, died a few months after the election, and Duci, now remarried, remembers it as a very hard time for him and his family.

“It was a very unfortunate thing,” Duci said earlier this month, remembering the 1983 campaign. “The newspapers kept calling me, wanting to know what was going on, and I wouldn’t tell them. I did not want people to know that she had cancer. I didn’t want that to be a part of the election process, and I didn’t want to use it to advance my election chances.”

While the politics did get a little personal, all is forgiven now, although Johnson said that Duci still takes occasional potshots at her on his public access show, “Frankly Speaking.”

“He still talks about the ‘mistakes’ I made while I was mayor,” said Johnson, “but I still see him quite a bit because he’s always around. We talk, we find out what’s going on with the other one. We’re pretty friendly.”

“I had some hard feelings, but all was forgiven a long time ago,” said Duci. “I never believed you had to be enemies with people just because you disagreed with them. Karen and I are very friendly with each other.”

When it comes to national politics, Schenectady has had two of its residents enjoy long stays in the U.S. House of Representatives. Frank Crowther, a dentist who was born in England, won election to Congress in 1918 as a Republican and served for 11 more terms (through 1943), while Sam Stratton, a Democrat and former Schenectady mayor whose son Brian was also an occupant of they mayoral office, served in the House for 15 consecutive terms (1959-1989).

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