Sheehan Opens Campaign Headquarters on Madison
by Jackson Wang
Campaign headquarters for a contender for Albany Mayor opened at 811 Madison Ave. Kathy Sheehan, the current treasurer for the city of Albany and a Democrat, officially opened her election office in the Pine Hills neighborhood Saturday.
Sheehan will use the commercial office space about a quarter mile from Washington Park, situated in the block between Ontario and Quail streets.
“I needed a campaign headquarter where people can come volunteer,” Sheehan said. “It’s really in the center of the city.”
Sheehan found the location back in January and decided it would be the right spot for her because of its condition and the location. The office right along the route 114 and 63 bus route makes it convenient for the volunteers, she said.
But the building at 811 Madison Ave. was supposed to be used only for residential or business purposes, not campaigns. So Sheehan appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals to get approved for the commercial building to be used as a campaign headquarters.
The board approved the appeal earlier this month, after the request was made in February.
Offices are listed as a special permit use in that district, which is why an appeal form had to be filled out, said Bradley Glass, of Department of Development & Planning.
“The space seems well suited to an office or small retail use,” said Glass.
He also added there were no problems in the process and the application was relatively straight forward.
Leah Golby, a council member from the 10th Ward, was happy to see Sheehan open her election office in the Pine Hills neighborhood.
“It’s a block that needs activity,” said Golby, referring to a block that has a Laundromat, two barbershops, a liquor store, and a dental office. “The owners have been looking for the building to be used.”
She also said there are plenty of store fronts on Madison Avenue that can be used as a campaign headquarters, for anyone else that plans on running an election this fall. Many of the building were recently renovated, including the office at 811 Madison Ave.
The building is currently owned by Fairbanks Property.
But in the long run, Golby wants to see more businesses going in.
Virginia Hammar, a member of the Pine Hill Neighborhood Association, said her board approved Sheehan of opening her campaign headquarters in the neighborhood.
“We believe it would be a really good way to highlight that area,” said Hammer.
Hammer said the Pine Hill Neighborhood Association wasn’t looking at this as a political endorsement, but rather as a way to help the area.
“We’re excited to be in the neighborhood,” said Sheehan.
This is Sheehan’s first stab at running for mayor. She began working for the city of Albany in 2009, serving as the treasurer.
She will most likely be running against current Mayor Jerry Jennings, who’s been at the helm of the city for the past two decades, and Corey Ellis, a former councilmen. Jennings has not announced if he’ll run for office this fall.
The primary takes place in September, before the election is held in November. -30-