|Name||John T. McDonald, III|
|Address||10 Roosevelt Blvd |
Cohoes, New York , United States
Dec 30, 2014 03:54am
|Info||Mayor John T. McDonald III is the 36th Mayor of the City of Cohoes, having been elected to his first term in November of 1999. He is currently serving his fourth term after subsequently being re-elected in November of 2003, 2007 and 2011. A life-long resident of Cohoes, Mayor McDonald is an alumnus of Keveny Memorial Academy and received a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Albany College of Pharmacy in 1985. As President and Owner of Marra’s Pharmacy, his family-owned business based in Cohoes, Mayor McDonald has practiced his profession and has adopted business practices and responsibilities that have led the business to become one of the largest independent pharmacy operations in the Capital Region. |
In 1998, McDonald was nominated to and chaired the Cohoes Charter Revision Committee which focused on restoring accountability to the City government and entrusting responsibilities to the Common Council members. This process of an accountable and open administration stimulated his interest in government and has been a policy that he has strongly followed as Mayor.
In January of 2000, Mayor McDonald took office with a platform focused on financial accountability, improved quality of life and expanding economic opportunity. Within a year, the $1.4 million in deficits that was left behind when he entered office had been eliminated. Strict financial controls were put into place and have been the backdrop to other procedural changes leading to a transparent and open process of conducting city business which has resulted in a significant upgrade in the bond rating of the City and an overall surplus of just under $2 million in 2011.
During his tenure, Mayor McDonald has pursued an aggressive economic development agenda centered on downtown revitalization, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, Hudson and Mohawk Riverfront developments and gateway improvements. His accomplishments include residential development by bringing more than 1200 new residential units to the City helping to attract empty nesters and young professionals. Those developments include the Harmony Mills Lofts, Rivers View Condos, Admirals Walk and Watersview Apartments all of which have capitalized on the City’s waterfront. Downtown redevelopment and the revitalization of Historic Remsen Street has been a major focus for economic development. Grant programs and private investments have furthered the revitalization and have helped the City welcome several new businesses that compliment the existing businesses that have always been present in the business community. These accomplishments and others have played a large role in the residential growth of the community as well resulting in an increase in the City's population as reported in the 2010 Census, an increase for the first time in the City's history since 1930.
Another prominent achievement is the improvement of the Cohoes Falls and the development of Falls View Park and Overlook Park. Both parks provide a wide range of recreational and historical features to residents of the City and have become a regional tourist attraction. The parks provide access points to the Falls that have never before been open to the public and have been an important part in the redevelopment of the City. Additionally, the Mayor has overseen the development and construction of a multi-trail system throughout the City of Cohoes, leveraging private sector funding for public benefit in most if not all of the trails completed. The $40 million Eddy Green House Project has also been a notable achievement being the first of its kind in New York State. This project provides long-term care and enhanced care for individuals in need and will serve as a model throughout NYS and the Northeast.
Infrastructure projects such as the Cohoes Boulevard Revitalization Project, the $8.6 million Bridge Avenue Bridge Reconstruction Project, the $9.4 million North Mohawk Street Reconstruction Project, the Lancaster Street Storm Separation Project and the Vliet Street Water & Sewer Project have also been noteworthy accomplishments under the Mayor’s leadership and the Mayor has been an active participant in the Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan that is focused in improving the water quality of the Hudson River. In addition to infrastructure, planning has been a critical factor in the revitalization and success that the City has had over the past decade. These studies have provided blueprints for successful revitalization of the City’s waterfront and some of the fastest rising areas throughout the community.
Mayor McDonald’s approach has been hands on and therefore he has been active in many organizations and efforts representing the City of Cohoes. In 2009 Mayor McDonald was appointed by Governor David A. Patterson to the New York State Heritage Areas Advisory Board for a four year term. In 2008 Mayor McDonald served as president of the New York State Conference of Mayors for a one year term after being elected as president-elect in 2007. In addition, he continues to serve on the boards of the Lakes to Locks Passage, the NYS Local Government Records Management Council, and member of Board of Governors for the New York State Municipal Insurance Reciprocal. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Capital District Transportation Committee, Chairman of Riverspark, Chairman of the Cohoes Industrial Development Agency and President of the Cohoes Local Development Corporation. Mayor McDonald was recently appointed to the New York State Workforce Investment Board which is a state policy board focused on workforce development and implementation. Mayor McDonald also donates his time to several organizations including the Cohoes Community Center, Our Lady of Hope and the Cohoes Multi-Service Senior Citizens Center.
Mayor McDonald was awarded a Doctorate of Humanity from his alma mater, the Albany College of Pharmacy, and was the commencement speaker to the graduating class of 2004. He enjoys running and golfing, however his most prominent activity is spending time with his wife Renee, and his children Emma Rose, Liam John and Sophia Mary.