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Kathy Sheehan prepares to become Albany's first female mayor
ALBANY -- "It really is a very humbling experience. I know people say that but truly that's how it feels."
To fill the shoes of one of Albany's longest serving mayors. Kathy Sheehan is set to be sworn into office Wednesday, becoming the cities first female to fill that position.
"I feel as though I'm the person who just got it that much further along, but I'm really standing on the shoulders of other women who came before me," Sheehan says.
But with just days left before her term begins, Sheehan has her work cut out for her.
"Looking to fill positions we have a number of commissioner positions that are open, so it's been very busy, very hectic, but it is very exciting."
She's looking at ways to combat the Capital City's biggest challenges that lie ahead. One of the biggest being the the fiscal crisis, with Albany facing a 16 to 20 million dollar structural deficit.
"We have some really serious challenges, and those are also challenges from an economic development stand point. We cannot continue to push the burden to property tax owners. We already have some of the highest property taxes in the region. Our businesses pay certainly the highest property taxes in the region compared to our suburban communities," she tells us.
Not to mention crime in the city, and while numbers show it's down, there have been eight homicides so far this year.
"We need to make sure that people feel safe, and we have to make sure that there's opportunities for everyone in our city. A lot of the issues that we have around crime revolve out of a lack of opportunity for many of our youth, or lack of perception about opportunity from many of our young people, so we've got to go about the hard work of changing that."
Changing opportunity in a city that's seeing so many changes itself. Sheehan says she's looking forward to taking on new projects with a different approach.
"I look forward to having the opportunity to really having an influence on how things get done, and really looking at how approach it from the standpoint of including our residents in the decision making, in bringing in equity approach, in bringing in an approach that takes into consideration the environmental ramifications of what we're doing so I'm really excited about that."
Sheehan will officially be sworn into office, Wednesday at 10:30am.