Kingston “State of City” report now two months late, Dunn says

KINGSTON — Alderman Matt Dunn, the Democratic leader of of Kingston’s Common Council, is criticizing Mayor Shayne Gallo for failing to abide by the city charter.

Dunn says that Gallo has failed to deliver his annual message on time to the common council as it says in the city charter.

Here’s the section of the city charter (section C4-3) that deals with the mayor’s annual message:

The Mayor shall prepare and present during the first month of each fiscal year of the City an annual message to the Common Council. The annual message shall describe the condition and state of the city and shall identify matters and issues the Mayor believes should be addressed by the Council in the ensuing year.

In general, this is known as the State of the City address. The first month of the fiscal year in Kingston is January.

Here’s what it says as the mayor’s duties on the Kingston website:

The Charter also dictates that he deliver his Mayor’s message to the Common Council each year on January 1. The message is, in essence, a state of the City address, outlining the accomplishments of his administration the preceding year and defining his plans for the upcoming year. While not mandated, it is expected that he will use his office to set the ground work for development of the projects he sets forth.

In an interview, Gallo says he’ll be giving the address next month in the form of a press conference.

When asked why he hasn’t given it already he cited the recent snow and weather and said that the previous mayor didn’t give them on time either. When pressed that the charter states that it should be given in January, Gallo became frustrated.

“I don’t need to be told what the city charter states,” Gallo said.

Gallo also criticized Dunn and new Alderman Brad Will,  who he’s butted heads with in the past, saying criticism of the State of the City is simply a political attack .

“They’re completely out of control,” Gallo said. “It’s the Dunn and Will show.”

Gallo made his last two State of the City addresses in March.

Former Kingston mayor James Sottile, who Gallo defeated in 2012 and who hasn’t had a cordial relationship with the mayor either, said he typically gave the State of the City address in January, but said the last two he gave were given in February and March.

“The key is, you got to give the speech,” Sottile said.

He also said that the speech has to be given on the record to the common council so they can vote and approve the message. He said another former mayor, Gallo’s older brother T.R. Gallo, took the step of hiring a stenographer to take official notes of the speech.

“It has to be part of the official record,” said Sottile. “This is not just a press conference, this is a formal speech to the Common Council.”


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