Cinquanti, council members sworn in at city hall

Michael Cinquanti was sworn in as mayor of the City of Amsterdam at a ceremony held today at city hall. Members of the  common council, including two new members,  Second Ward Alderman Dave Gomula and Fourth Ward Alderman Stephen Gomula, were also sworn in. Judge Felix Catena officiated the oath of office. Cinquanti was joined by his wife Rosemary, children and other friends and family members at the ceremony. Reverend Kent McHeard offered an opening and closing prayer. Congressman Paul Tonko also offered opening remarks.

In his opening speech, Cinquanti said, “Since I was a little boy I was taught, and still believe, that public service is a most honorable calling. As an office holder we have the opportunity to serve others and to do good things for people. I’m not naïve or blind, I see what is happening to political discourse in this country at all levels of the government. But one of the reasons I ran for mayor is to prove as much to myself as to all of you, that governing does not have to be practiced that way.”

“I take this oath of office this afternoon believing with all my heart that Amsterdam’s best days are in front of us, not behind us. I take it with the knowledge that the neighborhoods of our city are filled with many skilled and wise residents who not only agree with that perspective, but are also personally willing to contribute in whatever way they can to make it happen. Together we will lead this city out of financial distress. We will attack the blight. We will get our citizens more involved in city government. And we will focus our vision and development strategies on making Amsterdam the city we want it to be, not the one we are told it has to be,” he said.

Echoing his campaign slogan, “It’s time”, he closed by saying, “It’s time to get started.”

An organizational meeting was held after the ceremony. At the beginning of the meeting, Cinquanti addressed council members and said, “Welcome to the new council…I want to pledge to you that I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to keep you informed of what’s going on from my perspective. I’m going to get you information like you’ve never had information before so that when you make decisions, you’ll have the information you need in front of you. And if you don’t, my door is always open. “

At the meeting, the council approved several appointments including the re-appointments of Stephanie Lenkowics as city clerk, and Jim Martuscello as deputy mayor. Michael Clark was appointed as city engineer.

Committee chairpersons were designated as follows:

  • Audit: Alderwoman Irene Collins
  • Finance: Martuscello
  • Housing and Codes: Collins
  • Human Resources: Stephen Gomula
  • Insurance: Martuscello
  • Intergovernmental: Stephen Gomula, David Gomula
  • Public safety: Collins
  • Public works: Alderman Pat Russo
  • Recreation: Russo, Dave Gomula
  • Rules and procedures: Martuscello
  • Sewer and water: Stephen Gomula
  • Solid waste: Dave Gomula
  • Golf: Russo

Liaisons were appointed as follows:

  • Amsterdam Housing Authority: Martuscello
  • Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency: Russo
  • Urban Renewal Agency: Collins
  • Veteran’s Commission: Stephen Gomula, David Gomula

After the meeting, Cinquanti said that he has not yet nominated a corporation counsel. He said he is looking at possibly filling the legal department with multiple people.

“I’m looking at creating something different,” said Cinquanti. “I haven’t been able to put the finishing touches on that. When I do, I think we’ll have a very robust corporation counsel ability in the city. It will be more than one person.”

The next regular meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2020 at 6pm at city hall.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.