Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Choices and Experiences - Part II

Parking Meter FailImage by compujeramey via Flickr

Food for thought: Experience #1: Can you park in front of your own house? Do you have to pay to park your car overnight; or if you live downtown, and you were home sick for the day, did you have to find an alternative spot to park, just to avoid a ticket? Is the incumbent trying to get parking meters installed in your neighborhood, in front of your house? Have you ever parked you car in a legitimate parking space, only to come outside to see that your car was towed anyway, and possibly while you were not looking, no parking signs were put in place, because of an event, snow removal, or overnight work, and then the incumbent's people lie to you when you inquire about it? Are you tired of being parking metered to death at every turn? Experience #2: Have you ever called the mayor's office, and you could not believe the unprofessional manner in which your call was handled? Are you tired of the run around? Are you tired of messages never reaching their destination? Experience #3: Do you wish you had the authority to do something about those boarded up buildings on your block? The incumbent did, and you see where we are today, because of it. Experience #4: Have you ever been harassed by certain police officers? Have they ever said to you that you don't look like you live here, you better go home, move along, and you were standing in front of your own house the whole time? I will put cops out on the street that know their job and can apply that knowledge in any situation. I am here to serve and protect the residents civil liberties. Experience #5: Has your car or walkway ever been plowed in by the City after you just shoveled out? Has it ever made you miss an appointment, or make you late for work or school because of it? Did it cause you to feel frustrated and angry? Are you tired of waiting for the bus out in the road, putting your safety at risk, because the snow banks are too high, and the pedestrian walkway or corner is not shoveled out? Are you tired of missing the bus, because of high snow banks and because the bus driver won't wait until you find a way around the snow bank, just leaving you there out in the cold? If the snow banks weren't there, you would have made the bus right? Remember that I am aligned with the residents and the issues that affect their personal situations. Safety of the residents is a priority. Experience #6: Has your car ever been towed without advanced public notice due to an event, an emergency, or snow removal? Is this the only way the city can generate revenue, off the residents" backs? Are you tired of getting parking tickets during snow emergencies? Are you tired of the inconveniences the incumbent is putting you through, just to make a buck off of you? When I am mayor, towing will be a last resort during the winter months for snow removal, the plows will go around your car, and the city is going to remove the majority of the snow from around your vehicle also. I, like thousands of you are tired of the incumbent and his ways. The incumbent always has a blind eye, or a deaf ear too conveniently to what his people are doing. If a plow comes through four times during the day on your street, and the snow stopped falling, then the job was done during the day right? So why would a plow come through again for a fifth attempt in the evening to redo a side that is already done? The answer, wasteful spending, unnecessary overtime payments, and also so the police could write tickets to get even more of your money. The police car in my area did not use a bullhorn to let residents know to move their cars, contrary to what the incumbent says happens, it's not happening. The message from the incumbent is buckle under or pay the price. The tickets are just a blatant abuse of authority with flagrant disregard to the residents. Fight back by booting the incumbent out of office. Your wallet will thank you. I have the perception necessary to eradicate many aggrieved residents grievances. I think about the people and their situation first. The incumbent has done nothing about many of these experiences I have heard about, or experienced myself for 16 years. People are through with the incumbent and his snail's pace, they are not going to wait anymore. You have the authority with the power of your vote, to change these experiences into positives ones. It is time to elect a person people trust to get the job done once and for all. Don't let your choice be made for you by not voting. Choose to Vote! Choose Benzie Johnson, he is the optimum choice for mayor, with plans for the optimal direction for Albany.

Snow plowingImage by Bird Eye via Flickr

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Sustainability and Our City Streets; and Solving the flooding issue:

MEC's green roof among othersImage by 416style via Flickr
The incumbent may be redoing some streets now, during an election year only, by adding in a curvature on the street, just to have the street show movement, but he failed in his overall mission to the residents. His campaign this go around is about "going green and being environmental". The incumbent had the opportunity and the federal stimulus money to get the job done, but he still did not. My innovative plans of action will implement an objective of "greening our city", along with creating a new design of sustainability for our city streets, to show movement, connecting with the community in that area, and to show ecological balance by using nature to help our residents with our city's heat island effect, eliminating sewer overflows, rainwater flooding, along with transportation needs, (i.e., bus, bike, or places to lock up your bike), just to name a few. We need to connect design features of our streets, not just for looks, but with functionality, to help our city streets become sustainable, by providing for the needs of the residents today, that will not negatively impact the future of the city. The incumbent's work that has been done will not promote "being green" or provide for sustainability. For example on Central Avenue, the incumbent had a chance to "keep it green" and did not. Instead, he wasted money blacktopping the once grassy area on the Avenue; and wasted money spreading an adhesive on the blacktop to decorate it with pebbles. Being decorative, is not functional or productive thinking. Grassy areas that once could soak up the rain, are now resurfaced with an impenetrable product. Where is the rainwater going to go? The areas it had to be soaked up by are now gone, which in turn will now increase water on the roadways, not decrease it. The flooding of streets and the residents homes and basement apartments is one of my priorities, as part of my "strategic plans to rebuild Albany". My plans/designs will eliminate this issue, by integrating new storm water pipes, to convert the single pipe system into a combined pipe system, one for sewage and a separate one for rainwater, that can be filtered and reused to water plants, etc., in the city. We will remove the blacktop in these high flood areas, and put in permeable pavers to resurface the roadway. These pavers will allow the rainwater to pass through them and down to the ground. To help further reduce rainwater in our streets immediately, we will do cut outs along the sidewalk curbing at road level, at different intervals, so that rainwater can have a new outlet to go into. In doing this, it will reduce rainwater flooding and functionally utilize the water at the same time, by having it water the newly planted trees, and the different types of fibrous plants that absorb alot of water that will be planted along the sidewalk's edging as well. In addition to the plants, and permeable pavers, we will also have planters with weep holes in them, so that the rainwater can absorb through the soil, pass through filtering material, exit the weep holes and drip down onto the permeable pavers to seep into the ground. These pavers and planters can also be used at bus stops, and in parking lots, to help reduce puddling. We can also have businesses green their rooftops, many businesses have flat roofs which can be supplied with the proper supports to hold the new green rooftop, with small plants and grasses, providing yet another level of water absorption; these green rooftops also help insulate the building below, helping again to save on energy bills. I currently do not see any of this happening in Albany, and the incumbent is not addressing the issues that directly affect the residents; but my plans do. My plans will also change the center island that was just put in on Everett Road, because minimal landscaping and blacktopping it, is not the answer. You have a high traffic area of cars in this area. Plants that can absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen and release oxygen back into the air, can be planted to reduce our carbon footprint, and help reduce air pollution and improve our city's air quality. Many of our senior residents, and those suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems would benefit greatly with cleaner air. I am the only candidate addressing these problems, and speaking about how to solve the flooding problems. It's not just in some areas, it's all around the city. Rebuilding the city to accommodate more residents, also means that you need to change how you monitor and maintain your sewer lines, something that the incumbent is not doing, but I will. To help reduce our city's heat island effect, neighborhood streets will be tree lined streets; preserving our existing trees as well as planting new trees. The tree canopies, help provide shade and cooling in the summer, and help block the winter winds, both protecting your house and saving you money on your energy bill. The incumbent currently cuts down trees, and also uses small trees as decoration, not thinking about their functional use. We need to think about all of our residents, and we need to design our streets with everyone in mind, from the blind/physically challenged, to the walker/jogger, to the new mothers with baby strollers, by having level and even sidewalks and wheelchair/stroller accessibility on all corners; we need to think about the bicycler who needs space to ride and a spot to park/lock their bikes; to the dog owners who need greener places for their pets to walk on and to relieve themselves. My winter plans will also accommodate everyone, including the above-mentioned by having the city remove the snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of your house (creating new jobs), so that everyone can walk on the sidewalks without threat of injury from slipping or falling on the ice, including our dogs. Without the large snow banks at the sidewalks edge, dogs will not have to climb into a snowbank to relieve themselves; this clearing will also provide for a flat empty space on trash night, and will provide for a clear walkway the next morning, by the cans and bins not being thrown onto the sidewalks in the way of many pedestrians, especially for those children walking to school. Residents should not have to go out into the road to get around trash cans, simply because they could not be stood up, and this problem is even worse in the wintertime under the incumbent. Safety of our children comes first, many still walk to and from school. These are issues that needed to be addressed, along with others mentioned in my previous posts. Quality of Life even for the simpliest things are very important to all our residents. I will be a mayor that has both short term and long term goals to resolve the city's problems, not knee-jerk responses like the incumbent.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Choices and Experiences - Cut Jennings Out

(choice cut)Image via Wikipedia
Would you like to experience all the good things life had to offer, the way life is meant to be lived? It is a reality that you have the choice of choosing your next mayoral experience in Albany, be it good or bad. Wouldn't you want yourself, your children, and your family, to experience opportunities and a quality life starting now? YES! Each time I posed this question to residents, the answer was always YES! It breaks all barriers. So then I asked, why are you waiting? You must believe that the situation is not hopeless, the chance and the choice is there for the taking, so take it. The freedom of choice should not be bought or threatened, by anyone. The threats of loosing your job if you vote for someone else other than the incumbent days are over when a new mayor gets into office. The fear that is instilled in people if they don't vote for the incumbent and his chosen people, is an unacceptable and unnecessary way of life. There are many people who are living everyday under this political persecution, and it is a violation of their rights. Another issue is the inability for a person to get a problem fixed by the city. Have you ever called city hall to report a problem, only to be given the run around? Has your phone message been thrown out or not forwarded, or not returned? Have you ever called to speak with the incumbent who is never aware of your problem and he doesn't listen either. Detailed explanations are given to him, and he still asks if you called the party you already mentioned. If he was listening he would have heard that you did, and this matter is 1-3 months old by now. Push it away it might go away is how the incumbent operates, or out of sight out of mind. You need to be strong and press the issue with him, which then gets him aggravated, and he gives you a "shut up answer" just to get you off of the phone, for example, just put it in writing to me if it's that important to you, and send the letter directly to me. Why, so it can get lost on his desk, prolonging the problem longer than necessary; and don't think that today's technology will get you an answer any faster, because people have sent the incumbent e-mails to address their problems, and he did not read the e-mails either. There is gross lack of communication in city hall at best. All these problems are fixable with myself as mayor. These are the complaints I have heard the residents talk about and address with me. These unprofessional and unacceptable practices will cease immediately when I am mayor. The common council would be glad to have me as mayor, things can finally get done for the people, the council members could get their FOIL requests answered, and obtain information they need in a timely fashion. With the incumbent out, it's a win, win situation for everybody. Let's not lose sight of the fact that many common council members, complain about the mayor prior to their own re-election year, or election for a new position for themselves, making it look like they have removed or distanced themselves from the incumbent, when in reality they did not. They do it because they know that the residents are fed up with the incumbent, and the common council members need the residents to vote themselves back in. Once they are re-elected, back to the incumbent they will go. Not anymore. This political tactic will not be necessary when Johnson wins Mayor of Albany, and it makes good business sense as well. The Times Union newspaper would be glad to have a new mayor, then they could finally get their FOIL requests and information they needed to report the entire story. Here is something else. Residents and businesses are aware that the city's accounting practices are deplorable. But did you know, that certain businesses who rendered services to the city did not get paid and are still owed money years later. The incumbent doesn't talk about that. These businesses would finally get paid for their services from me, when I am mayor. All of the city's current problems could have been solved by the incumbent, he had over 16 years to do so, and he chose not to. The problems are never addressed and they still remain today. It has been proven with his record, that he failed the residents miserably. The next question is why would you want to experience it any further in your life? Would you not want a better experience with a new mayor in office. Do you want to continue living in hardship, with no opportunities at all to help your life; dirty streets with crime running amuck, while the current administration continues to ignore and neglect the needs of the residents and the city? Must be, if you do not vote a different mayor in who can perform and deliver; it will only continue to get worse with the incumbent in office. Save yourself the agony. Give yourself permission to start living that life now, by voting me as your mayor. You are worthy and deserving of having good experiences in life, no excuses. Life is too short to live in fear, or fear of retaliation from the incumbent or anyone. You can erase many of the negative aspects of the city from your life by electing myself, Benzie Johnson. Remember, I do not answer to the incumbent, I answer to a higher authority, and therefore my actions are and will be as mayor extremely different from those of the incumbent, ensuring that quality of life we all need, through actions, not awards that someone pays hundreds or thousands of dollars to apply for.
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My Direct Access Line (518) 253-1028

IPhone First Generation 8GB (3680455198)Image via Wikipedia
For all those who have been getting in touch with me, I would like to say thank you. For ease and convenience of everyone, and to make sure that I am able to speak with you, (I work during the weekdays), I will try this, 4:30pm-7:30pm during weekdays, and Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm. This way I will be able to get to speak with everyone. If the line is busy, or you reach the voicemail, you may leave a message and I can get back to you, or feel free to call again, and I apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused you. Thank you again, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get to the root give the mayor the boot

Fired red stampImage via Wikipedia
The incumbent failed in his mayoral responsibilities to all the residents and children of Albany to do his duties, period. If you or I do not perform our job adequately, we are fired and removed from our position. The incumbent is not different. The mayor can be fired too, by not voting for him and electing a different mayor. Simple as that. Your vote for a new effective mayor, will welcome new opportunities and possibilities, a functional administrative body in City Hall, and a thriving self-sustaining community, that has not been in existence for the past 16 years under the current administration. I think about the residents, and what affects them personally, not their wallets.
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Blight - Part II

Urban blight (rowhouse with boarded windows an...Image via Wikipedia
The incumbent says homeownership is the key. I disagree with him. A mayor doing their job is the key. The city is in dire need of residential living for the city apartment dweller and homeowner alike. This is a city, not a suburb. We have renters that may not be ready to own their own homes yet, or they choose not to own a home. Many residents have just lost their homes due to foreclosure and there is not sufficient affordable housing stock to rent or own for these residents either. We also have renters with larger families that currently many of the city's apartments cannot accommodate. Many students just starting college and those graduating from college are not ready to own their first home. Most college graduates do not purchase a home right out of college, they rent. Many single residents rent. We can't ignore people. We cannot forget about all those who do rent. The incumbent has said he blames absentee landlords as the problem. I blame him for being an absentee mayor. What if those deep pocket potential residents the incumbent keeps trying to get to come live here, wanted to purchase a home in Albany just as their summer house, or their winter home only. Would he blame them too, since they do not live here full time; and many of them purchase a home and seldom use it. Does he really think that the city looks inviting to lure in the type of people he wants in here, (the wealthy professionals, the nanotech people). I understand that many people want to make money in real estate, but if my opponent was on his game, and did his job, blighted conditions would never be an issue. He cannot keep having a blind eye to everything, and blame everyone else for his failings. These and many other problems, my plans will fix. I have new innovative residential interior design/contract work plans for single residents, couples and families. Our plans will redesign some of our row houses, abandoned and boarded up houses and salvage many aesthetic aspects of the home for that neighbhorhood. Saving homes that are almost historic and are historic is a very important part of my plans also. The incumbent tears them down, because he said its just easier. If people didn't fight to keep what is historic now, the city would have nothing, and I also know that in the case of one school building the city bought, it was stated that if they had known his real intentions, that he was going to tear down the building, they would have never sold it to him. The easy way out is not the best solution, it is destroying the very fabric and essence of our city; and tearing down buildings is also costly. Many of these older buildings were built better than they are today. My plans are different from what the city already has. They will allow for comfortable living space for a family of four or more; for example apartment living that provides 1 or 2 apartments with 1-2 bedrooms each, and 1 apartment that has 3-4 bedrooms all within one house; it will provide versatility for spare room storage space or home office space. They will provide room to grow for singles and couples. They will provide the basic needs of each renter within their own apartment. All will include a washer/dryer, or just the hook-up for those who own their own; and air conditioning and the cost of heat will be included in the price of the rent. This will help residents save money. These designs will also help those people who are physically challenged, through easy accessways and easily accessible sinks, cabinets, faucet handles and doorpulls, also convenient for many of our seniors. Designing with all the residents in mind is key to quality of life for all of our residents. Currently the incumbent tears down a 3 story dwelling, and replaces it with a one/two family unit, which in order to live there, you have to purchase the house, and then who owns it, will most likely have their family or friends living in the other unit. That process has now displaced two floors of residents from their chosen neighborhood, and if you did not have the money to purchase the house, you are just out all together. We need rental property with no strings attached. We also need more affordable homes that residents can purchase also. We need to get back to basics in building our new Albany, and return to what the true meaning of a neighborhood is. People picked their neighborhoods typically because it was close to work, to the grocery store, to their place of worship etc. We need to stop the suburban sprawl, it is reducing our city's population and it is not wisely utilizing every inch of the city. We need a better more reliable bus system also, and although they say you can only have one transit system in the city, I will change that too. Residents should not have to deal with inefficient, unreliable service. There are many places that a people mover could take you, and it is not just for tourists, its for everyday use. For example, if you wanted to have a day out in Washington Park with friends or family or the children, we would have a route direct to the park and back that would run all day long and into the evening, (especially if there was an event going on), and this would be for all neighborhood areas. We need a mayor who is thinking about accessiblity to all parts of the city for all it's residents, our youth and our seniors. People movers will cross over across the city too, that the buses are not doing. Need to go to the hospital, people movers are there with an express route. There is much more, but I'll leave it at that for now. I will also, together with the residents, open up those much needed businesses in these neighborhoods that will make them thrive. You cannot do block by block and have everything going to downtown. You need to radiate out circular from a center point in each neighborhood, providing the necessary elements for it's sustainability. Mixed use buildings need to be done correctly in order to work, and currently I do not see a good use of mixed use buildings that are geared to the residents that currently live here today. The incumbent has wasted years waiting for retail, etc. to come to Albany, and it didn't, a spokesperson of his was quoted as saying "they just won't come here". That is such a lazy excuse. My plans will provide for that also. My plans together with the residents will open up the much needed stores, utilizing the foot traffic in these areas. It takes a true leader to lead. I am that leader, because it takes someone to take that first step in order for others to follow. You do not keep letting a neighborhood flounder and do nothing about it, because you don't want to be the first one to do it, for fear it will fail. Be the leader invest in your city and in all our neighborhoods, because as soon as I start businesses in an area and other businesses sees it works, they will be next in line. I will not wait for someone to save our city, we have to do it ourselves. The residents will take back their city, own their shops, and live in their neighborhoods in safety, without chaos as it should be. I will not carbon copy plans from another city or county and make them mine, like the incumbent's administration has done. No originality, no long-term vision once again. It's not going to work, because our city's demographics are different. The incumbent had plenty of opportunity to control and contain the conditions of the city and he did not. He also says that on Saturdays he drives around the city; he obviously missed 3/4's of the city, because one look is all it takes to see the problems. The unfortunate thing about it, is that the residents are the ones who have paid the price for his lack of responsibility to do his sworn oath job to the residents. Remember what 5 issues anger you about the city and vote accordingly.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blighted Neighborhoods and the loss of the Lawson's home because of it

Urban blight (rowhouse with boarded windows an...Image via Wikipedia
My administration together with the residents, will rebuild the entire city, starting now, not 20 years from now. Blight is a symptom of neglect on the incumbent's part & his administration. I will eradicate that problem, by putting everyone to work on our city's housing stock & beautification of our neighborhoods. First step, I will change things to make it easier for qualified contractors and even different developers who have a hard time "getting in on bids" due to red-tape to get in and make their bids. I would also open up the field for many of our entrepreneurial plumbers and electricians by eliminating the red-tape in obtaining a permit to work in this City. I have heard from many different people regarding this issue, and it will be changed under my administration. Everyone is welcomed to help change the face of Albany and to join in the rebirth of Albany, by helping to put Albany in the optimal direction - a positive one. We will start working on the interior core of our city's neighborhoods, (instead of only on the perimeter or downtown) through rehabilitation of existing houses and historic preservation of our older buildings. When applicable, newly built homes will be added in, and those unsalvageable will be knocked down, but if there is architectural detail on those buildings that can be reused for the newbuild, it will be used. Many of Albany's homes are a direct look into all of our ancestors lives from the "old world", they brought those elements of their homeland here, and we will do our best to ensure that this is not forgotten, destroyed, or overlooked. There is a place for everything, just like new builds. These plans will help provide jobs to those who would like to work in their city but can't due to red-tape. Three of my opponents could have already made that change but chose not to. We would include all people to work, including entrepreneurs, the unemployed and the homeless, not just unions, in different phases of the rebuild that they may be qualified to do, and if not qualified, they will attend my training center to help them in a second career opion, prior to building. The incumbent only talks about training, but it never comes to fruition. I, unlike the incumbent, would also bring on supervisors to watch closely those building projects to contain construction, to ensure it is done timely and does not go over budget. I believe the incumbent gives carte blanche of our tax dollars to developer/construction companies and are ending up costing more than estimated. I will be a hands-on leader to oversee the aspects of many projects. I will know what the floor plans look like, unlike my opponent, the incumbent, who was not aware of what the floorplans looked like at the condos on Broadway before building; there is no oversight in trusting someone else to take care of it. It is not acceptable for the City to look the way it does for as long as it has. The block by block program is going to take 20 years to complete. My opponent Ellis thinks that plan is the way to do it, which shows he has no other vision except for what someone else has done, or what someone tells him; and the city will remain a shambles with no new growth areas because of it. He is the same as the incumbent & will continue the incumbents methods of operation. I won't. My plans will rebuild the entire city in a very ambitious plan with a time frame of 4-8 years, in which I will have people who are willing to be dedicated to the residents, working to accomplish the same mission, putting the residents back to work & by not using "the one developer" the incumbent uses. The city did not step in with code enforcement to improve quality of life for residents for over a decade, because of the incumbent. Quality of life for these residents has nothing to do with the quality of life the incumbent refers to. His criteria refers to the same criteria used for a city to receive an award, for example how many colleges a city has, or how many people with degrees live in that city, etc. So you see, you cannot believe what the incumbent says, when the residents & the incumbent are referring to two different criteria. Blight is definitely a quality of life issue. The residents need to look at the fact that the problems are not being corrected, they are just being shifted around the city at the expense & peril of the residents who want to or need to live here. My criteria and the residents criteria are in-line with each other; we understand each other. The incumbent is out of touch with the residents and what they need, or the problems would have been resolved, period. On another note, a news article awhile ago, said "Partnership aims to evict blight." The residents are the only thing that has been evicted & the blight has been in the city for 16 years surrounding our residents. Three of my opponents (Ellis, Morris, the incumbent) say they fought against blight, but it won against all three of them. It's time the residents surround themselves around a new mayor & evict the incumbent. When you have a ward leader in the south end admitting to deplorable conditions in their ward, & for years it stayed that way under the incumbent, that's a serious problem of negligence on all their parts. So when the same ward leader states in the media, "the city has the money, we can rebuild houses whenever they wanted to", (a direct quote), WHY DIDN"T THEY. The face of the city is not going to change until you change the faces in those positions, to ones who will do what is necessary for the residents. The city as a surplus of vacant & run down buildings, and it has been that way for years with the current people in office. Think about it. Last night, I continued my community forum tour, and held a press conference at the former homesite of the Lawson's home in the south end, which was damaged by flooding from the vacant building next door. The incumbent can't get much money for a vacant lot, so for tax reasons, he keeps the delapitated houses on them. That is until it causes a problem for a resident living next to it. This is not the type of leadership residents want. The incumbent did nothing for the Lawsons, but use them for his own media exposure, at their expense. Responsibility gets the job done, and if the incumbent and the ward leader did their jobs, it would never of happened in the first place. Ten years had lapsed between the time of the last fire department inspection (per the fire chief in the media) and the day of the tragic event. Numerous complaints were made, no return phone calls, police were called to the abandoned homes because of the activity going on in them, and the city did nothing to help protect the Lawsons and their home; and the incumbent had the nerve to he didn't know about the complaints, this was the first time hearing about it. The incumbent says on his radio show that on Saturdays, he drives around the city, I guess this is a part of the city for over 10 years he never drove through to see. Retired residents need to enjoy their retirement in their homes without fear of loosing their home due to the negligence of a mayor & his administration. Retirees have other things to think about, and that should never be one of them. I will be a mayor who will act in the best interests of all residents. Together we will have a city government working to inform our residents through transparency, accessibility and responsibility. We will put an end to an era of corruption and strong-arm political tactics against the residents. We need a mayor with true leadership abilities who will be dedicated to all residents, not certain voters. The time has come for us to stop wasting our lives & valuable time with the incumbent & invest it in one that truly does care about the residents and include them in the healing process of what has become our fallen city. One building here, a couple of houses there of improvement the year before an election year and there it stops. The residents are fed up with the false hopes and the improvements never seem to continue after the election is over. The incumbent gives illusions that his committees and task forces (on any issue), have worked the entire year on one idea/project. They have not, they have only worked for approximately two full weeks in that one year time frame on it. We need my administration that will be working on ideas/plans and projects on a full time basis. Two weeks is not enough time to even wrap yourself around the whole possibility of an idea. We will have people employed and elected who are willing to be dedicated to a project/idea, that will put forth the effort truly and completely, not sometimes show up at a meeting, that needs to be reminded from minutes where they left off. You cannot continue to keep the same problematic people in city elected positions and expect a different end result. It's not happening. The reason why is the same problematic people are serving on the very same committee and task forces that are suppose to rectify the problems. Change Albany by getting them out of office.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Community Forum Tour - Site Info

CommunityImage via Wikipedia
The next stop in my Community Forum Tour will be on Alexander Street, Monday, June 15, 2009 at 5:00pm. The location will be in front of the now vacant lots which was once the Home of The Lawsons. I will be discussing how the incumbent should have done his job for all those years residents complained about the houses that caused The Lawsons their home. I will also discuss the issue of blight, and my plans to eradicate it once and for all. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Panorama of Albany, New York, United States an...Image via Wikipedia
The residents can and will bring about new opportunities to experience right here in the City of Albany, just by voting responsibly. Responsibility is not just a word, it requires actions to utilize it. Elected officials who are not capable of utilizing their responsibility to the people, should have that responsibility taken away from them, and not be voted back into office. People are the key. Responsibility is not passing the buck, but being capable of taking the blame for something that has happened, and not sweeping it under the rug. Responsibility is also having the authority to act and being able to make decisions independently. When you are in a responsible position, it means that you are in charge; you are reliable and able to be counted on to get the job done; your rational and accountable for your actions; to be conscientious and trustworthy enough to hold that position. You are elected to be diligent in performing your tasks. That you are deserving of the residents trust, and that you are able to be trusted. Certain elected officials have the title and status they wanted, but they lack the characteristics necessary to fill that job. All of the residents in Albany are the important key factors when it comes to elections. The residents have the power to elect or reject the candidate that is put before them. We need to be reminded of that periodically. If you feel that you have been ignored, neglected or done wrong in any way, by the incumbent or his administration, then reject them and elect Johnson. The residents of Albany should not feel resentment, powerlessness or hostility, because they feel they cannot change their situations. They can, with the power of choice plus their vote on a new mayor. They can finally feel relief and feel empowered. The current administration has missed the mark on all counts and failed to successfully complete their mission for the residents. It does not take 16 years to get settled in to a mayoral position to start acting upon your duties to the residents. The residents are through with the excuses. It's the voters duty to vote for a candidate who will obtain a successful outcome in completing the mission for the residents. I have the ambition, determination and commitment to fulfill the goals of the residents today, not 15-20 years from now. The residents have served a long hard sentence under the current administration, and it is time the residents were released. The residents and I, together will have Albany functioning at its most efficient way in years. We need to maximize efficiency and proficiency in City Hall on every level of operation. Accountability of all will return only when a new mayor is in office. The mayor to the council members on down will be held accountable to act on behalf of the residents and voters; they will be required to explain their actions, or lack thereof to all the residents, or expect not to have that position much longer by being asked to leave that position. My administration will establish transparency. We will eliminate political roadblocks and "neighborhood boundaries" to get something done in the city. Our innovative plans of action will link the city together and put an end to political abuses against the residents. Together, Albany will function efficiently and proficiently by transforming how Albany operates on all levels; that's progress in action. Responsibility gets the job done and accountability will also be established. I actively listen to all the residents and respond positively. My open door policy and Direct Access line (518) 253-1028; and our Speak up message line (518) 512-1329 are instrumental in expanding the lines of communication and information. Our residents, walkability, restoring order and establishing a state of protection and safety, are the key factors for a quality life. We all want Albany to be a place that people want to live in and come to, to relax, to play and to enjoy a pleasing moment in life; something that we all live for; but unfortunately, because of the incumbent and his administration, we are surrounded by our disorderly, out of control urban city. My administration is here to restore order, establish a state of protection and safety in our schools and in our neighborhoods. Ask yourself these questions and vote accordingly:
  • Is the incumbent running the City satisfactorily, meeting an adequate standard?
  • Is the incumbent and his administration showing consideration or thoughtfulness to the residents in voicing their opinions in relation to the city?
  • Is the incumbent committed to improving the lives of all residents in Albany?
  • Does the incumbent have concern for the needs, well-being, and interests of the residents first?
  • Is it necessary for you to vote for the incumbent because you are obligated to, or you will lose your job within the city or elsewhere or you will lose certain privileges to use within the city? If you answered yes to any part of that question, then you need to free yourself from the chains that you are binding yourself with.
  • Is the incumbent an impractical person, who rejects the considerations of the residents in pursuit of his own personal and political agenda - in which his ethical decision making needs to be questioned?
The incumbent has neglected his responsibility to serve the people. This election send a message to City Hall that says we will not be neglected another nanosecond. It's time to wake up, take charge of your life, and stop the abuse of authority by the incumbent and his administration. The freedom of choice is yours, lets start using it! If you answered no to one or more questions, then the answer is clear. May your choice be Benzie Johnson.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

The Bottom Line

Skyline of Albany, New York, United States fro...Image via Wikipedia
Albany Cannot Move Forward until the issues that Anger the residents are addressed & eradicated, and as your Mayor I will do that and more. The residents' future and the future of our City are dependent upon that happening. I believe that the residents needs, well-being and safety come first, not their pockets. More of your money will stay in your wallet when I become Mayor. My Administration will Transform How Albany Operates from the Inside Out, by establishing new levels of standards for a functional uncorrupt city government & demanding a level of performance in service that will meet the residents expectations & exceed them. I have no ties to the incumbent and will not continue his methods of operation. I, like thousands of you, are ready for life after the incumbent and having a Safe, Prosperous Life in an Affordable Albany, and that's why I'm running for Mayor, to make that a reality.
My Innovative Plans of Action Will Make the Necessary Improvements the incumbent hasn't in 16 years.
We need to be more than just residents of Albany. We need to become active participants in our own life's course with the City's government. We are worthy of much more, than what the incumbent has dished out to us. Maybe residents aren't angry enough, because they keep on complaining about the same problems they are accepting, by becoming complacent with them, standing by and allowing them to continue. Ask yourself, what course of action do you plan on taking to improve your life's situation, to change your experiences within the city? Let's start by electing a new mayor who will reopen the police stations, and who will appoint a new chief of police, like I will. Do you keep getting angry with the same problems under the current mayor? Then, take your anger to the voting booths, and turn it into a positive experience and vote Johnson. Remember What Top Five Issues Anger You About The City and Vote. All residents in favor of a "Safe, Prosperous Life in an Affordable Albany" let me know. I invite you to e-mail me any questions you may want answered privately, and call my "Speak Up" Message Line to leave a message to acknowledge your support, give suggestions & voice your concerns. When you call, the "Speak Up" Message Line will give you an informational message about upcoming events, meetings and where I will be during My Community Forum Tour, which will let you know when I will be in your area. This blog will also give you this information. My Direct Access line will give you the accessibility and convenience you need to speak directly with me, now and throughout my entire term as Mayor.
Call: (518) 512-1329 "Speak Up" message line
Call: (518) 253-1028 Direct Access line
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Thursday, June 4, 2009


View of downtown Albany, New York, United Stat...Image via Wikipedia
I'm Benzie Johnson. You may remember that I am a Democrat who ran for Mayor as a write-in candidate in 2005 and  2009. There are a multitude of issues that need to be addressed in our City, all of which are important. I will be addressing many issues that face our city's residents, and those that affect the city as a whole. I have been out talking with the residents over the years and currently about issues that are personally affecting their quality of life in Albany. Many of these issues are not even being discussed by other mayoral candidates. The most important factor in our city are the residents, for without them there would be no city. Due to the incumbent's irresponsible methods of operation many residents who were able to leave did, and those of us who choose to stay are demanding Quality of Life Now, not 20 years from now. I want all of our residents to know, that I will not be part of the status quo, and I will not continue the incumbent's inept, irresponsible methods of operation, like my opponents will. I believe that Responsibility Gets the Job Done, and I, as Mayor, will get the job done once and for all. The residents are not waiting anymore. It's long overdue for a new mayor, and a new administration. Shawn Morris & Corey Ellis had their years in office working under the incumbent, and they did not bring about the necessary change for Albany. They also could have made mention of the issues they are talking about now during their terms as council members and chose not to, instead they waited until they were running for mayor. If these issues were known before now, then why did they not discuss them. Would you want someone to be mayor who waited for years to address a problem? I think not.
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