City resident William Rowback Jr. has announced that he will be seeking the mayoral post in the fall elections.
By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE – The election for city mayor will feature at least two candidates after city firefighter William Rowback Jr. recently announced he will be running against incumbent Mayor Dayton King later this fall.
The life-long city resident made the formal announcement during a special event at Harold’s Restaurant on Wednesday afternoon with family, friends and supporters in attendance. He said he will be seeking Republican and Independent lines in the elections.
“This city has been gracious enough to allow me to accomplish my dream of serving as a firefighter for the last 28 years,” Rowback said. “But the lord has put it on my heart to make a run for mayor because we need change.”
The 51-year-old candidate said he is looking to help bring respect and community pride back to Gloversville if he were elected mayor later this year.
“We need to bring pride and respect back to the city of Gloversville,” Rowback said. “We need to make sure the tenants, homeowners and out-of-town landlords are on the same page. We need our city government to become more visible in the community and address concerns when they are presented.”
Rowback said addressing the issues when they are presented, rather than placing them on the back burner would improve the taxpayer’s attitude toward city government.
He said he would also encourage community pride by advocating for residents to attend and participate in community events.
“We need to support our youth,” Rowback said. “The community needs to be at their games and events. We should be packing the seats and showing them support.”
He said he would also like to address the issue of blight and alleviate some of the burden that has been placed on the city fire department to address the problem.
“We need our property owners to respect themselves and respect their property,” he said. “The taxpayers need to take pride in the way they maintain their property and the more people that make that effort to improve the community, the more people will change what they are doing.”
The First Avenue resident said he would also like the city to start a program to recognize, and potentially reward, those that are setting a good example for the community.
“I think a gift certificate or acknowledgement in the paper would go a long way to encourage people to do the right thing and get things done,” he said.
Rowback said he is also looking to become the “biggest advocate” for the Gloversville community. He said he would be looking to work with local officials and then take the city’s issues to Albany to address them with both state legislatures and the governor.
“If I can’t get something started locally within three weeks of being mayor I would be going to Albany,” he said. “If we aren’t getting through to them in Albany, then I’m driving to Washington and talking to the head honcho.”
The mayoral candidate also said he believes the city’s abundance of water could serve as an important tool for future economic development.
“We need to get jobs back in the city of Gloversville,” he said. “We have one of the largest water supplies in New York state, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t create new jobs in Gloversville.”
Rowback has been serving as a member of the Gloversville Fire Department for the past 28 years. He said if he were elected to the mayoral post he would retire from the city department effective Dec. 31.
“I’ll serve my last day as a city firefighter December 31st, and on January 1st I’ll be sworn-in and become the best mayor Gloversville has ever had,” Rowback said.
He said he would serve city residents as a full-time mayor and post regular office hours so residents could speak with him about the issues or concerns.
When Rowback hasn’t been serving the community through his profession he has dedicated himself to helping with the continuous fight to cure cancer.
Rowback has raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by competing in the annual marathon held at Disney World in January. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raises money to help find a cure for cancer and helps provide assistance to families that are dealing with cancer.
Incumbent Mayor Dayton King said last week he will be seeking another term as city mayor and will also be seeking the Republican nomination. He said he plans to make his formal campaign announcement later this year.