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Mayor Brian U. Stratton
Mayor Brian U. Stratton

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Thurs. June 15, 2006: Schenectady Mayor Brian U. Stratton is continuing a campaign started by his predecessor to get Guyanese migrants to move from New York City to his upstate town.

Stratton came to New York City last weekend to try to sell more Guyanese on the advantages of moving to Schenectady. At the Kaieteur Restaurant in Richmond Hill, Queens, Stratton shared his vision of the future of the area with about 35 Guyanese nationals.

Many have already bought into the push from his predecessor, Mayor Albert Jurczynski and moved to the area, taking advantage of lower property costs.

But Stratton, according to the Times Union, says there are more houses to be bought, as property prices are about 80 percent cheaper than in New York City.

Schenectady recently achieved a financial milestone after returning to an investment-grade credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service. Two years ago, Schenectady held the single lowest credit rating of any municipality in New York.

Stratton became mayor in 2004 and said his administration inherited what could only be described as a fiscal train wreck. He said Schenectady’s cumulative deficit was projected at more than $10 million, its credit rating was at rock bottom, and the state comptroller was predicting the city would run out of money in a matter of months.

But he said in 24 months, the projected $10.2 million deficit has been eliminated and they finished 2005 with a combined funds surplus of nearly $5 million.

And he says now its time to court more property owners and residents to the area, no doubt a political and economic move aimed at increasing the city’s property tax rolls. –