After Years in Local Government, Mayor Dan Hall Packs His Bags and Looks Back | Local

GLENS FALLS – Outgoing Mayor Dan Hall and city historian Wayne Wright were going through the boxes and files in preparation for his departure from office on Thursday morning.

Hall will be replaced by mayor-elect Bill Collins when Collins takes the oath at the first town council meeting of the year on Saturday.

Hall was general councilor of the city council from 2008 until he became mayor. He was also a member of the recreation commission and the town planning council.

He has been heavily involved in city government for over 20 years.

Hall took office in 2018. He described his tenure as mayor as interesting and at times turbulent. He cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal demonstration permit lawsuit in 2020 as the reasons for the turmoil.

“It’s gone by the wayside,” Hall said of the lawsuit. “And I hope the pandemic goes away, so those are probably two of the most important things.”

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The pandemic has turned out to be uncharted waters for governments at the local and federal levels. Hall said the decisions the city has made regarding COVID protocols were top to bottom.

The city followed the guidelines that were passed from the governor’s office to the county and then to the city.

“There were documents every day, guidelines every day on what we could do and what we couldn’t,” he said.

The town hall closed for everyone on March 17, 2020. The employees did not return until June.

Hall applauded the city’s department heads for keeping operations going. The city placed a drop box outside City Hall for people to pay their taxes and other bills as needed, and held weekly conference calls with department heads and other employees to s ‘save during this period.

“Obviously people are still dying, people are still being born, people still have to pay taxes, they have to pay their water bills,” he said. “So it was a challenge on how to continue operations. “

The city also received community development grants that allowed them to give businesses up to $ 7,500 in loans to help them stay afloat during the pandemic. Hall said the city distributed 23 of them to small businesses across the city.

When Hall first took office, he did what most public servants do and set a track record for his first 100 days.

One element of that plan was to update the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and do more with the project.

Due to the pandemic, rising costs and the death of Ed Bartholomew, who was the town’s economic development leader and a former mayor, the DRI is not as far along as Hall would have liked to see when he left its functions.

“Due to the pandemic the price increases have caused us to change the direction of what we had planned and we are still formulating it and trying to stay within the budgets that we had proposed, but it is very difficult,” said Hall. .

Although the DRI is not as far along as he had hoped, Hall said the city has accomplished a lot in the area of ​​infrastructure during his tenure as the mayor’s office.

Some of these accomplishments include the paving of 63 of the city’s 220 streets over the past four years, several water and sewer infrastructure improvements in several city neighborhoods, including Dix Avenue, and the replacement of street lights. of the city by LED streetlights, among others.

Hall also said that when he became a general councilor, the city’s fund balance was not in good shape. Thanks to the work of former mayor, Jack Diamond, the town has been in a good financial position since he left, Hall said.

During Hall’s tenure, his administration kept the city within the state-imposed 2% tax cap while keeping the fund balance reserves stable and healthy. He said they were able to continue growing the fund balance and purchase a new ladder truck for the fire department for $ 1.4 million without going into debt.

“Safety in the town of Glens Falls is of the utmost importance. People really appreciate that if they pick up the phone and call 911, in 3-5 minutes someone will be at their door, ”he said.

He also noted that the city’s sales tax revenue was a large part of the healthy fund balance. The city had budgeted for a loss of sales tax revenue for 2021, but it has increased quarterly.

Regarding the post of mayor, Hall said people think there are always big plans on the horizon.

But there are less glamorous things that need to be done, like paving roads and putting new roofs on buildings like Town Hall and the Cool Insuring Arena.

“In reality, these are the little things you need to do,” Hall said. “So that’s what we did.”

He thanked everyone who showed their support for him during his tenure not only as mayor, but throughout his work in municipal government.

The city has seen rough times, he said, but is confident the city will continue to grow and prosper with the new administration taking office on Saturday.

“We have had protests, we have had a tornado, we have a pandemic,” he said. “But we’re still going and I think we’re still going strong. I think we’re leaving the next administration in pretty good shape.

Jay Mullen is a reporter for The post-star covering the Town of Glens Falls, County Warren and Crime and Courts. You can reach him at (518) 742-3224 or [email protected]