Green Party’s Rich Cirino to run for GF Mayor

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

Rich Cirino will run for Mayor of Glens Falls on the Green Party line, against declared candidates Democratic Councilman-at-Large Dan Hall and independent Tim Guy.

Mr. Cirino asks, “Do I want four more years of the same thing? Glens Falls is great, but we’re not growing. We’re not attracting young families the way we should.”

Mr. Cirino, 54, is president of the Glens Falls Collaborative that looks to make events happen downtown. He and his wife Margot owned the downtown wine store Uncorked for eight years and moved to Glens Falls in December 2007.

Mr. Cirino has long worked for the State Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany.

“My 24 years at the DMV is 24 years in government administration,” he told The Chronicle Monday. “I know government and how to do government.”

Rich Cirino

He said his job entails doing analytics including “trouble-shooting, sizing up data, solving business problems, dealing with contracts, helping researchers and dealing with other government agencies.”

He said he’ll leave his state job and resign from the Collaborative if elected.

“I promise to be a full-time mayor and that means no other duties,” he said.

Fellow Green Party member Robin Barkenhagen is running for Councilman-at-Large. He lost to incumbent Dan Stec for Assembly last November but garnered 1,195 votes in the City of Glens Falls.

Mr. Cirino said he graduated in 1980 from Argyle Central School, in 1983 from Adirondack Community College and in 1986 summa cum laude from Plattsburgh State with a degree in business administration.

“I worked throughout college,” he said, including stints at the then-Country Fare shop in Glens Falls. The Cirinos had an e-commerce wine business when they lived in Hartford and operated a video store in Hudson Falls that they sold in 1987.

He said Matt Funiciello and other local Green Party members started talking to him in 2015 about running for mayor. He joined the Green Party in January 2016.

“Late last year, the Green Party asked me if I would consider running. That’s when I started to think about it practically.”

Glens Falls has 72 registered Green Party members, 2,879 Democrats, 2,505 Republicans, 558 Independence Party members and 1,852 unaffiliated voters, according to the County Board of Elections.

Mr. Cirino said he can win despite the dearth of Green Party enrollees “because I’m running as Rich Cirino and you don’t have to be a Green Party member to make the best choice.”

He said he will also seek a second, independent line on the November ballot.

If elected, he will “start listening to the employees. I’m going to go to the experts to find out what works. I want to understand the people who are serving our customers.”

Asked how he would attract more young families, he said he would write about it on his campaign website, 12801.0rg.

“On real specifics, I won’t pretend I have all of the answers,” he said. “But I do my homework, and I will put things out there for people to see until I make a decision.”

He said he is “skeptical” about police consolidation and believes the City Police Department is doing a good job.

“When you call, they are there,” he said. “They know the landscape. Citizens require responsiveness and intelligence in response, and that’s what we get.”

Copyright © 2017 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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