Kraus announces re-election campaign for Utica Councilor at Large seat

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica Common Councilor at Large Jerry Kraus has announced that he will be seeking re-election for his seat.

Kraus has been endorsed by the City of Utica’s Democratic Party and the Working Families Party for the upcoming election.

"Our city continues to face many challenges and I’ve been working hard during my first term as a Councilman, gaining the knowledge and experience as a representative of the residents, taxpayers and businesses in Utica to continue to help move our city forward," he said in a statement Friday. "I am very aware of today’s issues of tight finances, the upcoming property tax cap, safe neighborhoods, job development and streamlining our government expenses while finding ways to increase revenues. We cannot lose focus on what matters most and that is our future."

Kraus said that the city needs to work to attract business and increase home ownership, and develop tourism plans, using the Harbor Point project as an example.

Quality of life issues within the city needed to be promoted, Kraus said, including neighborhoods, parks, and City attractions such as the Boilermaker, Valley View Golf Course, Val Bialis Ski area, The Utica Zoo, and the Genesee Street Arts Corridor.

He also said that he feels consolidation needs to be discussed at all levels; between both the city of Utica and the surrounding communities within Oneida County.

"Utica needs to develop our Master Plan for prosperity and guidance," he said. "I am proud of my accomplishments so far including introducing legislation to cut costs and increase revenues. I’ve called for an accounting audit of City operations, including the Fire Department’s Ambulance service. I’ve also been an advocate for the development of Bagg’s Square, Council involvement in the ratification of City labor contracts, saving jobs at the Pitcher Street Post office plant, revitalizing Central Utica by tearing down empty eyesore homes and replacing them with newly built and landscaped apartment buildings of Housing Visions."

Kraus called his committee work with codes, public safety and parks issues a rewarding experience and projects that he said he would like to continue to work on if re-elected.

"I plan to spend time during this campaign listening. I often refer back to a phrase I learned long ago: ‘You never learn anything by talking’. It is my belief that elected officials at all levels must listen to their constituents and lead the community down the path that benefits as many as possible. I will continue to do this," Kraus said. "I am not a politician. I am a resident, a neighbor, a taxpayer, a community volunteer and a working man. I pledge to continue to be all of those things as well as your voice on the Utica City Common Council. I look forward to this campaign and the discussions that it will spark among all of us. We need to have a local, regional, national, and global view of our City and our community."

Kraus makes a total of four Democratic candidates running for three Council at Large seats. Those other candidates include Jim Zecca, and the Democratic endorsed Ed Bucciero and Frank Meola.

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