UTICA, N.Y. -- The city of Utica has its first official mayoral candidate, and it's not the mayor.
A common council member of the same party as Utica’s current mayor is coming after the office.
Utica City Councilman Joe Marino currently represents the city's 4th Ward – East Utica – but he wants the whole city.
Marino, Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by his wife, four children and more than 100 supporters, announced his candidacy for mayor of Utica.
The announcement was preceded by a two minute video of people in the community, singing Marino’s praises.
He said he's concerned that, if the city continues on the current path, excessive debt and rising property taxes will burden future generations.
"What pushed me over the edge was, the idea that we do have problems and we're not maintaining a real good handle on those problems, so when you say that the city has a beautiful face, it does. I don't think the city's really been handling the scars and the bones that we've been scraping through. That's really what pushed me over the edge. I want to talk about the good, but handle the bad," said Marino.
Marino also cited his no vote, which helped keep an asphalt plant out of North Utica. A CPA, currently working for the Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi, Pearlman law firm, Marino will make the city's fiscal health a priority.
"My biggest focus first and foremost is to smooth out the tax hikes and dips, right, so there's a lot of yoyos in our taxes. We need pension relief, we need tax relief, there's a lot of things that we can do financially as a city that we haven't done."
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, also a Democrat, sent a news release at the conclusion of Marino’s announcement, citing his accomplishments, saying there's still work to be done, and that he would make an announcement about his future in the coming weeks.