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Council Member 11th Ward


Judd W. Krasher
375 Manning Boulevard
Albany, New York 12206
TELEPHONE:
518-364-5006
F A X : 518 434-5081
COUNCILMAN K RASHER

C ITY OF A LBANY
C OMMON C OUNCIL

MEMB ER
COUNCIL
O P E R AT I O N S A N D
ETHICS
L AW, B U I L D I N G S A N D
CODE ENFORCEMENT
GENERAL SERVICES,
H E A LT H A N D
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@ GMAIL . COM

March 25, 2016


Michael Farrar
Acting Director
State of New York
Authorities Budget Office
P.O. Box 2076
Albany, NY 12220-0076
VIA EMAIL
Dear Mr. Farrar:
I write to request that the Authorities Budget Office (ABO) examine the Albany Parking
Authoritys (APA) recent process in selecting the Authoritys new Executive Director. The
Albany Common Council has limited capacity in providing true oversight and the Mayors
Office has shown little concern in the matter.
On May 21st, 2015, the APA board terminated the employment of Executive Director Michael
Klein. According to the APAs minutes of their May 21st meeting the Board stated their intent to
conduct a search for a new executive director, A search will be conducted for a permanent APA
Executive Director as soon as reasonably practicable.
On February 12th, 2016, the Albany Parking Authority announced that Mayor Kathy Sheehans
Chief of Staff, Matthew Peter, was selected as the APAs new executive director.1 During the
same time period, the Mayor submitted three reappointments of Albany Parking Authority Board
members to the Common Council for confirmation.
On the same day, the Albany Parking Authority amended their Policies and Procedure Manual to
significantly change the job qualifications of the APA Executive Director.
1

http://blog.timesunion.com/localpolitics/17699/top-sheehan-aide-to-run-albany-parkingauthority

On February 23rd, 2016, the Common Councils Planning Committee considered the three
reappointments, including the reappointment of APA Chairman Kevin OConnor. The Committee
interviewed Mr. OConnor. Several council members, including myself, saw fit to ask the
Chairman about how the APA decided on selecting Mr. Peter.
At the Planning Committee meeting, it was revealed that no search was conducted for the
position of the APA Executive Director, a call for applications was never publicly posted, and no
one other than Mr. Peter was interviewed for the position.
Mr. OConnor was also asked about the required qualifications of their Executive Director as
promulgated by the APA Board and posted on the APA website. Among other qualitative
qualifications, Mr. OConnor was asked about the quantitative requirement that the APA
Executive Director have at least ten years successful experience in managing municipal parking
systems. I have attached the Boards Policies and Procedure Manual as it existed when Mr.
Peter was considered and selected.
Mr. OConnor informed the Committee that the APA Board waived several required
qualifications because of other skill sets possessed by Mr. Peter. Mr. OConnor assured the
Committee that Mr. Peters political activity would cease, an issue brought to light by the Albany
Times Union. 2 Mr. OConnor made clear that there was an understanding between the APA
Board and Mr. Peter that Mr. Peters sole professional obligation is to the APA.
On March 21st, 2016, the Albany Times Union reported that Mr. Peter contacted a senior
member of AFSCME in an effort to mobilize blue collar union members to support a solid waste
collection fee supported by the Mayors Office. There are anecdotal indications that Mr. Peter
continues blatant political behavior as Executive Director for the APA.
I believe the process the APA Board chose to engage in for selection of their Executive Director
calls into questions of integrity and shakes public trust. The behavior of the APAs Executive
Director gives room for serious pause in what truly motivated the Board in selecting Mr. Peter.
I thank the ABO for their attention to this matter and am hopeful you can provide an opinion on
the situation. If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate
to contact me.
Sincerely,

Judd W. Krasher
Council Member - 11th Ward
City of Albany
cc: Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Members of the Albany Common Council
Kevin OConnor, APA Board Chair

http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-local/article/Albany-city-aide-gets-political-pay-6805498.php