May 29 – Happy Birthday Ann Thane


Ann Thane’s two biggest accomplishments were getting elected Mayor of Amsterdam, NY in the first place and then getting reelected. Why? Because she’s a woman, the first woman in history to break through the glass ceiling that existed up at that Church Street City Hall and sit in the Mayor’s chair.

Prior to becoming Mayor she had served as the director of the Walter Elwood Museum in Amsterdam. She came out of nowhere to win her first election in 2007. After upsetting former Mayor John DuChessi in that year’s Democratic primary she beat him and Republican candidate Anthony “Babe” Pallotta in the general election that November. She then appointed her closest friend and political mentor Gerry DeCusatis as her Corporation Council.

Her unsuccessful attempt to convince the Common Council to not demolish the old Chalmers knitting mill on Amsterdam’s South Side was a major event of her first term. She fought passionately on behalf of developer Uri Kaufmann, who had an agreement with the city to convert the old factory into luxury apartments. When Kauffman failed to meet the conditions set forth in that agreement, the Common Council declared it void and voted to demolish the structure…

You can read the rest of my story about this former Amsterdam mayor in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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