Joe Emanuele was born in Amsterdam on October 28, 1956 and has lived here his entire life. He was a gifted high school athlete at Wilbur Lynch High School on both the gridiron and the hardwood. He is the type of person you like instantly. He’s got a great sense of humor and a sharp mind. His family is his life.
He was elected Mayor of the City of Amsterdam in November of 2003, defeating two-term Democratic incumbent John Duchessi. Then a full time math teacher at Fonda-Fultonville Middle School, Emanuele told the city’s voters he intended to continue teaching while serving the City as a part time Mayor and would donate the portion of his salary he did not earn to the Amsterdam Public Library. That’s exactly what he did.
A staunch Republican, Emanuele believes that the most effective government is one that governs least. He is a disciple of the “starve the beast” approach to problem solving and his championing of a three percent cap on the City property tax rate played a huge role in every City budget passed since, until New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo got a statewide two percent limit enacted.
During Joe’s term in office he depended heavily on his lovely wife Tina and his City Hall staff to help him handle the day-to-day types of issues and activities a full-time Mayor would typically handle. His biggest strength was his ability to respond to any type of problem, opportunity or conflict in a calm, respectful and very professional manner. I have no idea how he could handle the rigors of teaching mathematics to middle school students while at the same time administering a City with the problems Amsterdam was experiencing but outwardly at least, he did it with unflappable good grace.
I was surprised when Joe announced he did not plan on seeking reelection after his term as Mayor expired. I believe one factor in that decision had to be the…