ALBANY, N.Y. -- In her first State of the City address, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said she'd be looking to the state to help the city balance its budget.
And starting with a meeting Monday night, city leaders started moving in that direction, working to approve an application for the state to review the city's finances.
Holding off on final approval for now, the Albany Common Council is nonetheless expected Thursday to approve a request for the state Financial Restructuring Board to take a look inside Albany's finances.
"Having the promise of state aid, state money tied to these recommendations is something I think we can't turn away from," said Frank Commisso, Albany Finance Committee chairman.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, Albany could someday receive as much as $5 million from the state to figure out how to save money. The state would offer a list of recommendations, and would pay to help implement them.
"I don't necessarily look at this as 'we have a management problem.' I think this says that we need the state to be a better partner here in the Capital City," said Commisso.
The Financial Restructuring Board being less than a year old, and Mayor Kathy Sheehan will be Albany's first mayor to ask the board's help in balancing the city's money problems.
"In the long run, we need permanent financial assistance for the Capital City, and I think in order for us to get traction on that, we have to be willing open our books, and to talk about what our challenges are," Sheehan said.