ALBANY A familiar face has returned to Albany County government to work alongside County Executive Daniel McCoy, and it’s only a short walk from his former post at City Hall.
Philip Calderone, who served as deputy mayor of Albany for 17 years, was sworn in Tuesday, Dec. 31, as deputy county executive, with McCoy announcing his selection a few days prior. Calderone replaced Bradley Fischer, who is leaving for a job at the state Gaming Commission. Working alongside former Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings for the majority of his two-decade tenure, Calderone helped develop many notable policies and legislation.
Calderone said he was looking forward to returning to county government and assisting McCoy with his effort to make the county “one of the most innovative and dynamic counties in the state for growth, development and economic opportunity for all of our county residents.”
Calderone previously worked for the county from 1982-96 as legal counsel and eventually rose to executive deputy county attorney before leaving to join Jennings. He was also a principal partner for several years in the Albany-based law firm Garry, Cahill, Edmunds & Calderone.
McCoy said Calderone brings “a wealth of experience and knowledge of law and government to the position.”
Some initiatives Calderone helped craft were state legislation offering payments in lieu of taxes on the Empire State Plaza, creating the Albany Convention Center Authority, and he was a principal author of Albany’s existing charter. He also led the city’s efforts to be recognized as an “All-American” city.
McCoy said he interviewed a few people, and Calderone was the best person for the position.
“He had a lot of offers on the table … and he had a couple law offices that wanted him to come into private practice,” McCoy said.
Calderone is taking a salary decrease to join the county executive, with his new position bringing in an annual salary of $113,000, and his deputy mayor salary falling around $125,000, according to McCoy.
“He said the money is not the issue. … It is the passion of knowing he can continue on with the vision he had with the mayor of the city,” McCoy said. “I say it was my charm that got him to take a pay decrease, but he is a very passionate gentleman.”
McCoy said he doesn’t blame Fischer for leaving his post and taking advantage of the “unique opportunity” to join the state Gambling Commission.
“I was sad to see him leave,” McCoy said, “but he wants to move to his passion.”