GLENS FALLS -- Bill Collins, a local businessman and staff organizer with Special Olympics New York, is running next year for an open seat on the Glens Falls Common Council, representing the city’s 2nd Ward.
“I’ve been a fan of what’s going on with the city lately, and so I wanted to get more involved,” said Collins, a Democrat who lives on Hunter Street.
Collins is the second candidate to announce plans to run in the November 2013 election for the seat that will be open because 2nd Ward Councilman Judy Villa White has reached term limits.
Patti Gray Whann, an independent, announced her candidacy in July, and has been actively campaigning.
“I’m getting some good support running as an independent,” Whann said Friday.
Collins, a member of the city Board of Public Safety for about a year, said he has thought about running for public office for a long time and decided the timing is right.
His father, a former Glens Falls postmaster, was active in Democratic politics and was regional coordinator for Robert Kennedy’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 1964.
Collins is director of training for Special Olympics New York and he operates a business that prints Celtic-themed apparel to sell at music festivals and seasonal kiosks at shopping malls.
Collins said he employs up to five people part time, depending on the season, at the print shop on Maple Street, in the former Leland Paper Co. building.
Whann, a real estate broker and consultant on renovating homes for elderly lifestyle, is making her second run for the Common Council.
In 2009, she ran for the 3rd Ward council seat as a Republican, and lost to incumbent Democrat Scott Watson.
Since then she has relocated to the 2nd Ward and dropped her party affiliation to become an independent candidate.
Whann is on the organizing committee for the Friends of Sagamore Street Park, a volunteer committee raising funds for playground improvements.
A Republican candidate in the race has not yet been announced.
The 2nd Ward seat is one of five council seats that will be open next year because of term limits.
The City Charter limits the mayor and Common Council members to two consecutive terms in the same office.
Elsewhere in the city, Republican James Clark, a Glens Falls school board member, confirmed Monday that he is considering running for the 5th Ward Common Council seat that will be open because Councilman Bennet Driscoll, a Democrat, has met term limits.
Clark said he is still discussing the race with family and community advisers.
Clark works in the administrative office for the Fourth Judicial District of the New York State Unified Court System.
He was an assistant to Glens Falls Mayor Robert Regan from 1998 to 2004.
Clark was city Republican chairman from 2003 to 2006
Mayor John “Jack” Diamond and Councilman-at-large Dan Hall, both Democrats, are the only council members who are eligible to run for their same seats.
Diamond has said he will run for re-election next year.
A Republican mayoral candidate has not yet been announced.
Hall has not yet said whether he plans to run for re-election.