Gary R. McCarthy has served as Mayor since April 2011, bringing with him more than three decades of experience in government and a reputation as a hands-on, accessible, public servant who believes that government can be a force for positive change in the lives of its residents. He was elected to a full four-year term as Mayor in November 2011 and was re-elected in 2015, and in 2019.
Mayor McCarthy co-chairs the Center for Economic Growth’s Capital Region Local Government Council, and previously served as President of the New York State Conference of Mayors.
In 1981, he began his career as an Investigator in the Schenectady County District Attorney's Office. He served on the Schenectady City Council from 1996 through 1999 and then rejoined the City Council in 2005. Gary was elected Council President in January 2010, a position he held until elected Mayor. He has also served on the board of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority, and the Schenectady Industrial Development Agency.
Understanding the importance of quality of life, Mayor McCarthy established the award-winning Homeownership Made Easy in Schenectady (HOMES) Initiative to showcase housing opportunities throughout Schenectady through partnerships with nearly two dozen partners including banks, realtors, and contractors. Additionally, many city-owned properties are being professionally marketed as part of the HOMES Program with a focus on attracting owner-occupied buyers.
In 2016, Mayor McCarthy appointed a Mayoral Smart City Commission to take advantage of new technology for superior delivery of government services and improved quality of life. The Schenectady Smart City Advisory Commission is led by Mark Little, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Senior Vice President/Director of GE Global Research, and is working on a variety of technology and sustainability initiatives.
The City of Schenectady and National Grid are currently working with the Public Service Commission to deploy a city-wide Smart City REV Demonstration Project. Vendor partners such as AT&T - GE- Intel and Cimcon-Cisco-Itron-Presidio will develop software-enabled intelligent NLC nodes (Natural Language Classifier nodes) and smart city nodes that will convert National Grid’s existing street lighting system into an advanced LED street lighting platform for smart city technology and services. This multi-partner effort is designed to allow for flexibility, cost effectiveness and scalability throughout the city.
Mayor McCarthy has worked to stabilize the City’s finances following difficult times caused by the housing bubble and meltdown in the mortgage market. Standard & Poor upgraded Schenectady’s Bond Rating to A with a Stable Outlook last year and Moody’s has removed its negative outlook citing the City’s improved financial and liquidity position, favorable sales tax trend, and strong fiscal management. The City’s economic development and revitalization initiatives resulted in five consecutive property tax cuts since 2015.
Mayor McCarthy and his wife Caroline Boardman McCarthy, along with their two cats Misty and Captain reside in the City of Schenectady.