Michael F. Conners II, Albany County Comptroller
Mike Conners was elected Albany County Comptroller in 1995. He was re-elected to a fourth four-year term in 2007. Some of his major accomplishments include spearheading reforms at Capital Region OTB, saving over $34 million in debt service at the Albany County Airport as well as instituting GASB compliant accounting practices and instituting hotel/motel tax audits which have generated new revenue for Albany County. He has also been a vocal advocate for the Albany County Nursing Home.
As County Comptroller, Conners has overseen the issuance or refunding of approximately $400 million of bonds. Before serving as Comptroller he was a County Legislator from 1992 through 1995. During his tenure as a legislator, he was instrumental in developing and building bipartisan support for a plan to address a $17 million deficit in the County’s 1993 budget, which included refunding of over $100 million of County debt. In 1994 he convinced the State of New York to agree on a refinancing of $150 million of South Mall (Empire State Plaza) bonds and brokered a deal to split the resultant savings between the County and the State. As a County Legislator, Conners also was instrumental in implementing the Albany County whistleblower law and as Comptroller, initiated the first fraud, waste and abuse hotline for Albany County.
Conners and his staff have instituted many audits throughout his tenure. Some of the highlights include an audit of the Albany County Nursing Home that uncovered the diversion of Medicaid money from the facility, illegal check cashing practices at OTB, improper use of Federal and State forfeiture funds in the District Attorney’s office as well as uncovering substandard conditions in the Temporary Assistance program for families without housing.
Mike Conners was a vocal critic against the gasoline tax cap in Albany County in 2006, proving the savings from the tax was being absorbed by the oil industry. As a result, the tax was reinstated and the savings was put towards property tax relief for Albany County residents.
Mike is a proponent of renewable energy and has spoken extensively on the need for regulation of the oil industry and the commodities market. He has been a featured speaker on this subject for the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, NYSAC, the Association of Government Accountants and at Bond Buyers Conferences.
His public career also includes service as the City of Albany Public Works Commissioner in 1994, gubernatorial appointee and Treasurer [1988-1992] of the Albany Municipal Finance Water Authority, where he refinanced $48 million of debt, and member of the Governor’s Liberty Scholarship Advisory Board from 1989 - 1992.
Mike also has an extensive and successful private sector career. He was C.E.O. of MF Conners & Son Agency, a 104-year-old insurance agency in Albany. Mike served as President of the New York State Professional Insurance Agents Association in 1985-1986. He was a member of the national faculty of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors from 1988-1994. He has been recognized with several insurance industry awards including the National Professional Insurance Agent of the Year Award in 1991. In 1990, on behalf of the National Professional Insurance Agents Mike debated presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Crossfire.
Mike has been active in numerous charitable and not for profit corporations including Chairman of the Board –Cerebral Palsy Center for the Disabled 1987-1988, and Chair-Capital Region New York State Mentoring Program 1988-1991. He also has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Wounded Warriors program.