Albany Mayoral Candidate Plans Area's First ‘Cat Park’
By Quack Davis
Published April 2nd, 2017
Cat parks similar to the one being proposed by Albany mayoral candidate Bob Swarms are extremely popular in Bangladesh.
ALBANY — Bob Swarms says he’s the purr-fect candidate for mayor.
The 48-year-old welder from Pine Hills is throwing his hat — and cat — into the ring to be the next mayor of New York's capital city.
And if elected, he promises to create the Capital Region's first cat park.
"It would be just like a dog park but it would be for cats. Great idea, right?" Swarms asked rhetorically as he announced his candidacy Sunday at PetSmart on Washington Avenue Extension, where he was joined by his Tabby, Erastus, who was named after legendary Albany Mayor Erastus Corning.
"I am the only candidate for Albany mayor who is promising to build a cat park," he yelled into a bullhorn, confusing shoppers and frightening dogs, but mesmerizing cats in the store. "If Mayor Corning and Albany Democratic boss Dan O'Connell were alive in 2017, dare I say they would approve of this bold initiative. We're making history."
Swarms said the other mayoral candidates — Democratic incumbent Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Council President Carolyn McLaughlin, Councilman Frank Commisso Jr. and Green Party candidate Dan Plaat — have been "surprisingly mum" on the proposed cat park.
"It’s been radio silence. They’re afraid to propose a cat park because they don't have the whiskers to get one built. But I'll get it done.
"Remember," he said, looking down at his cat. " I'm not just a mayoral candidate. I'm a future client."
Swarms said he’s not worried cats could run away, catch illness or be eaten by coyotes.
"The risk is worth the reward. Or maybe I should say the 'frisk' outweighs the reward," Swarms said with an odd smirk.
Though privately his competitors have referred to Swarms as "the cat guy" or "that nut,” Swarms said his is the only campaign offering fresh ideas.
"They are going to talk about city finance and job creation and crime and our youth and other so-called issues and they won't accomplish any of it," Swarms said. "But, if you elect me, I will, as my first official action, authorize the creation of a cat park.
“All cats,” said Swarm, “deserve a place to run and play."