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City Hall packed with well-wishers as Jennings retires

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Albany/HV: City Hall packed with well-wishers as Jennings retires
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For the first time in 20 years, the Mayor of the city of Albany will not be Jerry Jennings. The North Albany native retired Tuesday. Our Megan Cruz tells us what people had to say as Jennings walked out of City Hall as mayor for the last time.

ALBANY, N. Y. -- And there you have it: the last time Jerry Jennings will walk out of Albany's City Hall as Mayor.

Despite the cold, a huge crowd came out to send Jennings off with some warm wishes.

"A lot of health and happiness in his retirement. He definitely earned it and deserves it," said Joe Shanahan, who has been Jennings' security detail for 9 years. He says he'll miss the mayor's sense of humor most.

"He's a regular guy, that's what I always say about him," he said. "I love him, I idolize him, and I think he just knows how to connect with people, he's a people person."

A charisma Mary Jean Knowles remembers from her days at Albany High.

"Yes I was at Albany High School when he was the administrator!" she said proudly.

Now a board member of Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts, she say she still looks up to him.

"He's done so much for the community, so much for the arts programs, he's been such a supporter of ours," said Knowles.

Jennings announced he wouldn't seek a sixth term back in May. His assistant/partner in crime/childhood friend from North Albany Bob Van Amburgh said, "It's been very difficult for him. You know, cleaning out after 20 years is a task in and of itself. The realization of it coming to a close I think hit home."

And soon the door to the Mayor's Office will say Kathy Sheehan. The new mayor says she knows she has big shoes to fill.

"The crowd is a testament to his legacy," said Sheehan. "One of the things Mayor Jennings has done so well is touch people. He connects with people at their level and has been a phenomenal ambassador for our city, a phenomenal cheerleader for our city, and we're seeing the result of that. People love this mayor."

"You know I look back and I say, 'you know, Jerry? You did the right thing here. You did the right thing there.' I'm not looking for affirmation, I'm just saying. From where I started and where we are today, I'm very proud," said Jennings.

His biggest accomplishment Tuesday:

"See, I didn't cry, I didn't," he said to the Time Warner Cable News Reporter.

But you did tear up, Jerry, we saw it! We'll miss you, too.

"Had a great run with it. Thank you," said Jennings.

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