It's a sad day in the city of Rensselaer as the announcement of Mayor Dan Dwyer's death settles in the community.

The 84-year-old mayor has led the city for more than a dozen years.

His colleagues remembered Dwyer Tuesday afternoon for his love and dedication to the city.

"When he got in, he sat down and told me 'Rich, we're going to do good things,' " said Rensselaer Mayor Rich Mooney. 

Council President-turned-Mayor Rich Mooney worked with Dwyer during his 13-year tenure. When Dwyer was elected mayor of Rensselaer in 2005, city officials say financially they were struggling. But despite the uphill battle that lay ahead, Dwyer still held a vision to turn the city around.

"For Dan, it was never a Democrat or Republican. It was never a political party. It was what was best for the city of Rensselaer," said Mooney.

And over the last 13 years, city officials say he did just that by being an honest and upfront leader.

The Korean War veteran used skills attained in service to bring new development and stabilize the city's financial situation.

"There's tens of millions of dollars in new construction, new housing, new businesses in the city," said Charles Moore, Rensselaer Director of Planning and Development.

Though Dwyer's vision became a reality for Rensselaer, the city will have to continue without him.

"I always [joked] he had two loves. One love was his family and the second one was the city of Rensselaer. Sometimes I think the city of Rensselaer was a little higher," said Mooney.

Mooney says Dwyer's legacy will include building the new north end fire house and the riverfront development.

Even after Rensselaer lost out on a casino to Schenectady, Mooney says Dwyer remained focused on making a difference.

"He was upset, but once he lost, he went on to plan B. That was Dan, he had a plan B and went with it," said Mooney.

But Dwyer's persistence is admired by many.

"It took many years to get that done and that's going to be here for generations, and it's because of him," said Moore.

Dwyer leaves behind two children and five grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.