By STEVE JONES Staff writer

Mayor Joseph R. Fusco Jr. met with one of his constituents this week, who also happens to be Oneida County executive.

Anthony J. Picente Jr, a Republican and resident of Rome, conferred with Fusco, the city’s new Conservative mayor, for about 90 minutes on Tuesday.

Fusco said the meeting in Utica with Picente was a chance to "get to know his staff and exchange phone numbers."

"We talked about his outlook on things with the county and mine with the city, opening up conversations in different areas. There was a big stress on his administration helping mine — with his people helping mine. It was a bridge-building meeting. It was good. We’re looking forward to working together to save the taxpayer locally and in the county some money."

Fusco said the topics were nothing new: consolidation, equipment sharing, personnel sharing and other options for saving money. "It always boils down to saving money." He said he met with Purchasing Director Mello Testa and Daniel Yerdon, of the Finance Department’s Real Estate division.

Fusco is not a member of the Democratic or Republican parties, but has been embraced by leaders from both already, he noted. "Thus far, they have been great." Democratic Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-116, Utica, is coming in this week to meet Fusco at City Hall, he said. They’ve already talked several times and traveled to the state of the state in Albany together last week, he noted. Fusco said he’s also talked with Republican state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, a former mayor. "These guys are reaching out to me, and that’s great."

Fusco will attend U.S. Rep. Richard L. Hanna’s presentation to members of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce tomorrow morning at The Beeches, then meet at City Hall with the Republican congressman from Barneveld.