Area elected officials reflect on 2021, look ahead
As 2021 comes to a close, elected officials around the region reflected this week on the year they left behind, and looked forward to 2022.
Along with sounding off on the progress of economic development issues across the region in 2021, officials weighed in with their thoughts on 2021 and where they would like the region to head in the coming year.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said in a year-end message prepared for the Genesis Group, “...While the pandemic brought the building of Nexus to a halt, work will soon be resuming, and it is anticipated that the facility will be open and hosting tournaments in 2022. In 2021, we officially opened the Innovare Advancement Center at Griffiss International Airport. This state-of-the-art open innovation campus in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Griffiss Institute, SUNY Poly and Oneida County will highlight quantum computing and artificial intelligence … Work continues at Griffiss on SKYDOME, the world’s largest indoor UAS test site, which continues to attract the very best in companies committed to UAS superiority.”
Picente continued, “... We will be better in 2022. It is in our DNA not to give in or give up. We are a strong community. A community of people who care and work together for the betterment of all.”
“I am proud of what we have accomplished in 2021. Despite some obstacles from the state and federal government and a global pandemic, Madison County came out ahead. Our government is strong, our employees are talented and dedicated, and we are always improving. This past year we were a leader when it came to the COVID-19 vaccine, to date over 80 percent of our adult population are vaccinated,” said John Becker, Chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors in a statement.
Becker continued, “We opened a state of the art highway garage for the southern part of our county. And we were able to pass a budget for 2022 with a 0% tax increase. Those are just some of the great accomplishments of the past year. I am looking forward to 2022,”
City of Utica
In Utica, Mayor Robert Palmieri said, “As 2021 comes to close, I’m reminded how special our community is. While COVID-19, and its subsequent variants, have presented unique challenges, Utican’s are resilient, and we will overcome this together. From an Administrative perspective, my top priorities heading into 2022 is to continue to strengthen Utica’s fiscal health and promote economic development in our City. We anticipate exciting announcements in the near future that will greatly enhance our current economic development initiatives. I wish everyone in our community a safe, healthy and happy New Year.”
City of Rome
In a year-end summary, Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo noted that the city wrapped up another year of growth opportunities, “which will affect our entire region not only in the areas of economic development, but residential housing as well.”
“Although we are still navigating the global pandemic, it has not slowed our city’s efforts to continue making positive economic impacts. … The REACH Center just recently completed a $450,000 renovation of their facility ($200,000 Main Streets grant, $250,000 DRI) housing small businesses essential to the downtown area’s growth…”
“...Phase 3 of the Northwest water expansion is also on the horizon for 2022. Most of the work in the final phase of this project will take place in North Rome and include a new tank for water storage increasing water pressure and fire protection to the North Rome area. The city is also readying a project to replace the city’s main interceptor sewage line in 2022 as well.”
State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome
“Over the last two years, we have witnessed unimaginable human tragedy, significant disruption and economic upheaval,” Griffo said in a statement.
“However, despite the abnormal and unfortunate circumstances in which we now find ourselves, there are lessons to be learned and an important opportunity to reset and recommit ourselves as a nation. We cannot, and we should not, be forced to rely on other countries to provide us with important supplies, especially during a global health crisis. Our nation must reestablish its own industries and return to producing goods that we need and are essential to our wellbeing here at home…,” Griffo’s remarks continued.
“The start of a new year provides us with an opportunity to look forward with optimism and to envision new opportunities and new beginnings. While the last two years have been challenging, difficult and tough, they have made us stronger, more resilient and more aware. My hope and wish for all is that they are blessed with good health, share goodwill and do good things in 2022,” the state senator concluded.
U.S. Representative Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford
“Despite being sworn into Congress after the start of the new session, my office hit the ground running to deliver for NY-22. I introduced 24 bills focused on the most pressing issues facing our region and the nation, including securing an additional $10 million for Rome Lab in the National Defense Authorization Act, which was recently signed into law. I founded the House Election Integrity Caucus to promote fair, free, and transparent elections. My office has replied to more than 40,000 messages and resolved more than 2,000 constituent issues with federal agencies. I am also honored to have explained more than 170 votes publicly on my website. While we may not always agree, I will always be committed to transparently serving every resident of New York’s 22nd District with honor, integrity, and compassion,” Tenney said in a statement.
A full year-end report by Tenney can be found online here: https://bit.ly/3JqMdNI
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