UTICA — Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said today he’s seeking a fourth term in office and was joined by county Comptroller Joseph Timpano, who is seeking a sixth term.
Both Republicans, Picente and Timpano held a joint announcement event at the 72 Tavern and Grill inside the Adirondack Bank Auditorium.
Nearly 200 supporters, including county officials, legislators and well-wishers filled the room, where Picente re-election logos were on each of the TV screens around the sports bar and
Picente stickers were handed out at the door.
Picente recognized numerous local and elected officials at the event, including some Democrats.
“I’ll work with anyone, anyone whose goal it is to make Oneida County better than it was ... because being county executive is about working for everyone,” Picente said.
“It’s not about the rhetoric or promises that can’t be kept … It’s about hard work and honesty. That’s what you’ll always get from me,” Picente added.
Among officials at the announcement were state Sen. Joe Griffo, R-47th, Rome, whom Picente followed as county executive; Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101st. New Hartford; district attorney Scott McNamara;
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol; and Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.
“No party lines drawn, no city or town borders to get in the way -- if only Albany and Washington would do the same,” Picente said, drawing applause.
Picente was introduced by Utica Comets minor-league hockey team president Robert Esche.
Picente has proposed a recreation complex near the auditorium to draw tournaments in hockey and other sports.
Among actions Picente cited as accomplishments were five consecutive years of county budgets with no general tax increase, though actual tax bills can vary widely depending on location and property value; consolidation of 911 emergency services; replacing a coroner system with one of paid medical examiners; an opioid task force; lead prevention efforts; renovations and expansions at the Utica and Rome campuses of Mohawk Valley Community College; safety officers in nearly every public school; and federal recognition of Griffiss International Airport in Rome as one of seven designated centers for drone technology testing and development.
Picente also cited the county’s role in plans by Mohawk Valley Health System to build a combined “state-of-the-art” hospital as he put it in downtown Utica.
Picente took office in January 2007 after being appointed to the job to fill the remaining portion of the term of Griffo, who was elected to the New York Senate the previous November. Before becoming county executive, Picente served as the Mohawk Valley’s regional director for Empire State Development Corp., the state’s economic development arm.
Picente attended Utica public schools, and has bachelor’s degree from Utica College and an associate degree from Mohawk Valley Community College.
According to the 2019 January periodic report filed with the state Board of Elections, Friends of Tony Picente had $139,944 on hand after raising $65,895 and spending $24,025 in the previous six months.
Former county legislator David Gordon, a Utica insurance agent who ran for county clerk last year, announced last week he is seeking the Republican nomination for county executive.
Timpano is seeking a sixth term of four years. In remarks before Picente spoke, Timpano cited cost savings, including $3 million saved by refinancing debt, and closing some 170 capital projects in ways that saved taxpayers interest and financing fees.
Griffo introduced Timpano by saying he recommended Timpano seek the office when he was deputy.
“The county’s the beneficiary in my opinion to have someone with this knowledge and talent to oversee our county finances,” Griffo said.
The county executive’s salary is budgeted at $142,996 for 2019, and $88,862 for comptroller.