OSWEGO, NY – On a snowy cold and blustery New Year’s Day, William J. Barlow Jr. was sworn in as Oswego’s new mayor.
“Having the honor of being the mayor of this city is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am humbled, thankful and grateful to the residents for this opportunity,” Barlow said in his inaugural speech Friday (Jan. 1). “To the residents of the city who placed their trust in me, thank you and I promise to work passionately and enthusiastically every day and always make the right decisions for the right reasons.”
Former mayors Terry Hammill, John Gosek and Tom Gillen were among the huge crowd that also included many local, county and state officials.
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to sit at this desk before you here today as mayor of the city of Oswego,” Barlow told the jam-packed Council Chamber.
The crowd spilled out the back into the hallway by the elevator and to the side into the rotunda.
He thanked Mayor Gillen and his administration for allowing for “a gracious transition.”
“Mayor, thank you for your service and dedication to this city,” he added.
The out-going mayor received hearty round of applause in appreciation.
Being mayor of Oswego isn’t something he takes lightly, Barlow said.
“The challenges are many. The problems are great,” he acquiesced.
But, so are the opportunities, he added.
“Our community is strong and resilient,” the mayor emphasized. “Today is a fresh beginning and new life in City Hall.”
He said he looks forward to working with the councilors, new and established, “finding new ways to propel our city into the future.”
“The potential our city has is undeniable. The focus of our administration and the goal of the next four years will be centered on that potential,” Mayor Barlow said.
Promoting Oswego’s world-class waterfront, restoring its historic neighborhoods, encouraging local small businesses to grown and expand, facilitating conversation for new business to be created and capitalizing on assets like Novelis, SUNY Oswego, Harborfest and the Oswego Speedway are at the top of the mayor’s list.
“We will be able to put together the pieces of the puzzle to ensure that the city of Oswego is a place where folks of all walks of life chose to live, work and play,” he said.
As a product of small business and free enterprise, the neophyte mayor pledged to “specifically help our local entrepreneurs, both individually and collectively, and encourage them to invest in our neighborhoods and downtown to help transform our city into a regional destination.”
The residents of Oswego deserve only the best from their local government, the mayor said.
“I intend to deliver those residents the best that our city government has to offer,” he added. “Together we can deliver the desired results. With help from our state and federal representatives – State Senator Patty Ritchie, State Assemblyman Will Barclay and our Congressman John Katko, all of whom I consider personal friends, we will make sure that Oswego is on the map and afforded all the necessary resources.”
Thanks to groups like the Oswego Renaissance Association, progress is already under way in Oswego, he said. There are others interested in working together on behalf of all residents, he added.
“It gives residents a reason to be optimistic,” he said. “All of the stars are aligning up at exactly the right time. And, that is why I sincerely believe that if we keep this momentum, better days are ahead.”
His will be an administration centered on the residents, he noted.
“It is for the benefit of our residents that we will work passionately and diligently with the utmost dedication so that we can deliver real results,” he said.
The two biggest influences in his life are his mother and father, he said. They come from extremely humble beginnings. They are “the two hardest working people” he knows, and are the essence of The American Dream.
“They have given every ounce of energy and effort that they have to ensure that my sister and I can accomplish anything that we put our hearts to. I cannot say how proud I am to have them as parents. I love you and thank you for all that you’ve done,” he said.
“I look forward to working with and for all of you today with our eyes focused on tomorrow,” the mayor said. “Thank you for the opportunity; I am privileged and honored. Thank you, have a happy new year, God bless America. And, now, let’s get to work.”