Barlow Sworn In As Port City’s Mayor

Judge James McCarthy administers the oath of office to Mayor William Barlow.

Judge James McCarthy administers the oath of office to Mayor William Barlow.

OSWEGO, NY – On a snowy cold and blustery New Year’s Day, William J. Barlow Jr. was sworn in as Oswego’s new mayor.

Mayor William Barlow enters the Council Chamber on New Year's Day. He is followed by members of the Common Council.
Mayor William Barlow enters the Council Chamber on New Year’s Day. He is followed by members of the Common Council.

“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.

Judge James McCarthy administers the oath of office to Mayor William Barlow.
Judge James McCarthy administers the oath of office to Mayor William Barlow.

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.”


  1. So very happy for you Mayor Barlow. I know you have a overwhelming amount of issues/problems to fix, but Monday could you please take care of the raise in the water/sewer bills please.

    Take great care and good luck to you.

  2. I am always optimistic in the New Year, but with a new mayor there is also the belief that we may have a NEW Oswego, also. AS a business man yourself, it is also a hope of small business owners such as myself, that the City of Oswego will not derail our efforts to grow and function. We are part of tourism, one of the only new businesses in Oswego. When people come to the Fort, the museums, to sail, fish, for Harborfest, they also seek out small businesses to round out their visits.

    Recently, small businesses such as our used bookshop have been hit particularly hard by rising costs of doing business. When I did my business plan in 1999, I never imagined how much it would cost to own a building in Oswego, and try to make it here. My detailed business plan (a modest business effort, with modest financial goals and I suspect you understood with your own business), our bills were modest.

    Recent ‘reassessments’ of property values, continuing rise in water and sewer fees (which we hear are again rising this year),are transferred to the varied businesses WE DO business with…making difficult for many of us to survive in Oswego County (one of the highest taxed counties in the nation in the highest taxed state in the nation). Nowhere is it as hard to run a small business as it is in NYS!

    So, Mayor Barlow, please look out for us in the coming administration. Maybe no more reassessments of properties, so we might catch up on the thousand$ we lost these past four years…maybe we can learn to live with what we have in City Hall? Retirements are killing us…and causing us to do with fewer employees doing more duties as with the DPW, the Fire Department and Police force. SOMEONE needs to think outside the box…And we are ever hopeful with your youth and vigor that you can be the one to do so.


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