OSWEGO, NY – The councilor of the Port City’s First Ward recently came to what she calls a bitter-sweet decision.
Following this week’s Common Council meeting, Connie Cosemento told the media that she has decided not to seek re-election to a new term.
That leaves the Democrats scrambling to find a viable candidate.
“Actually, there is a bouquet of reasons that I chose to try something different,” Cosemento told Oswego County Today. “After reviewing my goals and accomplishments vs. the areas that haven’t been completed yet, I realized that most of the basics have been addressed.”
Her goal was to make the First Ward a better place to live, on a daily basis, she said.
She took on the chair of the Code Review Committee to address the local laws of the city that especially address the quality of life, including a definition of family, noise, garbage, parking, property aesthetics, established the task force with SUNY Oswego to address student life in the First Ward, animal codes and zoning issues.
“Two of the most effective are the new laws that in an R3 area single family homes can no longer be converted to two-family homes and garages can no longer be converted to bedrooms, etc. without a special permit,” she said. “I delivered newsletters to each property along with a rental brochure that I authored and it will continue to be used. I worked with the landlords, especially of student properties, to help them become acquainted with the positive side of the task force. “
The other aspect of making the ward a better place to live includes the appearance of the ward, she explained.
“I have worked hard to plant trees in groups for a bigger effect and Governor, John, Schuyler, and Cayuga streets are areas where this can be observed. West Park has better lighting over the play area and definitive times for use. The basketball rims are re-installed at regulation height at Breitbeck. The Harbor Trail West is complete and used daily,” she said. “I have worked hard with developers to restore the Woodruff Building at West First and Cayuga streets, as well as the Coleman building and the Flexo building, which is still in the development plan.”
The councilor said she strongly supported and worked hard to purchase the International Marina to protect the city’s access to the waterfront, adding, “This is our future.”
The First Ward has a large share of wonderful, hard working people that love this city, Cosemento said.
This is a brief list of the issues, she said.
“There are more. The residents of the ward have worked to improve and enjoy their properties as the above issues unfolded and this was extremely rewarding. We have worked together to address parking on Ontario, Fourth and Schuyler streets to improve safety as well as snow issues,” Cosemento said. “However, there are some issues that are still waiting attention such as the benches in Montcalm Park and a dog park.”
When the councilor reviewed her accomplishments and looked at the “to do” list, she said she realized that it was time to re-evaluate.
“My grandchildren, in other states, made that easy. They are now active in sports and I rarely get to watch their involvement and they remind me,” she said.
In addition, her more experienced dog is at the master level in agility and, at eight years old, is nearing her peak.
“I would like to take this year to obtain her highly coveted national title and we are three runs away. Additionally, I have accepted the vice president position of the board of directors at OCO, which allows me to work with problem solving at the county level,” she said. “I am also on the board of directors for the Sterling Nature Center and would like to take the next year to develop an educational program for school children at the center.”
“And so, my decision is so bitter-sweet. Would I like to continue as the councilor of the First Ward? Yes. However, the challenge of my two new endeavors is becoming a bigger itch that needs to be scratched. I still live in the First Ward and know that the codes are in place and only need to be enforced. This means that the residents and the new councilor will have to work together and I have every intention of being sure that I stay involved,” she vowed. “In the meantime, I am really working at warp speed to complete some important issues in the Code Review Committee. The most obvious lesson learned these past years is that our codes are driven from need, be it speed, noise, garbage, etc. When addressing any code issue, it takes time.”