Submitted by Dan Farfaglia
At this time, I am announcing that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the 24th District seat in the Oswego County Legislature.
At the end of 2019, I will have served a total of 8 years in this position and I believe that it is time to hand this over to someone else.
It has been a tremendous honor to begin my own political career representing the city of Fulton, the town of Granby and later on the towns of Minetto and Oswego.
I am forever grateful that people in parts of these four municipalities placed their faith in me every time I ran.
When I was campaigning door to door in 2011, one of my eventual constituents made me make a promise that I will do the best job I can if I got in.
I sincerely hope he believes that I kept my word.
With every issue that I fought for and against, I gave it my all even if we weren’t successful in the end.
I fought for what I believe in, and I have no regrets.
Some of the most contentious issues occurred during my first term in office:
1) Myself and my caucus vehemently fought against the IQS Contract with the County Clerk’s Office. This company was a favorite of the administration even though they overcharged for their substandard services. We felt that it was wrong and we were extremely vocal about it. Our taxpayers deserved better.
2) Then came the illegal appointment of Fred Beardsley to the County Treasurer’s position. The Majority Caucus felt that a 1981 local law gave them the right to fill that vacancy. What they didn’t tell the public was that local law was struck down by the NYS Court of Appeals a few years later. The Legislature had no authority to do what they did. On the night of the vote, my caucus participated in what we think was an entertaining filibuster of our time. They couldn’t defend what they were doing, they kept extremely quiet. A local media story later stated the majority caucus sat there “Stone Faced.” Another lost battle, but we stood up for what was right.
3) The biggest issue that took place during my first term was the re-apportionment of the County Legislative Lines. I was on the Special Committee that took on this project and it was another case where the Majority Caucus and the Administration ignored laws on the books even though they had done it correctly back in the early 1990s. They weren’t too pleased that I was pointing all this out and so, in retaliation, they illegally gerrymandered my district to make my re-election efforts next to impossible. A local reporter said to me, “Looks like you better switch parties.” I did not do that and was re-elected anyways. We fought hard against that plan, the other side got away with it again, but our caucus proudly made them suffer for their actions.
I have had the privilege of serving as Minority Leader and now I`m in my second year serving as the Whip.
I opposed every budget that raised taxes and fought for reform every chance I got.
In 2016, we were faced with the strong possibility of the closure of the FitzPatrick nuclear facility.
This was a rare occasion in the Legislature where all of our members stood together, regardless of party and did our part so that the 615 jobs were saved.
I even got to sponsor a joint resolution with Wayne County advocating for the Upstate plants to stay open.
Unfortunately, such positive bi-partisan collaborations were not very common.
In my second month in office, I proposed that we bring back a program that would lower taxes on home improvement projects.
For reasons that were never fully explained, it took 3 years before it finally became law.
Last year, the Legislature made it permanent.
Truthfully, I am exasperated by the heavy emphasis on partisanship in this body.
More than two decades ago in Jefferson County, a Democrat was Chairman of the Legislature even though the Republicans still had a majority.
What is infuriating in Oswego County is the number of Legislators with minimal time in office that are already in leadership positions.
They just happen to be members of the Majority Caucus and it’s infuriating.
I have ten and a half months left in my term as a Legislator.
I truly believe that I have upheld the oath of office pledge that I made at the beginning of every two-year term.
I will continue advocating for the people of my district as well as the whole county.
That will not change.
Instead, I prefer to serve in a government entity where the public interest overrides partisanship.
Such a scenario exists in the city of Fulton.
With more specific details to come, it is time for a generational change in City Hall.
At this time, I am also announcing my candidacy for Mayor of Fulton.