Mayor: Oswego Weathered Hard Times; Now Facing A Bright Future

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City “is poised for dramatic growth,” Mayor Tom Gillen said Monday night in his 2013 State of the City address.

“Our city has weathered the recent recession. Some of our local companies went under, along with small businesses, promising startups, and beloved neighborhood shops. We watched our family, our friends and our neighbors struggle, while our home values dropped and our retirement savings dwindled,” he said.

Mayor Tom Gillen
Mayor Tom Gillen

“In moments like these, you can learn something about yourself and the people you share a community with,” he continued. “We learned we are resilient, we are determined, we are innovative, and we are passionate about this city we love.”

However, he cautioned, “The hard times aren’t over. But we have been making progress.”

Gillen went on to highlight the positive strides being made in the city.

He praised the Common Council for its support.

He said it was an “Uncommon Council” in that they have set aside the political actions that have historically divided the community.

“They have instead focused on how we can best work together to serve all the people of Oswego,” he pointed out. “Our common goal will continue to be how best to make our city a better place for us all to live in, work in and a safer place in which to raise our families.”

Council President Ron Kaplewicz said

“I give the mayor lots of credit. He has been working very hard to improve the city. His thoughts, what he outlined in the State of the City, that’s who he really is,” he said. “And, when he called this a very ‘Uncommon council,’ I take that as a great, great compliment. The council and the administration are on the same page. Together we are doing whatever it takes to make Oswego a great city.”

Kaplewicz said the mayor is doing a great job, adding that the mayor is correct when he said there is more work to be done.

“We have a lot of very tough decisions ahead of us, not just this year, but in the years to come,” he said. “But as long as we continue to work together, I think everything is going to be alright.”

“…we are working hard to build a culture of responsiveness in city government. Responsiveness is not only about maintaining the quality of life that we hear so much about,” Mayor Gillen said. “It is also about supporting economic activities that will lead to strong economic growth.”

Oswego offers the location and resources that will play a major role in the economic development of Central New York as well as the entire region, the mayor said.

“Our future is bright and it will bring many new and bold challenges to our people” he added.


  1. Oswego is a wonderful place to live. Sometimes we forget this in our struggles to have everything we see on television or in movies. We have fine weather a good portion of the year (think July/August along our Lake/think Breitbeck Park and the sail boats on the water).

    But for small businesses, we have to remind our neighbors, those that shop for goods and services, that the malls aren’t the answer to their shopping needs. WHEN they shop in Clay, the tax dollars stay in Clay, and our own property taxes go up. The little bit that they save on an item, is more than made up for with the higher costs of gasoline for travel to the neighboring counties, and since we have fewer corporate businesses than we did a decade ago to defray property taxes, we pay for services through taxation on our homes. Even if we rent, our rents go up.

    I’m saying this because “I” didn’t know how it worked until recently. So I am reminding Oswego County shoppers that when you shop locally, you keep assets at home working for us here in Oswego County.

    And, the better our county looks, and the services we can offer, then developers are more likely to consider coming to Oswego. I think of the amazing condos we now have, several from out of town developers (although we have many of our own, too), that were made here from existing resources because of the loveliness of our river views.

    Finally, we need to keep small businesses here if not for our own needs, but for tourism, which is an exciting new opportunity for the future.

  2. Deborah is right but maybe we could get some of these business come to Oswego so more of our community would shop here. They do get a lot of great deals they have in the stores in Clay and more variety of items then we have here.

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