Mercedes Niess Announces Candidacy For County Legislator 15th District

OSWEGO, NY – Mercedes Niess announces her candidacy for County Legislator of the 15th District.

Ms. Niess residing on Erie Street in the city of Oswego, is running in the Democratic Primary and as an Independent candidate for the seat currently held by Lee Walker.

Candidacy Statement

Mercedes Niess
Mercedes Niess

“I believe that working together is a much more effective way to reach our goals. I am an Independent Democrat. I have and will work with both parties to improve our quality of life here in Oswego County.”

Niess currently serves as the Executive Director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum and on the Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council.

She has worked closely with several county departments over many years in relation to tourism, history and library services.

Niess is concerned about young people leaving the Oswego community.

“There is a serious lack of good paying jobs in our area. This is forcing our young people to make the decision to leave. How do we expect to retain our youth and attract others to our community without adequate employment opportunities? I believe that our government exists to provide necessary services for county residents, to partner with the private sector and to provide leadership and vision for our future. As a non-profit executive, I believe that I have the experience to work with the county departments, other legislators, state government and the private sector to make that happen.” Niess stated.

“Through my position as an executive director of a not-for-profit, I have become skilled in developing and managing tight budgets effectively,” she added. “Successful not-for-profits are run like a business; we know how to maximize services to match the budgets we have. We look for opportunities to provide services and create effective partnerships to reach our goals. Our government needs to do the same and as a result we will begin to see real economic development.”

Government alone cannot create sustaining economic development – it has to be a cooperative venture between government and the private sector, according to Niess.

“Although, I have had a desire to serve our community through public office for a number of years, I have waited until I could commit the time and energy to the business of our county,” she explained. “This means attending regular legislative and committee meetings and responding to constituents’ needs. I will be completing 10n years on the Oswego Public Library Board of Trustees. My term concludes in 2010 and I am proud to have been a part of the success of the $10.6 million state-of-the-art building project.”

During her terms, she co-chaired the capital campaign that raised more than $1 million towards the renovation and expansion of the library.

“I am now ready to take on the responsibility of county legislator,” she said. “My track record speaks for itself. I have been a community advocate for 19 years, dedicated to issues and duties related to our community.”

She currently serves on the boards of several organizations throughout the community, such as the Salvation Army, Oswego Maritime Foundation and the Oswego Public Library.

She also has been involved with the creation of new organizations, such as The Oswego Maritime Alliance, formed to host large-scale maritime events; Leave a Legacy for Oswego County, designed to educate the community on planned giving and numerous ad hoc city and county committees.

Niess recently received the 2009 County Tourism Ambassador Hall of Fame Award, which she shares with two other dedicated county residents.

“I am looking forward to the voters of the 15th District allowing me the opportunity to serve them as their legislator. I invite them to contact me with concerns and ideas to make our county better,” she said.