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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

"Year's End"

ALBANY, Dec. 26 -- It’s hard to believe that the final days of my first year as this region’s State Senator are on the doorstep, but here they are. I can’t think of a better way to ring out year one than by recalling some of the thoughts I started with back in January, especially this one: the economic and fiscal challenges may be as daunting as they’ve ever been in New York State, but there has never been a more important time to serve.

When I took the Oath of Office in the Senate Chamber on January 5, 2011 and was sworn in to represent our 53rd Senate District, it offered a real opportunity to get to work on the ground floor of turning this state around. Nearly one year ago, the common thinking was that the ability of a new governor and this year’s class of state legislators to take dramatic steps to truly chart a new course for New York would ultimately be the barometer of our success. Would we, finally, begin to right the ship? Would we, finally, take advantage of the opportunity for a fresh start in New York?

Looking back over the past year, the answer’s yes on both counts. We’ve started to right the ship, especially in economic and fiscal terms, and we’re underway with a fresh start. So when I reflect on my first term in the Senate, I keep recalling that time-honored idea that “out of adversity comes opportunity.”

This same thought’s going to hold true for New York State in 2012, and so I’m hopeful that the work ahead of this new Legislature will continue to reform many state government practices and revitalize key state commitments. The 2011 session was a good, solid beginning, but it wasn’t perfect. There’s important work left to do.

So I’ll wrap up this first year in the same way I began it, by saying that I’m enormously honored to represent all of you and I’m looking forward to the opportunities we’ll have to keep working together to improve the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. The emphasis there remains on
together. Our communities are most effective when we join forces. Which means I’ll keep reaching out in the weeks and months ahead to share ideas at a community meeting, through work on a local project, or in pursuit of common goals. A new round of community meetings has already been scheduled for January and February. I’ll be doing my best to provide as many of
these opportunities as possible, because I believe above all else that a return to the fundamentals of good government is needed more than ever and it’s a list that always begins with open, straightforward give-and-take between elected officials and those they represent.

Priority No. 1 remains to carry on a tradition of accessibility and teamwork in representing the communities of this region. It’s been a valuable and effective tradition for our constituents and I’ll be working closely with all of our local Assembly representatives, as well as with the local leaders whose efforts are central to the quality of our counties, towns and villages.

My Senate service will stay focused on fundamental principles: Accessibility to those I represent. Responsibility to the taxpayers. Economic and fiscal soundness.

I’ll keep doing everything possible to build on this bedrock of government, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Throughout the New Year, keep in mind my website ( and my e-mail address ( I’ll look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, my very best wishes to all of you and your families for an enjoyable, a meaningful, and a safe holiday season.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara


Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison

Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967

Doris L. Karius, 546-5544

Barbara Halpin, 594-3683

Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385

Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482

Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Christopher Friend -- Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
Room 720, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4538


© The Odessa File 2011
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869