UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — Now that governor Andrew Cuomo has announced he will step down in 14 days, what does that mean for right here in Oneida County? I spoke with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente about the county and state’s relationship.
“I personally and in terms of my role here, we worked very closely together on a variety of projects,” Picente said.
During the governor’s first term in office, the county and the state had a great working relationship. The governor helped with funding for the Utica Memorial Auditorium, worked with Picente on pension reform, and in a joint partnership with several counties lead the settlement with the Oneida Indian Nation over land disputes.
“Like other county executives on both sides of the aisle we had a good working relationship and a lot of that changed in the second term and certainly in the third term,” Picente explained.
Picente explains that county leaders across the state saw a disconnect from the governor in recent years. Even projects like CREE and the new hospital were cultivated early on in his term as governor.
“You know anybody can know that it’s been a long time since the governor even prior to COVID his trips were less frequent than they were in the first term,” Picente said.
Once the governor steps down in two weeks, Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will step up as the 57th governor of New York and the first woman to hold the position. Picente believes Hochul will do a great job.
“I call the Lt. governor she calls back and those are things that are important to those of us on the local level,” Picente explained. “To have the ear of that’s not because we want to waste time, I think its about sharing concerns and ideas and help. I mean we’re supposed to be working together not apart and the Lt. governor has shown she can do that. So I’m going to be very comfortable with her.”