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Guest Column: Mayor Keith T. Pierce

“Let us continue the work we have started”

ODESSA, March 14 -- It seems the new buzz word in politics these days is "change." You hear it in almost every election race you follow. We need to change this or change that. I'm not sure where this all began, but I think our President may have started it.

I read Sunday on The Odessa File, with no great surprise to me, that I now have a rival for the Mayor's position. And like the rest, he wants to change things. Like many of the others, he gives no specifics on how he would change things. While announcing his candidacy only two days before the election, he leaves himself with little time to give specifics to the people of Odessa. One has to wonder if this was the plan from the beginning.

As to what he wants to change: If you look at his goals, are there any changes to be made other than what is presently happening within the Village? Let's look at his Priorities:

First: Complete budget disclosure with a breakdown of all expenses. Apparently my opponent doesn't realize that at any time anyone can come into the Village office and get a copy of our Village budget, line by line, all expenses. In addition, any member of the public can attend our budget workshops, which we hold every year. We also hold a public comment period each year before the budget is passed. I haven't seen my opponent at any of these meetings. I have, on the other hand, seen him at all the meetings involving the Village dissolution. So I ask you, what is there to change with his first priority?

Second: Take steps to create more opportunities for residents of the Village to have a voice in the future of their community. What are those steps he wishes to take? I for one would love to hear them. Our Village Board has tried for years to get more people involved in their Village. The running joke for many years has been if you show up at a Village Board meeting, you will get put on some type of committee. My opponent should know. I'm the one who asked him to be on the Environmental Council. If the events of the past year within our Village are any indication, there are ample opportunities for the residents of Odessa to become involved in the future of their community.

Third: Downtown Sanitary Sewage System / Make Village Friendly for New Buisness Development. This is actually a great priority. The thing is, your Village Board has already been taking steps to achieve this very goal. We will be meeting with SCOPED and the Village of Burdett on Wednesday, March 30th to plan our next step in our joint Village study on sewer systems, among other things. We were also involved in a green infrastructure study done last year, facilitated by SCOPED, that will aid us in acquiring grants for the engineering plans needed for a sewer system. We are doing this in hopes of generating a better Main Street environment for future business growth.

In the article on The Odessa File, my opponent states a few things that concern me as a voter. He says he hasn't been actively campaigning and that "if I'm voted in as mayor, I will accept it." Does that sound like the kind of passion for the job you want in a Mayor? I want the job. My opponent also states it was unfortunate that the dissolution movement "got so ugly. Probably we should have done something like this," working within the system instead of against it. Something like this? Makes one wonder what the real underlying reason is for his candidacy. It brings to mind a quote given to the press by one of the dissolution supporters after the vote: "We won't wait four years!"

In conclusion, we don't need change other than that which we're striving to accomplish. We need to continue the hard work this Board has started. We need a leader who is passionate about the job and about improving the lives of Village residents. I want to continue the work this Board started. I am, and will always be, passionate about our Village. I ask you all to exercise your right to vote and be a part of the process. I ask for your vote, and urge you to support Robin Thoman and Shawn Crane on Tuesday, March 15th from noon till 9 p.m. Together we will face the challenges of our rapidly changing times.

--Mayor Keith T. Pierce

Village Board members

Pictured below, from left: Mayor Keith Pierce and Village Board Trustees Peggy Tomassi, Timothy Hickis, Robin Thoman and Shawn Crane.

Mayor: Keith Pierce

Trustees: Peggy Tomassi, Robin Thoman, Shawn Crane, Timothy Hicks

Village Clerk: Kristi Pierce, 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-2100

Department of Public Works: Mark Candido

Village Justice: Ronald Goossen

Municipal Building: 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-3792

Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library: 106 First St., Odessa, 5942791


Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

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

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


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone

Legislature Members:

Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967

Doris L. Karius, 546-5544

Barbara Halpin, 594-3683

Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385

Thomas Gifford, Montour Falls

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen

Stewart Field, Reading Center

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

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed

United States House of Representatives
1208 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
DC Phone: 202-225-3161
DC Fax: 202-226-6599

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

Room 415, 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 2010
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869