For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


The Odessa File: Government
The Odessa File: Schools
The Odessa File: People
The Odessa File: Business
The Odessa File: Features
The Odessa File: History
The Odessa File: Sports
The Odessa File: Forum
The Odessa File: Calendar
The Odessa File: Classified Ads
The Odessa File: Home Page


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


Click on the logo above to visit the website for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County





Guest Column: Mayor Keith T. Pierce

“Looking back, moving ahead”

ODESSA, Oct. 24 -- I know what you've been thinking: Where is the next article from the Mayor? I must have written this article over and over in my head a thousand times. There have been a vast number of various versions of it depending on what day of the week it was. There have been two board meetings since the last article -- meetings where I was informed that I was "the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to the Village of Odessa." Yes, ever! On those nights I knew exactly what I was going to write in this article! Thank God, as they say, with age comes wisdom! So even on those nights, and with pressure from the fine publisher of this page, I waited until the time was right. What I decided was there was never going to be a "right time."

The other thing I decided was that if I didn't get it all out of my system, the only people that would suffer were my friends and family that were having to live with my increasingly short temper and bad moods. I knew I could handle it one of two ways. I could behave negatively in response to the small group of detractors in the village, or, as I have always tried to do, I could be positive and reinforce the good things that are happening here. Even though my first and strongest feeling was to react to those who chose to berate me, I know that the only thing to do is go forward with all that is positive and try to get this village past the sad events of this past summer.

With that in mind, there is one aspect that needs comment, and it will be my last one about those events. To those who wish to somehow blame the Odessa Fire Department for what took place this year, I suggest you reconsider. Don't rely on the word of someone from outside the department. Not one person to my knowledge has ever gone to one of the Odessa Fire Chiefs and asked for their version of events. These hard-working volunteers will be the first ones to your door if you are sick or if, God forbid, you are stuck in your burning house. They won't stop to think "these people don't like us; I don't think I will answer that call." Not one person involved in these events went into it to ruin a man's life. We went into it to do what was best for the Village of Odessa. Enough said, end of story.

Now for the positive. It looks like this week will be the week we finally get to pave Owens Place. That is if the weather cooperates! The street will, if all goes according to plan, be wider, and runoff will be diverted to the proper side -- good news for Mr. and Mrs. Hyer who, along with the other residents in that area, have been very patient. The ditches will also be cleaned out to improve the water runoff. If there is any blacktop left over from that job, we will be paving all or parts of Mitchell Street.

The next positive news concerns the legendary pedestrian bridge. Let me say this: We were so close! The board voted to accept a bid from Blades construction to remove said bridge; it was finally going to happen! Then the fish stepped in! They said "we spawn in these waters; you can't do that now!" So, we can not be in the creek until after May 1st. (It was the DEC and the County Soil and Conservation that said that, not really the fish!) I do wonder, though, what the powers that be will do about the chunks of concrete and rusted steel that are continually falling down into the water. I guess those don't harm the spawning fish? My other thought is what happens if one of those young ones that still choose to walk over that bridge -- even though it is blocked off and is clearly marked not to use -- falls down into that creek (about 20-25 feet). Can you sense my disappointment with this issue? That bridge has been closed to traffic since 1934. In 1994 we had a quote of about $25,000 to take it out. The quote from Blades Construction this time was roughly $13,000. Think it will still be that good a price in May? I am beginning to see why this hasn't been able to be done over the last 50 or so years!

The young gentlemen from Monterey Shock Camp have been in the Village the last couple weeks helping Eric out with some jobs. They helped clean up the compost dump on the hill and chip brush that has been sitting for quite some time now. Speaking of which, don't forget that we have a large supply of wood chips available to any resident of the Village. We can even arrange a delivery if need be, so call the office and let us know. Works great for placing over those hearty mums for the winter! The young men also helped clean the brush and bamboo from the bank between the Municipal Building and the service station. It looks great, but we all know how bamboo is; it will be back next year for sure. If anyone has any old remedies for getting rid of that stuff, I would love to hear it. And to those of you upset with me, please don't plant any in my grass overnight!

We did have a scare last week with that nasty word "snow" in the forecast. With Eric, myself and a lot of help from Pastor Rob Ketchum, we were able to get our snow removal fleet up and ready for anything that came our way. It always amazes me how much things deteriorate sitting out over the summer. Our sanders and plows had cut wires and little things missing here and there, but as I said, we were able to get up and running.

The last big thing going on is the talks with the Village of Montour Falls with reference to a joint DPW Superintendent. Both boards met this past week and began preliminary discussions on how to work out the logistics involved. It was a very informative meeting and in all a very pleasurable experience. It looks like we will proceed with this endeavor in hopes of setting an example for other municipalities to follow in the future. I think its a win-win for both communities. Because we as a duo will be able to offer more along the lines of salary and benefits, the pool of prospective employees should increase dramatically. The concept should be simple: two communities helping each other control costs and lending each other a hand. It's just all the little things that need to be hammered out. It's in the hands of the lawyers now. I will keep you all informed.

One last note. There was a seminar in Syracuse this week in regards to the pending laws on the disbanding of Villages and Towns. Neither myself or the board members were able to attend, but we have requested all of the class materials so that we can be well versed on any questions any of you may have. Why do I mention this? I know this is coming; there is already a grassroots effort within the Village to make this happen. I only hope it is for the right reasons and not some twisted idea of payback. Let me say this: I am not opposed to us looking at this option. That doesn't mean I am in support of it, but I do know that it is an option for some of you, so I am all ears. So let's all get educated on the subject and have an open dialogue.

That's all for now. I do feel a little better after getting that all off my chest! Thank you all for being my sounding board.

-- Mayor Keith T. Pierce


Photo in text: Mayor Keith T. Pierce


Village Board members

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

Mayor: Keith Pierce

Trustees: Rita Decker, Peggy Tomassi, Robin Thoman, Shawn Crane

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

Deputy Clerk: Kay Collins, 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-2100

Department of Public Works: Vacant

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, Delmar Bleiler, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison

Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Dennis Fagan, Paul Marcellus, Stewart Field


Legislature Chairman

Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517

Legislature Members:

Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967

Doris L. Karius, 546-5544

Delmar F. Bleiler Jr., 594-3437

Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone

Paul Marcellus, 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. Eric Massa

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 George H. Winner, Jr. -- 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 Tom O’Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
Room 720, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4538

Assemblyman James G. Bacalles -- Steuben, Yates
439 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2009
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869