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


Click on the logo below to reach the Arc of Schuyler County website.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.



Kelsey Jones on his departure

Editor's Note on Dec. 10, 2013: Kelsey Jones, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, is leaving that post after 14 years at the helm, effective at the end of the month. He comments on his situation, and SCOPED's, in the following email sent to The Odessa File.

Tis true! After 14 years of economic development in Schuyler and several years before that in Tioga County, I am off to new ventures after 12/31. One of the first things I am going to do is go see people that I haven't seen in several years. One of them is 88 (still drives) and is in Chenango County. With the death of my mother in October I realize life has various meanings for all of us, and I think many of us realize that more and more as we age or lose a close loved one.

There are excellent people in place to carry the "ship" forward. Both Brian (Williams) and Anne (Mace) have been here at SCOPED for 14 years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and there are great boards in place and great people in elected positions. I think there are some of the best people ever at the table to move various projects forward.

I feel gratified to know that much was accomplished over the years. The list is long, from instituting Leadership Schuyler (I had formed Leadership Tioga previously to that) to the many small businesses I worked with, many of them thriving today.

One of the more recent projects that I am proud of is developing upper floors in several buildings that have been vacant for many years. We have exactly 50 units we have assisted and 72 more in process (52 will be at the Middle School). People living downtown help support downtown businesses, and it is nice to drive by and see lights on in upper floors. It helps the tax base, and it gives our residents more living options. I remember in former days, when a position was being recruited, often people could not find housing who were moving here to take a new job. More housing stock and options helps the entire community.

And I feel at long last we have an excellent (prospect for) the business park and another one in the wings. The weight limit on the hill has hindered us with some projects and the "No Retail" restriction at the business park is another factor, along with the general lackluster economy over the last several years. The Montour House development spurred residential development, and the first project at the business park will spur more development there. It oftentimes only takes one.

The economy is ever so slowly starting to percolate again and that always helps to bring new projects to fruition. There are many more projects on the horizon, and so much yet to accomplish. Our annual report is ready to be mailed and if you look at the statistics, Schuyler County is in good shape but can always do better and should continually strive to do better.

I forged so many relationships with so many people. Some have come and gone, but so many are still here or in the region and so many have been sending me well wishes. I well remember in the early years of taking one of our successful businesses to lunch, and the first words out of their mouth was "I know why we are meeting and the answer is no." I kept talking, and about an hour later they said they were sold and have been a member and strong supporter of SCOPED
ever since. Similar conversations occurred with others too!

There are many aspects I will miss. The one thing I am looking forward to is less board involvement. Ten boards and several committees is a lot! However, I have always strongly believed in volunteerism, and a few I will remain with. And I may take on new ones where life may lead me. I love fundraising and will certainly be involved in that area in the future, assisting various

Tomorrow the Governor makes the announcements regarding the regional council funding, and hopefully there will be more good news for Schuyler and the region.

Fourteen years is quite a track record, and if my count is correct there have been seven Chamber presidents that have come and gone, many mayors, and other elected officials. In fact, I think the only elected official still in place since I began is Ben Dickens in Hector.

I am trying to get various people up to speed on various projects and processes, and you can be assured that everything is in good hands and 2014 should be an outstanding year for new projects in Schuyler County.


© The Odessa File 2013
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

E-mail publisher@odessafile.com