Buttenschon cites diligence in representing needs and concerns of residents

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This is the next installment in a series on candidates up for election to state and federal offices in the general election, to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

What makes you best for the office?

I have spent the last two years working very hard and committing myself to the residents of the 119th Assembly District. I’ve never missed a session. I have never missed any committee meetings.

I understand the importance of meeting with constituents and have attended thousands of events, hundreds of meetings and understand the importance of the experts within our community so that I can work with them to bring the best possible solutions to any situation as well as the best ideas that come forward from collaboration.

I have a doctorate in organizational leadership. I started at Mohawk Valley Community College as an adjunct faculty member and then I achieved a full time position and then to a department head and then finally as an academic dean. I supervised well over 200 faculty and staff and thousands of students.

I had the opportunity to develop the fire academy in collaboration with the city of Utica and then a pre-employment police academy in collaboration with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department. I held numerous training opportunities, seminars, educational opportunities, diversity seminars in regards to the importance of and for first responders.

I also worked as a court clerk in the town of Whitestown on a part-time basis for approximately 35 years, so I understand the importance of remaining within one position and to go through the process in regards to promotion. I understand the importance of being a public servant and providing that insight and opportunity as I saw the importance within higher education.

What other relevant community roles have you had?

I have always been involved in community service as a board member. I was vice president of the Utica food pantry. I served on the American Red Cross board. I participated and volunteered with the Utica Boilermaker race, the American Heart Run annually. I was a member of the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities. I was a member of the League of Women Voters.

How much does it matter to be in the majority in the Assembly?

As a member of the majority, I’m in a much stronger position to protect the projects we see within the community as well as enhance other opportunities that have come forward or will be coming forward in the future. And I’m a conduit between that of a community and those agencies as well as leaders within the state.

I’m serving on agriculture, banks, veterans, higher education and economic development.

When have you opposed the party leadership?

Again, I’m here to represent the residents and employees of the 119th Assembly District. So when they bring forward requests in regards to what needs to be done, how it should be done, that’s where my voting record comes from.

I’m very fortunate that when anyone calls the office to take note of their position and then that position is there whether it is something that I personally do not believe in or do believe in. I choose the residents of the Mohawk Valley to make those votes.

What are some of your top accomplishments in your first term so far?

I’m very proud of the bills that I have either sponsored or co-sponsored. The inland waterways (to expand revitalization-aid eligibility) was very significant. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a bipartisan approach with many of my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly.

Being able to bring forward an early retirement incentive with Sen. (Joseph) Griffo has been very significant. I have worked with Rome Revere Copper in regard to copper’s antimicrobial properties.

I’ve had the opportunity with various pieces of legislation to include local bills such as one in regards to various police officers that deserve to be recognized for the service that they provided to our community. I’ve worked on a recent bill ensuring that we can have a state cemetery for our veterans.

I have put some bills forward to establish a dangerous- employment benefit for our law enforcement officers, implementing a curriculum for apprenticeships, expanding export trade out of New York and expanding the Start-up New York program to include medical primary care service to ensure that physicians come into our area. Also, on restricting the powers of the governor regarding the length of time for state emergency disaster declaration, and to modify the SAFE act regarding the storage of firearms, and on trying to provide relief for landlords. They are small business owners, and their needs need to be addressed.

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