Schoharie town Supervisor Gene Milone announced Thursday that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for a third term as supervisor this fall, contrary to rumors of his impending retirement from local politics.
“A lot of the rumors lately have pointed to my not running and retiring and so on and so forth,” he said. “There’s no truth in those rumors.”
The 69-year-old retired New York City Transit Authority superintendent has been supervisor for two terms covering four years. Before that, he was a town councilman for four years.
With Schoharie still slowly recovering from Tropical Storm Irene, Milone said his focus in the coming years would be on trying to attract jobs and businesses to the area.
“There are possibilities out there,” he said. “We have to work very hard to attract business to our area and it’s not an easy task.”
Among his ideas for economic improvement are bringing an anchor grocery store to the southern part of the county — the need for which, he said, was supported by a recent study showing the region was underserved — and attracting a large health care provider to the county.
“If there’s a partnership that can be formed [between the county and a health care provider] to make it affordable to put something in place to address the needs of our elderly, I want to see that happen,” he said. “It’s truly unfortunate that we’re not capable of taking care of all of our residents in this county.”
Representing the town on the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, Milone said he will continue to “beat the drum” about mandate relief, oppose the development of large pipeline projects in the county, and fight for the interests of the middle class.
On the pipeline issue, he said he’d like to see the county take a strong stance opposing the Constitution Pipeline, which will cut through the county as it carries natural gas from Pennsylvania to the Town of Wright, and any other pipeline projects that threaten landowners.
“I firmly believe that our people are not only being exploited, but they’re being abused as well,” he said. “And if the [county] leadership doesn’t take a position on what’s to pass through this county, it’s going to become a corridor which will further affect the willingness not only for business to come here, but for the growth of residency. I just don’t feel that the leadership is doing enough to stop it.”
On the Board of Supervisors, he has consistently and vocally supported the creation of a full-time county administrator and questioned the rising costs of a $25 million project to rebuild four streambeds across the county to mitigate damage from future floods.
Milone is retired from a 35-year career with the New York City Transit Authority, during which he spent 25 years in “every elected office” of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 276.
“I’ve been in the trenches my entire life, basically fighting for improvements for middle class Americans, and I guess it’s just in my blood,” he said. “I have a profound interest in the community and I have a desire to accomplish these tasks.”
Categories: Schenectady County