Change Is In The Air, With New Leadership In Orange County, In Albany, and In Washington D.C.
By Edie Johnson
Politics will be seeing some big changes, with Assemblyman James Skoufis, who is a democrat, stepping up to become Senator-elect for the 39th Senate District, and New Windsor Chief of Staff Colin Schmitt, who is republican, becoming Assemblyman-elect for the 99th Assembly District. The balance of power will be very different in both Albany and Washington D.C., with more democrats and more women in the House, likely with some different priorities. The future will tell whether these changes lead to better dialogue and accomplishment.
At the start these two young but experienced government officials have committed to working across the aisle, so much so that they have already met and talked numerous times this week to discuss goals, form a network of staff, and discuss how to find a middle ground on controversial policies.With Skoufis’ election, this will be the first time in many years that Senator Bill Larkin has not held a powerful seat at the State Capital, one that has over decades brought significant grant monies to this area’s senate district. He fought for monies to build the Unity Center in Newburgh, major roadway and other significant infrastructure grants, education and community service projects, and much of that was achieved across the aisle in discussions with James Skoufis. In ‘retirement’ Larkin has said he plans to continue being active for the community.
Colin Schmitt has combined his time in the service and holding positions of importance there including appointment as Director of Operations for Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee with service to the Town of New Windsor as Chief of Staff, assisting Supervisor George Green in all aspects of the workings of the town and its intermunicipal activities with neighboring towns.
Property tax relief and elimination of corruption loopholes in government are high on the priorities of both of these young politicians as they go to grapple with some entrenched Albany policies with the hope of making the lives of their constituents a little better.
See this and other great stories in the Orange County Post