April 21, 2005

County Legislator Robertson announces plans for re-election

County Legislator Martha Robertson announced that she would run for re-election yesterday at a press conference that packed Dryden resident Nancy Huffman's Sadie D's restaurant.

Robertson said that she was:

announcing with great pleasure that I am seeking a second term on the Tompkins County Legislature. I have really enjoyed the work, I am passionate about the work, and in particular, I feel that I have made a difference, a positive impact on decisions that we've had over the last few years, but... I feel that there is still a lot more to do.

Robertson then outlined the accomplishments and goals she listed in her press release (102KB PDF). She noted that by a tabulation of last year's budget votes (45KB PDF) she was came in 10th of 15 on the total amount she wanted to increase spending, and discussed the growing use of the TompkinsRx prescription discount card (81KB PDF), and the declining Tompkins County jail population.

Natan Huffman, who has worked with Robertson on the improved signage for the Turkey Hill/Quarry/Ellis Hollow Road intersection, offered a ringing endorsement:

I think we've very fortunate to have Martha doing what she's doing....the degree of commitment, the degree of involvement, that Martha has shown us. She's reminded me of what it means to be a Democrat... Martha has done an incredible job of sorting it all out, making sure that what is important is really important, and sticking to her own sense of what is right. I'm so delighted that we have Martha here, doing what she's doing.

Let me tell you a little story. One of the things that fire departments do is they're called to the scene of accidents, and my company was called much too often to the intersection of Turkey Hill and Ellis Hollow Roads. It was a frequent event, a much too frequent event. I probably have seen many of you pass by as I stood there in turnout gear watching my men and women pull kids out of cars because someone hadn't seen the stop sign, or someone was speeding, whatever the reason.

Natan Huffman endorses Martha Robertson
Natan Huffman endorses Martha Robertson

I looked into this a little bit, and talking to someone - I forget who it was, it wasn't Martha - but the person said to me, "why, there's only X number of accidents there." And I said "no, no, no." What we found was that the database that the different agencies use, such as the state police, the sheriff, and the fire departments, was not particularly shared too well, because each of them had their own view as to what happened. But when you brought them all together, and looked at it, and said "gosh, there's a lot of accidents here," it was pretty simple to make the decision.

However, who's going to accomplish this? That would be Martha. She got all the front people to the table, and now that intersection sports additional signs which say "hey, there's a stop sign up ahead," there's a flashing light in one direction, a much bigger stop sign. We're working on getting a pole moved. We've had the sight line improved by moving trees and so forth, and since that has been done, we haven't had one accident there.

That's making a difference, and that's why it's so important for us to rally our forces to make sure that Martha gets here.

Robertson closed with questions. WHCU asked about her goals and how to achieve them in the currently difficult financial situation. Robertson talked both about the need to make sure that the county spends its money responsibly and that it applied for grants from the state where possible, such as one for a single room occupancy residence for people with who need help with mental health issues but don't need hospitalization. Ben Nichols of the Working Families party said that they were also "looking forward to supporting you this year."

Posted by simon at April 21, 2005 8:39 AM in
Note on photos