JOHNSTOWN - National, state and local officials gathered at the Johnstown Moose Family Center on Saturday to meet with local Democrats and discuss their policies at the Fulton County Democratic Committee's annual picnic.
The event included the likes of U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, state Senate hopeful Madelyn Thorne, state Supreme Court candidate Mark Blanchfield and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, all of whom expressed delight to be at the event.
"In terms of good spirit and good cheer, if you want to come to a very positive, upbeat gathering of Democrats, go to Fulton County," DiNapoli said. "To me, it's a privilege to be here."
(The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini)
From left, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Fulton County Democratic Committee Chairman Ed Jasewicz and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli talk at the Fulton County Democrats’ annual picnic Saturday at the Johnstown Moose.
The comptroller expressed concern about the proposed increase in tolls on the state Thruway, state pension plans and the high rate of unemployment in Fulton and Montgomery counties.
DiNapoli said he is working hard to bring business into the area to combat the unemployment rates of 11 percent in Fulton County and 10.5 percent in Montgomery County.
"Part of what we're trying to do is promote policies that will help put people back to work," he said. "By definition, what we do is not economic development per se. That's the governor's office and what the Legislature decides from a policy perspective. But we certainly work very hard to make sure in our area, whatever we can do ... puts people to work and make sure that money flows efficiently and quickly."
Tonko said he attended the event because he has been honored to serve the area, and soon he will lose western Montgomery County and parts of Fulton County due to congressional redistricting.
He said the local people he has represented put so much trust in him that he wanted to share a mutual trust with them.
Tonko said the way to lower the unemployment rates in the area is to invest in advanced manufacturing, worker training, small business and entrepreneurship.
"That is a formula for a comeback for this region," he said.
John Borgolini can be reached at email@example.com.