Being an elected official is not a lifetime commitment, nor occupation. A person should, without urging, step aside to allow new faces and new ideas.
At the end of this term, I will have 12 years in office as the supervisor for the 6th Ward in Gloversville and will be 70 years old. I have no regrets, and will cherish some of the gratifying events and personal moments that have occurred. I also will remember some of the tough times and tough decisions that needed to be made.
Often it has been said that elected office is a thankless job; I disagree. The support and encouragement I have received from my friends and neighbors is rewarding. From my first day I felt I didn't have voters or constituents, the people were my friends and neighbors. Apparently this feeling was shared and extended beyond the 6th Ward, as witnessed when I was seriously ill in 2008 and the outpouring of love from everyone lifted and nourished me. The prayers, calls, cards and fruit baskets were daily occurrences and I'm sure played a role in my beating the odds of this fatal disease.
Again I am faced with a fight against cancer. Though I feel I can do my duty for my term, it would be unrealistic to seek anything further. As before, people are showing me so much kindness and support. God bless you all.
I will miss the interaction with other elected officials, some great department heads and some wonderful county employees.
Though not as an elected official, I will still be involved in some things (God willing): The Fulton County Museum, ASAPP's Promise, County Health Department Advisory Board, Fulmont Community Agency and my church, The First Congregational United Church of Christ.
So I'll still be around, still a friend and neighbor.
RICHARD J. OTTALAGANO