Joe Griffo on New District Maps, Closure of Rome DMV, Oil, and Baby Formula
Change is inherent in the New York political landscape, but with the amended maps for New York State, NY Senator Joseph Griffo's district has changed for the fourth and final time - at least for the next ten years.
New York State Senator Joseph Griffo commented on some of the changes.
Griffo, who has previously served as both the Mayor of Rome and Oneida County Executive, spoke about the closure of the Rome Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles "until further notice." The DMV, which is a state-run agency, is under the direction of Oneida County Clerk Sandra J. DePerno.
Although DMV offices are under the auspices of New York State, counties can take control of their management. That is the case in Oneida County. The decision to close the DMV office in Rome "until further notice" was ultimately, Griffo says, a decision made by County Clerk Sandra Deperno.
The closure is problematic, Griffo says, adding, "It is a concern when people need services right now."
He points to a frustrating misperception, that voters think that the County Executive and elected officials are able to oversee independently elected county officials. "People don't realize that when you have all of the independently elected county officials - the District Attorney, Sheriff, County Clerk - we have ultimate control through the budget," but not, he says, day to day control of operations.
"At a time when there are so many challenges facing our communities, we don't need a further disruption in services." In addition to services, Griffo points to a potential loss of revenue for the city of Rome and the county as well, since DMV fees collected at the Rome office benefit the municipality.
He is optimistic, however, asserting that this "...is also an opportunity to collaborate." There are intense labor shortages that were exacerbated by the pandemic and the ensuing Great Resignation, and the entire economy is feeling the effects of that.
From baby formula to the oil crisis it is a time for the United States to re-prioritize. "We should not be dependent on foreign powers for things that are essential...Hopefully the wakeup call is to say, 'Let's reinvest in America...'
Griffo addressed the change in the Congressional District maps. The 53rd, which is the district in which he will run, represents his fourth district in four months. Summing up the change in the maps this year Griffo states, "This was a wild ride."
He is thankful for the many community leaders and groups who weighed in on the maps during the public comment period. Their input was instrumental, he believes, in keeping most of his current district intact.