New York State Senator Hugh Farley has moved his district office right into the center of Ballston Spa and couldn’t be happier about it. “Ballston Spa is the center of the county and I wanted to be accessible to this area,” the senator said.
Although Farley has a satellite office in Johnstown, he is making Ballston Spa his main district office.
Farley now represents all or part of five counties after new district lines were drawn: Saratoga, Schenectady, Fulton, Hamilton and Herkimer. In Saratoga County, Malta and Clifton Park have been added to his district.
“It’s very exciting for me, it’s a new district,” Farley said.
Farley said he especially loves his new office in Ballston Spa because he loves history. “I thought this was a very charming Victorian setting in one of the loveliest communities in New York State,” he said. “It’s a beautiful little community to walk around. My staff is thrilled with it.”
Farley also is pleased with his new landlord, Rory O’Connor, who owns the Victorian building at 199 Milton Avenue where Farley’s new office is located. “I’ve had nothing but cooperation from my landlord,” Farley said.
There will be signage to identify Farley’s office, and he feels like he is already at home.
“As I explore this magnificent Victorian home, I couldn’t be more impressed with the restoration that Mr. O’Connor has done,” Farley said.
Farley has been a state senator for 37 years, making him the senior senator and giving him the ability to pick where he wanted his district office, he said. “Of course I picked Ballston Spa because I love the community,” he said.
Farley said he is also proud to be representing Malta because it’s the fastest growing town, and Saratoga the fastest growing county, in the state.
During the interview, Farley touched on several topics he is concerned about, and he has made them his priorities for helping the citizens of his district. The first is education, something the senator feels should always be a point of concern.
“Education and school aid is a big problem,” Farley said. “You’ve got school districts that are getting really hurt.”
Some districts are getting cuts as high as 28 percent, he said. “Aid to education is a big concern for me.”
Farley also touched on the effort to overturn the SAFE Act. Saratoga is one of the counties where a petition to overturn the gun control law has gotten significant support.
Another of the senator’s biggest concerns is the preservation of farmland. “Farming is our number one industry in New York State,” Farley said. “It’s one that I truly try to protect. I think that we have to protect that land.”
Farley said one of his goals is to help the farmers in the counties. He recently received a gold sticker from the farm bureau for 100 percent support of farm issues, he said.
“I try to be in support of farm issues,” Farley said. “They are the hardest working people in our society. It’s a very tough industry and one they work very hard. They are the strength of our society.”
Any farmers looking for help are more than welcome to drop in and see him, Farley said. “I always try to assist in grants,” he said.
Farley, who is a veteran himself, is also very supportive of veteran’s programs in Saratoga County. “Anything we can do to help veterans,” he said.
The final concern for Farley is the upcoming decision as to which seven casinos will be chosen as state casinos. Farley said the governor is very anxious to keep the legislature out of picking where the location of the casinos will be, and he feels that is not a good thing.
“I feel strongly if the voters don’t know where the locations will be, the vote will go down,” Farley said. “You’ve got to spell it out, Saratoga Springs is a natural place for the casino.”
Farley said if Saratoga Racino is picked, it will enhance the track. “It’s an absolute natural,” he said.
The senator prides himself on being very approachable to the citizens in his district. “I’m closer to the people than the federal government is,” he said. “I think that people can reach me a lot easier than the governor. What I am trying to do is to reach out to people in my district and to let them know that I do have a district office here and if they have a problem, they can come in and see my staff.”
Finally, Farley wants citizens to know they can reach out to him with any concerns they have and he will do his best to help them. “I am most definitely a senator for the people,” he said.
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