Barlow to finish term with familiar council

Pictured above, from left: Shawn Walker, Shawn Burridge, Robert Corradino, Mayor William J. Barlow, Susan McBrearty, Kevin Hill, Tim Plunkett and John Gosek, Jr. Each of the seven councilors were re-elected on Tuesday night, with five of the seven running unopposed.

All 7 councilors reelected

OSWEGO — Port City Mayor Billy Barlow is set to complete his run as Oswego’s executive alongside a familiar common council, with all seven councilors winning re-election Tuesday night. 

The Oswego Common Council, which has been overwhelmingly Republican during Barlow’s time as mayor, will continue to have the same six Republican, one Democrat makeup over the next two years to help push Barlow’s proposals forward. Tuesday’s election locked in the final council of Barlow’s tenure as mayor — the two-term mayor cannot run again in 2023 due to term limits — and the continued success of council Republicans, and little resistance from city Democrats, could be seen as voters’ resounding approval of Barlow’s policies. 

Council President Robert Corradino, R-7th Ward, and Council Vice President Kevin Hill, R-3rd Ward, both won re-election unopposed, along with Republican councilors Shawn Burridge, R-2nd Ward, John Gosek Jr., R-5th Ward, and Timothy Plunkett, R-6th Ward. 

Councilor Shawn Walker, R-4th Ward, the only incumbent Republican in a contested race, won re-election against Democrat Diane Zeller. 

Councilor Susan McBrearty, D-1st Ward, held on to the sole Democratic seat on the council in Tuesday’s election, with a convincing victory over Republican Andrew Hall. 

Asked for his reaction to the vote on Tuesday, Barlow expressed optimism about the makeup of the council and the ability of the mayor’s office and councilors to work together to continue moving the city forward. 

“The councilors I’ve had my entire time as mayor, Democrats and Republicans, have been a great group of people and have worked collaboratively and cooperatively, even when it may have been easier or politically convenient not to,” Barlow said. “I’ve been very fortunate and I don’t ever take their support and trust in me for granted.”

Barlow said the city could not have accomplished all that has been done in recent years without the support of the council, pointing out historically mayors and councilor have not typically worked well together in Oswego. 

“I’m proud to buck that trend and work together to deliver results to the people, and I look forward to continuing our good work together to finish strong these next two years,” the mayor said. 

Reached as election results were still coming in Tuesday, Corradino, a four-term veteran of the council, said “it’s certainly been an honor and a pleasure to be on the council for the past six years.” 

“I’ve really enjoyed the last six years being the city councilor for the Seventh Ward and I look forward to another two years of helping the residents of Oswego and specifically the Seventh Ward,” Corradino said. 

In the city’s Fourth Ward, Walker, who reached a term limit on the council in 2017 after a decade in office, won his re-election bid decisively with 59 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Oswego County Board of Elections. Walker, a longtime Republican who returned to the council in 2019 after a two-year hiatus, thanked voters for their trust in him throughout his career on the council.

“I appreciate your trust and your vote,” he said in reference to Fourth Ward voters. “I have been here for 12 years and I want to thank the voters for their support and let them know I am here to help everyone out.”  

For Walker, this upcoming term is about “moving forward.” More specifically, he said he wants to continue the work the council and Barlow’s administration have done to better Oswego in recent years.

“I have worked with (Barlow) for four years and he has been a great mayor,” he said. “I hope to keep the ball moving forward.”

McBrearty earned 60 percent of the vote, according to unofficials Board of Elections results. Reached late Tuesday night, she said she would be “honored to serve the First Ward if this trend holds” as all the remaining ballots are counted. 

City councilors have worked well together and with the Barlow Administration in recent years, Corradino said, adding he looks forward to two more productive years on the city council to round out Barlow’s tenure as mayor.

“I anticipate we’ll accomplish quite a bit as he reaches the finish line of his second term,” Corradino said. 

Corradino said city government has accomplished a lot over the past six years, and noted the community is generally happy with the direction the mayor and council have taken the city in recent years. 

“That’s the bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, is the fact that all the indicators, all the arrows, are pointing up,” Corradino said. “We have new buildings, we have people moving in, we have new apartments being built, roads are being paved, leaves are being picked up, city services are being taken care of, and on top of that we haven’t raised taxes… what’s not to like about the last two or six years?” 

Corradino said the city “is being managed like it should be” and pointed to the financial health of the city, as well improvements to infrastructure and city services. 

“It certainly starts at the top,” Corradino said, pointing to Barlow’s leadership over the past six years. “Mayor Barlow has set an agenda for the city and for the council and it’s an agenda where we’re going to take care of our residents, we’re going to do our best to keep taxes in check and still progress the city in a positive direction.” 

Hill, who has served in a leadership role in recent years and was re-elected to a third term on Tuesday, said he was honored to continue serving his neighbors in the city’s Third Ward and the entire city. Hill praised the work Barlow’s administration and the council have done during the last four years, adding the Port City has made significant strides to become a place for families and working people.

“The past several years have been transformative for our community under the leadership of Mayor Barlow and I am proud to have had a small part in that during my time on the council,” Hill said.

The council’s focus, according to Hill, remains on continuing the city’s momentum going forward.

“My goals are the same as they have been since I joined the council,” he said. “I want to improve the quality of life for residents of our community and to continue providing financial relief to city residents in any way that I can, while maintaining investment in our vital infrastructure and resources.”

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