OSWEGO — Port City native Ron Tesoriero is seeking a second term on the Oswego Common Council, and says the city is heading in the right direction but there’s still work to be done and continuity in leadership is important to keep the city moving forward.
First elected to represent the city’s Sixth Ward in 2017, Tesoriero previously spent nearly four decades in the plumbing and pipefitting trades. Tesoriero is a member of the Conservative Party but in his pursuit for a second term is also running on the Republican Party and Independence party ballot lines.
The city’s Sixth Ward includes the southeast portion of the Port City, encompassing the majority of the area south of East Albany Street, from the Oswego River to the eastern and southern city limits. The Sixth Ward is “distinctly different” from other areas of the city, Tesoriero said, noting it is largely residential and his main priority is quality of life issues, such as code enforcement, and infrastructure improvements.
Tesoriero, who raised two sons in Oswego with his wife Maureen, said 2019 was a productive year in the Sixth Ward, pointing to a significant amount of paving and sidewalk work completed. He pointed to the installation of an American’s with Disabilities Act-accessible playground at Hamilton Park, which repurposed an underutilized park, in the Sixth as another highlight.
“It was so unused but now it’s made a huge comeback,” he said of Hamilton Park.
After two years on the council, Tesoriero said he could make a bigger impact with a second term on the council. Tesoriero said the first year on the council was a huge learning experience, but he “got right into it” and served on the city’s Budget Committee the last two years and was chairman of the Planning and Development Committee.
“I tried to do everything I promised when I was elected two years ago,” he said, adding, however, he would seek to grow and improve in a second term.
Tesoriero said the council last year offered the first tax reduction to property owners in decades, and the first tax cut in nearly 50 years that didn’t use the city’s savings to balance the budget. As a member of the city Budget Committee, the move was perhaps the signature accomplishment of his first term.
“I was proud of that,” he said. “That was a lot of work.”
Lowering sewer fees for some property owners by $200 annually was another highlight, Tesoriero said, calling it “huge.”
Increasing the tax base to help lower the tax burden on property owners and working to retain seniors citizens and other residents would be priorities in a second term, Tesoriero said, adding that city officials would also work to attract business and industry to create jobs.
It all starts at home, however, and Tesoriero said responding to the needs of Sixth Ward residents is top on his list.
“The constituents are my major concern — to take care of the ward,” he said earlier this year.
Throughout the campaign, Tesoriero said residents largely appeared to be satisfied with the direction in which the city is heading and the various projects underway in Oswego. He said there were few negative issues brought up by residents during the campaign, but some lamented the pace at which the city is moving forward.
“If there’s any dissatisfaction it’s sometimes just the speed of how these things develop,” he said. “It just doesn’t’ happen overnight.”
Tesoriero says voters should return him to the council for another term, in large part due to his past successes on the council, experience in code enforcement and familiarity with the Sixth Ward, where he’s lived nearly his entire life.
“I’m very proud to represent the Sixth Ward and I think it’s better than when I started,” he said, crediting his predecessor for started several improvements. “I think with another term, being as short as it is, would give me an opportunity to keep things going and hopefully make quality of life better for all the people in the Sixth Ward.”
Election Day is Nov. 5.