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Farewell to ‘Legislator’ Lesniak

— After five years serving in the Onondaga County Legislature in addition to his stint as a Lysander Town Councilor, Rich Lesniak has decided to retire from public service. During his last legislative session, held Dec. 20, he supported resolutions to improve the county’s water supply system in addition to some housekeeping items. He then joined eight other legislators, with a combined 102 years of service, in leaving the legislature.

The Baldwinsville Messenger recently caught up with Lesniak to get a glimpse into his thoughts about being a public servant as well as his plans for retirement.

Setting aside the public servant, can you tell a little about yourself (family, hobbies, work experience)?

I am retired from law enforcement from the State of New York Central New York Developmental Center after 25 years of service and still presently working for Security and Law Enforcement Employees, Council 82, AFSCME. I presently represent law enforcement employees in many agencies around the state. I have been married for 35 great years to my wife, Barbara, and have two grown children, Darcie and Carolyn. I enjoy golfing, my service to the Belgium Cold Springs Fire Department and traveling with my friends and family.

How long have you served in the County Legislator?

I have served in the Onondaga County Legislature from 1999 to 2000 and then again from 2007 to 2011.

Why did you decide to retire?

I decided not to run for another term for a couple of reasons. I knew my wife would be retiring in 2012 and did not want to run for a term that I may not complete. I felt it best to let the people choose my replacement rather than an appointment. I also felt it was time for new ideas from some younger thinkers. Administering a public budget of over $1 billion is going to need new and out of the box ideas to keep reducing the burden of taxes on our constituents.

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