Norfolk man running for county legislature
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 6:15 am

To the Editor:

I would like to introduce myself as a candidate for the St. Lawrence County Legislature from District 12, serving the communities of Norwood, Norfolk, and a small portion of Potsdam.

This past year, I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the bipartisan county-wide task force that helped save the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.

By working together across party lines, we were able to bring together union members, elected officials, business people and concerned citizens to convince New York State to reverse a ill-thought out plan that could have had disastrous effects on families across the North Country.

I believe St. Lawrence County needs that same kind of common sense approach. For too long, county government has been the center of partisan bickering and political polarization that has marginalized employees, department heads and every day citizens.

Instead of focusing on making life better for the people of our county, legislators have repeatedly raised taxes, cut services and frittered away the county’s fund balance.

It’s time for a change.

As a member of the task force I saw how individuals of various political affiliations could leave politics behind and focus on what’s best for the people of St. Lawrence County.

This is the energy I will bring if elected to be your representative. There are serious issues facing our county. Effective resolution will require the collaboration of the entire legislative body, our county administrator, department heads, county employees and their respective unions. We need to partner with our town, village and city officials to improve our understanding of the issues and to make informed decisions. The services provided by our county employees are too important to play victim to any partisan agenda.

I reside in Norfolk with my wife, Jan. Three of my four children work and reside with their families in our county. I worked for 37 years in the mental health field and have a solid leadership background. I want to put that experience to work for you.

I look forward to meeting you in the coming weeks and listening to your concerns. As well, please feel free to contact me.

John Burke

Norfolk