Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The Onondaga County Government will soon see the end of an era. After more than 30 years, lawmaker Mark Stanczyk will retire from the legislature. He is leaving the post at the end of the week.
Stanczyk will remain in public office, moving to a much different role as the county’s deputy commissioner of community services.
Since beginning his career as a member of the legislature in 1982, Stanczyk has been able to claim many successes.
But going into the legislature, the Democrat did not know his career would last more than three decades.
"In a week I'm going to be a former county legislator, but in my first reelection run John Mulroy was referring to me as a former county legislator,” Stanczyk said, recalling the early years of his career in public service.
But Stanczyk went to serve not only under then County Executive Mulroy, but the only other two executives in the county’s history, Nick Pirro and Joanne Mahoney.
"I've been very proud of the fact that Onondaga County is in a great financial position. You compare our county to any other municipality county, city, school district…I think we're on very firm ground,” Stanczyk said.
Stanczyk said the county has weathered several fiscal issues over the years and has emerged stronger for having endured them.
The veteran lawmaker says that one of the most difficult decisions he had to make was reworking the sales-tax sharing agreement with the city, towns, and villages a few years ago.
He claims that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo was an “embarrassment” when he took office, but that it has become a real gem since then.
“The spread of information and the availability of information is a huge change. We're in a more cooperative venue right now,” Stanczyk said.
Stanczyk says he doesn't really have any regrets about his time in office, but there is one thing he wishes was different. Not once in his 30 plus years in the Legislature have the Democrats controlled either the County Executives office or the Legislature.
"It’s been nice to have an opportunity to push the whole public wheel in different directions and I think I might miss that a little bit,” he said.
Another long-time legislator, Bill Meyer, will retire at the end of the week.
Meyer has served on the legislature for more than 20 years.