PETE GOZZA, A Democrat, is facing Incumbent Jodi Goodman, in the District 6 Legislator race.
Jodi Goodman's A Product of District 6
By Leni Santoro
LIBERTY November 2, 2007 District 6 Legislator Jodi I. Goodman (R) says that she is a Sullivan County girl and “very proud of it.”
“Sullivan County is a great gift,” said Goodman. “It makes us see it all and it gives us great tools to take what we’ve learned and go forward with it.”
While she grew up in Woodridge in the Town of Fallsburg, she and her husband Alan have lived in Liberty for the past thirty years. They have two children, Julie, who attends Quinnipiac College, and Jonathan, who attends school in the Liberty Central School District.
“My mother always said from the time I was very little, ‘You’ve got the power in your hands to be whatever you want to be.’”
She has instilled this in her children and she brings this philosophy to her work as a Legislator for District 6 which includes the towns of Liberty and Hurleyville.
“My commitment to our community is both personal and professional. Not only are my roots deep but my family’s future is here. I know first hand the tax burdens and other concerns that weigh on the minds of the constituents in Fallsburg and Liberty. My role as legislator has been and will continue to be to control expenditures while maintaining appropriate services.”
Goodman graduated from Fallsburg Central School. She holds a degree from F.I.T in Merchandising and Buying, which stands her in good stead as she fights to bring economic development to her district while balancing the bottom line.
A “people person,” Goodman is Director of Community Services at Catskill Regional Medical Center. Here she acts as a patient advocate and volunteer coordinator; skills which she feels she also brings to her district and to the county at large as well as to the legislature.
“I thoroughly enjoy working for my constituents,” said Goodman. “It has been a great joy to make some of the heartache go away; to find simple solutions for people when they don’t have any. The greatest pleasure is when they feel they can’t be heard and I’m the voice to help bring their message forward.”
She gave a recent example, “I had a woman I’m not her legislator, ironically, who called me and said I really need help and I said why are you calling me? And she said because you knock walls down and I really need this wall to be knocked down… I was really OK with all of this until I went to a coffee shop and the girl behind the counter said, ‘Are you Jodi Goodman? I need to thank you.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And she started to cry. She looked out the window and she pointed down the hill and she said, ‘You see that motel? The rapist lived there. I couldn’t quit my job because I needed the money for my children but I didn’t feel safe here and you had him go away and I can’t thank you enough.’ And I walked out of there crying because I didn’t realize what a huge impact… I didn’t know who this woman was and I didn’t realize, I mean I knew it was a big deal but to see this woman who pointed so that I could see where he lived. That’s why I love being a legislator. They are all big deals.”
As legislator for District 6 Goodman is chair of the Government Services Committee. She is a member of the Health and Family Services Committee, the Public Safety Committee, the Public Works Committee, the Labor Subcommittee and the Capital Planning and Budget Committee. She is also the founder and a current member of “Building Better Relationships With Summer Residents” as well as being the Commission former Chair of the Consumer Affairs Division.
Her legislative contributions include: founding Sullivan County United Against Prejudice, which later became the Human Rights Commission. She worked to found the “Building Better Relationships With Summer Residents” Commission, which established a hotline number and task force, and has been instrumental in resolving many issues with the help of the Public Safety Committee.
Goodman was also chairwoman of the Consumer Affairs Division, which developed into a larger program currently being run in collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
She lobbied and wrote a letter of support for Sheriff’s Deputies to receive an increase in salary and for their inclusion in the Charter. She lobbied to keep the Sullivan County Museum open and compromised with Museum Complex tenants to share costs, founded the Hurleyville Museum Complex Committee to oversee and develop new projects at the museum and surrounding buildings.
Her monetary contributions to the county include having secured $50,000 for Liberty Police Department for security cameras in the Main Street section of Liberty, $40,000 for Town of Liberty for an upcoming town project and $25,000 each for the Liberty and Hurleyville Fire Departments.
Goodman’s less public, private, community service projects include her work as trustee for the Liberty Public Library, committee member of Liberty Public Spaces, member of the Steering Committee of the Liberty Economic Action Project (LEAP), member of the Executive Committee of the WSUL Heart-A-Thon and member of the Liberty LDC and “Alive.” She is also a Sullivan Renaissance Beautification Committee Member.
“My plate’s full, but it’s challenging and I’m good when I’m busy,” said Goodman. “When you are a legislator it’s not just you. Your whole family needs to be committed to the process. They need to give you the balance and the courage and the tools to work with and they represent [a microcosm of] the community. What makes it work for me is that I have an amazing family.”
Gozza Will Be Hands On For District 6
By Alix Didrich
LIBERTY “We’re all in this together. I’m excited about bringing my ideas and experience to the Sullivan County Legislature,” says Pete Gozza, the Democratic candidate for District 6 legislator.
Incumbent Jodi Goodman is the two-term legislator for District 6, encompassing about one third of the Town of Liberty including the village of Liberty and Ferndale. Some of the Town of Fallsburg together with Hurleyville are part of the district as well. This area is small but densely populated and diverse.
Pete Gozza returned to Sullivan County in January 2007 after retiring from a successful career in economic development which took him from small town Liberty, to Downtown Toledo Inc. in that Ohio city, where he served as CEO, hired to breathe new life into a stagnant redevelopment effort.
He stated that it was necessary to move to bigger towns and cities to expand his knowledge, along with his horizons. Now he returns to Sullivan County with more than 20 years of solid experience as an economic development practitioner ready to keep the county at the forefront.
Gozza’s campaign mantra is “One county, one future.” He believes that by coming together and discussing solutions and not just the problems, the county legislators can enable the county to realize its potential.
He is an advocate for keeping the county green and encouraging new businesses and industry that are consistent with the county’s renewable energy goals. Gozza wants to expand and support the recycling program to lessen the demand for landfills. He would like to continue building Council of Government efforts that encourage taxing jurisdictions to work together sharing resources and ideas as well as developing a strategic approach to improving the property tax situation.
Gozza intends to focus on what made Sullivan County a tourist destination of distinction the clean air, clear streams full of trout and beautiful mountain vistas. To do this he said the county needs to work collectively establishing Sullivan County as a leader in green technology, encouraging environmentally friendly industry and business. Part of this would be to encourage agri-tourism and support the growing number of organic farms producing meats and produce for New York City markets.
Gozza said, “I would like Sullivan County to be known for its organic farms.”
Gozza wants to expand and support the county’s recycling program, lessening the impact and need for new landfills. He feels strict enforcement of minimal maintenance standards for seasonal properties such as bungalow colonies and the quaint hamlets throughout the county are needed.
Gozza suggests working together to resolve tax and property exemption issues, developing a strategic unified approach to improve the situation. He feels both outside investment and tax equity are needed. He supports the “Council of Government” concept that has encouraged the taxing jurisdictions throughout the county to work together sharing resources, ideas and cost saving measures.
Gozza was born and grew up in the Town of Liberty where his father Peter Gozza Sr. served as Town Supervisor for many years. He is a 1970 graduate of Liberty Central High School.
“I have returned to my hometown with the goal of galvanizing the county government… toward economic and cultural redevelopment,” Gozza stated. “I have accomplished this same goal in a variety of locations throughout the United States, from Michigan to Florida, and am proud to bring my ideas and experience back home to Sullivan County.”
Gozza graduated from the University of Miami in 1976 and initiated his career as an economic development practitioner in Putnam County. From there he assisted redevelopment efforts in places like Monroe, Michigan, several areas in Florida and Hampton, Va. before his stint in Ohio.
In addition he also graduated from the University of South Florida, Institute of Government Executive program in 1990.
Besides working on his father’s campaign for Liberty supervisor, Gozza has worked with and for government for over 20 years. He served on the board of directors for the Florida Redevelopment Association, the Virginia Downtown Development Association and is a member of the Urban Land Institute.
Gozza has garnered many supporters throughout his years in the economic development field. Peter Garforth, Vice Chairman for Downtown Toledo, Inc. said, “Pete is one of those rare people who can not only build visions of thriving, stimulating urban settings, he can also put in motion the changes needed… that will make them real…”
Donald Jakeway, President and CEO of Brooks Development Authority in San Antonio, Texas concurred, “Pete Gozza has always impressed me with his ability to assist communities with strategic planning, consensus building, decision making, communication, marketing… and most important getting the job done. He is a hands-on administrator and team leader.”
Gozza is glad to be home and looks forward to spending the next four years utilizing all he has learned over the years and making his visions to move the county forward a reality.