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Saturday, August 30, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Heather Nellis
Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort, right, takes his oath of office from Supreme Court Judge Joseph Sise, left, during a ceremony at the Supreme Courtroom Wednesday in Fonda. Ossenfort's wife Melissa holds the bible.

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Ossenfort will 'lead by example'

Thursday, January 09, 2014 - Updated: 10:26 AM

By HEATHER NELLIS

For the C-S-E

FONDA -- Before a century of supporters and dignitaries, Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort was sworn in to office Wednesday in a ceremony at the Supreme Courtroom.

Officials recognized the ceremony as a historic moment, as Ossenfort is the first county executive to be elected to the position.

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, praised Ossenfort in a keynote address before Supreme Court Judge Joseph Sise administered the oath.

Gibson said there is no one better than Ossenfort for the job.

"From my 29 years in uniform, five in the National Guard, and 24 in the Army -- one thing I know is a leader, and Matt Ossenfort is a leader," Gibson said.

Gibson said Ossenfort's leadership capabilities are rooted in his "personable, sincere and focused" nature.

Sise talked about Ossenfort's "youthful enthusiasm. But, it's not inexperienced youth."

He pointed to Ossenfort's work as chief of staff for former Assemblyman George Amedore. When Amedore left office, Sise said Ossenfort was in high demand to work for other legislators, and could have continued his political career in Albany.

"He was a rising star. It could have been easy for him to stay in Albany, where all the action is. Instead, he came home, because he is Montgomery County born and bred," Sise said.

Ossenfort said the traits Gibson praised are attributable to his family; namely, his grandfather Leo Podolec. Ossenfort used his grandfather's Bible during his oath of office. Earlier in the day, the county legislators also used it when they took their oaths.

Podolec was a World War II veteran and longtime Amsterdam firefighter.

"He's the man I try to emulate every day," Ossenfort said. "Through him, and the rest of my family, I learned if you work hard, and treat people well, good things will happen. You let the chips fall where they may, but you can always be proud of where you came from, and what the end result was."

Ossenfort said the new year, and new government, represents opportunity.

"Good things have happened, but we've had our share of trials and tribulations, and maybe some missed opportunities along the way," Ossenfort said. "But, when I look to the future of Montgomery County, I don't want to miss any more opportunities, because people didn't work together, or people didn't work hard enough."

"I can't speak for the members of the legislature," Ossenfort continued. "All I can do is lead by example, and I will work hard every day, and treat people well, and do what's right for the people of Montgomery County."

     

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