Moving out is bittersweet for retiring lawmakers

Posted at: 12/26/2012 4:08 PM
Updated at: 12/26/2012 5:58 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

ALBANY - As 2012 winds down, it's a time of transition for several lawmakers who are retiring from State Service.

Today, we found both Assemblymen Ron Canestrari and Jack McEneny clearing out their offices at the Capital, and reflecting on decades of public service.

Boxes of plaques are filling up in Assemblyman Ron Canestrari's office along with framed pictures that have covered walls at the State Capitol for two decades. Moving out, he says, is bittersweet.

“Feel the nostalgia, it's a difficult time, going through things, sorting through things out throwing a lot of stuff out,” he said.

Retiring this Friday after 11 terms representing the 106th District, and as Assembly majority leader since 2007, Canestrari says his fondest memories are helping his constituents, whether it's finding them jobs, getting into a nursing home or cutting through agency red tape.

“Enjoyed it loved it but the pace and time commitment is serious but I'm looking forward to less of that and more free time to do what I want when I want,” he said.

It's also what Assemblyman Jack McEneny's looking forward to, after cleaning out the office he's inhabited for 20 years at the Capitol.

“On Thursday all the artwork came down and then it was really depressing coming in because  this place used to look like a museum a showplace of nostalgia,” he said.

After 47 years in public life, which included being Albany County's historian, McEneny says he plans to travel, garden, read and perhaps write about his experiences as a lawmaker.

“People say are you going to retire? I say no, I' m leaving this job I don't know what I'm going to do. But I think there's other adventures out there and it's time to  hand over the torch and let them put their mark on it,” said McEneny.

On Friday, the successors for these assemblymen will be sworn in.

Patricia Fahey is taking Assemblyman McEneny's seat, and John McDonald taking Assemblyman Canestrari's place.