ROSENDALE – Jen Metzger took the oath of office as the new Ulster County executive Monday, succeeding fellow Democrat Pat Ryan who is now representing the 18th Congressional District in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado attended the ceremony at the Rosendale Theater, a swearing-in that attracted elected officials, family and friends wishing Metzger, a former state senator and Rosendale town council member, well in her new position.
Metzger prefaced her acceptance speech by noting she chose the theater for her swearing-in because the once for-profit enterprise became a non-profit when the former owners retired, and the community rallied to keep it open in Rosendale.
“Community makes possible the improbable and enables us to weather challenges and storms no matter how great,” she said. “We face some very daunting challenges, a climate crisis, housing affordability crisis, health and addiction crisis, and we have way too many households struggling to pay the bills month to month. But every crisis creates an opportunity for positive change and creative solutions that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day, and I believe we are in that moment.”
Metzger said much work has to be done in a community-minded manner to tackle the tough issues facing Ulster County.
“As I said during the campaign a lot, we all have the building blocks, right here is Ulster County, to create a sustainable, resilient thriving local community and economy that leaves no one behind. I believe deeply, if we work together, we’ll get there. It’s going to take hard work. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re going to get there.”
A day earlier, Delgado was sworn in with Kathy Hochul, the first elected woman to live in the governor’s mansion. Delgado said diversity is good for state leadership – so it inspires everyone to serve in government or their communities
“When you have diverse leadership that emerges,” said Delgado, “it gives a lot of hope to make sure that everybody, every young child growing up can identify that power from within. And that is how we fortify our Democracy by getting people invested.”