Ossenfort sworn in as county executive

Judge Sise gives the oath of office to Matt Ossenfort with Melissa Ossenfort holding the Bible. Photo by Wendy Kissinger.

FONDA – Matthew Ossenfort was sworn in Wednesday as Montgomery County executive, completing the county’s transition to a new form of government.

County residents voted in November 2012 to adopt a new county charter that changes the form of government from a 15-member board of supervisors to a nine-member county legislature with an elected county executive. This past November, Ossenfort defeated St. Johnsville Supervisor Dominick Stagliano to win a four-year term as the county’s first elected executive. Under the new charter, he is limited to a maximum of three terms.

Congressman Chris Gibson, a retired U.S. Army colonel, praised Ossenfort’s leadership ability in his opening remarks.

“In my 29 years in [military] uniform, I know what it takes to be a leader,” Gibson said. “Matt Ossenfort is personable, sincere and focused. He is a man of the moment. He is someone who brings people together. I could not be more proud. With the right leadership and the right team, there’s nothing we can’t do.”

Montgomery County Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Sise spoke highly of Ossenfort before administering the oath of office,

“The congressman nailed it when he talked about Matt’s enthusiasm,” Sise said. “He gained a wealth of experience working in the Assembly. He could have stayed in Albany, but he came back to Montgomery County. I watched it happen, and it’s great.”

Sise also made a humorous reference to Ossenfort’s confidence.

“He scheduled his honeymoon right after the election,” Sise said.

Ossenfort’s bride, Melissa, was at his side during the ceremony.

“The first thing I have to do is thank Melissa,” Ossenfort told the gathering of family, friends and dignitaries. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”

His formula for success is straightforward.

“If you work hard and you treat people well, good things happen,” he said. “I don’t want to miss any opportunities. I will work hard every day and treat people well.”

Ossenfort said he already has met with several department heads in preparation for his new responsibilities.

“The goal here is to provide a better return for the taxpayers through improved services and better use of tax dollars,” he said. “We need to root out any inefficiencies we can and move forward in a positive direction.”

Click here for more pictures from the inauguration

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.