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Sayward prepares to leave Assembly

New York State Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward displays a picture from the Ragin River exhibit to Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas and Keene Supervisor William Ferebee.

New York State Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward displays a picture from the Ragin River exhibit to Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas and Keene Supervisor William Ferebee. Photo by Joe Hackett.

— While working on the family farm 32 years ago, Teresa Sayward wanted something to do away from the fields and livestock, so she joined the Willsboro Zoning Board of Appeals and served as chair.

“I had to get out and do something, so I did that,” she recalled.

Sayward is now preparing to leave the world of public service after 11 years on the ZBA followed by terms as Willsboro supervisor for 11 years, chair of the Essex County Board of Supervisors and 10 years as the state assemblywoman for what is now the 114th district.

“It has been a wonderful trip for me,” she said. “I like being able to help people wade through the minutia that there is in government.”

Sayward said that she has mostly been working to ensure a smooth transition Jan. 1, when Queensbury Supervisor and Warren County chair Dan Stec takes over.

“In every election year it gets a little slow between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said. “Most of the questions that we are getting now are due to the budget issues. I have been saving everything for Mr. Stec, and he has been in the office and we have been doing some briefings so he can hit the ground running so people will not notice a change.”

Sayward said that she feels the transition will be a smooth one.

“My legislative director is staying with Dan so he will have somebody who understands the issues and how to do things like introducing bills,” she said. “He should be pretty well positioned.”

Sayward also had advice for her replacement.

“I hope that he gets out and serves the constituency,” she said. “Betty Little really set the bar. She really got out to the towns and people. I followed suit, and I hope Dan can do the same. You have to remember that you now have bigger fish to fry and you have a diverse district from Queensbury to the tiny little towns. You are dealing with small farmers and big business at the same time.”

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