Town of DeWitt Republican Committee


News and Information Center


December 2014 Newsletter

Congressman-elect John Katko is preparing to take office as the representative of all the people of the NY 24th Congressional District.  Outgoing representative Dan Maffei has publicly pledged to work with John to make the transition orderly and smooth.  We wish both men the very best as they take on the new responsibilities of their lives, both public and private.

While John Katko’s directions are clear and his trials will be great, we believe he is more than capable and will prove to be the leader we sorely need in Washington.   Dan has not disclosed his new direction, but we sincerely wish him and his family good health and prosperity in the coming years.


December 17, 2014 Gene Conway was sworn in as the new Onondaga County sheriff to replace retiring sheriff Kevin Walsh.  Conway took the oath of office in the presence of a standing-room only gathering at the DeWitt Town Hall.  Sheriff Gene Conway will take charge of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s office on January 1st.  Gene is a very capable leader and dedicated police officer.  We look forward to sound management of the Sheriff’s office for the people of the County.  This is not without challenges, but Gene certainly has the ability to guide and manage as needed.  We extend our best wishes for a long and healthy life to retiring Sheriff Kevin Walsh and his family, as he enters this new chapter in his life.

James Hildmann, captain of the DeWitt Police Department has been promoted to DeWitt Police Chief to replace Conway.  Hildmann is highly qualified and a professional worthy of the title.  We can rest assured that he will guide the department in the manner we have become accustomed to here in DeWitt.

Long-time DeWitt councilor Ken Andrews has resigned from the DeWitt Board effective January 1, 2015.  Ken will join Gene Conway as chief deputy of the civil department for the Sheriff’s office.  Ken’s voice of reason will be missed on the DeWitt Board, but his new role will benefit all of Onondaga County.  He is a great choice for an important position.

Senator John De Francisco is returning to the New York State Senate.  We are privileged to have his voice of reason and sage advice in Albany.  We wish him continued success in his new term.


Len Manfrates was elected DeWitt fire commissioner on December 9, 2014.  Len will be responsible to manage the budget for the fire department and management of the department operations.  We are fortunate to have outstanding police and fire protection in the Town, and we can look forward to a continuation of the same.

We cannot rest on our laurels at the end of the mid-term election cycle.  In DeWitt, we have not gotten our message to resonate clearly with our fellow citizens.  We have a governor who believes that centralized government with greatly reduced power for the people is best.  We have a Board in DeWitt who believes they should be a nanny to us and they are not opposed to dangling the carrot of false savings, or in other words, selling our freedom of voice for savings that do not exist.

While consolidation of services may save money, it may not always be in the best interest of the governed.  Whenever government is remote, the voices of the people are drowned out by the powerbrokers who believe they know better how we should live than we do.   Such are the challenges for 2015 and beyond.  Freedom requires constant vigilance and hard work, but freedom to control one’s own destiny was the foundation of the American experiment. This premise has become the shining example to the world.


December is the month of important holidays, including Christmas and Chanukah and of late, Kwanza, celebrated in this country as a harvest festival from African origin.  However your holidays are celebrated, we wish everyone happiness, peace and goodwill, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the coming year.     

Patrick Ryan, DeWitt Republican Committee


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