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November 26, 2015
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Representative Hinchey sees positive potential in our future

That’s why we must focus attention on attracting New York City residents to the region. With 10 million people living within a few hours’ drive, we need to continue to promote tourism. As air and car travel becomes more expensive, we have a chance for new generations to discover the fantastic beauty of the region from the Delaware River to the peaks of the Catskills.

To be successful, we must continue protecting key assets, such as the area’s world-class fisheries. To maximize the benefits of tourism, we also need to develop strategic economic plans that incorporate ways to tap the economic potential of our unique institutions. If a visitor to our region attends a concert at Bethel Woods, they should have access to quality hotels and be given reasons to extend a day’s visit into many days.

We should also build public-private partnerships to redevelop the region’s capacity to produce, process and distribute agricultural products to New York’s restaurants and green markets. With our urban neighbors seeking fresh, local, and healthy food, Sullivan County has just begun to tap the economic potential of a revitalized farm sector.

We must also continue seeking the federal and state investments necessary to upgrade and repair the county’s aging infrastructure. I am proud to have secured a Rural Area Economic Partnership designation for Sullivan County to help give the area a leg up in securing federal funds for this purpose. I hope that will carry on and that Sullivan will continue receiving the benefit of badly needed federal investments that will allow the region to grow into what we all know it can become.

While the region has seen its share of development proposals come and go, I strongly believe that the future of the Catskills and Sullivan County can only be understood by reflecting on its past. We know what our strengths are and we should work to build on those strengths.

As I look back, I hope that my story inspires others to build on what we accomplished together. Despite all the turmoil, rancor and pettiness we see in politics today, I still believe in public service. To me there are few things nobler than a person who chooses to serve their community, whether it is in public office, at a public agency or school, the military, or even volunteering through a local charity. We need more people to choose those paths and become strong, effective voices for the middle class.

I leave Congress with few regrets, but with a strong appreciation and love for this extraordinary institution, our democracy, and the people of our nation, particularly the people of this great district who I love dearly.