Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) today expressed his disappointment that legislation that would have created a temporary commission to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 was vetoed. This is a lost opportunity for our Upstate economy to promote our history and draw tourists to Fort Ontario and the Seaway Trail, said Barclay.
“I was sorry to learn of the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation. Our region will be at a disadvantage to draw international visitors, host reenactments and other anniversary events to properly commemorate the anniversary, and bolster the local tourism industry. I’m sorry too for the lost opportunity for school-aged kids too to learn about history in a fun way,” said Barclay.
In his veto message, Cuomo stated the Regional Economic Development Councils could work to see a commemoration take place. It is doubtful the council would take ownership like a dedicated commission would have, said Barclay. The commission would have involved local people who had history and education backgrounds and who were already directly connected to Fort Ontario, the Seaway Trail, Old Fort Niagara and Sackets Harbor. Had the legislation been signed, planners would have had funding and the state’s support to hold events throughout 2015, at which point the commission would have dissolved.