Ryan Rodney Reynolds is a Canadian actor and producer. He portrayed Michael Bergen on the ABC sitcom Two Guys and a Girl, Billy Simpson in the YTV Canadian teen soap opera Hillside, as well as Marvel Comics characters Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity, Wade Wilson / Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the title character in Deadpool for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination.
• Helen Hunt (Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the ...)
• Phil LaMarr (Phillip "Phil" LaMarr is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and impressionist. He was one o...)
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Hey reddit, my name is Ryan Reynolds. I am the 29-year old Mayor of a small Village in Upstate New York called Whitney Point. I first began serving in government at the age of 23 as a member of the Village Board of Trustees and was elected Mayor when I was 28. In addition to serving as Mayor, I am a hardcore gamer, gym enthusiast and huge Game of Thrones fan. As far as Mayors go, I think I'm pretty unique. Let's talk about government, politics, public service, elected office, New York and whatever else you want to know about. AMA!
Disclaimer: I am not Deadpool.
EDIT: All right guys, I'm done. It's a little after midnight and I'm tired. This was a lot of fun and I want to thank you all for your questions and participation. If you want to get in touch with me for anything, you have my social media and you should feel free to do so. Thanks again and good night!
How often do you have to explain that you're not that Ryan Reynolds?
Most people don't actually believe that I am Ryan Reynolds, they just doubt that it's actually my name. I get a lot of "Seriously?" or "Really? Wow" comments. That said, when you become a Mayor your first name just kind of changes to "Mayor" and that probably helps the situation.
Deadpool 2 needs a scene or three filmed in Whitney Point. This is precisely the kind of mayhem Deadpool would be into.
That would be awesome. Someone get my Ryan Reynolds' agent.
Why are you still using Windows XP?
Our budget allows for the upgrade of one computer per year. I believe that the computer in the Mayor's office will be upgraded in the 2017-2018 budget and I can't wait. I use Windows 10 at home and it suits me well enough.
I came by 'cuz I thought you were the other Ryan Reynolds! How is life in Upstate New York? Is there a serious heroin problem?
I really enjoy Upstate New York and I really like where I live. Whitney Point is centrally located between Syracuse, Binghamton, Ithaca and several other major cities aren't very far away. The Pennsylvania border is 30 minutes away. So there's a lot within a short drive. In general I like the low key life that comes with living in a rural area like upstate New York. I can get where I want, when I want. The people tend to be great neighbors and Whitney Point specifically has a really tight-knit feeling of community and belonging.
As far as heroin goes, yes, we are struggling with addiction and have seen many tragedies in its wake. There are a number of organizations and groups working to get those struggling help, prevent use and get help but it's something unlike anything I've ever seen. It really takes over your life once you've used it and it's incredibly difficult to stop.
From our perspective in Whitney Point, the challenge is resources. It's not like a city where the Department of Health, rehab and hospital are right down the road. We're 30 minutes away from anything like that. We're more isolated. So the challenge is to make those connections and bring resources to the local level so people can get help and so prevention and awareness programming can occur. So that's what we've been doing. We've been holding events, building awareness, educating the public, etc. Our firefighters now carry Narcan to wake overdose victims who are unresponsive and we have a local Narcotics Anonymous group here in the Village now.
What is the most ambitious plan you hope to enact while mayor of Whitney Point?
Which game in the Halo series is the best?
The most ambitious projects that come to mind are the construction of a new fire station and the rehabilitation of a vacant building on our Main Street. Last year we purchased land for a new fire station and are about to start design work. We're expecting about a 1.5 million dollar project. The potential Main Street project will take a vacant building, renovate the bottom floor into commercial space and then build 8 handicap accessible apartments on the second and third floors. This would be able an $800,000 project if our grant application is approved by New York State.
Other things that come to mind are a $400,000 proposal for an overlook/public space that ties into our busiest intersection (11,000 cars a day pass through it) as well as a program that we implemented this past year which asks tax exempt organizations to voluntarily contribute to the Village as they don't pay taxes. Some folks don't like the idea but I'm proud that we have implemented it as I truly believe that it can help bolster the Village's finances.
I'd say Halo: CE is the best all around Halo. Halo 2 had the best multiplayer. And Halo: Reach had a great campaign and is worth mentioning.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you about a military coup to remove you from power?
What's the salary of the mayor in your town?
I make $3,600 a year. I have another full-time job which essentially pays my bills. Being the Mayor of Whitney Point doesn't usually require 40-hour work weeks, it fluctuates but I think I do a fairly good job balancing my two jobs and personal life. One thing that's for certain however is that public service is one of my greatest passions and I consider it a true privilege to work for our residents and be a resource for everyone. I love it.
Wow! That's so surprising. It's so good that they have someone as passionate as you as mayor. What's your other job? How many hours per week would you say you spend dealing with mayoral duties?
I am a Store Manager at my other job. Over the years I've also written for a few gaming sites, namely XBLA Fans. I'd say on average I spend around 20 hours a week directly dealing with Mayoral duties, but its always changing. Sometimes its more, sometimes its less. And I never really stop thinking about it. Even when I'm at home or at my other job, I'm always thinking about some program, some law, trying to solve some problem. It's all internal. And that is full-time.
What was your path to being a mayor? Like how did you get on the board of trustees?
I first ran for office in 2008 when I was 21. I ran for County Legislature and I got my butt kicked, but I met a lot of local residents and learned a lot. I ran again in 2010 and lost again, but worked even harder and learned even more. Shortly after that election the Mayor of the Village at the time called me and asked me to join the Board of Trustees when a member had resigned due to a serious accident. So I served on the board for several years and then ran for Mayor in 2015 when the sitting Mayor decided to retire.
Well OP, answer the man. How do you, as mayor, plan to use your power to convince Hugh Jackman to team up with you in a movie? I imagine there is a law that could be passed. Possibly some Tax breaks that could be given?
Someone do a Hugh Jackman & Ryan Reynolds AMA request and ask them to come visit Whitney Point. I will be glad to give them a tour of the Village and help them coordinate filming here.
Disclaimer: I am cautiously optimistic about Logan.
I like that idea of asking non-profits to contribute. While I firmly believe non-profits should stay tax free (I'm probably biased, as I currently work for one) as they contribute to the community at large, I also think that every nonprofit should contribute to the local community. We're I work they give us a paid off day a year to volunteer somewhere, and do various cleanups, and sponsor buildings/parks and such.
That's great. Our program isn't mandatory, it's optional. We recognize that not all non-profits can afford to contribute to the Village's operations but we're asking and we're hoping that the program grows over the years. I think it means a lot that any local tax payer can see where their tax money is going and I hope that tax exempt entities who can afford it can feel good about helping to fund the local fire department or sidewalk repairs, etc.
Hi Ryan! Recently I have heard talk about a push to get more Mayors involved in national politics, as opposed to Governors and Senators, because Mayors tend to be much more community-oriented and understanding of what kind of change has to occur on a local level. Mayor Pete Buttigieg running for DNC chair is somewhat representative of this movement.
What are your thoughts on the view Mayors can help bring to national politics that a Governor or Senator might not be able to?
Also what are some things that people often, mistakenly, think the President or Congress are in control of, when in reality it is their local Mayor or city officials in charge of issues that directly impact them?
I would generally agree with that statement. Mayors, Town Supervisors, Trustees, Councilman, etc often have a direct view at what is affecting their residents and their community. You also have the opportunity to make changes that will have potentially immediate and direct effects as well. Which is both a great opportunity and responsibility.
I think having that understanding of what's happening around you at street level is very important and makes a huge difference. It gives you an awareness, sense of urgency and helps you understand the importance of something. When your neighbor tells you that they need a grant to help fix their roof because its caving in, you can look and see it and say "Wow, these people are sleeping in a house that's 45 degrees. This is serious." No offense to anyone serving in higher levels of government at all because they have important but different jobs as well, but being able to see something tangible with your own eyes is different than receiving a letter or a phone call. It's just reality.
As for common misconceptions between levels of government it does happen all the time but I often find things the other way around. People think that if it happens within the boundaries of the Village that the local government must have control over it, when often it is a county or state project for example. We're very lucky to have great relationships with our county, state and federal representatives and have had success quite a bit whenever we make a request on behalf of our residents but every now and then someone makes a really unreasonable request and unfortunately we can't help them because of jurisdiction or its just not feasible.
Are you going to build a super cool winter sports complex for your citizens to enjoy? You could call it Ice Town!
That has never crossed my mind, although we have pursued a skatepark in the past. Being a rural area, youth have to make their own fun a lot of times which gives us a fair amount of skateboarders and bikers. I used to be one myself. I've always believed that if you give people a place to go and somewhere to practice their craft and be constructive, they will do so. The challenge is finding a suitable piece of land and funding. Thus far, we have not.
When you first ran for office did you do so with prior experience in the towns politics or did you just fill out the applications to run? As someone who isn't active in local politics how did you initially get into to it?
The first time I ran I had absolutely no experience. I had actually began organizing and getting involved with the local Democratic Party and I happened to meet the Chairman of the party at the time at a rally that I had organized on my own out of the blue. He asked me if I had ever considered running for office and I told him that I had. It had been my dream for a while to do so, but I never thought that the opportunity would come so soon. So I met with him, he explained an opportunity that was out there and I took on the challenge.
And it was a major challenge. I ran as a Democrat in a district that was 2:1 Republican. And I lost big. But the experience that I gained was well worth it. I met so many people, learned about what they do, learned different things about government and the history of our area, etc.
So if you're looking to get involved yourself that's what I would recommend. Start attending local government meetings, start getting involved with whatever party that you're a member of (If you are a member of a party) and just start being active. Don't wait for someone to approach you, just go out there and do things you think need to be done. The doors will open.
Hey Ryan, Upstate NY local checking in, what do you think about Cuomo's recent statement that hemp could be a billion dollar industry in the Southern Tier?
Also, everyone seems to make their spiedies a bit different, what's your recipe?
I'm not much of a chef so I actually haven't made spiedies of my own. I stick to protein shakes, PB&J and scrambled eggs. That said, my girlfriend makes some great chicken and I do find it crazy that spiedies aren't known outside of the Southern Tier. It blows my mind.
As for the hemp industry, I honestly haven't put a lot of research into it but I think that in general, we do need to open up more economic doors. We can't forge companies like IBM to come back here. That ship has sailed. We have to create new opportunities. Hemp seems like it could be one of those, as could the medical marijuana industry. Instead of trying so hard to fight the current and keep old business models around, let's open up the doors to new ones. I think that's the key to economic growth in New York State.
does your town have an Arby's?
Yes we do. It's right on Route 11. Can't miss it.
I remember reading your name somewhere in my AP Gov class. And yeah, we joked about you being Deadpool about 50 times before it started getting less funny. Sorry.
Anyways. How do you have time for gym, gaming, and game of thrones as Mayor? Do you have a lot of free time on a daily basis?
Ryan Reynolds was also Green Lantern before Deadpool but no one remembers that. Or maybe they choose not to remember that.
Anyway, just like any job or jobs, you develop a routine. I'm really big on making good use of my time, planning out my days, sticking to my schedule, etc. Even if its something like "I am going to play Overwatch with a friend from 8 to 10EST", it's important to me that I stick to that plan.
The other thing is, I don't have children yet. I have a serious amount of respect for everyone that does. Yes, I'm a Mayor and that's a big responsibility but so is caring for a human life and being responsible for their development. I often see friends from high school and they'll be like "Wow, you're the Mayor, that must be so much work!" And I'll reply "You have three kids, that has to be just as much, if not more work!" It's all about perspective, priorities and efficient use of time.
What's the biggest thing you wish you could change about Whitney Point?
What do you think is the best attraction for tourists in Whitney Point?
Where do you think Whitney Point has the best opportunity to improve fiscally for 2017? What will it take to make that happen?
Currently Whitney Point is receiving an "F" for education, a C- for employment, and a D for housing. Do you think $800k would go further in education than a renovated building? Or would $400k be better invested in attracting business rather than building a look-out?
Cost of living and crime both receive A's, congratulations on that - what do you think is the biggest factors are in receiving those grades?
I've never been to Whitney Point. I'm actually on the west coast of Canada. Why should I go?
The biggest thing that I wish we could change about Whitney Point? Simple things. I'd like to see some buildings fixed up. I'd like to see sidewalk constructed in areas where we currently don't have any. I'd like to see some new businesses (like the Point Motel to be sold to a new developer). Things like that.
Financials are always a challenge. We have no shortage of ideas for projects to improve the Village, it's finding the money to make them reality that's the tricky part. That's why for large scale projects, we always look for state or federal funding. We simple cannot ask the 900-some residents who pay property taxes here to constantly fund large scale projects. Whitney Point has been very fortunate and received a number of grants in the last decade or so that have made a huge impact here.
As for actual changes in implementation, in 2016 we implemented the PILOT program tax exempt entities that I would like to see grow and become ingrained in the Village operation. And ideally I would also like to see some of the Village's reserve funds grow so that the Village can remain prepared for rainy economic days, major catastrophes and large projects. Obviously we aren't just going to jack everyone's taxes up in order to do that, we have to find more creative ways.
One of the things that we're currently working on is implementing some changes to our zoning code which will create a unified process for the installation of solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations in residential garages. NYSERDA is offering $5,000 in incentives for us to do so. That's how we have to work for our taxpayers. We have to find little ways to save money and boost revenues every way that we can. There are no grandiose silver bullets that I have found.
As far as the funding goes, we try to take advantage of the programs that the state offers. To my knowledge there aren't any grants that we can apply for that would net our school district $800,000 to bolster educational programs. The school district can certainly seek grants but as a Mayor of a municipal government, I'm not authorized to apply for them. That said, I do believe that education and housing are two of the best investments that the public can make. That's why I'm very excited about the $500,000 housing rehabilitation grant that we have been awarded. The improvements made through the grant will directly improve quality of life for our residents who receive money to fix their homes, the Village's presentation will improve and property values will increase. All long term benefits. That's the definition of investment.
As for the look out/public space, that's a qualify of life improvement that we think will attract more people to Whitney Point. When you drive through and see it you'll say, "This looks like a nice place to live." It will make you want to come back. It will make you consider us when you're looking for a new home. I think it would be a good investment for NYS to fund.
So that said, we can only take advantage of the programs that are out there. If NYS wants to change the programs that are available, that is their choice. But if I'm told that NYS is looking to fund building rehab, we're going to try to take advantage of that rather than let the money go elsewhere. We want to bring it to our community and to our residents, who pay NYS taxes like everyone else.
As for the specific grades, I don't have info on the criteria used but I often find the criteria used isn't suitable to smaller communities. That said, the costs of living here are extremely affordable and crime is low because we truly have a lot of great, caring people here. We all know each other and look out for each other. As for education receiving an F, I disagree with that. I went to high school here and while I know of a lot of challenges that the public education system is facing financially, I think we have a lot of teachers that provide a level of interest in their students to put them over the top and equip them to the best of their ability. I think most of NYS' educational challenges are more systemic than local.
If I was going to give you a reason to visit Whitney Point it would be this; Live here. The costs of living are low, crime is low, we have a great geographical location and we really are a community that cares for its own. That's what makes Whitney Point a great place to live.
What games do you play hardcore?
Right now I'm really into Overwatch and Destiny. Since launch I've put over 1,000 hours into Destiny. I love it and have high hopes that the sequel will fix many of the original games flaws. That said I've also played World of WarCraft quite extensively, with my peak being between vanilla and Wrath of the Lich King. I'm currently making my way through Doom and loving it.
Did you post this AMA because you really wanted to talk politics or because your name is Ryan Reynolds?
If all I wanted to talk about was my name, I wouldn't be here. I don't consider it an asset. It's just a designation. My mother actually named me after the actress Meg Ryan which I have always chastised her for.
Ah, you're right off of 81! Just passed through your town last weekend on my way home from Syracuse.
How about that crazy snow last weekend? When we were on 81, it was complete white-out conditions, the worst I've driven in in all my life. Like, really crazy - couldn't see more than 5 feet in front of you. Scary!
Do you plan to get onto the national stage at all?
Stop down in WP sometime! People ask me that national stage question all the time. "Do you plan on running for higher office?" "What are you going to run for next?" My answer is always this; Right now, I'm focused on being the best Mayor that I can be. We have a lot of very important projects and initiatives that we're working on and the list is always growing. The work is never done. And I really enjoy my job. I really do. It certainly has challenges and stresses like any job but at the end of the day, being there to help people and try to better your community is extremely gratifying. So right now, I'm focusing on driving Whitney Point and Northern Broome County forward and seeing through a lot of things that our board and I have started. Obviously I also have opinions about state and national level issues and you never say "never" to any potential opportunities in the future. Once thing is for certain and that is that I love public service and I want to keep doing it and serving this community and the people here and around us for a long time.
23 is a young age to get into politics, however, do you think the views of youth is accurately reflected in today's political environment, and if not, do you think that would change with more young people running for offices at all levels?
I think a lot of recent developments in government are the result of the baby boomer generation's last hurrah. They feel strongly about certain things and have come out in full force to voice their opinions recently, while a lot of young people have taken a lot for granted the last few years. "Politics" is always about who's talking, who's communicating best and who's got the strongest, most effective message that relates to the most people. I am hopeful that more young people will step up and take stands for what they think is right in the future. But something that's absolutely vital is that no matter who you are, that you educate yourself and get the right information. Being the loudest in the room doesn't make you the smartest or most well rounded. It's important that people educate themselves, view things from multiple angles and then put their thoughts and views into action and make them more than just Facebook rants. Anyone can make a difference, especially at the local level.
Wow had no idea Whitney Point had such a young mayor, and I only live 35 minutes away. Any how, how was being so young and running for mayor first received? We're people skeptical of your age and possible experience?
Running for office as a young person certainly comes with its own set of challenges. But that said, there are other people who get excited that a young person is running. So it has its pro's and cons. There are certainly people who doubt your abilities at first but you can't let it slow you down. Educate yourself on the issues, be honest, listen to people, relate to them and work hard. You will eventually prove to people that you mean business and you're worthy of a chance to succeed.
What is the first step, and maybe some subsequent steps, for someone who wants to get started in public service?
I'd recommend attending public meetings. Attend your Village Board, Town Council, City Council, County Legislature meetings. Whatever the area that you're interested in, go and educate yourself. Speak your mind where you think it's necessary. And then don't be afraid to take ownership when it is needed. A lot of people often have this mindset that someone will roll out the red carpet for them to run for office. It doesn't usually work that way. If you want to do it, you should do it, no matter what anyone else says. Call your local Board of Elections, call your local party Chairman and ask for help running for the office of your choice. It can be done and if you work hard, it will happen. You just have to stay vigilant and always keep educating yourself. Show that you care.
When all is said and done, who do you think sits upon the Iron Throne?
Jon Snow. I think Dany will take King's Landing and ultimately (finally) realize that there won't be 7 kingdoms to rule if they are decimated by the White Walkers. She'll go North, help in the final battle against the White Walkers and die (probably sacrifice herself somehow). Most characters in aSoIaF don't get what they want or set out to get in the beginning so it would be the ultimate irony that she has been so set on winning the Iron Throne and then dies before she "really" gets to rule. I think Jon will become the reluctant King in the end. It's not what he wants, but it will be what he does.
Hello from Syracuse! Next time you're here stop by and I'll buy you a beer at our bar, The Evergreen in downtown. I think there's also a mayor in Oswego about 29 years old.
Edit: Also, we have spiedies!
Yeah there's another young Mayor up that way. I don't know much about him but I did hear about his election. Hopefully he's doing good things.
Destiny! Glad to see some love for my favorite game. What was your favorite expansion, and your favorite raid?
I feel like The Taken King was the best expansion all around. It brought Destiny forward in just about every way possible. I think King's Fall is also my favorite raid. I really like the scope of it. Although I did just do Wrath of the Machine for the first time and I like that it's so different from the existing raids. I do find it disappointing however that we didn't get much background on Aksis. He seems like a really intimidating and scrupulous foe.
Really looking forward to Destiny 2. I think Bungie has been extremely limited by their game engine and that when they apply the lessons that they've learned with Destiny and it's expansions, Destiny 2 will be a greatly superior game.
What is your position on consolidation with the Town of Triangle?
At this point in time I would be opposed to consolidating with the Town of Triangle of dissolving the Village and here's why; The Village provides many essential services for our residents. Water, sewer, fire protection, trash pick up, code enforcement, roads, sidewalks and many more. We have a long history of being very fiscally responsible and holding the line on taxes, doing more with less and that goes back a long time. It's not me taking credit for anything, it has everything to do with my predecessors and the way they handled finances and left the Village in good shape. But because of those specifics and the Village's history of sound management of finances and the services that it provides, I think the the services are in better hands when they're in the hands of those who have the experience managing them and can point to a sound record. This is no offense to anyone in the Town of Triangle operation, it just doesn't make sense to me to take what is essentially over a million dollars a year in taxpayer funded services and put them in the hands of a group that may be good at what they do, but frankly is accustomed to a much smaller scope of service and and smaller operations than the Village handles. I'm not convinced that there would be any significant savings there. I'm not opposed to consolidations across the board mind you, I just think in our particular situation, it doesn't make sense.
We are involved in a great number of shared services that I think do save taxpayers money. We partner with the Town of Triangle on street maintenance, our municipal offices and fire protection. We also partner with the Town of Barker on fire protection and the Village of Lisle on water service. Shared services can certainly be a good thing and save money where it's viable and we're always willing to look at options.
My town (Kennesaw, GA) built a skatepark in the local park and you would not believe how much it has changed. You see kids out all the time exercising and socializing, and a small economy has built around providing gear for kids at the park. It's been a positive addition for sure.
That's great to hear. That's how I envisioned it happening as well but I'm glad to hear evidence of it actually working that way. Maybe someday...
So did you want to be a Lúcio main, or did you end up that way because no one else would play support?
I've never really had a problem with supporting, I do it more than any other role in a lot of games, but I do like to mix things up. I often find myself taking on less popular roles in games for that very reason; No one ever wants to do it. I'm a Medic in Battlefield, I healed and tanked in WoW, etc. I do think Overwatch generally does a great job of making the support classes fun though. I really enjoy Lucio. My least favorite support is probably Mercy.
How similar to Game of Thrones is being the Mayor of a village in New York? I'd imagine very similar.
Well I haven't met any White Walkers and I don't have a Direwolf so...In all seriousness, politics doesn't play too big a role here at the local level. It's about getting things done for people. Things like fixing the sidewalk on this street, helping connect this family to a resource that will benefit them, etc. There isn't too much drama or deal making or anything like that at the local level. Village government really is street level. You can walk outside and point to the things that your tax dollars are going to. Streets, sidewalks, water service, sewer, fire service, code enforcement, etc. I like that element of it.
How do you feel about Obama removing The wet foot dry foot law?
I think that the US-Cuban relationship needs to improve and that we've seen some signs of it bettering during the Obama administration. Obviously Cuba has some work of their own to do but being that they are so close to us geographically, we need that relationship to get better. And I think we can achieve that by opening more "normal" channels of communication and commerce. Let Cubans see what our country has to offer. I probably dodged your question here a bit by not addressing the specific policy that you referenced, but I've felt for a long time that US-Cuban relations should be something to be addressed and thawed out.
As someone who lives 30 minutes from Whitney point. What do you think of the things that Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick is doing? Namely the safe injection sites for heroin user? I ask because we face an epidemic and the more respected officials we have advocating for harm reduction will help the fight communities face with addiction and the problems associated. Thank you for the AMA
I haven't done enough research into safe injection sights to be an authority on the topic. But there are two things that are certain; We have a serious addiction problem and the "old" ways of fighting drugs and addiction aren't working. We need new solutions and I think Svante and the crew that helped him devise the plan deserve credit for thinking outside the box whether you like the idea or not.
Please say "Candy Crush".
I've never played Candy Crush. I want to say that on record.
How do you feel about the recent presidential election?
I would generally characterize my reaction as disbelief. I have always considered it a great honor to serve the public and something to be generally honored and respected, even when you disagree with the people serving. As long as they act in a respectful manner and try to do what they believe is right, I can have some basic level of respect for them, even if I despise their policies and proposals.
What scares me now is that there is a person in charge who has no consistent way of thinking. He's short on patience, has no experience making decisions that effect a large pool of people and has never been accountable to anyone but himself. Sometimes I think its good to upset the apple cart. Sometimes a radical shift in perspective or tactics can be good. But I don't have confidence that this is the shift that our country needs and I'm not sure that a lot of people will understand that and/or the repercussions of it for years to come.
obligatory Deadpool-related question
But seriously, what do you think of the whole 'there's more to New York than New York City' thing?
I think that's absolutely true. Upstate New York has a lot of really beautiful natural resources, sites and cities. I just visited Thousand Islands for the first time a couple summers ago and it was a great, relaxing, tourist/vacation spot. I personally still have a lot of things in NY that I want to see and I enjoy the more relaxed rural life style of upstate compared to the city.
Favorite Overwatch hero?
I've put the most time into Lucio. I think I've got like 12 hours as Lucio but I try to play all of them. My favorite offensive character is probably Soldier 76...Boring I know, but hey, he's effective. My favorite tank is definitely Zarya. And I think D.VA is currently overpowered. Listen here, Blizzard.
PC or Console?
I currently play on Xbox One and PC.
Hey Ryan I'm from Ithaca, who's older you or Svante? Do you two ever get together to discuss being young mayors? 2nd question do you get your water from the spring on 79? If not you should, it's more refreshing than Fiji.
I went to college at IC actually so I'm very familiar with Ithaca. Svante is 3 months younger than I am. I actually turn 30 tomorrow. He and I have had lunch once and we've attended a few of the same meetings. He's a very down to Earth guy. You never know, we may partner on something someday.
As for the spring, I've never actually got water from there but I know a lot of people swear by it. But I use the Village water since it is part of a system that the Village manages...I'm probably slightly biased there.
Of the jobs you had prior to your election, which one do you think prepared you most for the responsibilities of a mayor?
Did you ever play Sim City when you were younger (or now, for that matter)?
Probably being in management for almost a decade now. It's helped me develop my understanding of leadership, people's motivations, what they care about, etc. In addition to that, my time on the Village Board and service alongside my predecessors obviously taught me everything I know about the actual Village operation.
I forgot to mention that I did play SimCity when I was very young, but haven't played it in a long time.
Would you like to keep moving up the political ladder?
I definitely want to keep serving the public. As long as I am passionate about it and feel that I can be effective, get things done and make a difference, I will keep doing so. I often get asked about future opportunities and you never know. Right now I'm loving my job as Mayor, focused on the tasks at hand and taking everything one day at a time, trying to run the best Village government that we can and do the right things for our greater community.
Who is your least favorite constituent?
I honestly answer to everyone. No matter how good or bad the question or issue is, I do my best. All of our residents are tax payers and I work for them.
I ran for City Council in small town Wyoming when I was 24. I found it to be a neat experience. I got 35% against a four term incumbent. What were your first thoughts when you knew you won?
My election was actually very intimate. Someone who I consider a friend and colleague was my opponent and the election got very tense. My first thoughts when I won were along the lines of getting the ball rolling. I ran on a platform of achieving certain things for our community and I immediately got to work trying to make those things happen. I am very lucky to have a great number of people who have supported me, helped us achieve our vision, moved projects and initiatives forward, etc. I can't communicate enough how grateful I am for the things that people do for our community, for our Village operation, for each other, for me, etc. But all in all, those were my first things. "It's time to get to work."
How do you like your eggs?