Central New York remembers former Rome Mayor Joseph R. Fusco, Jr. today.  Fusco, who recently battled COVID, passed away from an undisclosed illness on Thursday.

Fusco served the city as Mayor from 2011 to 2015.  His public service extended far beyond his years as Mayor, and he is remembered by the community as someone for whom volunteerism and service was dear to his heart.

In an official statement from Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo and City Hall, Mayor Izzo said, Joe was a dedicated public servant...Joe also took great pride in his work as the caretaker of St. Mary’s Cemetery.  There was no question Joe loved his hometown, and our prayers are with his wife, Laurie, son, Rome Firefighter Joe III, and his grandchildren.”

Fusco, who defeated two-term incumbent Mayor James F. Brown, made headlines in 2012 when he switched from the Conservative to the Republican party in a move that he made, in part, to help him reunite the Republican Party.

During his State of the City Address in 2013 Fusco said, "The overall theme of my administration has to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.  That, I think, is the key to reducing the cost of our government."

Photo Credit: Gino Geruntino, WIBX / TSM
Photo Credit: Gino Geruntino, WIBX / TSM

Mayor Fusco often joined forces with other leaders - political aside - for causes that he believed would advance progress in Rome.  He was also a part of the locally famous "Longest Handshake" when President Barack Obama visited Rome's Griffiss International.

Fusco was known as well as a talented singer.  This morning Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente told WIBX, "You could not show up...at a community event in Rome... without Joe singing or being there."

Details on funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.  Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo has order flags to remain at half staff until the conclusion of services for Mayor Fusco.

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