A fiscal conservative, dedicated to fighting for change, Joseph A. Griffo was elected Senator in the 47th District in the fall of 2006. He represents New Yorkers in Oneida, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Prior to his election to the State Senate, Griffo served as the Oneida County Executive. As County Executive, he played a principal role in the negotiations and advocacy to protect the defense department related jobs at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. His efforts resulted in an increase of over 600 jobs, an unprecedented accomplishment in Base Realignment and Closure Commission Hearings. Griffo also worked with his fellow County Executives to push the state legislature to reform the burdensome Medicaid program and develop an eight county coalition to fight the development a power line across Upstate York. On a local level, Griffo has worked to down-size county government and open the lines of communication between elected leaders on all levels. His efforts resulted in a one of a kind "Summit on Services" where leaders from the public, private and education sectors discussed the proper way to deliver taxpayer funded services. Griffo also worked to consolidate public transportation in Oneida County and streamline the operation to save it from elimination. He also implemented reverse-911 technology that enabled the County Emergency Management Office to alert residents in their homes in the event of a problem.
While serving as County Executive, Griffo was elected to the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Counties and was a member of the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Council.
In 1991, Griffo was elected Mayor of his hometown, Rome, NY. He served in that capacity for 11 years elected three times. As Mayor, the majority of the budgets Griffo delivered held the line on property taxes, while reforming government and delivering services to city residents more efficiently. His progressive style of leadership protected the local hospital from closure and helped to engineer an economic recovery following the departure of the Griffiss Air Force Base.
His work as Mayor garnered bi-partisan State and National attention. Former Gov. George E. Pataki appointed Griffo to serve on a blue ribbon panel on municipal lobbying and the state’s Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission. He was appointed by former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall to serve on the New York State Comptroller’s Advisory Commission.
During his time as Mayor, Senator Griffo was elected to the Board of the United States Conference of Mayors and the New York Conference of Mayors, serving as president from 2000-2001. He was also co-chair of the Amtrak Mayor’s Council
Griffo was first elected to public office in 1989, as an Oneida County Legislator. As a County Legislator, he was appointed Parliamentarian to the Legislature and was named the Vice Chairman of the Legislature’s Planning Committee.
Prior to his election as mayor in 1991, Griffo served as director of community relations for the City of Rome and as administrative assistant to the mayor. He was also appointed to direct a senior citizen’s program for the City of Rome. He began his career in public service by serving an internship in the New York State Assembly under former Assemblyman James Hurley.
A graduate of the Rome public school system, Griffo received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with Magna Cum Laude distinction in 1978 from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Senator Griffo’s wife Lorraine is an elementary school teacher in the Camden School District. They reside in Rome.