Mary Alice Bellardini
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Mary Alice Bellardini is a trailblazing leader who has made countless contributions to present day Cortland County and the community’s future well-being. An elected offi cial, a driven champion of historic preservation and an insightful advocate for economic development, Ms. Bellardini has stayed true to hervalues while advancing ideals that have benefi ted the greater good.
After a turn as a member of the Cortland County legislature, Ms. Bellardini focused her attention on a role she felt would allow her to be more involved in directly helping her community. In 1987 she was elected the fi rst female mayor of the Village of Homer. She held the position for fourteen years, accomplishing a great deal.
Her administration was responsible for new water and sewer lines and a much needed public health and economic development enhancement. She initiated weekly summer concerts, reopened the Water Street Bridge walkway and beautifi ed the business district. Mayor Bellardini was ahead of her time, championing causes like sustainability and historic preservation long before they were popular mainstream ideals. As a co-founder of the Landmark Society of Cortland County, Inc., Ms. Bellardini has brought the region’s compelling past alive. Through her leadership, the group has preserved the county’s history and helped showcase it for future generations. Homer’s historic district alone is home to over 200 structures of note, the largest such district in New York State.
Ms. Bellardini has also shared her wisdom and expertise with statewide organizations and local business groups. In 2000, Governor Pataki appointed her to New York State’s Quality Communities Interagency Task Force. She is a past president of the New York State Conference of Mayors and has served on the boards of directors for many organizations including the Cortland County Business Development Corporation/ Industrial Development Agency.
She serves actively with the Landmark Society, and is a volunteer with several organizations including the Homer Garden Club and the Center for the Arts of Homer.
A recent recipient of the “Women Who Make America” award from WCNY-TV, Ms. Bellardini has her sights set on preserving the past, rejuvenating the present and enriching the future.