Cuomo, staffers retreat to Tailwater in Altmar

The Tailwater Lodge in Altmar. The building formerly was the Altmar Elementary School, which was part of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District. It was closed in 2012 and then purchased and developed into the Tailwater.

ALTMAR - The executive branch of state government — namely Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his department heads — spent two days in meetings and fun at the Tailwater Lodge in Altmar.

On Sept. 4 and 5, about 60 staffers met at the Tailwater to talk about issues the team wants to tackle in the coming year.

“We like to get out of the building and out of the city and talk about next year’s agenda,” said Richard Azzopardi, senior adviser to Cuomo. He said the group includes senior and top staff and department commissioners.

Cuomo came for one day — Sept. 5.

Azzopardi said the group “works the entire time” and the retreat is paid for out of campaign money — not taxpayer money. “We talk about what issues we want to push for the upcoming legislative session,” he said.

But the staffers and commissioners do get in a little recreational time. Azzopardi said some went fly fishing on the Salmon River, which runs right behind the Tailwater and through the hamlet of Altmar.

He said some of the state officials had never been to this part of the state so it was great for them to see the area and “gain a greater appreciation” for what the area has to offer.

Azzopardi said the staffers and commissioners have had a retreat for about three years. Three years ago, they went on a chartered boat up the Hudson from New York City. Two years ago, they went to the Bear Mountain Lodge in Rockland County, not far from West Point.

A Tailwater official said he cannot comment about visitors to the property.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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