DRYDEN, N.Y. — Legislator Martha Robertson, who represents Dryden, has announced she will seek re-election to Tompkins County Legislature.

Robertson is in her 16th year on Tompkins County Legislature. She represents District 13, which includes the western part of Dryden. Robertson said there a lot of important projects and issues — especially related to energy and housing — that she would like to see through.

Robertson was a part of the planning committee for the Tompkins County Housing Summit last year. A housing strategy is underway, she said, and she wants to see it not just approved, but implemented.

“(The Housing Summit) really raised the profile of this housing crisis, now we need to do as much as possible to actually solve the problem,” Robertson said.

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Robertson said Tompkins County is in a “critical moment” in terms of energy. Robertson and other officials in the county have been exploring alternatives to a proposed $17.8 million West Dryden Road natural gas pipeline.

“Are we going to invest in an $18 million pipeline going in wrong direction?” Robertson asked. She said she believes Tompkins County can accelerate the move away from gas without constraining economic development in Lansing and the rest of the county, while creating new jobs in the process.

In February, Robertson and several other officials presented an alternative solution to the pipeline that will meet the county’s demands for local gas, while also balancing Tompkins County’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Read more: Tompkins County looks at alternative to West Dryden Road pipeline

Robertson was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Women’s Leadership Council of the New York State Association of Counties. The Women’s Leadership Council was recently created to provide support to women in county government. It was launched to coincide with the 100th anniversary of New York signing women’s suffrage into law.

Robertson said she wants to continue to be a voice for Tompkins County at a state level.

On Tompkins County Legislature, Robertson chairs the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee and is a member of the Public Safety, Jail Study and Old Library committees.

At this time, no one is challenging Robertson for the District 13 seat. However, Robertson said she will still be getting out to talk to as many people as possible and going door to door in her district.

Having been on Tompkins County Legislature since 2002, Robertson said she has gained a lot of experience and institutional memory.

“It’s really important to balance experience and institutional memory with being willing to look at fresh approaches and new ideas,” Robertson said. “I think I’ve been able to keep pushing new ideas along in my career as a legislator. I would like to keep doing that.”

Featured image: On right, Martha Robertson gives a presentation in February about Tompkins County exploring an alternative to a proposed West Dryden Road pipeline. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.