New York State Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Milton) is presently dealing with a serious illness, according to his Chief of Staff Steve Gold. He said Skartados entered the hospital on March 23 to attend to this matter.
Skartados was born in 1956 on Astypalaia, Greece, a small island in the Aegean Sea. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14 with his mother, settling in Riverdale, NY.
Gold said Skartados focused on his education, graduating from George Washington High School and went on to earn a BA in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz and a MA in International Studies from the University of California at Sacramento.
After graduation, Skartados entered an internship at the Center Against Apartheid at the United Nations.
Eventually Skartados returned to the Hudson Valley and was a small businessman and later purchased a small farm in Milton.
Skartados lost a bid for a seat on the Marlborough Town Board but got back in the game and won a seat in the New York State Assembly in 2008. Two years later he lost to Tom Kirwan by 12 votes. After Kirwan’s passing, a special election was held in March 2012, which Skartados won.
Gold said Skartados has been able to secure significant funding for a variety entities and projects in his district; for municipalities, parks, libraries, soup kitchens, not-for-profits, town infrastructure, and recreation trails. He was particularly helpful to local school districts, securing funding for buses in Highland and $4 million (of a total of $8 million) in emergency state aid to the Marlboro School district that was received over the course of two years during the power plant bankruptcy.
In his first term in the Assembly Skartados was able to secure $8 million in the state budget that was used to complete the Walkway Over the Hudson.
Gold said Skartados is the kind of public servant, “who shies away from trying to get the spotlight but wants to do the public good in every way he can.”
Skartados was particularly proud of coming from the country where democracy was born.
“Frank has a very philosophical view about government and the importance of participation,” Gold said. “He strongly believes we are a nation of immigrants and we are stronger for that reason.” He became a citizen on November 24, 1976, the year of the U.S. Bicentennial.
Gold said Skartados has always taken a strong interest in the education of children and that the state must provide more resources to the students so they will “be ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”
By Mark Reynolds