The former chairman of the New York State Republican Committee unofficially took the helm of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority’s Board of Directors today.
Pat Barrett sat in as chair of Tuesday’s regular ORDA meeting, replacing Joe Martens, who earlier this month was confirmed as the new commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Barrett worked for Cuomo during his gubernatorial campaign last year, and served as chair of the state Republican committee from 1989 to 1991.
At the beginning of today’s meeting, Barrett thanked Joe Martens for his tenure as ORDA chairman and wished him luck in his new role.
“Joe will do it in a great manner, and he has the full faith and confidence of the governor, and you got one tough job ahead of you,” Barrett said.
Barrett currently serves on the board and served as its chairman before Martens.
Martens will remain on the board as the representative for the DEC, according to ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin. He thanked the board of directors for its help and support over the years.
“I had big shoes to fill,” Martens said, referring to Barrett. “And now you have big shoes to fill. The nice thing about the transition here is that I’m still on the board, I still love and believe in the institution and the organization, and it’s great to have you back at the helm here – it’s going to be a pleasure working with all of you.”
“Believe me, we’ll need your help,” Barrett quipped.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make an official announcement about Barrett’s chairmanship soon.