To many of us here in Central New York and throughout the state, The Great New York State Fair is the shining jewel of the summer. It has taken on a tarnish after two scathing reports in less than three years. Tom Ryan was formally introduced as the new director of the air this afternoon and wants to rebuild a sense of trust.
"We are going to comply with all the recommendations that have been made, we're going to do it successfully, and we're going to put it behind us. We're moving ahead," says Ryan. "Everybody is very much in tune with what we need to do, but our job in the end in this year is to make sure we can have the best family fair we can have and that's what we're going to do."
The State Department of Agriculture oversees the fair. Four high level staffers in Ag and Markets and the fair lost their jobs after the latest inspector general report. Former Director Dan O'Hara was criticized for the way contracts went out to bid. His predecessor Peter Cappuccilli pled guilty to misdemeanor official misconduct.
Central New Yorkers want the fair back on the right track. Joe Serrao was visiting from St. Lawrence county for today's Farm Show. "As long as they're keeping the services up for the people that come to the fair and keep the fair fun to go to, that's the most important part," says Serrao.