“We showed up with paint and wearing old clothes on a weekend,” she said. “We were walking through the halls when we were challenged by security. They thought we were breaking into the state capitol. I had to show my ID.”
She also had to show police that all materials were removed after the painting was completed, she said, because to leave them there was deemed a security risk.
“That was one of the funniest things that happened to me while I was in office.”
Now that she’s been relaxing for awhile, Sayward said she’s had a chance to think over what the job meant to her.
“I miss the people, the job itself, but the politics gets in the way of good government. And the politics is always there. You have to deal with it.”
She was in the Republican minority in the Assembly, which made it even more difficult to pass legislation, she said.
Her district included all of Warren and Hamilton counties; Essex County except for one town, St. Armand; and the Adirondack Park towns in northern Saratoga County.
“My whole district was in the Adirondack Park. I was the only person serving in the North Country who lived in the park. My passion has always been Adirondack issues and still is.”
While in the Assembly, she formed the Adirondack Caucus with Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru).
“Janet Duprey and I brought a contingent of legislators to Newcomb, and we stayed at the SUNY ESF (College of Environmental Science and Forestry) campus. We took them to Blue Mountain Lake, we showed them sustainable forestry at ESF, bio-fuels.”
Sayward said efforts like that helped her gain support for Adirondack Park issues from Assembly members who ordinarily wouldn’t know what those were.
“It’s essential to make sure you reach out and let folks understand and (that you) explain your issues. A lot of New York City and Long Island issues, I was eager to learn about. When you support the issues that are important to them, you can count on them to support you.