October 23, 2021

Homer mayor tapped for state position

Hal McCabe to lead rural agency; says he still plans to seek re-election

Homer Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe will continue to advocate for rural health initiatives in Homer and Cortland County as the new director of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, he said.

“I think it is a great opportunity to try and tie some critical services together for a more holistic approach to problems that have been hard to address through only one agency.” McCabe said. “My work should absolutely benefit Homer and Cortland as I can be an advocate and supporter of things like the rural health initiatives, transportation and even general health projects that organizations like Seven Valleys (Health Coalition) work on.”

McCabe said he does not plan on stepping down as mayor of the village and will seek re-election in November.

“I will remain in Homer, and work out of both the Syracuse state office building and the legislative office building in Albany,” McCabe said. He also said he will use his position to help other rural communities.

McCabe was announced as the new director by state Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) on Friday. He said he was recruited by former director Jillian Kasow and May’s office.

“Hal has been a vigorous advocate for the quality of life in rural Central New York for years and has earned the respect of farmers, educators, and leaders throughout the state,” May said in a release. “He will bring great energy and visibility (pun intended) to this position.”

With the new position McCabe will becomes and advocate in Albany for rural counties throughout Upstate, New York, according to the release. He said he would be able to impact agriculture, health and transportation, among other things.

McCabe was recently the director of outreach at NY FarmNet at Cornell University, an organization
that helps with farmers with everything from financial feasibility to the personal well-being of farmers and their families. He also served on the board of directors for the New York Farm Bureau in Cortland County.

Before that, he worked for former Rep. Michael Arcuri.

McCabe attended Ithaca College, where he received a bachelor of science degree in communications and public relations, and went on to graduate studies in political management at George Washington University.