Long-serving members of the Assembly packed up their offices today–filled with memorabilia showcasing decades worth of accomplishments in public service. YNN’s Megan Cruz caught up with some of the members from the Capital Region to share their thoughts:

“It’s difficult to take things down, empty desks,” said Assemblyman Ron Canestrari (D-Cohoes)

“I’m seeing my entire professional career pass before me.”

A few floors down from Canestrari, the Assembly Majority Leader, you have Jack McEneny and Bob Reilly.

“When the pictures come down off the walls there’s a reality to it,” McEneny (D-Albany) said.

The three Democrats have traded their seats in the Assembly for seats on an airplane -
The destination: retirement.

Reilly plans to go to a Notre Dame football game next month, Canestrari (D-Colonie) is taking a cruise his first week of retirement and McEneny plans to write, travel and “catch up with the garden.”

While sad to be leaving, all say they know it’s time – Having made a difference in their time in office.

For Canestrari – one example from his 24 years in office: his work with the Watervliet Arsenal Partnership.

“To ensure that that industrial center would be the source of jobs and innovation in the area,” he said.

For Reilly, it was his Salary Fund. In his 8 years, he says he’s donated over a half a million dollars to local charities.

“The Cohoes Community Center, Colonie Senior Services Center, the Youth Center,” said Reilly.

For McEneny, he defines his 20 years in office by how he got to know the people in his district.
Advice he’s given to his successor – Patricia Fahy.

“Craft fairs, little leagues, or some of these very routine things where people are comfortable talking to you, because then they’ll open up and you’ll be a better legislator,” said McEneny.

The three say they have no regrets because they’ve served with integrity. Phil Steck taking over for Reilly, John McDonald for Canestrari.

“It’s time to pass the torch on,” said McEneny.

“We got good competent people replacing us and now they can make their path here.”