Longtime Chemung County legislator dies
After serving close to 40 years in the Chemung County legislature, Chairman Cornelius "Connie" Milliken has passed away. As colleagues mourn the loss, our Lara Greenberg has more on the legacy he leaves behind.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- For close to 40 years, Connie Milliken spent many Monday nights in this room.
"I owe a lot to him and he's one of the reasons I can stand here today as a legislator representing the 15th district," said Chemung County Legislator Rodney Strange.
Cornelius Milliken, better known as Connie, served as Legislative Chairman for nine years. He retired as Vice President from Thatcher Glass Manufacturing and Director of External Affairs at Corning Community College.
"Nearly 40 years of public service. Unheard of today. Loved the community. Loved people," said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli.
That love for the community extended to the Chemung County IDA and STEG, where he served as chairman and director. Not to mention involvement with the Clemens Center, Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes and the U.S. Army.
But most impressive were his many years serving Elmira's 7th district in the legislature.
"Every time I spoke to him, I learned something new. I learned more history about the legislature," said Strange.
"Connie had a very, very aggressive open-door policy to take public input, input from federal legislators. That was his style," said Santulli.
Milliken leaves behind his wife, eight children and 19 grandchildren. His is a void that colleagues say will be hard to fill.
A funeral mass will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes in Elmira.