Who: Roy McDonald.
Where: Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Q. What are you doing today?
A. I’m with my granddaughter, Jane, at the library. She comes over every Wednesday for a wonderful reading program they have for little kids. My three daughters all used to go to the program when it was at the old Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Q. What occupies your time these days?
I have a wonderful wife, and children and grandchildren and now I’m able to spend a little more time with them. I’m very blessed. I’m also on a variety of boards: New York State Military Museum Board of Directors, the Saratoga Bridges Board of Directors, Wildwood School System Advisory Board, the CAPTAIN’S Advisory Board. I’m very active in disabilities at the statewide level. I have two autistic grandsons who are the focal point of my life, and I’m going to have my sixth grandchild in May.
Q. You spent a lot of time in public service as State Senator, as Assemblyman, and as longtime Supervisor for the town of Wilton. To what extent do you still follow politics, locally and nationally?
A. I have nothing but positive things to say about the local situation. Nationally, I think people need to be a little more focused to get something accomplished, rather than being negative.
Q. Is there something you’re most proud of during your years of public service?
A. I’m very honored I had a long career and that I was able to do a lot of things in the town of Wilton, Saratoga County, in the Assembly and the Senate. I also had a business career. I’m very gratified. I love them all. It’s like having children, they’re all equal. I specifically look at the town Wilton when I was Supervisor for 23 years. People say: you did a lot of stuff. But, nobody gets everything done by themselves. There’s good people in a lot of these places. We accomplished a lot and today the town of Wilton is the envy of just about every town in the state of New York.
Q. What’s the most recent movie you have seen?
A. I went to see Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman (“Going in Style”) a couple days ago with my wife. We go to a lot of movies. We go to the one in the mall, and we go to the new one in Saratoga Springs as well.
Q. What brush have you had with fame?
A. I met President George Bush (43) and I met President Obama. The irony is most of the conversation was about baseball. President Bush was a Texas Ranger fan and President Obama was a Chicago White Sox fan and when they asked me who I liked, I said: the New York Yankees. OK? And they just smiled. And everybody knows I’m a Buffalo Bills fan.
Q. Have you gotten over Scott Norwood’s famous “wide right” kick that resulted in the Buffalo Bills losing to the N.Y. Giants in Super Bowl XXV ?
A. I had the honor of meeting (former Bills’ quarterback) Jim Kelly some years ago and we talked about that. He told me it was one of the worst moments of his life. But he liked Scott Norwood. And you know “Tuna”? (Former Giants’ coach) Bill Parcells lives in the Saratoga area and I met him one morning at a Stewart’s. I was wearing a Yankee hat and he came up to me, said he was a Yankee fan and asked me, “Do you root for the Giants?” I said, no, actually I root for the Buffalo Bills. And he asked, “Do you forgive me?” And I said, “no,” ha. But, he’s a very good man.
Q. How has Saratoga Springs changed over the decades?
A. Saratoga Springs is the best city in upstate New York. I think it’s one of the best cities in the country if you look at proportional size. I think it’s a safe city, the people are very family-oriented - and that’s the key. You protect the people, the taxes are reasonable, and the suburbs: Wilton, Malta, Clifton Park, Halfmoon; I’ve watched school systems like Schuylerville and South Glens Falls, and Ballston Spa become tremendous school systems. I’ve seen it with Saratoga Springs when my children went to school, and Shenendehowa, and now the smaller schools are getting the benefit of this. So, we’ve been blessed. And most importantly, we’ve been blessed with good people. People who move here, or are from here and stay here. It’s beautiful.