As a representative of District 3, which includes Brunswick, Schaghticoke and Pittstown, Walsh has helped attract funding for law enforcement efforts, emergency preparedness and homeland security programs. Walsh also backed improvements to the county emergency communications system and supported tougher restrictions on paroled sex offenders to help protect children and families.
Elected to the Legislature in 1997 after serving as Brunswick supervisor, Walsh has served as co-chairman of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee and guided important legislation affecting law enforcement and public protection efforts to passage. As Public Safety chairman, Walsh draws upon experience as supervisor and 28 years of service with the Army National Guard, where he retired as lieutenant colonel.
“We have got more challenges to our safety and quality of life both at home and abroad. The Legislature has recognized that and worked hard to improve our emergency services capabilities,” said Walsh.
After retiring as chief of manufacturing at the Watervliet Arsenal, Walsh was elected as Brunswick supervisor in 1993. During his two terms, Walsh took a $300,000 deficit he inherited upon taking office and generated a $200,000 surplus.
As legislator, Walsh helped generate $250,000 in savings in the legislative offices, along with voting three times to lower the amount of property tax increases. Walsh also worked to protect needed services for seniors, veterans and youths, improve county roads and secure new and more efficient equipment for the county Highway Department.
“I am proud that as other counties were raising taxes through the roof and reducing important services, Rensselaer County was able stay on solid ground and continue to provide the services our residents rely on,” said Walsh.
Walsh was a member of the Jail Expansion Construction Design Committee during the Jail expansion project. As Chairman of the Legislature's Veterans Committee, he was the driving force of the Medal of Honor Memorial called the "Hall of Heroes" in the main lobby of the County Office Building. Walsh also sat on the County Master Plan Committee.
As an active member in his community, Tom was the past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, member of the 210th Armored Association, life member of the Military Officers Association, life member of Uniform Services, life member of the Lansingburgh Veterans, member of the American Legion of Wynantskill, member of the Brunswick Elks, past president of the Federal Managers Association and National Vice President of the Federal Managers Association and a member of the Brunswick Sportsman Club.
Walsh said he plans to focus on improving protections for seniors, and to make further improvements on emergency communications in the county. Walsh also plans to continue calling for reform of state and federal mandates that have burdened the county budget in recent years.
Tom and his wife Diane are the parents of five children, ten grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.