River Rats

Joe Saraceni, Mayor of Baldwinsville 2007- 2014

Running east to west through the center of the Village of Baldwinsville, the Seneca River separates the Town of Lysander on the north from the Town of Van Buren to the south. Before the village was developed, the area was the territory of the Onondaga Nation, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy. Later, the river provided new settlers with access to undeveloped wilderness. Today’s village site was the only place for miles where the river could be crossed from north to south. However, rifts across the river from the foot of North Street to what is now the Riverview Cemetery necessitated the construction of the Baldwin Canal, which, in turn, provided a means of transporting goods to Syracuse, the Erie Canal, and the rest of the world. Until the middle of the 20th century, the river and Baldwin canal provided waterpower to the town’s many mills and factories. These successful enterprises helped Baldwinsville thrive and grow.

The river is still the heart of the village. At the turn of the millennium, Baldwinsville began to transform its post-industrial waterfront into a thriving Central Business District. As of 2014, the riverfront revitalization process is in full swing, with redesigned streetscapes, enhanced shoreline civic spaces, adaptively repurposed industrial buildings, and forthcoming promenades and boat docks. Today, Baldwinsville is a tourist destination, and a source of pride for local and regional residents alike.

Joe Saraceni, Mayor of Baldwinsville, April 2007-April 2014

Joe was born December 12, 1970 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse NY.  He lived in a four family apartment house surrounded by his father’s side of the family on Hickory Street in the City of Syracuse before moving up the road to his mother’s hometown, Baldwinsville. Joe is a 5th generation Village of Baldwinsville resident on the Nostrant side of the Family.  He excelled in cross country and track, and upon graduation from Baker High School in 1990, was fortunate to have received a scholarship to run for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he earned a B.S. in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. Joe returned home to B’ville and sold insurance door to door throughout upstate new York for Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (CLICNY).  After a successful career with CLICNY, he moved to Washington, DC to be with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Theresa Tangredi, where he sold television and video production services.  After their wedding, Theresa and Joe moved back to our hometown Baldwinsville to be closer to family and friends, and to raise a family. Joe now owns and operates Water Guys, a water conditioning company, and a building materials company, Upstate Material Sales. Joe and Theresa enjoy raising their daughter, Ainsley, and son, Joey in the Village of Baldwinsville.

Joe’s fondest memories growing up in the Village are the summer days spent on the Seneca River water skiing and fishing with his friends. He is grateful for the indelible feeling of support he has received from this community since he was a young river rat.

In 2003, Joe was elected Trustee of the Village, and in April 2007, he was elected mayor. Although his term ended in April 2014, Joe continues to serve on the planning board. He supported the B’Ville Voices project because “it incorporated everything I love about celebrating community.”