COOPERSTOWN _ Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, is not on Caroline Kennedy's bandwagon.
Arcuri, who was in Cooperstown on Thursday to announce that the village fire department had received a federal grant, said he believes an upstate New York resident should succeed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.
Clinton has been tabbed as the next secretary of state, and recently, Caroline Kennedy, 50-year-old daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, has expressed an interest in succeeding her.
The two-year Senate appointment will be made by Gov. David Paterson, and Arcuri said he hopes the governor selects an upstate resident.
``I think it's about time; the last time we had a senator from upstate was Charles Goodell,'' said Arcuri.
In 1968, Goodell, who was born in Jamestown, was appointed by former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to succeed the late Sen. Robert Kennedy after Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy's uncle, was assassinated. He served through 1970.
Arcuri noted that the state has two senators from downstate, Clinton and Charles Schumer.
``We've been lucky that they're both familiar with and concerned about our region, but I think it would be nice to have someone from this part of the state,'' he said. ``My own choice is (Utica Assembly Member) RoAnn Destito.''
Recently elected to a second term representing the 24th Congressional District, Arcuri spoke to reporters at the Cooperstown Fire House on Thursday morning. He brought with him a presentation check for $36,533, a grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security to the village.
The money will be used to purchase an air compressor and cascade system to help firefighters breathe in hazardous environments, and also for improvements to the department's radio system, according to Fire Chief Brian Clancy.
Clancy and Cooperstown Mayor Carol Waller thanked Arcuri for guiding the grant to the department, and Arcuri thanked firefighters for their dedication to duty.
Also on hand were Deputy Mayor Jeff Katz and former state Assemblyman Anthony Casale.
Before leaving, Arcuri, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he believes that high-speed Internet connections will be a part of a forthcoming economic stimulus package.
``I think we have to include broadband improvements when we're making the upgrades in transportation,'' he said. When roads are torn up and redone, optic fiber should be part of the final project, he said.
``That's especially important for rural areas, like much of Otsego County,'' he said.
Arcuri said he has been impressed with the quality of President-elect Obama's Cabinet choices, such as Eric Holder for attorney general, and looks forward to working to working with the new administration next year.