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Niskayuna Town Supervisor

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Elmer Bertsch (GRN) Retired

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    JOE LANDRY (DEM, IND, WOR, WEP) Attorney

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    YASMINE SYED (CON, REP, REF) Senior Budget Analyst

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Biographical Information

Please describe the most important issues you would face in this position, and how you would deal with them.

How has your background and experience prepared you for this position.

Education B.A. ,M.A. ,MSW
Experience Government service
1.Take actions to reduce the role of town government with the long term goal of having all town government duties and functions (and their substantial operating costs) assumed by higher levels of government (the county or state) and through inter-town services. 2. Encourage more open government. Example- The Metroplex Law allows the representative on the Metroplex Board of Directors from Niskayuna (Paul Weber) to make an annual detailed report on projects an d funds used by Metroplex to the Town Board Niskayuna UPON THE REQUEST OF THE TOWN BOASRD. The Niskayuna Town Board has never asked for such a public report. How are developers selected for getting Metroplex Funds? How are projects selected? Do developers political contributions play a role?
I was the first member of my family to attend college and started work as an attendant at Buffalo State Hospital. By the time of retirement, I had gotten faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, was selected to be the Duty. Director of the NYS Office of Mental Health for Long Island, held positions with the National Institute of Mental Health got an MSW and an M.A. and published several scholarly pieces in academic journals and do-edited a book on the future role of the state hospital. Simply I work hard and honestly.

Education JD – Albany Law School BS – Civil Engineering – University of South Carolina
Experience 2008 – Present – Niskayuna Town Supervisor 2004 – Present – Counsel, Schenectady County Legislature Previous Experience: Counsel to the NYS Assembly Majority Leader Counsel to the NYS Assembly Transportation Committee
I truly enjoy being Niskayuna Town Supervisor, and I find this position very rewarding. As Supervisor, I am able to make a difference in so many ways for our residents. I am able to ensure that (i) our residents receive the programs and services they expect, (ii) the Town’s infrastructure is updated and improved, (iii) our parks are maintained and improved where possible, (iv) smart growth is achieved and our neighborhoods are preserved, (v) environmental programs continue to be a priority, (vi) our police department has sufficient resources to ensure the public safety of our residents, and (vii) the Town’s excellent bond rating is maintained. Working with a very dedicated staff, I am able to continue to provide these services and programs, and to make a difference and go above and beyond for our residents.
My educational background has provided me with the fundamental tools to be able to understand and develop appropriate plans and approaches to be able to resolve complex issues. My experience as Town Supervisor and Counsel to various levels of government have enabled me to gain practical involvement with concerns and matters that are important to various constituencies, and to be able to develop pragmatic solutions. As I have learned, there is no substitute for experience, and I believe that my tenure as Supervisor continues to be beneficial to the residents of Niskayuna.
Education Master of Arts, New York University Bachelor of Science, Boston University
Experience I am an independent private sector professional with a background in health care management and corporate finance. Currently, as Senior Budget Analyst at Albany Medical Center, I help develop a $1.3 Billion annual budget that provides for the salary and benefits of over 13,000 employees, and funds numerous capital projects, which in the past has included the Upper Union Street Ambulatory Surgery Center.
The most important issues facing Niskayuna are high real property taxes, quality of life, aging infrastructure and the work environment at Town Hall. As Supervisor, I will fight for our fair share of sales tax distribution from Schenectady County so we can meaningfully cut taxes. I will protect the quality of life in our town by ensuring that Niskayuna’s police and fire departments have the resources they need. It is disconcerting that our neighboring city of Schenectady has the highest crime rate per capita in the state and I am committed to maintaining our residents’ safety from encroaching crime. I will repair and modernize our aging Waste Water Treatment Plant so that it not only solves our ground water infiltration problem but also has sufficient treatment capacity so that raw sewage is no longer expelled into the Mohawk River. Lastly, I will make employment decisions based on education, experience and performance and I will foster an environment of professionalism and respect.
As Supervisor, I will utilize my corporate finance background to formulate a budget that uses best practices and incorporates long-range planning, and maximizes the use of non-real property tax revenues to benefit our residents. As a former practice manager, I led a team of five and managed a high-volume surgical practice. Each day presented a new challenge that required quick and decisive leadership while working collaboratively and utilizing the strengths of each employee. As a woman, I bring a completely different life perspective to this position. I know how hard it can be to garner respect in the workplace and earn promotions based on merit. As Supervisor, I will make sure that town hall operates with integrity, where all employees are treated with respect, where jobs and promotions are based on merit and where retribution is never resorted to in getting my agenda accomplished. I will always maintain the hallmarks that I am known for: team work, respect and approachability.

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