G’town landscape shifts: Brown, Snyder nix third terms

GERMANTOWN—Supervisor Roy Brown surprised most of the Town Board and all of the audience at Monday’s meeting with his announcement that he will not run for reelection this year.

Mr. Brown, a Republican, said he will not seek a third four-year term “for several reasons,” the most important of which is that “I believe in term limits” and “I don’t believe in becoming a career politician.”

But Mr. Brown left himself some room to change his mind. He said Monday that his decision doesn’t mean that he would not run for another town or county office at another time. And on Wednesday he allowed that he might accept a draft for another term as supervisor: “I guess there’s a possibility that if the party were to insist and we could agree upon the direction for the town for the next four years, I would consider running again,” he told The Columbia Paper. “But as I said, I believe in term limits.”

In addition to eight years as supervisor, Mr. Brown, 55, also served on the Germantown Central School District Board of Education, including a stint as president of that board. He grew up in Stuyvesant Falls and is a graduate of Ichabod Crane High School. After high school he enlisted in the Air Force; after completing his service, he moved to Germantown, where he had family.

Looking at the future, Mr. Brown said that just since his announcement he had received “a couple of calls about other opportunities that may be made available to me,” offers he said he would keep “close to the vest” at this time.

In contrast, despite his invitation Monday —“if you want to run, come and see me and I’ll tell you what it’s really like”—Town Hall had received no calls by Wednesday and he had heard nothing in the community about possible candidates. He expected to meet with the Republican Committee the week of January 28.

Councilwoman Joan Snyder (R) was the only Town Board member not to express surprise at Mr. Brown’s announcement. “I knew he wasn’t going to run again. Two terms is enough.” Ms. Snyder has also served two terms on the board and does not intend to run again this year, she said.

“I’ll be sorry not to have him there,” she said Tuesday, “but he needs some time for himself and his family.” She had no idea who might run, she said, but she grew up in Germantown and “it’s a great place. There has to be someone out there who would do it.”

“Despite speculation,” Councilman Joel Craig (D) said Wednesday, “I am not running for supervisor.” His term is up this year also, and he has not yet decided whether to run again. “That decision may in part depend on who runs for supervisor,” he said. “If they’re new to the job and I could assist in a transition, I might run again.”

“It changes the landscape dramatically,” was all Councilman Don Westmore would say. A surprised councilman Michael Mortenson wished Mr. Brown well “in his future endeavors.” Mr. Westmore and Mr. Mortenson were cross-endorsed by the town’s Democratic and Republican committees when they ran for four-year terms in 2011.

In other business this week the board:

—Approved a proposal from Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill to audit the town’s 2012 financial records for a fee not to exceed $20,000. “In the best case,” the cost will be $15,000, Victor Churchill told the board Monday. “But if we get into something unexpected… ” It has been 10 years since the town’s books were audited by an outside auditor.

—Approved the purchase of a laptop computer for the office of maintenance director Anthony Cidras. Mr. Cidras will get prices and report back at the board’s February meeting. Among other benefits, this computer would allow science classes in the Germantown Central School access to the town’s solar panel system for learning experiences.

—Discussed the sidewalk project with Fred Mastroianni, P.E., vice president of Greenman Pedersen, Inc., which the town chose as its engineering firm last month after some discussion. Columbia County has contracted with GPI to reconstruct the culvert on Main Street in the hamlet and Mr. Mastroianni has been assisting the town informally with trying to move along the expansion of sidewalks in the hamlet. Mr. Brown said he would inform the state Department of Transportation that Mr. Mastroianni now represents the town officially.

—Announced a vacancy on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Interested applicants should contact Mr. Craig at town hall, 518 537-6687.

—Announced a need for Meals on Wheels drivers, who drive a route in the hamlet, once a week. Those interested should stop at Town Hall or call Mr. Brown, 518 537-6687, ext. 301.

—Announced February 1 as the launch date for the new town website. Mr. Westmore gave a large-screen demonstration of the site. “This is not the end of this project,” he said. “It’s a fluid website, with lots going on.”

—Approved September 21 as the date for the second annual Hudson Valley Apple Festival. The town and Olana State Historic Site are discussing partnering on this year’s festival rather than having two separate apple festivals a few miles apart, as happened last year.

—Learned from Mr. Brown that the owners of the property at 4001 Route 9G requested removal of the town sign on their property. The sign welcoming people to Germantown has been on that property some 60 years, since Ms. Snyder’s family owned it. “The town has always been good about painting the sign, keeping it in good repair and mowing around it,” she said Tuesday. Mr. Brown said he would speak to attorney Barry Sacks, who represents the owners, and see if a detente could be arranged.

—Set the next board meeting for February 25, a change because the President’s Day holiday falls on the usual meeting date.

 

 

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