The town of Malta's highly respected planner, Heather Mallozzi, will be leaving her job and the area in mid-September.
Mallozzi, who has been in the job for more than five years, led the town through a major growth spurt, helping officials set the stage for future development by rewriting its master plan and lining up zoning ordinances to ensure the town's character is preserved.
The planner is a critical position in town hall, because growth and enhancing our character is our top priority, said Supervisor Paul Sausville.
Sausville served as interim town planner before Mallozzi was hired.
"I sat in her chair, and when she came to work, I took her around town and various neighborhoods, and ever since then, she's been a key leader," said Sausville. "Heather has shown energy, commitment and passion, and we're very proud of her."
Former Supervisor David Meager was the town's leader when Mallozzi was hired.
"I remember her second interview vividly," said Meager. "She left the room, and there was dead silence, and then I said to the others, 'Dazzling, isn't she?' She had our unanimous vote, she was a shining star. We hired her, and the rest is history. She led the town through a period of dramatic growth."
The Rev. Peter Klotz, the town's current planning board chairman, also remembers Mallozzi's tenure as being instrumental.
"She had the ability to look down the road and not be put off by the notion that no one else was doing this," said Klotz. "The town of Malta has become known as being ahead of the curve. She's brought us to a new level."
Klotz said Mallozzi's skill set fit the town's needs at precisely the time she worked there.
"Things are much more complex in towns than they were 10 years ago, and she was familiar with contemporary tools and theories," said Klotz. "We've been working with companies like AMD, the people putting in the Hyatt, Saratoga Hospital. These are 21st century people, and we can't be a mom-and-pop store."