ROTTERDAM: IDA gets new chair

The Rotterdam Town Board appointed Angelo Santabarbara as chairman of the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency at its meeting Wednesday, June 27, after accepting the resignation of Arthur Brassard Jr.

Brassard, who is the Republican commissioner for the County Board of Elections, said he is retiring from the IDA because he has too much on his plate.

Former town Supervisor John Paolino appointed Brassard as chairman of the IDA in 2003. Santabarbara will serve out the remainder of Brassard's term, which ends June 13, 2008.

Santabarbara is a project engineer for Chazen Companies and has worked on many projects in the Capital District, including General Electric's Global Research facility in Niskayuna and the redevelopment of commercial sites like Starbucks and Cumberland Farms.

Board member John Mertz thanked Santabarbara for accepting the position.

As the chairman of the economic development committee, I am glad we have someone with a handle on the community and the smart growth that we want in this town, he said.

Supervisor Steven Tommasone said several new initiatives would be coming from the IDA in the future, which he said would be positive for the town, small businesses and job creation. He said the board is very focused on growing the town's tax base and creating more jobs, and he said he hopes the IDA will play a more active role within the town.

"Within the industrial park and with the different studies, you can see that Rotterdam is in a growth period," Tommasone said. "We need capable and outstanding individuals like Angelo to become more involved in town government."

Mertz said Santabarbara would be invaluable to the town during these negotiations.

"I'm sure he will be able to cultivate a positive atmosphere for small businesses in the town. Small businesses are more valuable per square foot than larger corporations, and I'm excited to see how he can work with those businesses," Mertz said.

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