NISKAYUNA: Race to begin

The local campaigns are kicking into gear as Niskayuna faces two high-profile lawsuits, one claiming discrimination in the police department and the other alleging that the town board failed to comply with state environmental laws when it approved a special use permit for construction of a new shopping mall on the corner of State Street and Balltown Road. Town officials have denied any wrongdoing and asserted that the law was properly followed in each case.

Development has been a major issue facing the town board. Twice in the last year the town board has narrowly split 3 to 2 on granting special use permits for construction projects. Both votes came in the face of vocal opposition from local preservation advocates and neighborhood residents. Each time, board members Bill Chapman and Liz Orzel Kasper opposed granting the permits.

Chapman has decided to seek a seat on the Schenectady County Legislature instead of running for reelection to the town board this year. Kasper is seeking reelection to another four-year term on the board and Luke Smith, who voted for granting both permits, decided not to run for reelection as town supervisor this year. ""

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