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Colonie town board seeks public input

Other, local measures, were discussed at the meeting that would allow the people of Colonie to directly get involved.

Mahan said the town had already begun eliminating pet-waste bags throughout The Crossings park, and will instead have drop boxes throughout the town where people can deposit their used plastic grocery bags so that dog walkers may take them instead of using bags funded by the town. This recycling of bags is expected to save the town about $4,000.

During public comment, C.J. O'Rourke, of Loudonville, asked how long Sikura had been the town's financial advisor. Sikura said he had been advising the town since the early 1970s on Colonie's bond.

O'Rourke then asked Sikura if the previous board had then been aware of the accumulating deficit, to which Sikura replied, "Yes."

Turning to board member Tom With, a Republican who had been part of the previous administration, O'Rourke asked, "Tom, were you aware that the town was involved in this sort of deficit?"

"Not at these numbers," With said, at which point Town Attorney Michael Magguilli told O'Rourke that his commentary was getting out of order.

"Why weren't we, the town people, informed?" asked O'Rourke.

O'Rourke's concern that the public was left in the dark while the previous administration had known all along about the town's financial distress was mirrored by several residents who rose to the microphone to speak that night.

Mahan said that transparency is an important part of this process and that it is important to keep the public aware of what is going on with the town deficit.

She explained that though her administration has just begun, she already has plans in place to avoid this type of deficit occurring under her term.

She said by going to meetings in her neighborhood, she has learned from this experience and that she will not "put a stamp" on anything that the public will not be involved in.

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