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Brizzell passes torch

She ran unopposed and won the seat in 1995.

This November, longtime Republican rule in the town came to an end with a strong Democratic showing at the polls. Brizzell's seat, as well as three vacancies on the town board, were filled Jan. 1 with the town's first Democrats since Supervisor William E. Lothridge was in office from 1928 to 1931. It is the first Democratic majority in the town since its formation in 1895.

"There was nothing sexy about this election. No one showed up to vote," said Brizzell.

Republicans are still licking their wounds following the defeat. Brizzell said she has a good idea of what happened.

"The Rod and Gun Club, the deficit and change for the sake of change," she said.

Leading up to elections, public outcry was nearly deafening when the town came under fire for using public money and employees to grade and pave the parking lot of the privately owned West Albany Rod and Gun Club. Town officials defended the action as a benefit to the public. The same officials who came to the town's defense, for the most part, were the ones voted out in November.

That incident, coupled with a more than five-year $8.5 million deficit in the town, was the last straw for many voters.

Brizzell said she hopes the party shift will serve the best interests of the town.

In her last board meeting Thursday, Dec. 20, Brizzell thanked the public for her six, two-year terms as supervisor.

In return, outgoing board members Kevin Bronner and Ulderic Boisvert, Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Mauriello and others thanked Brizzell for her leadership.

Mauriello thanked her for naming him her deputy and for her commitment to dozens of town initiatives including The Crossings of Colonie park and the 2005 townwide comprehensive plan.

"It gives me a lot of satisfaction because I was part of a lot of enhancements to the town," said Mauriello.

Following those sentiments, Brizzell gave a final thanks and farewell.

"When I took office in 1996, I promised to leave this town a little better than I found it. I have conducted myself with the utmost integrity and sincerity and for the last time. The meeting is adjourned," said a teary-eyed Brizzell.""

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