There's a new face at the helm in Niskayuna town government and Joe Landry doesn't expect any major changes right away. Instead, the new town supervisor expects to build a consensus on the five-member town board before unveiling a series of appointments at the Thursday, Jan. 10, organizational meeting.
An attorney and former state Assembly staffer who has been active in local Democratic politics for years, Landry knows he can't make major changes in town government without the support of his colleagues on the town board. But he won't be facing a partisan split because everyone on that board is a Democrat as well.
This is not like being the mayor of a city where I could just appoint department heads. Instead, the town supervisor has only one vote on the town board, and we need to build a consensus before taking any action, Landry said. "I am trying to make sure that all of the appointments we are making are done at one time, and everybody on the town board has to feel comfortable with the appointments.
"Of course we only need three votes to get them approved, but I would like to get everyone on board if we can," said Landry.
While waiting for the first board meeting of the year, Landry has held a round robin series of meetings with top town officials. He's also looked into the logistics of how town government functions.
"There's been a big learning curve," said Landry, "but I started spending time in the supervisor's office before Christmas to prepare myself. I've been meeting with key department heads and getting their input on where we need to go in Niskayuna. They've all been very helpful."
The transition to the new administration began two weeks ago when deputy town supervisor Liz Orzel Kasper started filling in for Luke Smith, the outgoing supervisor.