Dems fill posts

Last-minute pleading and a resolution weren't enough to stay the replacement of scores of Republican appointments as Democrats filled town posts during the 2008 organizational meeting Thursday, Jan. 3.

It was the first meeting ever in Colonie with a Democratic majority at the helm.

Incumbent Republicans Nicole Criscione-Szesnat, Brian Hogan and Tom With, with lists of the 19 appointments in hand, asked that they be given the opportunity to review the qualifications of some appointees. The Democrats insisted that all appointees were experienced and that appointments needed to be done as soon as possible so town government can move forward.

It's not that we are opposing anybody; we want to be better informed, said Criscione-Szesnat during the board's pre-meeting discussions. She handed a draft resolution to newly appointed Town Attorney Michael Magguilli, pitching the "Town Hall Integrity Act of 2008."

The draft sought to provide town board members more time to review the records and qualifications of the appointees.

Democrats weren't swayed.

In addition to the many appointments being made directly to the supervisor's office, which is a right exercised by previous administrations, the others are more than qualified for the jobs, said Supervisor Paula Mahan.

"These appointments were made as a new government comes into power in combination with you guys that are (already) here. It's different. It has never been done this way before," Mahan said.

According to Mahan, the process leading up to the appointments was wrought with misinformation as to who did what on committees, term limits and qualifications under the old Republican administration. In some instances, committee and board members who were deceased were still on the books. The process of reviewing what needed changing in Colonie took longer than anticipated, she said. The appointments that were made were selected based on qualifications and their abilities to change the town's course. It was six months of work done in four weeks, Mahan said.

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