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Two new town board members took the oath of office in Guilderland on Thursday, Jan. 3, changing the political makeup of the board and leading to an organizational meeting with more no votes than in past years.

Republicans Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich were sworn in Thursday, becoming a two-man minority on the five-person town board, which had previously been all Democrats.

Although all of the appointments passed at the organizational meeting that followed the swearing-in, many did so by a 3-to-2 vote.

"I'm happy that we have the chance to work on a better government," said Grimm, founder of Mark Grimm Communications. "For the last eight years, a lot has happened behind closed doors, and a lot of votes were 5-to-0. Public airing leads to good democracy."

Grimm said he and Redlich had proposed better nominees in some cases than those approved at the meeting.

"The reality is they have a 3-to-2 majority," Redlich said. "They have the power; that's the political reality."

Supervisor Kenneth Runion said he wasn't surprised at the organizational meeting, which "in my estimation, was fine."

Runion pointed out that the organizational meeting has the most controversial agenda of the year.

"There were some negatives, which were expected," Runion said. "After the first 11 items, things passed smoothly."

Runion and Redlich focused on priorities for the upcoming year.

"There are things that need to be done; some things are broke and we want to fix them," Redlich said. "It's why there was a competitive election."

Redlich pointed out that many of the nominees were good ones.

"I don't want to be seen as obstructionist," he said.

Redlich said he hopes to meet with department heads, and see where improvements can be made in town.

"Even if things are good, they can be made better," he said.

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