A clandestine taskforce created to resolve issues and open up discussions between the Town of Colonie, the Village of Colonie and Village of Menands met for the second time, in what Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan calls the \first formal meeting of the workgroup this morning (Thursday, Sept. 11).
The group was comprised of Mahan, Village of Colonie Mayor Frank Leak, Village of Menands Mayor Tom Coates, Town Attorney Michael Magguilli, Town Comptroller Craig Blair, Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners, Village of Colonie Trustee Tom Tobin and Village of Menands Clerk William Smith.
According to Mahan, the first meeting of the group was a meet-and-greet, so that everyone could familiarize themselves with each other. The second meeting, held today, was to discuss several topics, she said, including increased highway taxes both villages are currently required to pay, which are higher than those for Town residents.
One of the topics of the discussions are possible remedies for the villages paying higher highway taxes, and what types of reimbursements to village residents would be feasible for the town.
"What we've decided is to meet periodically," said Mahan. "We really opened up the dialogue."
When asked whether the villages highway taxes would be lower in 2009, Mahan said, "There's no way to know right now," and that, "We're short on time at this point."
At this point, the taskforce meetings have not been made known to the public. When asked why, Mahan responded, "If there's something that comes out of the meeting, then we will bring it back to the public."
Town Councilman Robert Becker said he had heard about the meetings but does not think he was necessarily invited to them. According to Mahan, if something comes out of the discussions, they will then also be brought to the council members, along with the public.
For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Sept. 17 print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.