Colonie councilman blasts review panel

Dustin said he is also concerned about the lack of involvement of local business organizations, such as the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Colonie Chamber of Commerce; the environmental community; and the senior community.

Chris Hawvard, executive director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, said the organization would love to be a part of the review process, but added that Pine Bush officials didn't have any concerns about it.

"We are interested," he said. "But we're not necessarily opposed to the process. At this point, I don't have any expectations the town is trying to hide something from us. People have felt it's not transparent, but it's too early to say."

Ed Neary, executive director of the Beltrone Senior Living Center, said Beltrone would like to be involved in the process, but the town has indicated that Carey is representing senior citizens.

"If that's the way it is, so be it," said Neary. "I feel confident with our relationship with the Senior Resources Department."

He said being at those review committee meetings would allow for more fluid feedback, as opposed to just being able to comment on the minutes.

"I don't think it's as good of a process as if you were there," said Neary.

Mahan insists that the review process has not changed from 2005 and that nothing can be decided on before presenting the plan to the Town Board. She said as the review goes forward, people will be kept informed, and the Planning Board will be in the know.

"The business community is a huge part of the process," she said. "We certainly invited the [Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Colonie Chamber of Commerce] to review our findings and make suggestions."

She added that residents can also go to the town's website and submit an e-mail suggestion to compplan@colonie.org, or they can mail in written comments to the Town of Colonie Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, c/o Town of Colonie Building Department, 347 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, 12110-2290.

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