Republican Denise Sheehan has ended months of speculation by announcing her run for Colonie town supervisor because, as a lifelong resident, she said she is worried about the direction the town is heading in.
The financial situation in Colonie has worsened over the past four years, and it is threatening our quality of life, she said in a press release. "We need a strong leader who is willing to open the books to public scrutiny and make the hard decisions to address this problem once and for all."
Sheehan touts her past managerial experiences as commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where she managed a budget of more than $950 million with 3,500 people working under her. Sheehan was also the Colonie Planning and Economic Development Director and is currently the executive director of the Climate Registry.
One of Sheehan's ideas is to make the budget process more open and transparent. This would include creating a citizen budget committee. She said that there is some expertise in the town that has been untapped.
"There are a lot of people in the community who have worked in the government and private sector who have a lot to contribute," she said. "Having a citizens' budget would enhance the decision-making process."
Sheehan said she is looking to restore faith in government by promoting public participation and not "interrogating" residents when they make public comment, hiring qualified workers and following the civil service program. This would mean using a merit-based hiring and promotional system by forcing employees to work their way through the ranks.
"I want to take the partisan politics out of hiring and promotion," she said, adding the town's ethics code could use some revamping. "I refuse to hire any of my own family members. It is something the town is seeing now. This is not what town government is about."