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Residents get their money's worth during debate

Candidates for Colonie supervisor spar in debate over economic condition of the town

Candidates for Colonie town supervisor Denise Sheehan, at left, and Paula Mahan met in debate Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road. They discussed all manner of issues before a packed room, including some that have not seen wide attention in this contentious race.

Candidates for Colonie town supervisor Denise Sheehan, at left, and Paula Mahan met in debate Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road. They discussed all manner of issues before a packed room, including some that have not seen wide attention in this contentious race. Photo by Charles Wiff.

— Mahan said her administration has brought in $32 million in commercial and housing developments. She also said since she had been in office, the town has been able to streamline the planning process, a complaint she had heard from businesses before.

“The first question developers came in and asked me was to streamline the planning process because they can’t do business in Colonie,” Mahan said. “And we did that.”

The newly integrated town designated engineers was something Mahan was touting as an accomplishment throughout the evening, as she said it helped in streamlining the planning process to get projects such as the Fresh Market Plaza installed. Sheehan disputed that fact and said that it has actually slowed things down, and added things were much different when she was director of the Planning and Economic Development Department for 11 months in 2007.

“When I was planning director in that year we brought in 500,000 square feet in commercial development,” Sheehan said. “In the last four year, the town is still under 200,000 square feet of new commercial space. The town designated engineers were not born out of an improved tax base, businesses just see it as another step in the process… The town designated engineers has made the process more expensive and actually hasn’t improved the process.”

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