There are serious ethical questions in the Town of Colonie government.
During 2019, The Spotlight published stories illustrating that the town hires an outside engineer who also does private business with the town. The engineer then reviews the work of other developers — a real conflict of interest. Some Spotlight letter writers (e.g., the SAVE Colonie group) also illustrated this problem in the Spotlight during 2019.
Colonie has an Ethics Board but it does little to remedy these types of abuses. The Colonie town attorney defends this awful process by not allowing the Colonie Ethics Board to review the problem.
Another ethics problem, which amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, came to light during the 2019 Colonie comprehensive planning process. A formal written proposal was made to prohibit developers from making political contributions that benefit town officials while they have projects being reviewed by the town. The proposal was never discussed by the Town Board at its public hearings and the reform was never implemented by the Colonie Town Board.
Fortunately the Town Board liaison to the planning function was voted out of office.
There are some new Town Board members who can try to reform the process. Unfortunately, the Town of Colonie administration which has been operating in an unethical manner for the past 12 years is still in control. Back in 2013, there was a serious ethics lapse when it was disclosed that the chair of the Colonie Ethics Board worked for a firm that did business with the town and made campaign contributions to certain town officials.
Given the recent history of ethics problems in Colonie, it will be difficult to solve the ethical problems. The old Colonie regime benefits greatly in monetary terms from campaign finance contributions associated with their own ethical abuses.
Kevin Bronner Sr.