COLONIE — The Town Board, by unanimous vote, approved Supervisor Peter Crummey’s latest nomination to the Planning Board — Megan Baker, a former news reporter and the owner of a public relations firm.
She will replace Paul Rosano, a former Town Board member who was appointed in February, 2020, to serve the remaining two years of a three-year term. The position is through Dec. 31, 2024 and pays $3,786 per year.
“As a Town of Colonie resident for more than eight years with two of my children in the public school system, I’m passionate about my community — and about enhancing the quality of life for all residents,” Baker said in a statement. “I also know from my experience as a business owner for 15 years that steady progress towards a bright future takes collaboration: with residents, business owners, developers, board members and elected officials working together to determine a path forward.”
She is also vice co-chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter and is on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania College of Education and Communications Dean’s Advancement Council. Baker was previously on the Colonie Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
For a decade, the 1996 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania was a broadcast journalist for Capital News 9, which is now Spectrum News.
She launched her own public relations firm, Baker Public Relations, in 2007 and now has offices in Albany and Pittsburgh. The state certified Women Owned Business Enterprise has a wide range of clients including those in health and wellness, food and beverage, hospitality, travel and tourism, education and government.
“I’m very fortunate she has agreed to join the administration,” Crummey said. “She brings years of experience asa business owner and a person who has workedwith individuals and businesses herself and I believe we will all benefit from her involvement.”
Since Crummey took the oath in January, the Planning Board has undergone significant changes. Steven Heider, the former police chief, replaced 14-year veteran Peter Stuto as chair and Kevin Bronner Jr. and Michael Malone Jr. were appointed — one to replace Heider and one to take over for Susan Milstein, whose term expired at the end of 2021.
Bronner is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy and UAlbany and works for Park Strategies on government consultations. Malone is a Colonie High and SUNY at Utica grad and is a principal in Malone and Tate Builders.
“He has been on the Planning Board for four years and, of course, has a lifelong commitment to our town and not only going to high school, but beginning as a dispatcher to a police officer to police chief,” Crummey said of Heider. “He certainly brings a length and breadth and perspective to our town. I doubt anyone knows more about the 1,100 roads in the town than Chief Heider.”
To his appointment of Bronner and Malone he said: “Each one brings their own skill set to the table. Malone is the second generation to own a construction company so he is someone who brings knowledge of materials and building and it will be beneficial to have someone who understands construction. Bronner is born and raised in Colonie and is raising his own children in Colonie and he is certainly no stranger to Town Hall as his dad was a distinguished Town Board member years ago.”
Three members remain who were appointed by the now retired Supervisor Paula Mahan — Frederick Ashworth, Lou Mion and Craig Shamlian.
The board usually meets twice a month and deals with the larger commercial and residential projects in town to ensure they meet various zoning and land use regulations. Often, the interests and rights of a developer conflict with those of the existing neighborhoods.
“While our town made some great strides under the previous supervisor, there is more work to be done,” Baker said. “I fully understand that the duties of the Planning Board may be challenging, and the stakes for Colonie have never been higher. However, I am steadfastly committed to serving our town fairly and I am honored to do so under Supervisor Peter Crummey.”
In other action the Town Board unanimously approved the appoint of:
• Sarah Delaney Vero as a member of the Significant Environmental Areas Management Appeals Board and the Flood Plains Management Appeals Board through the end of 2022.
• Tina Mesiti-Ceas to the Conservation Advisory Council through the end of 2022 to fill the unexpired term of Benjamin Mastaitis.
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