McDonald and Napierski’s positions have been co-opted by every candidate

To the Editor:
First, commendations to The Altamont Enterprise for continuing in its tradition of bringing comprehensive coverage to our local elections. An informed citizenry is the best equipped to make wise decisions for its leadership.

I read with interest the candidate responses to questions posed by the readership in the Oct. 7 edition of The Altamont Enterprise, as well as the overview provided in the article, “Board race is on.”

As was pointed out in Ms. Melissa Hale-Spencer’s article, the race being held now is quite different from the one that preceded it when Christine Napierski and Kevin McDonald, as primary candidates, ran together on a platform that featured among other things: genuine representation for residents, protection of neighborhoods, and preservation of natural resources.

At the time, this was a decided departure from the Democratic Committee’s endorsed incumbents; Amanda Beedle, of the planning board and Paul Pastore of the town board, whose voting records represented a very different ideology.

And here we are now. When Ms. Napierski got more votes in the primary than anyone else, it became abundantly clear that the platform on which she and Kevin McDonald had run struck a chord with the Democratic constituency, who were underserved and wanted change. Now their positions have been co-opted by every candidate vying for a seat.

Ironic coming from Amanda Beedle, who carries a voting record on the planning board that has been in lock-step compliance and the antithesis of anything resembling residents’ concerns as a priority.

But where it is particularly ironic is coming from Supervisor Peter Barber, whose statement about the common goal of the Democratic Party “to always improve the quality of life for town residents” is truly head-scratching.

It was Supervisor Barber who determined that the decision of Judge Peter Lynch vacating the town’s approval of the Rapp Road development project on the grounds that (among other things) the town did not compel Pyramid to consider alternatives with less debilitating impact to the surrounding neighborhoods and the Pine Bush, needed to be overturned.

And he prevailed. The State Appellate Court unanimously agreed that a town could not be legally obligated to compel a developer to pursue less egregious options for a project, as long as they complied with town codes.

In so doing, Supervisor Barber has cemented this as the position of the town. Guilderland, where we don’t have to enact a civic conscience.

If you find the idea of that sensibility defining our town to be disturbing, then it is critically important to vote in the upcoming elections. At stake are two seats on the town board that can sway the balance of decision-making.

And who we need in those seats are candidates who, without question, will be the civic conscience that our present leadership battled so diligently to abandon.

Kevin McDonald fought for his neighborhood and our unique environmental treasure in the Pine Bush when he committed to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Pyramid and the town over the Rapp Road development project.

The tenacity and lessons learned from that fight, lead him to want to be a defender for the quality of life of all Guilderlanders. Kevin has actionable experience waging those battles. As residents, we need him to be in one of those seats.

Kevin will be holding a Meet and Greet this Saturday, Oct. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ballet Chalet on State Farm Road. It is behind the Summit at Mill Hill and across the street from Stewart’s on State Farm Road. The building is behind the new Mill Hill apartments.

Please come out and meet candidate Kevin McDonald. Light refreshments will be served. Masks are strongly encouraged as it is an indoor venue.

And vote! Early voting begins on Oct. 23 at the Guilderland firehouse at 2303 Western Ave.

Iris Broyde


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