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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 7, 2009

In New Scotland
Three incumbents and one challenger

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — With three seats open on the town board this November, the first challenger has thrown his hat in the ring.

Dan Mackay, a New Scotland resident since 1991 and a founding member of New Scotlanders 4 Sound Economic Development who works for the Preservation League of New York, announced this week that he will seek election to the town board.

Councilwoman Peg Neri, a Democrat, will seek a second term on the board, she said this week, and Councilman Douglas LaGrange, a first-term Republican, is leaning toward running for re-election.  Supervisor Thomas Dolin, a Democrat, has made no formal decision on defending his post, he said this week, but he, too, is leaning towards running.  Neri is a lawyer, LaGrange runs a dairy farm, and Dolin is a retired lawyer.

The past year has been fraught with controversy after developers made public plans to build a commercial development at the intersection of routes 85 and 85A, and issues related to planning and development have dominated town meetings.  Soon after the development plans were made public, residents opposed to large-scale commercial development formed NS4SED, which has shaped much of the discussion.

Mackay plans to get on the Democratic line by “delivering live Democrats” to the party’s caucus in June, he said.

New Scotland Democratic committee chairman, Michael Mackey, said that the party is expecting a higher turnout than usual, so he’s hoping to hold the caucus at Voorheesville’s high school on June 23.  The date has not yet been set.

According to the Albany County Board of Elections, 2,356 voters in New Scotland are registered as Democrats and about 20 to 40 of them usually show up to caucus, Mackey said.  The highest turnout the party has had is about 150, he said.

“We’re sort of in uncharted territory this year,” Mackey said of the expected turnout this year.

Asked if it’s likely that others will try to get the Democratic line, Mackey said, “I’ve heard from some people who haven’t decided.”

As of now, the only two people who have told him they will run are Mackay and Neri, Mackey said.

Joseph DeFronzo, chair of the Republican committee, which has 1,699 registered voters in New Scotland, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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