Noah Zweifel

Incumbent Rensselaerville Town Board member Brian Wood and former highway superintendent Randall Bates were elected to the town board in a three-way race for two seats, winning over newcomer Patricia Byrnes, who, like Wood, ran on the Democratic line. For justice, Republican Richard Tollner and incumbent Democrat Greg Bischoff are nearly tied, with Bischoff leading Tollner 263-to-260. 

Democrat Russ Pokorny got 429 votes to Jamie Berenger’s 238. Berenger, a Berne-Knox-Westerlo school bus driver with no known political history, was the Republican Party’s pick to challenge the only Democrat on the Republican-dominated board. All other seats were uncontested, sought only by their Republican-backed incumbents.

Supervisor Matt Kryzak, on the Republican line, was re-elected to a four-year term with 41 percent of votes, despite challenges from body-shop owner Donald Morin, getting nearly 32 percent of votes on the Democratic line, and Angela Carkner, getting 27 percent of votes on an independent party line. Town board incumbents Peter Mahan and Amie Burnside also defended their seats.

Arts Around Greenville — a local arts initiative under the Community Partners of Greenville umbrella — is hosting a series of events at the Greenville Public Library this month and next that highlight small, for-sale works created by local artists. 

The winery relocated from Guilderland to the former Picard’s Grove in New Scotland this summer, and held a soft opening this week for its expanded tasting room, where patrons can sample their ultra-rare birch wine, among other offerings. 

Berne has proposed a tax rate of $4.60 per $1,000 of assessed value for 2024, making it the highest Berne tax since 2016, when it sat at roughly $4.66 per $1,000. It’s a 752-percent increase over the current tax rate of roughly $0.54/$1,000. 

Federal regulations generally prevent states and local governments from regulating airspace, as a newly proposed state law hopes to do by prohibiting drones from flying over schools. However, the Federal Aviation Administration makes some case-by-case exceptions for restrictions over sensitive areas, like parks and schools.

A foreclosed property on Knox Cave Road, which has a market value of $132,308 according to Knox’s 2023 tax roll, will likely be sold to a neighboring family for $5,000, pending legislature approval.

Albany County Legislator Chris Smith, a Conservative who represents Berne, Westerlo, Rensselaerville, and part of New Scotland in the 39th District, is defending his seat against Democrat Hébert Joseph, who’s running on the Working Families and Hilltowns First lines.

The Voorheesville Central School District held a budget forum last week where it invited discussion on a new volunteer first-responder property-tax exemption, and an expansion of both the senior citizen and veteran tax exemptions. The estimated cost of the board passing all three exemptions would be about $100 annually for the average taxpayer. 

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