Donna Gwin, President, Friends of the Berne Library

Mona Monette, Berne

Christopher Gerken had applied for a special-use permit on his home property in Rensselaerville so that he could list the property as commercial and avoid losing his auto-dealer license. Despite the fact that Gerken has no plans to actually operate a dealership there, many residents showed up in opposition at a public hearing in September. 

Supervisor John Dolce told the Rensselaerville Town Board last week that it appears the town never authorized itself to provide medical benefits for its retirees, despite offering those benefits for decades. The town is currently checking for authorization, but will discuss alternative solutions at a later date.

Early last year, the town of Rensselaerville learned that it would receive an $830,000 bequest from Jeffrey Bogue, a grandson of John and Susan Kuhar who died on Nov. 24, 2020, at age 68. The town plans to award interest earned on the money to community groups each year, under the guidance of a new advisory committee chaired by Rosemarie Kuhar, Bogue’s cousin. 

Leslie Anderson, Wright

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Fire Department Battalion is at it again.

For more than 20 years, the battalion has collected toys for needy kids.

This year’s drive started Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 2. 

“We are looking for anything from infants up to teenagers,” said organizer Kathy Wank.

Chris Smith

Albany County Legislator Chris Smith, of Berne, will remain in office after fending off a challenge from Rensselaerville Democrat Hébert Joseph, who had criticized Smith for being a low-energy representative. 

Berne voters ushered planning board Chairman Joe Martin and incumbent Al Thiem onto the town board for four-year terms. They also elected Jeff Harvey as justice. All three were uncontested. 

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. 


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