At the December 18, 2018, City Council meeting Mayor Meg Kelly announced appointments to three city boards.
I am familiar with three of the land use board appointments: Jerry Luhn, Kathleen O’Connor, and Sarah Boivin. While I do not know all of them well, I know that they are not directly associated with the real estate industry. I feel confident that they will be excellent appointments. I am not familiar with the other two who were appointed as alternates on these boards.
Sarah Boivin’s appointment to the Planning Board is particularly noteworthy as I recall her playing an important leadership role in opposing the expansion of casino gambling in Saratoga Springs several years ago.
I am not a fan of Brendan Chudy who was reappointed to the Ethics Board. As the readers of this blog may recall, working with the Public Safety Commissioner, Chris Mathiesen, a number of us advocated for amendments to the city ethics code meant to strengthen it. Mr. Chudy did not only oppose these changes, he was openly hostile to them. I was singularly impressed with the poverty of his arguments, especially in light of the fact that he is an attorney. Fortunately the City Council adopted the changes anyway.
The following is part of the transcript from the meeting where the Mayor made the appointments and gave a short bio for each appointee.
APPOINTMENTS: CITY BOARDS
Tonight I am making appointments for the City’s Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. These do not require the approval of Council, pursuant to City Charter section Title 3, Section J.
Zoning Board of Appeals
We have two re-appointments and two new appointments. New appointees include:
- Kathleen O’Connor, Alternate, 2-year term runs from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2020
Kathleen is a City resident who is has been employed by NYSERDA, the NYS Energy and Research Development Authority for 16 years, currently as a Senior Project Manager member of the Energy Efficiency Department. Kathleen has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Albany teaching graduate level courses. She received an MS from University of California-Davis, and both a BS and BA from the University of Michigan.
- Jerry Luhn, ful-time member, replacing resignee, term runs from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2020
Jerry is a City resident and Attorney who served twenty-seven years as Assistant Counsel to the NYS Commission on Quality of Care prior to retirement from State service. Previously, he practiced with the Legal Aid Society in this region for ten years, serving as the first managing attorney of the Saratoga Springs Office. He has also been a VISTA volunteer with an anti-poverty law office in Brooklyn.
- Rebecca Kern, Alternate, 2 year term runs from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2020
Rebecca recently completed the term of a former ZBA member and has been asked to sit for a full term as alternate.
We have two new appointees for the Planning Board:
- Shawna Jenks, Alternate, 2 year term runs from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2020
Shawna is a City resident with strong family roots in the community. They have been involved in several previously and currently owned small local businesses, as well as worked with and as local government officials. Shawna is currently partners in a business opening this June 2019 in downtown Saratoga, the Whitman Brewing company.
- Sara Boivin, 7 year full time, term runs from 01/1/19 through12/31/25
Sara is a City Resident employed as the Art Curator for the Fine Arts and Yates Gallery at Sienna College. She has been a, Community Organizer, and was formerly with the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation where planning, zoning and design issues were often addressed.
I am also making Ethics Board appointments this evening. Council approval is required for Ethics Board appoints, pursuant to the Code of Ethics (2015) Section 13-5 (C).
Two recommendations are re-appointees:
- Brendan Chudy,5 year term running from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2023
- Eileen Venn, 5 year term running from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2023
The third recommendation is a new appointee, whose resume was circulated to Council members on Friday December 14th:
- Kathy Jacques, 5 year term running from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2023
Kathy is a City resident and Registered Nurse currently working for MVP in Utilization management. She has also been with Saratoga Hospital in the Surgery Center/Emergency Department as well as other regional medical sites. Kathy also has Board experience with the Waldorf School of Saratoga. Springs.