Thursday, December 29, 2016

Supe's Report

As I come to the end of my first year in office I’ve had a chance to reflect on what we have accomplished and how much is still left to do.  I’m writing an Annual Report to the residents of East Greenbush that should be available at the 2017 Organizational Meeting on January 3rd.  The report will also be available on this website.

When Tina Tierney, Tom Grant and I made the decision to run for office without the support or endorsement of any of the existing political parties, we were told that we were on a fool’s errand, and that no one could win by ignoring the political professionals and speaking directly to the residents about the kind of change we needed. We’ve worked hard to live up to the trust placed in us, and I think we have had a successful first year.  Thanks to Tina, Tom, Deb DiMartino and Mary Ann Matters for their substantial efforts this year.  Board meetings have been civil and productive, the blogs are relatively quiet, and the focus has remained on the important business of the Town.

For my part, I have worked hard and tried to be clear in communicating the reasons for the things we have done.  My job is made easy by the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who work for the Town of East Greenbush.  We have the best police department in the Capital Region.  Our DPW workers brave the elements and face dangerous challenges every day.  They’re the unsung heroes in our delivery of essential services.  The people who work in Town Hall have brought a level of skill to their tasks far beyond anything I could have hoped for when I took office. Special thanks to Lisa O’Brien, my administrative assistant, who deals with staff and the public with a friendly professional demeanor that makes me look better than I deserve.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hannukah.  Thank you for placing your trust in me.  I will continue to work hard every day to represent you in a way that reflects well on this beautiful town of ours.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Good reason for E. G. Ethics Code Amendments

Ken Crowe's TU story about the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee offers a good argument for the proposed Ethics Code amendments.  Here's a link to the story:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Town Code of Ethics

Here's the link to the final draft for the Code of Ethics.  Have at it....

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Supervisor's Report and Notice of Special Meeting

We had to declare a local state of emergency for Hydor Drive due to the occurrence of a third sinkhole in the last five months.  The bottom of the stormwater pipe is corroded and water is causing erosion of the soil to the point where small sections of the road are collapsing.  We’re using cones to prevent residents from driving on the affected side of the road and are negotiating with firms that can repair the stormwater pipe as soon as possible.  We thank the people on Hydor Drive for their patience.  We will solve this problem.

Road paving has been postponed due to scheduling issues with the company that will be paving our roads.  Paving is now tentatively scheduled to begin on August 22nd.

Our Music in the Park concert series starts tomorrow night (August 2nd) at 6:00 p.m. in Onderdonk Park.  Music will be provided by Band of Gold.

On August 6th, there will be a volunteer community weed pull and clean-up at Hanpton Manor Lake from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  This event is sponsored by the newly-formed Hampton Manor Action Group.  See their Facebook page for more information on the group and this event.

The Town Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20th starting at noon and ending with fireworks over the lake at 8:00 p.m.  This is a great event put together by our Town Services Coordinator Jessica Lansing.
Public Notice: Special Meeting

The Town Board of the Town of East Greenbush will hold a Special Meeting on August 4, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 225 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer, NY 12144 for the purpose of scheduling a public hearing on a Local Law to waive the residency requirement for the Commissioner of Public Works.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Amended East Greenbush Ethics Code

Here's a link to the amended Ethics Code on the East Greenbush Town website, followed by a comment by Supervisor Jack Conway:

"We're very proud of the amended Code of Ethics.  It was redrafted by the Board of Ethics and completed by the Town Board.  Thanks to Kathleen Luria and the Board of Ethics for their skill and dedication.  The entire Code has been reviewed and major changes have been made to tighten up the requirements for financial disclosure, and rewrite the rules on nepotism and political activity on the part of Town officials.  The amended Code also includes a section on the grounds for removal of a member of the Board of Ethics.  That section is designed to protect members from removal for political reasons. Overall, the amended Code of Ethics helps fulfill East Greenbush First's promise to take politics out of our Town government.  Please review and bring your thoughts and comments to the Public Hearing.

Thanks,  Jack"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

From Supervisor Jack Conway....June 27, 2016

After six months in office, it’s time to take a look at some of what has been achieved by the new Town Board.

We implemented a difficult and long overdue sewer rate increase after intensive analysis and a series of public hearings.  We’ve overhauled the planning department with a series of excellent appointments and an emphasis on the use of in-house resources instead of expensive consultants. We created a formal system for tracking and spending Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) fees so that infrastructure issues can be addressed and our parks revitalized.  Efforts to improve the Hampton Manor Park have included a volunteer cleanup, new playground equipment, the return of the gazebo, a new mural and rebuilt chimney for the Lakehouse, and a developing plan for a new walkway.  We’re seeking grants to improve the Town Park and are investigating the possibility of restoring swimming to the pond in the Park.

We restored the question and answer format to Town Board meetings and added public comment to pre-Board meetings. We’ve established an Honor a Veteran Program. We’ve held several meetings with residents of Hampton Manor concerning the drinking water in the Manor.  Efforts to revitalize Columbia Turnpike include a Rapid Action Plan that will incentivize redevelopment of small businesses, redrafting of the Town’s Building Code and Zoning Ordinance to facilitate a stronger code enforcement program, and working with landowners to improve appearances.  The Weathervane is gone.  We signed a new contract with our Police Officers and hope to do the same soon with our DPW employees and the Bruen Rescue Squad.  We’ve modernized the information technology in Town Hall by replacing our obsolete servers and purchasing new computers.

What’s next?  We’re preparing for an independent audit of the Town’s finances for 2015.

Our summer camp opens on July 5th and once again it is fully enrolled.  Road paving is scheduled for July 25-27.  In August we’ll pass a new Code of Ethics, one that will further remove politics from the business of our Town government.  We’re researching accounting software for the Town Comptroller and new designs for our website.  There’s much to be done but we’re excited about what has been achieved to date.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

From Supervisor Jack Conway.....

The demolition of the Weathervane began today. It should take 3 or 4 days to complete the demolition and site clean up.  That building stood for almost 75 years but has been vacant the last 8.  This Town Board was adamant that the building had to be taken down but we got a great response from the property owners, who agreed that it was an important first step in revitalizing Columbia Turnpike.  It's going to take a lot of cooperation between the public and private sector to make things happen and today showed the promise and possibility of getting that done.

Today was noteworthy for several other reasons.  It marks the END of the decline of Columbia Turnpike.  It is the opening salvo in a major code enforcement push on 9&20. And it lays the groundwork for a Rapid Action Plan that will provide significant incentives for redevelopment on that corridor.  This Town Board has made code enforcement and the revitalization of 9&20 very high priorities. Today is only the beginning.

Monday, May 23, 2016

From the East Greenbush Town Website

Commissioner of Public Works Position Opening


 The Town of East Greenbush, New York is seeking a Commissioner of Public Works.  The candidate must have a strong knowledge of the principles and practices of engineering, and the design and construction of water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, highways, buildings and other public works facilities, including water and wastewater treatment plants.  The candidate performs work of considerable complexity and difficulty, including supervision of a large department and project management.


Bachelor’s Degree and five (5) years of experience in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and related public works activities, of which four (4) of the years shall have been in a responsible supervisory capacity, or an equivalent combination of experience and training.

A Professional Engineer’s license issued by the State of New York at time of appointment is highly preferred, but an otherwise exceptional candidate without such a license will be considered.

The position is an appointment of the Town Board, with a residency requirement that can be waived at Board discretion.

Please email cover letter, resume, list of references and salary requirements by July 1, 2016 to Lisa O’Brien, Administrative Assistant to the Supervisor, at  To learn more about the Town of East Greenbush, visit our website at

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We dodged a bullet

This study was just brought to my attention.  Looks like East Greenbush would have had a major problem if that Casino Thingy had been permitted to go forward as desired by the all-knowing insiders.  They should be ashamed of themselves for what they tried to dump on their neighbors. 

Institute report finds low growth in gambling revenue
By Jimmy Vielkind
11:13 a.m. | Apr. 12, 2016
As four casinos push to open their doors early next year, a report from the Rockefeller Institute of Public Policy found minimal growth in gambling revenue for states over the last decade and intangible costs associated with increased wagering options.

According to the report, which is funded by former ambassador Harry Blinken, state revenue from gambling grew by 1.8 percent between 2008 and 2015 — largely attributable to new casinos in Maryland and Ohio. Additionally, gambling revenue (including lottery revenue) declined slightly in 2015 for the second consecutive year.

"State officials considering expansion of existing gambling activities or legalization of new activities should weigh the pros and cons carefully," study author Lucy Dadyan wrote.

Here is the study:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Jack Conway's Supervisor's Report for April 1st.

On April 13, 2016 the East Greenbush Town Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed sewer user rate increase at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall.  Comprehensive information on the proposed rate increase is available on the Town’s website,  We hope residents will come to the hearing and share their views.

The rate increase follows a series of irresponsible Town Board decisions made by several administrations.  In 2008 the Town entered into a service agreement with the Rensselaer County Water and Sewer Authority (RCWSA) to borrow $6.55 million for sewers at 5.1% interest requiring an annual debt service payment of $400,000/year until 2048.  Efforts to refinance that debt are failing because the Town doesn’t have adequate documentation of how the money was used.  In 2013 we undertook a $15.6 million upgrade to our Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).  After closing on long term financing in August 2016, the town will owe another $700,000/year for 30 years.  No arrangements were made to pay these bills. The sewer user rates haven’t been increased since 2011 even though we knew the WWTP bill would come due this year.

The approval and lack of oversight for the RCWSA service agreement, and the inaction of previous Town Board members to adequately address the WWTP financing has led to the unavoidable and unpleasant necessity to increase revenue.  It has been suggested that we should generate the revenue solely from the tax levy, which would result in an 8% tax increase in the 2017 budget, a cost that would also be borne by non-users of the sewer system.  An 8% tax increase would depress property values and further discourage commercial investment in our Town.  We ask that you review the proposed increases, and note that the General District, which serves more than half the residents in Town, will still have rates that are among the lowest in the Capital District after the increase has been implemented.

We have to stop the profligate spending habits and irresponsible fiscal planning of the past.  Come to the public hearing and share your views with us.

Monday, March 28, 2016

From Save East Greenbush.....

We did it! With the generous support of all of you we have reached our fundraising goal! Our Grand Finale was a smashing success. Our final payment to our lawyer is in the mail, and we are free and clear of our obligations as Save East Greenbush.

We are very grateful to all the individuals and businesses who have donated their time, money, and goods and services, not only for this most recent silent auction and event but throughout the course of our campaign, to save our town from a casino. We truly banded together as a community and have much to show for it. We cannot thank you enough for being the town we all fought so hard to save.

We have some loose ends to tie up (a few of you still need to pick up your silent auction items!), but then we will be able to close the books on this chapter in our Town's history. At the end of April we will be shutting down the Facebook page and the website and officially closing out Save East Greenbush, Inc. We encourage everyone to stay involved! Please go to Town Board meetings. Show up to the County Legislature. Stay informed and connected. In fact, the next East Greenbush Town Board meeting is on April 20 at 7 PM. We'll see you there.


Your Friends and Neighbors of Save East Greenbush

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Final Save East Greenbush Fundraiser

It's been quite the journey. We're coming up on the two year anniversary of the first Town Board resolution to approve a casino in East Greenbush. A lot has changed since then (including the Town Board!). We've worked together to save the town from unwanted development and from back door deals. We have one last bill to pay off as Save East Greenbush. Then we can get on with other good works to further our town's well being.

Meantime, please join us for our final fundraiser on Saturday, March 19 The Elks Club, 683 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
Cocktails at 6 pm (cash bar); Dinner at 7 pm
The SEG Grand Finale will be an evening filled with friends, music, dancing and fun.
Your $50 ticket price includes scrumptious appetizers, gourmet buffet dinner, decadent dessert and of course -- a fabulous Silent Auction! Guests will have an array of auction items from which to choose, including vacations, artwork, vintage items and antiques, jewelry, professional services, gift baskets and much more!
There are 3 ways to purchase your tickets:
  • Purchase your tickets online:
  • Send a check (payable to Save East Greenbush) to: Save East Greenbush, P.O. Box 115, East Greenbush, NY 12061
  • Or, or call Larraine at 518-477-9613 to reserve your tickets
Details coming soon on how to donate items, services, or vacations rentals, etc. for the auction. 

Remember: Save East Greenbush saved East Greenbush.

Let's make this final fundraising event our biggest and best yet! See you in March.

Save East Greenbush
Save East Greenbush

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Comment that deserves to be a new Post....

The comment below just came in, and I think it should start a new Thread.  We didn't get into this pickle overnight.  It took years of mischief and neglect.  Part of the responsibility lies with the citizenry too, for not paying attention.  Now we have to pay the piper. 

"Mike G has left a new comment on your post "It Was Like David and Goliath......":

Greetings... I can happily say that i participated in voting out the incompetence. I'm just as happy as anyone else when it comes to the potential changes ahead. With that being said can we finally put an end to showering the new supervisor and his team with well deserved praise.

I come here routinely to keep up to date with whats going on. People on here are focusing too much on patting themselves on the back and re-enforcing what a great thing has been accomplished. Now that the election as over and 2 months behind us can we get some sort of real discussions going on regarding the 'painful' tax increase that's hanging over our heads. I for one am very concerned and almost enraged that i will be left holding the bag as a fairly new resident. Depending on how severe the increase i may find myself in a situation where i will have to put the house up for sale and most likely take a pounding on the resale value.

When looking for a new house you set certain criteria(school dist,neighborhood,taxes etc etc) for where you're looking to settle down with your loved ones.Its not a decision most take lightly. This time around i thought I had all my bases covered. Never in my wildest dreams did i consider it necessary to dig down deep into town politics prior to purchasing here. Had i known what i've learned over the past 2 years of living in EG i would have run for the hills.

Im very concerned regarding the language Mr Conway used in the TU article regarding the tax hike. Depending on how great the hike is, I could be forced to lose the home.Trying to make my new mortgage payment may become to hard or just impracticable.

Listen i'm an adult and very realistic. I budgeted and expected taxes to increase over time. That's what they do,they go up. What blindsided me was this impending "hurtful" increase on such a large scale. I would expect out of my new supervisor someone that makes a calculated well thought out decision on how to go about recouping the pile of money owed. I'm positive this is what the residents of EG want and deserve. If the supervisor is not willing to give it the proper attention it deserves on the behalf of his constituents then he is no better than the people we Just pushed out. I know his intentions are indeed in the right place but please don't let your drive and determination cloud your judgement. It would be nice to see this administration stick around for quite a while to get some real work done over the long term. Pleased realize , if you place too many people outside of their comfort zone too quickly you will find yourself alienated and this administration will be 1 and done.

From what i gather certain people are not willing to drop the money on a proper study whats fair. If you're gonna stick me with some monumental bill at least stroke me a little and let me know you at least gave me the time of day and were somewhat concerned about my family's well being.

Good luck and thank you."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It Was Like David and Goliath......

Next Wednesday evening at the Town Board Meeting, the Resolution "inviting" casino developers to Thompson Hill in East Greenbush will be RESCINDED!!!  This last year and a half has been quite an experience and has resulted in a "sea-change" in our little town.  Our community came together and went up against a collection of very powerful, connected, well funded and arrogant elements.  Think about this list of opponents who conspired to dump that "thing" on the Hill without consulting the population.......  Churchill Downs, Feathers and his buddies in Albany, County wheeler-dealers, East Greenbush wheeler-dealers, Morgan Hook and SKDKnickerbocker.  Feel free to add to the list.  Had it not been for a united community effort in education and mobilizing neighbors, putting together the presentation to the Location Board and a brilliant attorney - Jeff Meyer - we'd be getting rolled like that little town in Seneca County.  And a way of life and a bright future would have been lost forever. 

Be sure to attend the Board meeting next Wednesday at 7:00pm and see history made. 

Also, coming on March 12th is what will hopefully be the last Save East Greenbush fundraising event to clean-up the last of the legal bill.  Stay tuned for details.  Dinner, jazz, silent auction.......