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Mystery remains around why duo are no longer on Albany County Planning Board

Oct 21, 2021 1:01 pm

The Altamont Enterprise reports that two members of the Albany County Planning Board were slated to be removed from the board without their knowledge or any explanation. After they resigned to avoid being fired, no county official will say why they were forced out. Enzo Sofia, an engineer, and Dominic Rigosu, an architect who had acted as chair of the planning board, first learned about their removal when they were told by Albany County Legislator Mark Grimm that there was an item on the Oct. 12 meeting agenda picking their replacements. Members of the public later complained about their removal at a meeting, and several of the speakers from the Guilderland Coalition for Responsible Growth speculated that the dismissals had to do with a May 13, 2019 planning board vote against Pyramid’s proposal to build a 222-unit apartment complex on Rapp Road near Crossgates Mall. “I’m the lead sponsor and I can assure you that this action is not punishment for a vote that occurred in 2019 ....,” said Andrew Joyce, who chairs the legislature. “The two individuals that we’re replacing on the planning board have resigned.” But they only resigned because Joyce, or someone else, was having them removed. Joyce clearly had something to do with their removal, as he also said that “a fresh perspective is needed” and that “a diverse viewpoint from different parts of Albany County” is needed on the planning board. Matthew Peter, another Albany County legislator, claimed there had "numerous complaints" against the duo. He also said something about, "individuals have actually been completely unprofessional and stopped development and tried to overrule localities.” Do the removed members have an idea about why they were axed? “My guess is it’s political … I’m a professional engineer for the past 35 years; he’s an architect.” said Sofia. “We’re technical people. We make decisions based on evidence, on technical knowledge so the community doesn’t suffer with problems such as traffic, such as drainage.” Read more about this story in the Altamont Enterprise.

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