Mayor’s Message – June 2023

  June 9, 2023

As I sit down to write my last Mayor’s message, I have mixed emotions. First, where have the years gone! Nearing the end of my 12th and final year as Mayor (with 6 years before as Trustee) some things have changed, while many have stayed the same.

One of my favorite compliments as Mayor was that I brought the Village back to Menands. Having lived here for most of my life and raised my kids here, it was one of the priorities to bring the community together. In addition to public safety, community ranked among my priorities. Whether with Concerts in The Park (which I have organized for twenty years), youth dances, veteran’s parades, Village picnic, movie nights in the park, coaching, organizing the building of the concession stand and gazebo, improvements to our trail system and parks, etc., I believe I achieved my goal of bringing the residents out for special events to meet their neighbors, reconnect with friends, as well as make new ones. My favorite time is being at the park watching the kids on the playground, teens playing basketball, softball games on the baseball field, residents enjoying music and food offered by the MFC, and neighbors catching up. It’s a great feeling and one that I hope will continue.

While there is never enough time to get everything done, so much has been happening in the village that I want to share them with you on my way out. I’ll apologize in advance for the length of this message.

I cannot express the extent of my gratitude to the village staff and members of our departments for all that they do to keep things on track in the village. The village clerk’s office is the backbone of our village. Don Handerhan, Cheryl Lyons, Nicole Ognan, and Bill Smith deal with the day-to-day operations and are the point of contact with the residents. Each carries out multiple roles, typically multi-tasking on a daily basis.

Economic Development:

  • Following Trustee Aileen Nicoll stepping down in 2021, Trustee Brian Marsh and I have served as the economic development team for the past two years. Together, and with the support of fellow board members, Deputy Mayor Seth Harris and Trustees Diane Foley and Tim Lane, we have been working on several initiatives that are finally coming through fruition.
  • With the assistance from Tara Donadio from CDRPC, Trustee Brian Marsh and I submitted an application, on behalf of the village, for funding through DEC for Electric Vehicle charging ports. We received notice in April that the Village of Menands funding application was successful and the village will be receiving $32,934 for 4 Level 2 charging ports. The plan is to place two at the Village Office and two at Ganser-Smith Park. The awards are expected to be released in July.
  • Additionally, we have been working with Tara to obtain Climate Smart Community status in Menands. Together with Clerk Don Handerhan, Trustee Marsh has been working on energy saving initiatives to reduce costs and emissions. Clerk Handerhan has spearheaded the conversion of all lights in our municipal buildings to LED lights, as well as converting village owned streetlights. In addition to other initiatives, Trustee Brian Marsh is working with National Grid for a benchmarking exercise that would provide the village with more points for Climate Smart designation. The board approved a recent resolution that also counts toward the designation.
  • With assistance from Matt Rogers from Labella, Trustee Brian Marsh and I, with approval from the Village Board, applied for funding through Restore NY. This funding is to help businesses improve their property to encourage local development. Mid-City Shopping Center was the focus of our grant application, and we were excited to hear that Menands was awarded $500,000 for Mid-City to make improvements to the plaza to attract businesses, such as a grocery store, bank, or drug store that the village is lacking now despite continued efforts to bring them back to Menands.
  • Deputy Mayor Seth Harris and Trustee Tim Lane continue efforts of reconnecting Menands to the Hudson River. They are exploring new funding opportunities to help secure this initiative. Recently, DOT constructed a bike/hike path at the exit 6 ramp to 787 for pedestrian access to the Hudson River. The path was named for Ronald Miller, former village trustee whose passion was to connect to the river.
  • In 2020, the Village Board adopted our first ever Comprehensive Plan. This document presents a vision for the future, with long-range goals and objectives, to provide direction for future activities over a 10 – 20-year period. The University at Albany Graduate Planning Studios, under the direction of Adjunct Professor, Marcia Kees, supported the development of the plan in 2017 and 2018, leading to its adopting in 2020. With the plan adopted, the next step was to update the Village zoning to coincide with the comprehensive plan objectives.
  • With grant funding through the Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, providing technical support from CDTC, a study advisory committee was created and included, CDTC, CDTA, DOT, Nancy & Jerry Ruppert, Matt Rogers from Labella, Trustee Brian Marsh, DPW Foreman Mike Hagmann, Code Enforcement Officer Lyle Darmetko, and myself. We began working on the zoning update in 2021 and after many hours, the new code was adopted by the Village Board on March 5, 2023. The full zoning code can be found on the village website to streamline the process for developers looking to bring new development into Menands. Thank you to all who worked tirelessly on this project.
  • Additionally, a complete update to the village code is being conducted by General Code with oversite by Todd Metcalfe, and support by Clerk Don Handerhan, Chief Ryan St. Gelais, Chief David Ognan, Foreman Mike Hagmann, Code Enforcement Officer Lyle Darmetko, Trustee Brian Marsh, Matt Rogers from Labella and me. As of this writing, the project is ongoing but soon to be presented to the Village Board for adoption.
  • During covid, our meetings were held virtually through Google Meets. Once we returned to in-person meetings, Deputy Mayor Seth Harris suggested the Owl Pro Video Conference to allow the public to attend meetings either in-person or virtually. We found this type of hybrid meeting to be beneficial to both the board and the public. In 2022, following passing of a NYS law governing public meetings by video conference, Deputy Mayor Seth Harris introduced a local law for open meetings with an additional hybrid approach authorizing video conferencing to conduct public meetings and allow board members to attend virtually under extraordinary circumstance.
  • Trustee Tim Lane introduced a local law regarding property maintenance. The property maintenance code was adopted by the village board, providing more clarity for the courts and code enforcement.
  • Deputy Mayor Seth Harris brought forward the idea of hiring interns in 2021 from Cornell University to work on various economic development initiatives. We had two, Anika and Isabel, one for each semester of the 21/22 school year. Working with Deputy Mayor Harris, they worked on creating a listing of vacant properties and shovel-ready projects, set up meetings with the village and businesses that may be looking into coming to Menands, set up meetings with resident groups to discuss the types of business they would like to see in Menands,  CGI video highlighting the benefits of doing business in Menands (the video can be found on the village website), food truck festivals in the park that will return this year, CDPHP bike share program, etc. Both interns were very efficient and brought great ideas to the village, with several being implemented.


  • Following four unsuccessful attempts to obtain funding for infrastructure work in the South End of the Village, Menands was pleased to be awarded grant funding this year to put towards this project. Work is scheduled to begin this summer, including replacing the aged sewer and water pipes in the project area and new paving to complete the job. Notices should be put out as the start of the project gets closer.
  • Inspections were done on the northern trunk of the sewer main outfall to identify pipe capacity based on dry-weather and wet-weather conditions to get a rough idea of available pipe capacity and assess general pipe condition including identification of specific defects, including cracks, root intrusion, breaks, etc.
  • Coordinated through Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Nicole Ognan, the Village replaced residential water meters installed prior to 2019. With Nicole’s diligence, 99% of the residential water meters have been replaced, improving accuracy and efficiency.
  • Leak detection surveys are done to identify leaks in our water system, allowing for repairs to be made to reduce unaccounted for water loss.
  • Trustee Brian Marsh introduced a water shut off waiver form to relieve the Village of any liability when the DPW is asked to shut off water to businesses or residences.

Public Safety
The safety of our departments and maintaining our services has always been my top priority. Providing the necessary tools, personnel, and resources has been vital to allow the men and women of our departments the ability to provide the services unique to Menands, while remaining safe. I am forever grateful for their dedication to our village.

Police Department:
Treasurer Bill Smith, Trustee Brian Marsh (liaison to DPW and PD), Chief Ryan St. Gelais, Foreman Mike Hagmann, myself, and members of the negotiating teams for both the DPW and PBA, successfully negotiated new contracts for both departments that benefit the union members and the Village. These dedicated members of their perspective departments protect and serve our village with pride and professionalism, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their hard work and respect they have shown me and the village board during my time as mayor.

The Menands Police Department held an awards banquet on May 5, 2023, at Ganser-Smith Park. Chief Ryan St. Gelais, thanked me and Trustee Brian Marsh (the liaison for the PD) for the support we have given the department, since Ryan took over as Chief in January 2022. He recognized the new hires, promotions and presented awards to various members of the department, including myself and their intern Hanna Slavsky from the Criminal Justice curriculum from SUNY Albany, for devotion, dedication, and commitment to the Menands Police Department.

The Department now has 13 full-time officers (including Chief Ryan St. Gelais, Lieutenant Kevin Schwebke, Detective Sgt. Dan Braden, Detective Mike Case and two patrol Sgts. Robert Stark and Aaron St. Gelais, along with patrol officers), 4 part-time officers and 3 full-time and 5 part-time dispatchers. New officers include Eric Sahagian, Joseph Yanni, Logan Alaxanian, and Joseph Hardy joining officers PJ Stone, Scott Westfall, and Josh Kullman. The department is now back to full status after years of decline to ensure the safety of our residents.

Detective Case and Officer Yanni were both presented with a Lifesaving Award for being instrumental in saving a child’s life during a recent call. This award is presented to members whose actions during an emergency situation resulted in the saving of a human life.

Chief St. Gelais awarded Lt. Kevin Schewebke with the first ever Chief’s Award, recognizing someone who goes above and beyond for the department and their community. The Chief commented that Kevin has been by his side every step of the way, and the two have been planning for the day they would be able to take the department in a different direction and with the Mayor and Trustee Marsh’s support, they are achieving that goal. It has been an honor for me, on both a professional and personal level, to work with the members of the Menands Police Department and I am confident the department will only become stronger in the years to come.

The Community Service Award was presented to Dispatcher Susan Gosse for her commitment and devotion to building police relations and community service that positively impact the community.

Chief St. Gelais also recognized me for my support of the department, noting that I have been through every milestone in his career in Menands. Since becoming Chief, Ryan and I have worked closely together, which has improved relations between the department and the Village Board. I was presented with a beautiful plaque that now hangs proudly in my home and I will cherish forever. I will always be grateful for the open communication between Chief St. Gelais and I where no matter what time of day or night, he would keep me apprised of issues happening within the village. This line of communication increased my awareness of the operations of the department and ensuring they received the tools necessary to remain safe while doing their job. Ryan’s respect shown to me and my role as Mayor has been unparalleled during my time as Mayor and greatly appreciated.

Lt. Schwebke awarded Detective Michael Case in recognition of his work performance and actions that are clearly above the call of ordinary duty, a constant commitment to outstanding service and relentless attention to his cases.

Sgt. Robert Stark was acknowledged for The Mothers Against Drunk Driving Award he received for his exemplary efforts in the fight to eliminate drunk driving in New York State.

Congratulations to Officer Sahagian, on completing the Bike Officer Certification Class, bringing certified officers within the department to three.

Congratulations to Officer Kullman, on recently completing the Basic School Resource Officer’s Course.

Sadly, in December 2022, retired Menands Police Officer and former Chief of the Menands Fire Dept. Andy Cohen, and former Menands Police Dispatcher David Jones passed away. The services for both of these men were very moving and emotional, as well as difficult for their friends and families and members of the departments.

In continued efforts to keep the members of the department safe and able to perform their jobs efficiently, equipment was upgraded:

  • During the 2020 riots and the call for assistance from Menands PD to other departments, the department was equipped with new riot gear to protect the officers and community.
  • The dept transitioned over all weapons to a more modern Glock 45.
  • A UTV and trailer was purchased for the department to have better and faster access to our trail system. This equipment is also shared with the DPW and MFD.
  • Entered into a contract with CDTA for street cameras along the Broadway corridor.
  • New procedures were implemented for hiring police officers and promotions within the department, with more transparency for the public and Village Board.
  • During the Covid pandemic, necessary equipment was provided to the members to protect from Covid, with guidelines put in place on time away from work when members were covid positive, to protect other members of the department.
  • In 2022, a partnership with Watervliet, Cohoes, Guilderland and Green Island police departments was developed with the necessary equipment for a joint rapid response team.
  • A new speed trailer was purchased to combat speeding in the Village with necessary feedback to strategically deploy officers.
  • A new camera system was installed for the department and the rest of the building.
  • The layout of the police station was changed to enhance the operations and provide an EOC for the village.
  • More funding was put into the past two years budget to provide more necessary training for the members.
  • In June of 2022, with Board approval, the MPD positioned Officer PJ Stone at Menands School, to reduce fears from recent school violence. This initiative led to continued discussions with school regarding a School Resource Officer assigned permanently. With joint approvals from both the village board and school board, an SRO will be stationed in school beginning in September 2023. This is another great partnership between the village and the school.
  • The village board approved body cameras to be worn by the officers and transitioned their plate readers and in-car cameras to a more modern system from Axon.

Menands Fire Department/Company:
The Menands Fire Co. celebrated 100 years of service this year. I presented a proclamation to President Paul DeDominicis and Chief David Ognan in recognition of the 100 years at their installation dinner. I was also honored to be asked to swear in the officers of both the Menands Fire Dept. and Fire Company:

Menands Fire Dept. 2023/24 Line Officers:
Chief David Ognan
1st Asst Chief Mike Steurer
2nd Asst Chief Jonathan Dudley
Captain Harvey Bender
Captain TJ Robertson
Lieutenant Sherri Archambault

Nick Gingeresky and Tony Lipari were appointed Lieutenants and approved at the June 1st Village Board meeting.

Menands Fire Co. 2023/24 Civil Officers:
President Paul DeDominicis
Vice President Sherri Archambault
Secretary Nick Kalogridis
Treasurer John Stangle
Financial Secretary Mike Mackay
Board Member Colin Schanz
Board Member Mike Mackay

Awards presented at this year’s installation banquet went to:
Mike Mackay for the President’s Service Award, Sherri Archambault on receiving Firefighter of the Year award and Mark Cady for Rookie of the Year. 
Much to my surprise, Chief David Ognan, also presented me with an award, recognizing my 12 years as Mayor and dedication to the fire department.


  • The Village of Menands entered into a contract with West Albany Fire District to purchase their 2002 Pierce Custom Pumper firetruck, with a purchase price of $130,000. With the rising costs of new trucks priced at over $1M, having an opportunity to purchase this used piece that has been well maintained is a benefit to the village as plans are made in the future for replacing older trucks in the fleet. Chief Ognan recently reported that the pumper has already benefitted the department, particularly with the recent calls for grass fires.
  • Program initiated to purchase new Fire Chiefs cars at three-year intervals, providing more reliable vehicles for the Chiefs to respond to emergencies safely and timely.
  • 23 new SCBA packs and masks
  • New battery-operated extrication tools and stabilization kit
  • 20 new portable radios and base radios for apparatus
  • Program initiated to purchase 3 sets of turn out gear yearly to rotate out old gear.
  • Purchased additional 13 sets of turn out gear, including Helmets, turn out coats and pants, hoods, and leather gloves, due to an increase in membership.
  • 3 New thermal imaging cameras
  • 3 New multi-gas meters
  • Upgraded Fire Dept. reporting software program.

New members since 2011:
Sherri Archambault
Mike Berry
Mark Cady
Luis Clemente
Josh Condon
Paul DeDominicis
Jonathan Dudley
Nick Gingeresky
Connor Gordon
Gary Jeffries
Nick Kalogridis
Tony Lapari
Mike Mackay
TJ Robertson
Colin Schanz
Rick Swinney
Bob Welsh
Tobias Wasserman (Junior Member)

Code Enforcement Officer Lyle Darmetko was appointed Fire Inspector and Chief David Ognan as assistant, to handle fire inspections in the village that had previously been handled by the Town.

  • Menands Village Board approved Volunteer Firefighters and EMS to receive 10% reduction on their property tax.
  • Menands Village Board added Disability Insurance for Active Volunteer Fire Fighters.
  • Menands Village Board approved a referendum to be placed on the 2021 Village Election ballot, to increase the LOSAP for Active Volunteer Fire Fighters from $700 – $1200. The referendum was approved by the voters.

The DPW and MFD exchanged Squad 6 for the safety trailer to be better utilized by each department. The equipment though remains available to both.

Menands Fire Company Auxiliary:
The Menands Fire Company Auxiliary celebrated 60 years this year. I was honored to recognize their years of service at the FC/Aux installation dinner, as well as swear in the 2023/24 officers:
President Joyce McGovern Miller
Vice President Kerry Wroblewski
Secretary Sheila Hyatt
Co-Treasurers Mary Miles and Kerry Franklin
Chaplain Megan Grenier
Trustees Nancy O’Keefe Sposito, Lisa Proskin Pierce and Megan Lawrence

Susan Supliski was awarded the 2023 Menands Fire Co. Auxiliary Service Award for her dedication and service to the Auxiliary.

The members of the Menands Fire Co. Auxiliary provide support to the Menands Fire Dept. during emergency situations as needed. New members are always welcome.

Over the past ten years, the village has purchased and replaced old equipment for the DPW to ensure they can continue the services they provide to the residents in a safe and efficient manner.

  • The Village recently purchased, through Auctions International, a 1-ton dump truck to replace the 2010 dump truck which the DPW used constantly (and needs about $50,000 in work to make it road passable) for $129,360. The 2019 International dump truck, with plow, and less than 3,000 miles on it was a great find and will be put in service soon as opposed to paying much more and having to wait several months to a year for a new truck. Thank you to Clerk Handerhan for handling the bidding process on behalf of the village.

Additional equipment:

  • Leaf Vac (2014)
  • Backhoe (2014)
  • 2 Garbage Trucks (2014, 2019)
  • 4 Pick-up trucks (2016, 2020, 2022)
  • 2 Plow trucks (2020)
  • 3 Lawn Mowers (2016, 2021, 2023)
  • Tow behind Air Compressor (2023)
  • Light tower
  • Upgraded the SCADA system

The DPW has a wonderful, shared services relationship with the Village of Colonie. We are fortunate for this relationship to share equipment for occasional tasks, such as hanging banners and plants, and emergency situations from both during issues with equipment.

The Village of Menands received funds through NYS totaling $7011.77 for the shared services program in Albany County. 

The Village was pleased to hire two new laborers for the DPW. Mikey Connolly and Gary Jeffries both joined the other department members, Foreman Mike Hagmann, Sub-Foreman Sean Conners, David Ognan, Mark Boyer, Mark Carnegie, Kelvin Schoonmaker and Matt Galusky.

Quiet Zone:
I recently worked with Labella on renewing our quiet zone status with the railroad, which had a three-year term from its first implementation and was set to expire this year. The quiet zone runs from 10:00 pm through 7:00 am with the trains moving slower during these times and not blowing their horns. It is nice to not be woken up multiple times throughout the night!


  • The Menands Fire Co. continued their fish fry dinners during lent.
  • The Menands Fire Dept. and PBA hosted a Halloween Trunk or Treat that was very well attended.
  • The Menands Fire Dept. hosted a Fire prevention open house during Fire Prevention Week.
  • The Annual Summer Concerts in the Park continue and are enjoyed by all with great local talent and food and beverages supplied by the Menands Fire Co.
  • New in 2022, Deputy Mayor Seth Harris, Clerk Don Handerhan and Intern Isabel Smirtek organized Wednesday night food trucks at the park for four weeks in the summer. This new tradition will continue again this year.
  • The Menands St. Patrick’s Club, under the direction of Kerry Wroblewski, organizes a new tradition of Holiday Trees in the Park, to recognize organizations, families, businesses, etc. It has doubled in size and is a beautiful addition to the park with the trees lit up. This typically coincides with the Annual Tree Lighting in the Gazebo.
  • A menorah lighting was held at Ganser-Smith Park with members of the community attending and receiving treats.
  • Menands resident Monica Sharpe Stimac donated a beautiful tree to the village that was transplanted near the Gazebo and is also decorated for the holidays.
  • Upon announcing their closing, Bethany Presbyterian Church, built in 1889 and sold on March 23, 2023, donated $10,000 to the park fund and a bench was installed with a plaque acknowledging their donation.
  • In Memory of Mildred Howarth, known affectionately as Aunt Millie, who lived to be 108 years old, her family purchased a bench for the park in her honor.
  • The Long Family purchased a bench for the park in gratitude for the wonderful memories the park has brought to their family and the community.
  • The Menands PD partnered again last year with the Capital Region Toys for Tots, by collecting donated toys for children in need. Together with the MFD, they went around the village conducting a “Stuff the Trailer” event to collect toys from the residents. This annual tradition is very generous and brings smiles to the kids’ faces.
  • The Menands Public Library celebrated 100 years in May.
  • The Father Daughter Dance returned this April and was a huge success.
  • The Village entered into a bike share agreement with CDPHP/CDTA, partnering with the Cities of Watervliet and Cohoes, providing bikes for use by residents. We have two bike racks in the village. One at Ganser-Smith Park and the other in front of Morgan Linen on Broadway. The program was a great success last year and will continue this year.
  • Capital Region Farmers Market recently replaced the shed on the property with a larger pavilion that can be closed and has heat. Trustee Marsh and I met with the board of directors to discuss possible community uses that we could collaborate on. If it works out, the ideas are endless.
  • Superintendent Dr. Maureen Long, nominated the Village of Menands for a Friends of Education Award that we received last year. The working relationship between school and the village has always been strong and I appreciated being a recipient of the award.

Our military banner program continues along the Broadway corridor. Spearheaded by Trustee Diane Foley, who is stepping down after 8 years on the board, continues to process new applications. To date, the DPW has hung 73 banners, with new applications continuing to be submitted. We are so proud to honor and recognize our hometown heroes, past and present, for their military service. The banners are typically displayed between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

On April 22, 2023, Trustees Tim Lane and Brian Marsh, organized an Earth Day Community Spring Clean Up. Several residents, along with members of the Menands Fire Department, participated in cleaning up areas around the village, while others cleaned up around their own homes. The DPW worked extra hours to pick up bags of yard waste. I’m hopeful this community event will continue in years to come.

Menands School:
During my time as Mayor, I have had a good working relationship with Menands School, and most recently with Superintendent Dr. Maureen Long. After 10 years serving as the Menands School Superintendent, Maureen has announced her retirement at the end of this school year. Principal Jennifer Cannavo will succeed Dr. Long in the role of superintendent. Kathleen Wylie has been appointed the new principal. In addition to Dr. Long, teachers Nancy Sposito and Ann Ford are retiring at the end of the school year. Congratulations to all and best wishes to Jenn and Kathleen in your new roles.

Economic Development:
The Veterans Housing project, to be located at 35 Broadway, has received the necessary funding through the NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), to advance their project. With the collaboration of Soldier On and Beacon Communities, the 2.36 acre parcel will include 67 one bedroom units and other amenities in a brand new facility for veterans.

NSH USA Corporation, formerly Simmons Machine Tool, located at 55 Broadway, is expanding. NSH recently purchased 47 Broadway for construction of a new manufacturing technology center, the Niles Technical Application Center. Simmons has been a landmark in Menands since the 1920’s and we are very grateful that following discussions between the president, Trustee Brian Marsh and I, they decided to stay in Menands instead of expanding elsewhere. The building at 47 Broadway, has been removed, in preparation for the construction of the new facility. Not only will the new building enhance the Broadway corridor, it will also bring jobs to our region.

35 Simmons Lane is being developed to include 2 buildings with a loading dock for warehousing, office space and light industrial use.

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is planning an expansion of their complex to accommodate more animals and increase services they provide.

There are other projects being worked on, but I have learned over the years to not discuss potential projects until the ink has dried. I’m hopeful that soon these other projects can be announced.

Park Upgrades:
There have been several upgrades to Ganser-Smith Park, including the new gazebo, which has been a great asset. In addition, the tennis court has been converted to a pickle ball court and has become very popular. The basketball court was rebuilt and is used constantly. New fencing was installed around the baseball field, new dugout floors poured, a new floor in pavilion, new outlets installed around the park, replacing the old ones, electric upgraded in pavilion, new grill vent hood installed, ceiling fans installed for circulation, new benches, and this year plans are being made to upgrade the bathrooms.

Village Gardener Dianne MacFarland retired at the end of last year, after 16 years, and before leaving found her replacement Kelly Grimaldi. We are grateful to have Kelly on board and appreciate all that Dianne has, and continues to do, for the village.

Youth Director, Brianna Coughlin also retired last year after 18 years of service. Like Dianne, Brianna was instrumental in finding her replacement. Menands School teacher, Samantha Hall, has accepted the position and already stepped into the role in organizing the Easter Party in April. With assistance from Trustees Lane and Marsh and myself, the event was a success, as I’m sure future events will be as well under Sam’s direction.

Following the retirement of Paul Reuss, (who assumed many roles in the Village, including code enforcement, executive assistant to the mayor, and MS4 Officer), Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Nicole Ognan assumed the role as MS4 Officer.

Kevin Miller stepped down from his position on the ZBA and we thank him for his service. Alternate Danielle Freedman was appointed member and Charles Ansert was appointed as alternate. The ZBA has been very busy lately with variances sought for various projects in the village pending approvals. I appreciate the work done by the ZBA members John Bassett, Mike Steurer, Danielle Freedman, Charles Ansert and Cheryl Lyons who serves as the secretary to the ZBA.

Through the paving program that was reinstated when I became Mayor, the majority of the roads in the village have been paved (working on easements for a few left). This past fiscal year, Harts Lane and Elmwood were paved. Additionally, the roads in the south end of the village will all be paved as part of the infrastructure work to replace the sewer and water lines, scheduled to begin at the end of this summer. Watch for details as the time gets closer.

Building Department:
The Village Building Dept. is busier than ever. Code Enforcement Officer Lyle Darmetko and Labella Engineering handle projects from start to finish, with escrow payments collected from developers to cover cost of engineering fees. The review process has developed over time as more projects have come to the village. With input from Village Atty. Steve Rehfuss, the police, fire and public works departments, Lyle and Labella, and information and forms available on-line, the process is much more efficient to meet developers needs.

100th Anniversary:
Plans are underway for the 100th Anniversary for the Village of Menands in 2024. Plans include Car Show 5/18/24, Parade/picnic 6/1/24, Concerts & Food Trucks – July and August, Community Night – Saturday 8/24/24 and Formal Dinner 9/21/24. Details to follow.

The Menands Seniors, under the direction of President Diane Leonard, continue their weekly meetings and exciting trips throughout the year. New members, 55 and older, are always welcome.

Village Historian Kevin Franklin continues to document the history of Menands, and his vast knowledge and historic documents will be displayed in a book to commemorate the 100th Anniversary.

Keeping the residents updated on emergencies or community events falls to Activities Editor Sheila Hyatt, Social Media Editor Nicole Ognan and Clerk Don Handerhan. If you are not signed up for Everbridge, our notification system, I encourage you to do so.

From our Court, Village Justice Chris Flint, Acting Village Justice Bob Becher, and Court Clerk Susan Dube, their jobs have gotten increasingly harder over the years with changes to bail reform and other mandates, but somehow, they manage to stay afloat and maintain the professionalism it takes to do their jobs. Susan recently applied for JCAP funding and received money to make upgrades to the area around the Court Clerks Office. We thank her for her initiative.

I am so incredibly honored to have received various recognitions for my time as Mayor. In addition to the plaques received by the Menands Police and Fire Departments, I also received proclamations from Congressman Paul Tonko, Assemblyman Phil Steck, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Albany County Legislator Alison McLean Lane, Colonie Town Supervisor Peter Crummey and the Menands Village Board, who declared June 30, 2023, Mayor Megan Grenier Day in the Village.

It has been my honor to serve as Mayor of Menands for the past twelve years (and six years before as Village Trustee). While I wasn’t able to finish everything that I am currently working on, I am confident that the new administration will see the projects through fruition and wish them the very best in their roles on the Village Board.

For those who have offered professional and expert guidance, including Village Atty Steve Rehfuss (who also needed a degree in psychology at times), the Labella team and all the engineers and planners who I have counted on, your guidance and expertise has been immeasurable and has advanced Menands in ways not seen in previous years. I will miss working with everyone.

While stepping down as Mayor is difficult, doing so will allow me more time now to spend with my family, (who I can’t thank enough for their support over the years), including my three beautiful grandsons. I imagine it will be strange at first but anticipate getting used to this new phase in my life won’t take long. I am forever grateful for the trust people have put in me over the past 12 years and I wish the next board the very best. It is not an easy job but can be rewarding.

With appreciation and gratitude,
Mayor Meg

Please join us for the summer concerts and food trucks this summer. They are a great way to enjoy an evening out with family and friends.

Summer Concerts – Tuesday’s 6:00 – 8:30 Ganser-Smith Park (rain or shine)
July 11th – Wounded Souls
July 18th  – The All Paul Show
July 25th – The Lustre Kings
August 1st  – New York Players
August 8th  – Soul Sky
August 15th – Get Up Jack

Food and beverages available for purchase by the Menands Fire Co. Lawn chairs recommended.

Community Night/Village Picnic – Wednesday August 23rd – Music by The Oldies Show – more details to follow.

Food Truck Festival – Wednesday’s 4:30 – 7:30 Ganser-Smith Park – variety of food trucks and live music.
July 12th –  Six Mile Sundown
July 19th –  Big Radio
July 26th – Big Radio
August 2nd – Tame the Rooster