Schenectady county legislature
The County Legislature is divided into four districts. Districts 1 & 2 cover the City of Schenectady. District 3 covers the towns of Niskayuna and Glenville (including the Village of Scotia). District 4 covers the Towns of Duanesburg (including the Village of Delanson), Princetown and Rotterdam.
There are 15 seats in the Schenectady County Legislature:
District 1: City of Schenectady (3 seats) - Karen Johnson, Richard Patierne, Richard Ruzzo
District 2: City of Schenectady (3 seats) - Philip Fields, Gary Hughes, Jeffrey McDonald
District 3: Towns of Glenville and Niskayuna, and the Village of Scotia (5 seats) - James Buhrmaster, Thomas Constantine, Sara Mae Pratt, Cathy Gatta, Grant Socha
District 4: Towns of Duanesburg, Princetown, and Rotterdam, and the Village of Delanson (4 seats) - Anthony Jasenski, Sr., Brian McGarry, Randy Pascarella, Holly Vellano
What the legislature does
The Schenectady County Legislature is responsible for many programs, services and physical assets that we all rely upon.
Jobs & Economic Development - Schenectady County is the only County in New York State that dedicates 0.5% of its sales tax towards economic development. That revenue is directed to the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority for ongoing investment in the development of our local communities. By creating a successful, unified economic development strategy, we have benefited from nearly $1 billion in new investment and the creation of more than 6,000 jobs. For example, in Glenville, Highbridge Development plans to construct a new $10 million 47,000 square foot office and technology building at the County’s Airport Business Park and will join four other businesses newly located at the Airport Business Park: DSM, REVA Inc., C2 Design and Bruno Associates. Also in Glenville, Belgioioso Cheese is building a $25 million cheese plant in the Glenville Business and Technology Park that is expected to create nearly 50 new jobs.
Children & Family Services - this is one of the biggest responsibilities of county government. For seniors, the County runs programs to help with home care services, housing, nutrition, caregiver support, social day programs and operates The Glendale Home. The County also oversees and coordinates services for individuals and families with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and developmental disabilities. Additionally, through the Schenectady County Department of Social Services, the County helps many of our families through programs like child protective services, foster care & adoption, child support enforcement, domestic violence support, emergency assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Library System - The County supports our county-wide library system. Two new branches recently opened in the City of Schenectady: Phyllis Bornt and Mont Pleasant. Renovations were also recently completed at the Niskayuna, Glenville and Scotia branches. This upcoming year, an addition and outside renovations will be made to the historic Abraham Glen building that houses the Scotia branch.
Special Events - The County uses dedicated funds from its Hotel/Motel Bed Tax to support projects that promote tourism, arts, and historic preservation through a grant program (CIP Grants). Many of this year’s grants support events that so many of our families love - Kids Arts Festival, the annual Holiday Parade, Schenectady Pride Festival, Juneteenth celebration, Upper Union Street Strawberry & Harvest festivals, Glenville Oktoberfest, Niskayuna Thursday Night Concerts and the Freedom Park Summer Concert Series in Scotia.
SUNY Schenectady County Community College - the County and New York State have together invested over $39 million in improvements to SUNY SCCC’s campus over the past 10 years.
Schenectady Airport - the County is working with the U.S. Air Force, FAA and the State to repave all runways at the airport. Additionally, infrastructure improvements and aggressive recruiting has brought new businesses onto the campus.
The County does all of this with a budget of about $330 million. Most of the budget (about 80%) is spent providing programs and services that are mandated by New York State. The budget is funded through a county-wide property tax and sales taxes. For the past ten years, the Legislature has worked hard to minimize the property tax, averaging less than 1% increase each year.
For more information on how the County Legislature improves our quality of life, visit Schenectady County’s website.