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Race To Replace Niskayuna’s GOP Town Supervisor Is Under Way

Hamayun "Joey" Faizy & Jaime Lynn Puccioni
WAMC Composite Image by Dave Lucas
Hamayun "Joey" Faizy & Jaime Lynn Puccioni

Residents of one Schenectady County town will elect a new supervisor this fall.

Niskayuna Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed is not seeking a third two-year term. The Republican says she will leave office at the end of the year and move to the Syracuse area, where her husband will be stationed with the Air Force Medical Service Corps.

Running to replace Syed is Democrat Jaime Lynn Puccioni, a University at Albany education professor who serves on Niskayuna’s Task Force of Racial Equity and Justice.

"We moved here when my son was in elementary school, and now we're looking at colleges. I've seen firsthand that Niskayuna is a wonderful town, we have great schools quality of life, diversity. And over the years, our family has enjoyed all the town has to offer, from the town parks, to the green spaces, youth sports, summer camps, even activities organized by the senior center. But, you know, for all the great aspects of Niskayuna, I am the type of person who is always looking to make things better. And just in my nature, as a teacher, teacher, a manager and a researcher to take notice of strengths and opportunities for growth.”

Hamayun "Joey" Faizy is the Republican candidate The former Army Reserve officer and local businessman is a lifelong Schenectady County resident who for the past decade has called Niskauna home.

“First, I want to continue Yasmine’s open door policy, OK. She's our current supervisor. The thing is that I want to invite on an open door policy, because it doesn't matter what I think of my issues, or my opponents issues or whatever parties issues. It's a town, it's a very small town, I want to do the open door policy, so I can hear from our residents, what's affecting them, what's their important issue? I want to hear that out. So I'm only one resident of many 1000s in this town. So I mean, isn't about what I want, or anyone wants. It's literally it's about our town and everyone that's in it. “

Puccioni, who was received the Niskayuna Democratic Committee's endorsement in February, says she's passionate about the economic vitality of the town.

“I plan to make improvements to our Town Center Plaza at Balltown Road and Nott Street. And I want to work with the town board to bring greater broadband access like FIOS to Niskayuna, because it is time. And finally public safety. Our neighborhood has, you know, our neighborhoods have seen an increase in traffic rerouted by GPS. And, you know, during rush hour, we have some issues with speeding. And as a dog walker, a bike rider, a mom, you know, I'm pretty concerned. And I think we need to conduct some traffic studies and work with the town police to develop a plan.”

Outgoing Supervisor Syed was first elected in 2017. She says she worries about the GOP’s ability to keep the seat when she departs.

"I do think that that's something that needs to be considered by the next candidate who fills the vacancy. However, I think I resonated with voters because despite the fact that I am a Republican, I always made it clear that I would leave politics at the door and that really is how it should be at the local level."

Schenectady County GOP Chairman Chris Koetzle:

“You know, it's a big loss for the party, but it's a big loss for Niskayuna as well. Yasmine did a great job as supervisor over there. Always put the community first. Was a bridge between parties. She didn't have any politics in between her and the residents. And I think that's something we always we always look for in our leaders. So we're going to miss her.”

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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