Schenectady County

Board member cites politics in decision not to run again

Nicola DiLeva said politicking within the Democratic Party prompted her to abandon a run for re-elec

Nicola DiLeva said politicking within the Democratic Party prompted her to abandon a run for re-election this fall.

The first-term Town Board member said the party seems more interested in helping themselves instead of residents. She said she refused an endorsement and decided not to run again because she doesn’t see things getting any better when the new board is seated next year.

“We have two different philosophies,” she said. “They’re only there for the party.”

DiLeva said she is mulling a run for the Schenectady County Legislature. She said the Rotterdam Republican Committee has approached her about the possible run, and she views the Legislature as a place where she could better help town residents.

“I want to help people,” she said. “I don’t want to battle and I don’t want to fight.”

The GOP is expected to announce their slate of town candidates next week. The Democrats have already endorse incumbents Tony Jasenski and Angelo Santabarbara for Rotterdam’s two seats on the Legislature.

If DiLeva does decide to run for the Legislature, it wouldn’t be the first time. She secured a four-year term in 1997, when she ran as a Republican for Schenectady’s seat and beat incumbent Democrat Tina Panetta Zaza.

DiLeva lost the seat in 2001, when she was beaten by former city mayor Karen Johnson. She remained politically inactive until the Rotterdam Democrats nominated her for the Town Board in 2009.

DiLeva beat out incumbent Republican Stan Marchinkowski and independent Michael O’Connor for the seat, which carried only two years. Marchinkowski was appointed in 2009 after former board member John Silva resigned with three years remaining in office.

DiLeva’s discourse with Supervisor Frank Del Gallo soured shortly after she took office. Del Gallo has verbally sparred with her during board meetings on several occasions, while DiLeva has accused his administration of being secretive and unresponsive to the needs of residents.

The meltdown between the two board members reached a peak in November, when DiLeva introduced a series of 11th-hour amendments to Del Gallo’s proposed budget that reduced the tax increase by nearly 4 percent. DiLeva also introduced a last-minute resolution to name a private law firm as the new town attorney without first consulting Del Gallo or Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski.

DiLeva said the quarrels in Town Hall were what ultimately forced her decision to leave office next year. She said she doesn’t see a point in remaining in office if the board can’t be responsive to the needs of residents.

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