Editor’s note: This story was clarified on Feb. 12. An earlier version included incomplete information about the earnings of incoming Schenectady County Director of Public Works Joe Landry, specifically as it relates to his work with the County Legislature.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY — Former Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry is set to be appointed Schenectady County’s new director of public works.
Landry, who has also headed the county Democratic Committee since 2014, is expected to receive the appointment when the Democrat-controlled County Legislature meets Tuesday evening in Schenectady.
The appointment will be effective Feb. 25, with the retirement of Joe Ryan, who has been director of public works for about 20 years.
Under the county charter, the appointment has already been made by County Manager Kathleen Rooney but must be confirmed by the Legislature.
Landry was Niskayuna’s supervisor from 2008 to 2017, when he was defeated in his re-election bid by Republican Yasmine Syed. Shortly after leaving office on Dec. 31, he was named the county’s deputy director of public works and has held that position for the past 13 months.
Landry, who has both a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, will earn an annual salary of $142,561 in his new position. His law degree is from Albany Law School, and his engineering degree is from the University of South Carolina.
Landry has also been counsel to the County Legislature for the past 14 years and was previously a counsel to the state Assembly Transportation Committee. He is also chairman of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and is a member of the policy board of the Capital District Transportation Committee.
Legislator Brian McGarry, of Rotterdam, one of just two Republicans on the 15-member Legislature, said he is likely to support Landry, but he is not happy that the legislative minority had no input in the selection.
“They made their selection. It’s a done deal. I found out about it when I read the agenda,” McGarry said on Monday. “I’ll do my little friendly jabs, but I’m not a bomb thrower.”
McGarry said Landry has always been forthcoming and professional in dealing with the Legislature’s Republicans, so he is likely to support him.
County Attorney Chris Gardner said he expects Landry to keep his other county job — counsel to the County Legislature — for now, but he will eventually transition out of that position, which paid about $48,000 in 2017. Landry was paid in 2018 through a personal services contract, however. That contract resulted in his earning $20,000 for the County Legislature post, in which Landry prepares the resolutions that are voted on by the Legislature every month and handles other legislative work. He is under contract to earn $20,000 for the County Legislature work again in 2019.
“When he was town supervisor, he oversaw the town highway superintendent, and he knows a lot about highways and also about funding mechanisms,” Gardner said.
The county public works department clears and maintains county roads, oversees the engineering department and also oversees the county airport in Glenville. The department, which has about 60 or 70 employees, also has a mechanical garage that maintains the county’s vehicle fleet, as well as many of the city of Schenectady’s municipal vehicles.
Landry did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.