MALTA — Malta Town Supervisor Darren O’Connor won’t be running for re-election this fall, he said on Saturday.
The 66-year-old Republican, who was appointed to the position in 2018 following the resignation of Vince DeLucia and was elected to a two-year term in 2019, said he decided not to seek re-election for personal reasons.
The town Republican Committee, which was already aware of O’Connor’s intentions, met Thursday and endorsed Mark Hammond, chairman of the town’s Open Space Committee, for town supervisor.
Before becoming supervisor of the rapidly growing and evolving Northway Corridor town, O’Connor was DeLucia’s deputy supervisor, and was previously the deputy town attorney.
O’Connor cited several accomplishments during his term, while also offering praise to the Town Board and other town officials for their team effort. “I’m happy with the direction of the town in general, I’m happy in particular with our economic development progress,” he said.
The achievements include attracting the Mohawk Chevrolet dealership now under construction on Route 67 west of Northway Exit 12, completion of the Complete Streets plan for downtown Malta that is making it more pedestrian-friendly, and attracting a major new tenant to the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
National commercial property developer Scannell Properties of Indianapolis last week filed a zoning amendment application seeking to build up to five large industrial/distribution buildings on 245 acres at the tech campus, with an estimated investment of up to $250 million. Conceptual plans were presented to the Town Board in November, and last week’s application means the company is moving forward.
Scannell’s is the first significant development proposal for the tech campus since the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant came to the campus in 2009.
“This one looks pretty promising,” O’Connor said. “We’ve had a lot of people working on it with our economic development team, through the town, through the county, the (Saratoga Economic Development Corp.), we’ve been trying to get people in there.”
He also noted that the town has been able to keep property taxes low during his tenure.
“It gets harder every year, but we manage to do it,” O’Connor said. “The board is extremely careful with the budget. We have an excellent comptroller in Kevin King, and he helps us a whole lot.”
O’Connor is an attorney who had a career with in state government prior to his active involvement in town politics. He retired as chief counsel to the state police in 2011.
Hammond, who in addition to chairing the Open Space Committee is a member of the town’s Planning Board, is a retired professional firefighter with the Saratoga Springs Fire Department, including serving 13 years as a lieutenant. He previously was a volunteer with the Malta Ridge Fire Department, and before that worked at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in West Milton.
Hammond said he looks to continue healthy relationships with the business community to reinforce that Malta welcomes responsible growth and good-paying jobs, and also to enhance the town’s tax base.
Hammond also singled out ethics and ethics compliance as a focus of his campaign for town supervisor. “I am fully committed to making sure Malta remains the example on higher ethical standards for elected officials and town employees,” he said.
The Republican Committee also nominated John Hartzell and Albert Ricci for town council seats, Roger Crandall for highway superintendent; Jennifer Holmes-Golden, town clerk; and Ellwood Sloat, town justice. All are incumbents, except for Ricci, who is running for the seat now held by Democrat Cynthia Young.
Young said Saturday that she plans to seek re-election to the Town Board seat, and she doesn’t know if the Democrats will field a candidate for supervisor.
Malta town supervisor is a full-time position that pays $65,000 per year, plus another roughly $20,000 paid by Saratoga County for service on the county Board of Supervisors.
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