A former Army Reserve officer and local businessman is running for Niskayuna town supervisor after current supervisor Yasmine Syed announced she will not seek re-election because she is moving to Syracuse.
Hamayun “Joey” Faizy was endorsed by the Schenectady County GOP during a meeting Monday evening. He officially filed the paperwork to run Tuesday.
Faizy is a lifelong resident of the county and has lived in Niskayuna since 2011, according to a press release sent by Syed. Faizy said he sold one of his businesses, a bar named Pinhead Susan’s on Broadway in Schenectady, in order to free up more of his time helping residents of the town.
He also said he didn’t want to be affiliated with a bar.
Faizy will face off against Jaime Lynn Puccioni, a University at Albany professor and vice chairwoman of the Niskayuna Racial Equity Task Force, who was endorsed by the Niskayuna Democratic Committee in late February.
Faizy said he was originally running for a Town Board seat but was asked to run for the supervisor’s role. He did not say who asked him.
He said he’s running because he wants to fix local issues the town has control over, such as people throwing trash out their window on Balltown Road or speeding through neighborhoods.
“It’s about our kids,” he said. “It’s about our future. It might sound cheesy, but it’s not.”
Faizy said one of the biggest issues the town faces is taxes. He said he will bring his budgeting background as a businessman to help resolve any tax issues.
“I want to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “I want to make everybody happy.”
Faizy said he will keep Syed’s open-door policy.
“If anyone has any issues, they’re not going to get the runaround,” he said. “I swear they’re not going to get the runaround. They’re going to get a call back within 24 hours.”
Joining Faizy are Jason Moskowitz and Susan Walker, who are both seeking Town Board seats on the GOP line against Democratic candidates and current board members Denise Murphy McGraw and John Della Ratta.
Moskowitz is a 13-year volunteer firefighter with Niskayuna Fire District No. 1. He is also serving his fifth term as the fire company’s president. He has also been a Schenectady County Public Safety 911 dispatcher for nine years.
“I’ve always thought politics plays too much of a role in the town,” he said. “With no personal political agenda, I think I would do a great job of putting our residents and municipal employees before the partisan politics, and my goal would definitely be to make the town more about the residents and the employees, and not party lines.”
Moskowitz said speeding and traffic are big issues in Niskayuna.
“I live in Old Niskayuna and I hear from the residents all the time, and I see it on my own street,” he said.
He said he would work with the Police Department and the public safety committee to come up with creative ways to enforce the speed limits throughout the town and mitigate traffic concerns.
Moskowitz also said he has heard some concerns about the town becoming too commercialized. He said he wants to enact policies to ensure the town can continue to grow but the residential character remains.
Walker, a home health occupational therapist, moved to Niskayuna eight years ago.
“I thought it was just time to get involved locally and really dig in to see what’s going on at the Town Board meetings,” she said, noting she had only been to one meeting pre-COVID. “Just to see what the atmosphere is. I would put a unique perspective on it, given I’m in health care and that seems to be the big thing lately.”
Walker said she hasn’t yet plunged into what issues she thinks are most pressing to the town. However, she is concerned about support for the Police Department.
“I just want to make sure the reforms they’re suggesting are accurate and supportive not only for our community but for them — for our first responders,” she said.