GLENVILLE — The Glenville Town Board expects to approve the appointment of a new board member next week by swearing in long-time resident and business owner Amanda Gonzalez-Barone.
The Glenville Town Board had an open seat available after former board member and Deputy Supervisor Gina Wierzbowski resigned earlier this month. The board members will vote at their meeting next Wednesday to determine if Gonzalez-Barone, 39, will fill the remainder of the term, which ends at the end of this year.
“By my very nature, and what I do in my career and with people in my life is, I love helping people, I have a passion for it,” Gonzalez-Barone said.
Gonzalez-Barone, 39, is the owner of and head trainer at Girl Fight Fitness, a kickboxing gym focusing on women, in Glenville. Gonzalez-Barone has been working “very actively” in the town, she said. Gonzalez-Barone is not only secretary of the Glenville Local Development Corporation, but also serves on the town’s small business Economic Development Committee.
“I recognized areas where I could step up and try to help,” Gonzalez-Barone said. “Part of it started as just being aware of what was going on, and then the next step was, well you know, you can stop here, or you can take action and actually do some good and try to see that good impacting others. So that’s kind of what led me to run for office last year in Scotia and that’s kind of what is propelling me to continue that goal going into this year as well.”
Gonzalez-Barone had run for the position of trustee in the Village of Scotia last November, but did not win the seat. She explained she learned a lot in running for trustee, and hopes to carry that knowledge with her into her new role on the board. She plans to run for election at the end of her appointment at the end of the term.
Gonzalez-Barone adds a unique perspective to the town board, as she is not affiliated with a political party.
“I’m an independent thinker,” Gonzalez-Barone said. “Which I think is really important because it allows me to look at things from different angles and different viewpoints. I really am about doing what’s best for the people in our community. I am open to listening to different opinions, even if it’s not something I necessarily agree with, it might be something that’s a better idea than something I could have thought of, or maybe it’s something where we collaborate together.”
Gonzalez-Barone is also the first openly lesbian member the town board has had.
“I think that when you’re a resident and you see someone like you represented, in an official capacity, it speaks a lot to feeling that you’re part of the process,” Gonzalez-Barone said. “You’re part of the community when you feel like you have that representation on your side, in our government. I’m very excited to be that for people and represent.”
Gonzalez-Barone said she was born in Scotia, and now lives there with her wife. She attended Skidmore College in Saratoga where she studied English.
Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle explained that he was impressed with her ideas when she ran for Village of Scotia Trustee. He explained, she is a well-known active member of the community.
“We felt it was important for a Scotia representative to be on the board, to have representation from the village, which was very important,” Koetzle said. “We felt that Amanda brings perspective to Gina leaving the board we lost. Having at least one female on the board is important, I want more, keeping female perspective on the board is important as well.”
Gonzalez-Barone is committed to running for election, and will be a candidate on the ballot, Koetzle said. Koetzle plans to assign Gonzalez-Barone some liaison roles once she is sworn in.
“She’s (Gonzalez-Barone) just a very very intelligent, hardworking individual, who’s got the best interests of the community at mind,” Koetzle said. “Those are the things we were looking for in a board member.”
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Categories: News, News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville