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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Brucker to give up Schenectady council seat for move

Brucker to give up Schenectady council seat for move

Longtime city Councilwoman Denise Brucker is moving to Niskayuna and resigning from the council.

Longtime city Councilwoman Denise Brucker is moving to Niskayuna and resigning from the council.

She plans to move in November and will resign at that point.

As a lifelong Schenectady resident, she said moving to Niskayuna was unusual.

“It’s definitely strange,” she said. “It was a very big decision.”

It started with the search for a bigger house.

“We’re looking for a little more room. I’ve got three dogs,” Brucker said. “I certainly looked around in the city of Schenectady and couldn’t find anything we both wanted. You know, we have to agree.”

In Niskayuna, they found a house they both liked. Brucker and her husband purchased a house on St. David’s Lane, where they now have a $216,997 mortgage. They bought the house July 25, but the deed was just filed with the county clerk.

Their Patrick Court house has been for sale for months but hasn’t sold yet. Nonetheless, the Bruckers aren’t stuck paying two mortgages: they paid off the mortgage on their Schenectady house in 2009. Brucker has owned that house for 27 years.

She said she’ll be sad to leave that house — especially now that it’s all fixed up. The new house needs a lot of work.

“It requires extensive, extensive work,” she said.

She plans to move in as soon as it’s done, even though that will force her to resign from the council.

“My plan would probably be as soon as I can get the house ready,” she said.

She can remain on the council as long as she’s living in Schenectady, even if she owns property in another town.

The purchase came as a surprise to her fellow council members. Councilwoman Leesa Perazzo even asked if it was possibly just a rumor.

Upon learning it was true, Perazzo said she was surprised.

“But houses are sometimes a love affair,” she said.

Brucker was council president last year and could have remained president this year under the council’s informal leadership rules. But she said she did not want to be president for a second year.

Brucker has always been a top vote-getter among Democrats in her election campaigns and won re-election decisively in 2011. Her term would have expired at the end of 2015.

Last year, she became the director of continuing education for SUNY Adirondack, forcing her to make a lengthy commute every day. When she put her house on the market, some city officials thought she would move to Queensbury so she could be close to her job.

Brucker served on the council from 1998 to 2005, but was prohibited from running for re-election under the Hatch Act. The act bans certain public employees from holding political office, and Brucker had taken a job at the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority.

She returned to the council in 2006 after taking a job with Schenectady County Community College. She was appointed to fill a vacancy but easily won re-election.

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