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Niskayuna to consider Town Hall name change to honor Reilly

Niskayuna to consider Town Hall name change to honor Reilly

'Everybody thought of it as Ed Reilly's building anyway; it should have had his name on it a long time ago'
Niskayuna to consider Town Hall name change to honor Reilly
Niskayuna Town Hall
Photographer: Gazette file photo

The Town Board will consider a resolution to honor the late Edwin D. Reilly Jr. by adding the former supervisor's name to Town Hall.

Reilly, who served five consecutive two-year terms during the 1970s and also was Niskayuna's top elected official from 1989 through 1997, died Aug. 1 at age 86.

The board is expected to vote on the new name -- "Edwin D. Reilly Jr. Niskayuna Town Hall" -- at its Sept. 25 meeting.

The resolution was discussed in the town's Highways and Public Facilities Committee, chaired by board member Denise Murphy McGraw.

"It is certainly appropriate now because Ed really was the driving force behind making that building possible," McGraw said. "He had a vision for a community center, for something that could be a parklike setting that everyone could make use of.

"I think that vision really has come to fruition," McGraw said, adding that Saturday's community fun run was held there. "Next month we'll have a Halloween parade there. It really has become what Ed really thought it could be, a place where we can gather for various events."

The town's municipal center, located off Nott Street East, opened in 1995.

McGraw said the name change should have happened before Reilly died.

"I think he would have loved to have seen it," she said. "Everybody thought of it as Ed Reilly's building anyway. It should have had his name on it a long time ago."

McGraw said she hopes the town will also hang a plaque inside Town Hall detailing Reilly's contributions to Niskayuna.

McGraw and the other three board members are Democrats. The name change to honor the Democrat supervisor is also supported by current town Supervisor Yasmine Syed, a Republican.

"I'm excited about it," Syed said. "Ed Reilly epitomizes what I hope politics get back to, especially at the town level. He was just such a decent, civil and gracious man. He worked with people on both sides and he worked with them well. He really loved the town and served it well. If not for him, we would not have this big beautiful Town Hall to work in."

The name change on the front of the building is not expected to present a great expense to the town. McGraw said the front section, near the entry doors, was due for refurbishing.

"It's just a matter of adding a number of letters that will be smaller than the ones that are there now," McGraw said. "Extra letters in the same style."

Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected].

 

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