NISKAYUNA — Promises were made and pledges were repeated New Year's Day, as Niskayuna officials elected in November took oaths of office for new terms.
Supervisor Yasmine Syed, Councilman Bill McPartlon, Councilwoman Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, Town Justice Stephen F. Swinton Jr. and Town Clerk Michele M. Martinelli were supported by friends and family members who packed the meeting room at Edwin D. Reilly Jr. Niskayuna Town Hall for the noontime session.
Assemblyman James N. Tedisco, R-Glenville, administered the oath of office for Syed, whose father — Dr. Iftikhar Syed — stood as witness.
"It's hard to believe that just two years ago I was standing here as a newly elected town supervisor," Syed said, in brief remarks after the ceremony. "I was just as honored then as I am now to be given a great responsibility of leading the town of Niskayuna, where I was born and raised.
"Now, more then ever, I am committed to building on all the progress that has been made previously," Syed continued, "and to working in bipartisan fashion to keep the progress going. We have so much to be excited about and to look forward to."
Syed said taxes in the town are low and the town is considering an energy consortium that will save residents money and protect the environment.
Investments continue into town roads, parks, and water systems; Syed also said local businesses are thriving, with new stores opening. A garden market has prospered; work on the Rivers Ledge apartment complex — which eventually will offer 260 apartments on 21 acres at 2837 Aqueduct Road — is proceeding.
The other oaths — and speeches — followed in this order:
Schenectady County Surrogate Court Judge Vincent W. Versaci swore in Martinelli, whose husband, David, daughter, Julie, and son, Gino, stood with her in front of council desks.
Martinelli congratulated her fellow officials.
"I look around the room and there are so many people that helped me get through campaign season and I greatly appreciate it, I couldn't have done it without all of you," Martinelli said. "I'm very happy to be able to serve the town of Niskayuna for my third term."
Martinelli thanked her family. And she mentioned her deputy clerks, Michelle Mazuryk and Michele Carroll. "Without them by my side, I could not have done this," she said.
Martinelli swore in McPartlon, who was supported by his wife, Robin, and daughter Sarah.
"This is an important time, and the support of all you being here, really makes it, in my heart, shows the support we have in this town," McPartlon said to the audience. "It's important, we have a great town here."
McPartlon thanked family and friends who supported him in his bid for a second four-year term.
McPartlon said accomplishments in the town have been achieved through cooperation and hard work, and through the efforts of department heads and town employees.
"In closing, I will tell you all I will continue to serve in a bipartisan manner and cooperation with all my fellow Town Board members," McPartlon said.
U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith administered the oath to his wife, Rosemarie, who now begins her first four-year term as councilwoman.
"It's wonderful to see so many friends here today," Jaquith said after the ceremony. "It's a great reminder that nobody gets anywhere of consequence in this world on his or her own. I've been blessed to have people help me every step of the way."
Jaquith said she spent her campaign months meeting and speaking to town residents.
"They care about safety in our neighborhoods, making our town more walkable and bicycle-friendly, making sure we have great programs and facilities for our seniors and children and all residents," she said, "continuing to make sure Niskayuna is a welcoming place and doing so in a manner that is affordable.
"I've listened carefully and will work diligently to effectuate the will of Niskayuna residents," Jaquith added. "I will do my homework and I am prepared to represent everyone. It is up to us to leave our town and our world a better place tomorrow than it is today. Today I'm inspired by the possibilities for our town."
Swinton, who ran unopposed, was sworn in by his mother, Green Island Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan. Nicole Swinton supported her husband; sons Jack and Will stood with their parents.
"As is often the case, I am standing between people and their freedom, so I will simply say thank you and Happy New Year," Swinton said.