Mayor-elect Lou Rosamilia picked Councilman Bill Dunne as the director of Planning and Community Development and I’m sure there is a bunch of anxiety within the development community as well as within the Planning Department.
He is also charged with consolidating the Planning Department with engineering and code enforcement. On paper it makes sense, but if that all comes together it will make Dunne one of the more powerful people in Rosamilia's adminsitration.
As I wrote Monday
, Dunne, an eight-year councilman who is term limited out, was an effective check and balance to Mayor Harry Tutunjian and the Republicans when they controlled the Council. That combative attitude carried over to his last four years when the Democrats ran things but I don’t think he will bring that “just say no” mantra to the administration – at least I hope not.
Even his detractors concede Dunne is no dummy and he knows that Troy, like all older, industrial cities in upstate, desperately needs private development to not only increase the tax base and help offset the cost of owning property, but to bring people in. Say what you want about Mayor Harry Tutunjian but he did a pretty good job towards that end.
I am of the belief Dunne is smart enough to put on a different hat when it comes to dealing with the developers who either currently have a project underway or those who are toying with the idea. At least I hope so, because in today’s business climate if he “just says no” the developers will return the favor and go to Schenectady or Albany or further away.
He takes over for the popular Sondra Little, and while I don’t expect him to follow in her footsteps - as Dunne is definitely his own man with undoubtedly some ideas of his own as to which direction development should take in the city – working with developers rather than against them is one example he should emulate.
So, Rosamilia has a deputy mayor, Pete Ryan, a deputy director of communication, Mike Fraser, a corporation counsel, Ian Silverman, and now a planning director, Dunne. His administration is getting there.
Labels: Dunne, fraser, little, Rosamilia, ryan, silverman