Express News Staff
ALBANY - Lake Pleasant business owner Daniel Wilt will be joining the Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners.
The New York State Senate confirmed Gov. Andrew Cuomo's five nominations to the APA, including Wilt, Wednesday, June 19.
Reached for comment at Wilt Industries Inc., Wilt said, "I'm feeling kind of excited at being appointed and hope to work together with all sides on the issues."
Wilt replaces former Town of Lake Pleasant Supervisor Frank Mezzano, who has been a commissioner for 15 years. His term expired in June of 2011.
Wilt said he would not be joining the board until its August meeting at APA headquarters in Ray Brook. The board is not meeting during July.
Wilt runs Wilt Industries with his brother Richard "Rick" Wilt, who is the Town of Arietta's supervisor.
Wilt Industries is a five-person company that manufactures equipment for scientific glass blowing for the semiconductor industry, the solar industry and environmental testing. The company was founded in the Albany area but relocated to Lake Pleasant in 1980.
Daniel Wilt has served on the North Country Regional Economic Development Council since it was created nearly three years ago.
He is also a member of the Lake Pleasant-Sacandaga Association and has been a member and chairman of the Arietta Zoning Board of Appeals. In his free time he enjoys golf, downhill skiing and boating.
The Board of Commissioners is responsible for creating and ensuring compliance with the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan (private lands) and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (public lands).
Another new appointment to the APA board is Karen Feldman, a lawyer from Hudson, who will replace Manhattan attorney Cecil Wray in his out-of-park seat.
Feldman has been coming to the Adirondacks for the last 15 years. Her companion, Adirondack Landowners Association President Tom Williams, owns property in Schroon Lake in Essex County and Morehouse in Hamilton County.
She has helped organize retreats in the Adirondacks for the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Senate also confirmed Cuomo's nominations to reappoint APA Chairwoman Leilani "Lani" Ulrich of Old Forge and commissioners Art Lussi, a Lake Placid businessman, and former Town of Johnsburg Supervisor Bill Thomas.
ONE EXPIRED TERM
Richard Booth, a law professor at Cornell University and former director of The Adirondack Council environmental group, is now the only commissioner serving under an expired term. Commissioner F. William Valentino's term expires at the end of this month. He lives in Delmar.
The APA Act allows commissioners whose terms have expired to continue to serve until they are reappointed, replaced or resign.
NYS Sen. Betty Little supported the appointments. She chairs the senate's Environmental Conservation Committee, which could have blocked them.
Of the eight commissioners appointed by the governor, five must be full-time residents of the Adirondack Park (but no two may be residents of the same county) and three must be residents of the state outside the park.
No more than five of the eight may be members of the same political party. Appointments are for four-year terms.
Various groups on both sides of the Adirondack debate were quick to issue press releases.
"There is not an environmentalist within five miles of [Cuomo's] nominations," Protect the Adirondacks Executive Director Peter Bauer said in a press release. "The governor has said the Adirondack Park is open for business and this group of APA board members will single-mindedly implement the governor's wishes."
The Adirondack Council welcomed Wilt and Feldman to the board and said it was pleased with the re-nomination of Ulrich, Lussi and Thomas.
The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board supported the appointments. Its director, Fred Monroe, says Feldman has a good sense of the needs of communities and businesses in the Adirondacks, and both the review board and the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages recommended Wilt.
Monroe believes Wilt will bring a business perspective to the board, but he also describes him as someone who is very concerned about the environment.