Paterson nominates Valentino for APA commissioner

ALBANY - Local legislators are now waiting for their opportunity to meet and assess Governor David Paterson's pick to fill an Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners seat vacated June 30 when Jim Townsend's 10-year term expired.

July 22, Governor David Paterson announced his selection for the vacant seat: former state energy guru Francis Valentino.

Dan MacEntee, spokesman for state Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said this week that Little plans to meet and assess Valentino before deciding whether to endorse his nomination.

Although an appointed position, a seat on the APA board requires state Senate approval.

"The Senator is eagerly waiting to meet him," MacEntee said. "It hasn't happened yet, but we will make sure it does before the senate goes back into session."

A Delmar native, Valentino was chosen for one of the three seats reserved for citizens residing outside the Adirondack Park boundaries.

MacEntee said the state Senate is likely to reconvene in early September for a special session. Little and several colleagues will have a meeting with Valentino before the session begins, MacEntee said.

Valentino has served on dozens of state boards, the majority of which focused on energy research and development.

For many years during the last two decades, Valentino was president of the state Energy Research and Development Authority. It was a time when NYSERDA was pushing for upstate industrial development.

He is also a past chairman of the government advisory board to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and he currently serves on the advisory board for the Lighting Technology Greenhouse.

Little's choice for APA commissioner depends on whether Valentino will approach Adirondack issues with a balance between vironmental concerns and economic sustainability, MacEntee said.

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