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Commissioner hopes to retain APA seat

RAYBROOK - Art Lussi's chances of remaining on the Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners are looking up.

The nomination of Lussi's potential replacement, Minerva boat-builder Peter Hornbeck, appears to be dead - and with the coming GOP takeover of the state Senate, the Lake Placid hotelier hopes he can secure another four-year term on the agency board.

"To be honest, I'm not lobbying hard in Albany or around the world to retain my seat," he said. "I just do it because I hope I'm respected and appreciated for what I do and what I stand for."

The pro-business commissioner enjoys the support of Republican state Senator Betty Little and the vast majority of local government officials. Some of Lussi's votes as commissioner have raised the ire of green groups who would like to seem him replaced.

Before his term expired last year, Lussi changed parties and registered as a Democrat in order to better his chances of keeping his seat. Lussi remained on the board as a heated battle ensured in Albany over his potential replacement.

"That was a good move since we did get a Democratic governor elected," he said. "Some friends of mine from Saranac Lake suggested it would be a good way to show my interest in staying on as a commissioner."

For his part, Hornbeck told North Country Public Radio last week that his appointment may be in real trouble.

"As far as I know it's still alive," he told NCPR Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann. "I don't know the mechanics of things, but I haven't been given any indication otherwise. It does look a little grim at this point because of the future Republican majority in the Senate."

Several commissioners' terms are nearing expiration, including that of APA Chairman Curt Stiles. Stiles's term expires in June of 2011, while in-park Commissioner Frank Thomas and out-park Commissioner Cecil Wray are also serving under expired terms.

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