Joint Press Release on APA Appointments

For Immediate Release
Friday, June 21, 2019

Joint Statement from
The Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages
The Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board

Proposed APA Nominees are being unfairly portrayed!

Selections Favor Diverse Backgrounds & Collaborative Spirits Over Narrow Special Interests and Political Polarization

At a time when public policy discussions are too often fraught with deep polarization and narrow, uncompromising viewpoints on both sides of the aisle, Governor Cuomo should be commended for nominating four candidates for the Adirondack Park Agency board with diverse professional backgrounds and personal interests and a demonstrated ability and willingness to work with all parties for the betterment of their communities.

Some critics of the Governor’s choices would like you to believe that the nominees’ service as local and state government officials, past or present, will prevent them from looking objectively at the many challenging issues facing the Adirondack Park. This criticism is unfounded and unfair. While sharing a commitment to community service, each nominee brings with him or her a distinct personal and professional background, a diverse set of viewpoints, and a reputation for independent thinking and well-reasoned decision making that will serve the Park Agency well.

Nominee Mark C. Hall is a native of the Adirondack Region who began his career in the field of environmental remediation in the New York metropolitan area. He later returned to the Adirondacks and opened his own firm, through which he was responsible for the successful cleanup of one of the most significant environmental catastrophes in Adirondack Park history – the major oil spill at the former J&L iron ore processing facility. After first being involved in a cleanup attempt that was abandoned after only one-third of the oil was removed, Mark refused to let the J&L problem remain unaddressed. Over the next decade, he assembled and led a team of partners in a cleanup effort that has resulted in a successful conclusion. Mark went on to serve as a town council member in the Town of Fine from 2002-2006, and as town supervisor from 2007-2015. He now serves as the town’s water superintendent and recently oversaw an $8 million water system infrastructure improvement project. He has also served as a volunteer board member with a variety of community organizations.

Andrea Hogan is a dedicated advocate for the needs of economically challenged families, having served as director of the not-for-profit Adirondack Community Outreach Center for nearly a decade before being elected supervisor of the Town of Johnsburg in 2018. As Outreach Center director, she led the organization in providing a wide array of services to Adirondack Region residents in need of assistance with food, clothing, medical services and other life challenges. Prior to working in human services, Andrea spent time in the health care and environmental advocacy fields. She is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has been active on a volunteer basis with arts, social services and youth organizations.

Brian McDonnell is a New York State-licensed guide who operates his own business, McDonnell’s Adirondack Challenges, providing guide and canoe livery services to Adirondack Region residents and visitors since 1982. He served as director of the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center for five years, was principle organizer of the Adirondack Watershed Alliance for 20 years, and oversaw the building and management of the Dewey Mountain Recreation Center in Saranac Lake for 15 years. Brian has also served as an adjunct faculty member in wilderness education, recreation and outdoor living at Paul Smith’s College, North Country Community College and Nassau Community College. Further diversifying his experience, Brian has served as chair of the Franklin County Tourism Advisory Committee and president of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. His local government service includes serving as a member of the town council in both Brighton and Harrietstown.

Kenneth P. Lynch is an environmental attorney who recently retired as executive deputy commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he played a leadership role in major statewide environmental projects and oversaw DEC’s response to statewide emergencies, including major storms, floods and fires. Prior to that he served DEC for 23 years as Region 7 director, during which time he led the successful cleanup and revitalization of Onondaga Lake. Ken began his state service in 1995 as region 7 attorney for DEC and was a key player in the passage and implementation of the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Environmental Bond Act. Earlier this year, Ken joined engineering firm OBG where he will play a leadership role in environmental, water and energy projects.

Together, these four nominees have a deep and complementary understanding and
appreciation for the environmental and economic health of the Park, the needs and interests of its residents, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world who choose to visit our communities because of our incredible natural resources and our diverse recreational, arts and cultural attractions. Their experience, expertise and career accomplishments exemplify the qualities that all New Yorkers should want and expect from APA Commissioners. They deserve to be treated better for their commitments to the Adirondacks.

Media Contacts:

Matt Simpson, President, Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages, (518) 361-1075

Jerry Delaney, Executive Director, Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, (518) 569-7800