Linda Champagne: Niskayuna town historian is history (NY)





After a quarter-century, Linda Champagne is out as town historian.

She believes Niskayuna Supervisor Luke Smith decided not to reappoint her during the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting because of her opposition to a developer's plan to convert the Ingersoll Home property into a shopping area.

Not so, says Smith, noting he hopes to work with Schenectady County as the municipality gears up for bicentennial activities in 2009.

"I'm going to develop a relationship with the county historical society or look at other options." he said. He wouldn't elaborate on what those other options might entail.

The supervisor also says he was told by some people in the community that Champagne has been bad-mouthing him, a claim Champagne denied.

"The feedback that I'm being told is that she told people that I'm shameful and not a good leader, so why would I reappoint her?" he recently said when asked about the issue. "They don't have to agree with me all the time, but I want people who are going to work with me."

Champagne received a $500 annually stipend for being town historian.

She defends her stance on the Ingersoll Home.
"I'm being punished for doing what the state law says I should do, which is being a historian who protects historical resources like Ingersoll," he said. "This was my job to relentlessly trying to protect the place."

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