Karen Feldman has stepped down from her post on the Adirondack Park Agency Board, agency spokesman Keith McKeever confirmed Tuesday.
Feldman, a retired lawyer and Democratic campaign strategist from Hudson, had served on the board since 2013 and became acting board chair last summer. She had openly sought the governor’s appointment as chair over the winter, telling an Adirondack Explorer writer, “We have an opportunity to make a difference to New Yorkers.”
Feldman did not immediately return a call from the Explorer, and no explanation for her resignation was available. McKeever said another board member will be asked to chair the board’s next meeting, in June, if the position remains vacant at that time. Feldman’s resignation was effective May 17.
The chair of the 11-member board traditionally has lived within the Adirondack Park, and at times local officials have opposed the appointment of anyone who wasn’t a neighbor having to live with park regulations. Feldman noted that she and her long-time partner are Adirondack property owners and taxpayers. Some locals dropped their insistence on an Adirondack resident because they considered her worthy, though the president of the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages remained set on a local chair even if Feldman seemed “a fair broker.”
The Adirondack Council on Tuesday thanked Feldman for her service, and for her “courtesy and professionalism, seeking rational answers to difficult questions.”
Counting board members currently serving beyond their expired four-year terms, the Council noted in a news release that there are six vacancies to fill this year. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and for the new Senate to appoint and confirm a new slate that includes strong conservationists, with experience in land-use, planning and conservation law,” Council Executive Director Willie Janeway said.
— Brandon Loomis