Haber stepping down as Association of Towns director

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G. Jeffrey Haber, the executive director of the state Association of Towns, has opted for retirement.

The group’s director for the past 27 years, Haber will step down from his post on October 15. He’ll be replaced by Gerry Geist, an attorney who was a town board member in North Castle, Westchester County, for 24 years.

The Association of Towns advocates on behalf of New York’s towns, pushing officials on things like mandate relief and other issues affecting municipal governments. Haber, 67, said he was waiting for the right successor to be found before stepping down.

“Gerry is a straight shooter whose dedication to town government is unequaled,” Haber (pictured) said in a statement. “He will bring energy and innovation to the Association. I am very happy for him and the Association.”

Haber started as executive director on July 1, 1985. Previously he was supervisor of the town of Schodack, Rensselaer County.

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  1. Anyone working for Mandate Relief is doing a great service to New York State. Voters don’t understand how desperately local elected officials – school boards, town boards, and county legislators – want mandate relief and how urgently it is needed. Hopefully the Association of Towns and local officials – school boards as well as town boards – will issue Mandate Storm Warnings with the same repetitiveness and frequency as hurricane warnings and health emergency alerts. Instead of fearing that their voters will blame them for service cuts or for being the messengers of bad news, local officials might consider that New York doesn’t need elected officials who only tell voters good news. Voters know that NYS is in terrible economic shape, and voters will respect leaders who are forthright about the crisis and the solution. A big part of the solution is local officials and voters united, speaking with one voice, “Mandate Relief Now,” and accomplishing this goal by pressuring one state senator and one state assemblyman at a time onto the Mandate Relief bandwagon. One suggested thing to do? Town Mayor and School Board President have a joint press conference EVERY WEEK for one month to inform voters about the mandate crisis and enlist voters to actively and publicly support mandate relief. Next thing? Sign BEST4NY’s Mandate Relief petition, now with 1200+ signatures, including 5 NYS Assemblymen and the NYS School Boards Assn. Last week, Westchester County Executive suggested that Westchester residents support the BEST4NY initiative. See BEST4NY’s website for links. Good luck to the retiring and new leader of Association of Towns and thanks for their efforts for mandate relief.

  2. REFERING to The Comment above from BEST4NY! I read the emphasis with great details! Apparently, I think that The State of New York is not located in Iraq or Libya! Having said that; Let’s say if only for a little bit more comprehensible exploration of ( the thought in the Fellow Writer’s Comment ), I.Am kind of very concerned, if everyone becomes ” an association with agendas”… and the Inhabitants of America preach and sermon amongselves ” to become one voice for a relief”… THEN what is going to happen to The Checks and Balance? How are we going to be accountable to “The Oath of Public Trust” that “Our Town.Representative took… Holding a “closed Bible” in their hand?

    Without Prejudice. Seriously! I am very interested in learning for the sake of Preserving, Defending and Protecting Our Supreme Law of The Land!

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller.

  3. I would like to wish G. Jeffrey Haber a long and happy retirement and if he has a bucket list of things he wants to do I hope he is successful in crossing them off and enjoys doing so. I would also like to invite him to join us at http://www.homeexchange50plus.com if swapping homes for a vacation is something he may consider.

    Brian Luckhurst