NYSERDA to Vote on Tonko

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The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority board will vote today on the appointment of New York Assemblyman Paul Tonko, 58, D-Amsterdam, as president and chief executive officer. Tonko, who has served in the Assembly since 1983, would replace Peter R. Smith who was appointed to the post in 2004 and has resigned, effective June 30. Smith has not announced his future plans.Prior to his election to the Legislature, Tonko was an engineer at the New York Department of Transportation and served on the staff of the Department of Public Service. He also served on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, where he became chairman in 1981. He earned a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University in New York. As an assemblyman, he was critical of the way energy was deregulated in the state by former Gov. George Pataki, which he said did not improve the problems with energy supply that it was meant to address. “Paul has great respect for NYSERDA and the work that they’ve done over the years, he would vigorously continue that work,” said Tonko chief of staff Tom Lynch. NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation established in 1975 to develop energy efficiency projects.

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