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APA chair says she quit over pay and delay

Karen Feldman (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

RAY BROOK — The acting chairwoman for the state Adirondack Park Agency, who quit last week, told a local magazine reporter her resignation stemmed from her frustration over not being paid enough for the work she was doing on a supposedly interim basis.

Karen Feldman, an APA commissioner since 2013 and the acting chairwoman since July 2018, did not respond to requests for comment from several news reporters, including from the Enterprise, but she told a reporter for the Adirondack Explorer that her decision to leave the agency was a result of failed attempts at getting paid for her full-time work there.

Feldman, 61, stood to be the first non-Adirondack Park resident to be appointed chair of the state agency. She told the Explorer that even though she was doing the extra work of being chair for the last 10 months, her pay was limited to the $5,000 in per-diem payments other APA commissioners get. The chair is paid a $30,000 annual salary.

Feldman told the Explorer she’d been told her appointment papers were on the governor’s desk, but she decided to resign because she didn’t see a clear indication that her position would change. She said she submitted her resignation at the beginning of last week. It took effect Friday, according to the agency.

Feldman’s departure leaves three openings on the 11-member board. Not counting the board’s three state agency designees, only two commissioners are currently serving on valid terms, and one of those is set to expire soon.

Eight members of the APA board are appointed by the governor and approved by the state Senate, while the other three slots are representatives of the state departments of Environmental Conservation, Economic Development and State.

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