APA welcomes back former commissioner

RAY BROOK – Two familiar faces were welcomed back to the Adirondack Park Agency at its monthly board meeting today.

James Townsend took a seat at the board table next to APA Chairwoman Lani Ulrich. The former agency commissioner was hired last month as the APA’s general counsel.

“It’s been many, many months I’ve been anticipating to say welcome to our new general counsel James Townsend,” Ulrich said. “This is a moment that’s never occurred at the agency, that a former commissioner and a one-time chair of this agency will now lead our legal division as counsel.”

Townsend, a Rochester lawyer who owns a camp in North River, served on the APA board from June 1999 until May 2010.

APA Executive Director Terry Martino said Townsend has an “ongoing passion and commitment to the Adirondack Park.

“We are so grateful and appreciative of having him with us,” Martino said.

Martino also welcomed back Mike Hannon to the agency’s Regulatory Programs division. Hannon, who lives in Saranac Lake, returned last month from a year-long military deployment to Afghanistan. Martino said Hannon has been released from active military duty.

“We want to thank you, Mike, for your many years of service and your deployment to Afghanistan,” Martino said.

APA board members, staff and guests in the audience gave Hannon a standing ovation.

“Thank you very much,” Hannon said. “It’s good to be back.”