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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, March 23, 2006

Builder named to planning board

By Matt Cook

KNOX — Brett Pulliam was surprised when he was asked to join the Knox Planning Board.

"I don’t know why they wanted me," he said. "They asked me."

Last week, the town board unanimously appointed Pulliam to replace long-time planning board member Dennis Colliton, who resigned last month, citing personal reasons. Pulliam was recommended by planning board Chairman Robert Price.

Though he didn’t expect the appointment, Pulliam said he was glad to accept the position.

"It’s part of my public service to the community," Pulliam said.

Pulliam is a former member of the Knox Youth Council.

Pulliam works as a builder, constructing house frames with post-and-beam techniques. He also does some cabinetry, he said.

An example of his work is the octagonal barn on the property of Russ and Amy Pokorny in Knox. The barn is the site of a Hilltown farmers’ market.

Pulliam said he has yet to formulate an approach to his planning-board position.

"It will just be from a common-sense point of view, I guess," he said.

Pulliam has lived in Knox for about 20 years, he said.

"I like the country atmosphere," Pulliam said, "and the proximity to Albany if you need some cultural enlightenment."

His father, Vall, was a long-time member of the planning board and is now a member of the board of assessment review.

Assessor Shedina retires

By Matt Cook

KNOX — After more than two decades on the job, Knox’s assessor is stepping down.

The town board accepted Whanda Shedina’s resignation at a meeting last week. Shedina asked to retire at the end of the month.

When asked why, Shedina told The Enterprise, "At 83, don’t you think it’s time""

Twenty-three years ago, Shedina took over the position from her late husband, William.

"It was enjoyable. It was challenging," Shedina said of the job. "It was nice meeting all the townspeople."

The challenge, Shedina said, was in the amount of training required.

"We had to have 24 hours of schooling every year," she said.

Assessments can be a touchy issue with property owners, but, over the years, Shedina said, most of the people she dealt with were cordial.

"Really, there was only a couple thorns in my side. Otherwise, we got along pretty well," Shedina said. "It was an enjoyable time."

During her 63 years in Knox, Shedina has seen a lot of changes. Particularly, she said, in property values that have skyrocketed with the real-estate market.

However, Shedina predicted a lot of foreclosures in the near future.

"It seems to me that the bubble has broken," she said.

Knox is planning a town-wide revaluation project. A year ago, the board selected Russ Pokorny to head up the project as Shedina’s replacement.

Since he was appointed, Pokorny has been in training. He’s now ready to take over on April 1, Shedina said.

"Russ is doing very well," she said. "He’s had no problems at all."

Pokorny is especially adept at using a computer, Shedina said. Assessment work has become largely computer-based in recent years.

Pokorny ran unsuccessfully for a town board seat in 2003. His wife, Amy, was recently appointed to the zoning board.

At last week’s town board meeting, Knox Supervisor Michael Hammond asked Shedina if she would help Pokorny, if he needed it, with the revaluation project. She said she would.

"I’ll be right by his side," Shedina told The Enterprise.

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