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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 22, 2011

Retiring after 12 years
Stone enforced zoning, educated public

GUILDERLAND — After 12 years’ working for the town, Rodger Stone, zoning enforcement and stormwater management officer, is retiring.

“I’m going to miss Guilderland, all the residents, and all the people I’ve worked with, but I want to spend time with my family,” said Stone, who will soon be turning 63.

Before going to work for the town, Stone was in the automobile business, which he said was successful, but the hours were long and stressful.

“I wish I had known about the job of zoning enforcement officer before, because I would have been doing that in the first place,” Stone said.

Stone was the town of Guilderland’s first designated zoning enforcement officer under a new administration; before he was hired, zoning was enforced through the town’s building department for several years, though not very efficiently, according to Stone.

When he heard about the new position through a fellow firefighter — Stone is a member of the Guilderland Center Fire Department — he decided to apply. The job, he said, entails communicating to the residents that there are zoning laws and they must be followed.

“If people aren’t aware that we have property maintenance codes, we need to make the information available to them,” he said.

The vast majority of zoning code violations are simply a result of residents’ being unaware of the laws, and, when they are notified, they usually comply, said Stone. On the occasions when a person or business does not comply, the job can be unpleasant, but that’s in the minority, he said.

Stone became the stormwater management officer in 2008, after local laws were passed, providing regulations for stormwater management. The laws include measures such as public awareness and participation, illicit discharge regulation, and rules for avoiding soil runoff at construction sites.

As stormwater management officer, Stone was charged with investigating violations, but again, he said it was more about educating the public.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in the last 12 years,” Stone said.

His last official day as a town employee will be Feb. 11, 2012, but his last working day will be Jan. 6, 2012; he will be using up the rest of his paid time off between those dates.

“Rodger is a unique individual; he really gets into the job, enjoys it, and takes on a lot of extra tasks,” said Guilderland’s Supervisor, Kenneth Runion. The town is thinking about splitting up the roles that Stone filled, and hiring a part-time zoning officer and a separate stormwater management officer.

“It would be really hard to fill Rodger’s place with just one person,” said Runion.

Stone plans to move to Florida, where he will spend the winters, and he will spend the summers with his children and grandchildren in Michigan.

“I loved working with people. I enjoy people,” concluded Stone. “I’m going to miss Guilderland.”

—By Anne Hayden

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