Steven Tucker, one of two recent appointees to the town Zoning Board of Appeals, is getting attention for his age, but he's confident his skills will remove all doubt that he's the right fit for the board.
The 22-year-old doesn't think his age will be a distraction, adding that every member of the board brings a different perspective and his policy background will prove valuable.
"I'm not really concerned. I know what my talents are, I know what my skills are and I feel confident that I can perform," he said.
He received a degree in public policy last year from SUNY's University at Albany. The son of town Planning Board chair Mark Tucker grew up familiar with local policy and town codes.
In preparation for the interview the town board, he also delved more into the projects currently in front of the board. In fact, he was one of the few interviewees for the appointment who reviewed the comprehensive plan before sitting before the Skaneateles Town Board, the selecting board.
"I looked at our town comprehensive plan, and what the town had developed as a vision for what they want the town to look like in the next 20, 30 years," Tucker said. "Comprehensive plans are your basic policy guidelines for ... communities. They're building the idea of how you want your town or your county to look 20, 30 years down the line, what issues you might run into with continued expansion — whether your sewer system is large enough, your water.
"So when you follow those guidelines, it allows you to do a set plan of deciding what things would be good for your community and what things wouldn't be, so it helps you delineate what you really want to be doing in your town and what you don't want to be doing."
Currently Tucker is working on his family farm, John F. Tucker Farms LLC., and exploring his future options. The 2009 high school graduate hasn't made any decisions but is considering furthering his education by attending graduate school, for example at Syracuse University. He's specifically interested in internet technologies and electronic media, which encapsulates copyrights, anti-piracy laws, international control of websites.
"Twenty years ago, we didn't really have the internet that much, now everyone has it, and we haven't caught up on a policy level," Tucker said. "The government hasn't been able to catch up with that expansion of the technology."
His interest in policy and years of working on his family farm led to internships with the state Farm Bureau, for one year, and the Department of Agriculture, for six months.
Skaneateles Town Supervisor Terri Roney said his background and understanding of policy made him a top candidate.
"We interviewed nine candidates. Mr. Tucker has a degree in public policy and spoke capably and competently about the comprehensive plan and he'll do a good job representing the town," she said.