Alex Betke is a member of the firm's Government Relations practice and co-chair of the Municipal/Local Government practice. This unique combination of legal concentrations enables Alex to meet client needs at all levels of government and provide them with innovative solutions to their problems.
A registered lobbyist, Alex has extensive experience working with the Governor's Office, the Legislature, state agencies, the Attorney General and the State Comptroller, along with New York's federal government representatives. Alex's clients range from major industry associations to small businesses to not-for-profit organizations. His work encompasses all aspects of government relations, including legislation, procurement, appropriations and regulatory matters.
Alex established a Municipal practice in the Albany office in 2004, drawing on his significant experience serving as general counsel to various municipalities. Alex currently serves as attorney for the Villages of Catskill and Saugerties, providing representation on a number of legal matters. For other clients, he handles the full range of municipal law matters, including zoning and land use matters under the Environmental Quality Review Act and other regulations. His recent siting projects include a 30-room hotel and 20, 000 square foot catering and restaurant facility in the Village of Saugerties; one of the state's largest WalMart stores located in the Village of Catskill; and a large senior living complex to be built in Red Hook.
Alex was elected to several terms as a councilman in the Town of Coxsackie and served as the town supervisor. He has been involved in New York State politics throughout his career, serving as an elected state committeeman for the New York State Democratic Party and working on several statewide campaigns.
Alex's dual perspective as an elected public official and a private practice attorney enables him to analyze issues from both sides of the desk and best position his clients to achieve their goals.
New York Environmental Commissioner Will Issue an Order Early Next Year Banning “Fracking, ” Under a Moratorium Since 2008
New York Second State to Ban “Fracking”
December 22, 2014
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation is prepared to move forward on banning high-volume hydraulic fracturing based on the New York State Department of Health's long-awaited report, which concluded that: “Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health... and whether the risks can be adequately managed, high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not proceed in New York State.”
NYS Department of Health Developing Regulations Governing Use of Medical Marijuana for Official Launch in January 2016
New York Approves Medical Marijuana
Septmber 24, 2014
New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home Rule Law
New York Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations
July 1, 2014
In a recent case before the New York Court of Appeals, energy company defendants argued that the state's oil and gas law contained a so-called “supersession clause” that preempted all local zoning laws, such as the anti-hydrofracking rules at issue. The municipalities countered that zoning regulations were lawfully enacted pursuant to the home rule authority provided them by the state constitution. The court sided with the municipalities.
New York Appeals Court Upholds Zoning Laws Banning Hydrofracking over State Oil and Gas Laws
State Oil and Gas Laws Do Not Preempt Local Ordinances
May 30, 2013
New York State currently has a moratorium on large-scale hydrofracking while awaiting the results of various reviews of the technique. Under cover of the moratorium and several delays in health and environmental analysis results, more than 150 municipalities in the state have passed bans or moratoriums on the hydrofracking process.
Alex Betke to Lead Training for Planning Officials
May 2, 2012
Alan Friedberg Speaks on New Medical Indemnity Fund
December 27, 2011
Wilson Elser and the Albany Business Review Present a Medical Marijuana Discussion; Elizabeth Grogan Provides Post-presentation Interview
November 13, 2014
Wilson Elser Metro New York Partners Betke, Flannery, Meisels and Spolzino Conducted Symposium on Municipal Risk Management Solutions
December 23, 2010
Wilson Elser conducted a symposium to address risk management solutions for municipalities during difficult economic times.