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Departures and arrivals

As 2008 comes in, we say goodbye and thank you to two longtime public servants Tax Collector Shirley Otten and Councilman Gary Tedford. Shirley served the town with a bankers precision and a welcoming smile for 10 years. Gary worked on the towns behalf for 20 years and in his later terms gave the board an historical perspective on issues as they arose. Saranac has been fortunate to have these two community-minded people perform town duties for a combined three decades. We welcome new Tax Collector Mark White who will hold office hours out of his home at 3492 State Route 3 (kitty-corner across the road from Shirleys house). New to the Town Board this year is Jerry Delaney. Jerry has already been busy working on gathering information for a cross-connection control law for our water districts. On a personal note, I would like to say thank you for your support in the November election and please know I look forward to going to Town Hall every morning. For those who chose not to vote for me I hope to win your confidence in the next two years. If you have a concern, issue, or opinion on any town issue, please talk with me. You might not hear the answer you were hoping for or the problem may not be resolved as expeditiously as you expected, but I will listen respectfully and respond to what you say. We had five new metal doors put in at the pool at Picketts Corners Park; the old, original doors were rusting away and in need of replacement. My wife and I attended a dinner held at the Town Hall last month and enjoyed not only the pot luck food and the visit from Santa, but also the music provided by the Saranac Hollow Jammers: Joe Staley, Mitch Terry, George Kramer, Millard Eggleston, Bill Stanley and Ken LaFave. And speaking of music, I would like to thank Frank Cody and the RSVP Kitchen Band Reggie, Tom, Lorraine, Earl, Bob, and Ruth for letting me join in with my squeeze box when they played for the senior nutrition program in December. Kathleen Hazel, executive director of Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County, also attended that day, and I encourage others to come to Town Hall on Wednesdays or Thursdays for some socialization and a hearty meal supervised by Charlotte Patnode and Betty Tedford. Councilman Mike Tedford and Water Treatment Plant Operator Glen Hamel have installed the repaired generator for the Saranac Water System. Saranac High School art teacher Noreen Sadue has gathered up the current set of artwork that had been displayed in Town Hall and the Court House. She will be replacing them with new student work as a part of the Community Art Connection program. Assessor Steve Petrashune showed me an article written by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Real Property Taxation, and in it she writes, We have enthusiastically supported the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to study and make recommendations for the overhaul of our system of real property taxation... I have expressed the concerns you have mentioned to me about property taxes to our Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, and, along with the Town Board, have worked to keep the towns 2008 tax levy in line with the consumer price index. We have submitted two grant applications. In them we state, The Town of Saranac will conduct a community wide visioning process and develop a revitalization strategy to increase waterfront access to the Saranac River, revitalize the Towns hamlets, and advance future planning initiatives. The planning process will examine opportunities to integrate the Sable Highlands Recreation Area as a catalyst for economic development and hamlet revitalization in the Town. The Town of Saranac will work in conjunction with not-for-profits and community volunteers to undertake activities to promote the Towns revitalization and build its capacity to implement priority projects from the revitalization strategy. As the year unfolds, I look forward to visiting with you in this forum.

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