Residents tell legislators that Adirondack towns need jobs, industry

"The system at this point doesn't allow us to have the site cleaned up and bring in jobs," he said, citing 30 years of bureaucratic delay in holding up development. "We have to make processes workable."

A firefighter from Providence said with the young people moving out of the Adirondacks, it was difficult to staff fire companies and ambulance squads to protect the lives and property of residents.

"People are building big fancy homes, and we need to have funds so we can protect them," he said, suggesting the legislators boost aid for emergency response agencies and subsidies for volunteers.

Proprietor: Get heard in Albany!

Others focused entirely on constructive ideas.

Laurie Arnheiter, proprietor of Hudson River Trading Co, a shop in North Creek, suggested that all part-year Adirondack residents declare their Adirondack home as their primary residence and register to vote here.

Not only could it substantially boost federal aid to the Adirondacks, but it would boost legislative influence in Albany, she said.

"This is one way we can have a bigger impact," she said.

Naj Wikoff of Keene Valley said that many creative people were drawn to live in the Adirondacks, and that opportunities in continuing education should be expanded both to meet their needs, and provide more jobs.

"The creative economy is one of the fastest growing sectors," he said. "Education and the arts are opportunities for growth."

School district reform cited

Also, he suggested consolidating school district administrations, as the administrative cost per pupil was exorbitant in Adirondack public schools.

Tom Williams of Hudson said the legislators should develop an educational plan.

Scott Johnson of Lake George, who migrated from Willsboro for more economic opportunity, said that business proprietors and chambers of commerce should "think globally" and work together to market their offerings rather than be territorial or competitive. He operates several businesses in marketing.

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