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Sweeney tapped as village manager

SARANAC LAKE - Former Saranac Lake Village Manager John Sweeney is getting a second shot at the job.

Newly elected Mayor Clyde Rabideau announced Sweeney's appointment to the position at a press conference April 22, about one week after the resignation of Marty Murphy left it vacant.

Rabideau said the decision to tap Sweeney for the position was one made collectively by the village board.

"We've quickly come to a decision on a replacement," said Rabideau. "You have here a dedicated public servant and you know what he's made of."

Sweeney had served as a village trustee before being chosen as village manager in 2002. He remained in that position until his resignation in June 2007.

"I didn't feel I was able to fully devote myself to the village at that time," Sweeney explained.

When asked his motivation for returning to the position, he said, "I think this board is headed in a good direction."

Since 2007, Sweeney has remained in the area, working as a contractor and with the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

"I'm glad we're back and getting things done," Sweeney said, noting how many of the same issues which existed at the end of his last tenure still remain.

When asked why the board chose Sweeney without any formal or nationwide search, Rabideau said Sweeney was simply the best choice.

"I know the last administration supposedly put out a nationwide search," Rabideau said. "We discussed that option and we also discussed the availability of John Sweeney. Our unanimous decision was to ask John Sweeney if he would come back. We're 100 percent confident he has the ability."

The board agreed upon a $69,000 salary for Sweeney, Rabideau said, a figure somewhat less than the $72,500 Murphy was paid.

"The board has many things it wants to accomplish, and I'm confident this open, honest team is going to help us get there," Rabideau added.

Deputy mayor Jeff Branch said he was pleased with the decision to appoint Sweeney.

"We've had our disagreements in the past," said Branch, "but John's heart is always in the right place, and he always has the interest of the village in mind."

Sweeney's appointment was officially approved at the April 26 Village Board meeting.

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