LAKEGEORGE-A downtown business owner is seeking to take on a decision-making role in municipal government as she challenges two incumbent Lake George Village trustees in an election March 15.
Patty Kirkpatrick is vying for a four year term, as two present trustees Ray Perry and John Earl are campaigning to retain their seats. The top two vote-getters secure a four-year term.
Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. in the Lake George Town Hall.
Kirkpatrick, owner of Nina's Sweet Shop on Canada St., said this week that she wants to provide more representation for downtown business owners in village decisions. She also said she'd like to prompt the government to be more open with the public, particularly concerning notices of meetings.
"If all the people were invited to village meetings, there would be more cooperation between year-round residents and the business community," she said, noting that about 70 percent of the village revenue comes from commercial property tax, but many business owners are part-year residents - they don't officially reside here - so they don't get to vote.
"For many years, it's been 'us and them' between business owners and residents, and this doesn't encourage the right atmosphere," she said, noting she'd like to see Lake George return to the congenial atmosphere that existed decades ago when her parents, Anne and Ernie Patenaude, ran restaurants in Lake George.
The two entities ought to not only co-exist, but truly appreciate what they do for one another, she said.
"Somehow, year-round residents and business owners should love each other, because we have a fabulous tax rate, wonderful schools, and efficient services."
Those aspects she praised are the reasons Perry and Earl say they should stay in office.
Earl, a three-term trustee and the village's Deputy Mayor, cites a level tax rate, financial stability, and various accomplishments involving upgraded village infrastructure as reasons he should be returned to office.