As the deadline to file independent nominating petitions for the upcoming Saranac Lake village elections passed at the end of business Feb. 14, no new candidates had emerged. And so the stage is set; four candidates will run for two open trustee seats.
The Democratic choices – Barbara Rice and Paul Van Cott – will also run on the independent Unity Party ticket. And the Republican choices – Jeff Branch and Mark Gillis – will also run on the Conservative ticket. All are newcomers to village politics, except Branch, who currently serves as a trustee. John McEneaney’s trustee seat will be open, as he was defeated in the Republican caucus and decided not to file as an Independent.
The winners will join trustees Tom Catillaz (D) and Pelletieri (C) at the board table with Mayor Clyde Rabideau (D).
Judge Ken McLaughlin will run unopposed on the Republican and Conservative tickets. During their caucus, Democrats crossed party lines to endorse McLaughlin, who will be filling Tom Glover's two-year unexpired term. In an effort to consolidate the justice system, the village will be abolishing McLaughlin's seat in April and Glover's seat in 2014, when the towns of Harrietstown, North Elba and St. Armand – all inside the village limits – take over the judicial duties. McLaughlin is also a judge for the town of Harrietstown.
A Meet the Candidates forum will be held sometime in early March at the Harrietstown Town Hall with the Valley News co-hosting the event with the Saranac Lake-based Adirondack Daily Enterprise and possibly other local media outlets.
The village elections will be held on Tuesday, March 20.