The Town of Tupper Lake sees a race for Supervisor between Incumbent Superintendent Roger Amell and Challenger Councilwoman Patricia Littlefield… Today on the K&J Show at 8:10am we spoke with Amell about the Setting Pole Dam, The Rail Corridor, Snowmobiling and the new groomer and other topics related to the village. We asked him for his motivation to run for Supervisor in the Town of Tupper Lake..
Town Supervisor Roger Amell, a Democrat, is defending his seat against Republican town Councilwoman Patti Littlefield in the Nov. 5 election.
In a recent interview with the Adirondack Daily Enterprise each candidate was asked the same set of questions on topics including the Adirondack Club and Resort, the rail-versus-trail debate and how they would encourage new businesses to open in Tupper Lake.
If re-elected, Amell would begin his third term as town supervisor of Tupper Lake. He said he takes pride in the fact that he’s kept taxes low and stayed under the state-imposed tax cap every year he’s served.
Amell is a staunch supporter of the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort project and said that if it comes to fruition, the benefits will ripple out into the surrounding communities.
“The tax base (from the ACR) is going to make our whole community a lot better,” Amell said. “There’s going to be more growth and creation of jobs. It’s going to be a state-of-the-art ski area for Tupper Lake and the surrounding communities.”
The biggest issue, he said, is the legal battle waged against the ACR project by Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club.
“The governor said the Adirondack Park is open for business, and in a lot of ways it is, but, you know, the environmentalists have more protection than the average taxpayers here,” Amell said. “Until they have to pay the opposite side every time they lose, they have nothing to lose. It’s a big stall-tactic game for them, and it causes major problems for the whole economy in the Adirondack Park, not just for Tupper Lake, and that’s the big thing that holds these communities back from economic growth. They should be liable for the damage they’re doing to us.”
If elected, Littlefield would leave her four-year councilwoman seat mid-term to take on the town supervisor role. The Republican candidate said she would try to change some things about the way the town board does business, including maybe rescheduling its meetings from 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
“Open government is essential in keeping the public informed,” Littlefield said. “It would be wise to examine our process and perhaps to schedule meetings at a time more convenient for people, especially the working public to attend to witness their elected officials conducting public business.”
To that end, Littlefield said more cohesion between the town and village would benefit both entities.
“Both the village board and town board could meet together occasionally to work on opportunities where the two governments could come together for the good of all,” Littlefield said. “Especially with the proposed new fire and police department, and the costs associated with it. This way all parties involved with the decision-making process are clear on what has been concluded, and the taxpayers could be present.”
Littlefield also said she would like to begin the process of establishing policies for the town that are currently not in place.
“Having current practices put into written policy and procedure could alleviate issues down the road,” Littlefield said. “Establishing written policy and an annual risk assessment, together with an annual audit, is a directive of the Office of the State Comptroller.”
She also said the town board and highway superintendent should work cooperatively toward long-term planning for equipment inventory and maintenance, as well as road reconstruction, renovation and maintenance.
Earlier this month, Littlefield and Councilman Quinn spoke out against the town’s resolution to sell the 7-acre Setting Pole Dam parcel to ECOsponsible Inc. Amell supported the resolution.
“Property owned by the town taxpayers should be considered carefully prior to sale,” Littlefield said. “Review all the pros and cons to the taxpayers, and regarding Setting Pole Dam especially, consider the residents who have been affected by previous flooding.
“I would have liked to see a referendum initiated by the town board. In the end, if the sale does go through, we need to be cautious on how that money is used. A one-shot revenue should not be used to fund recurring expenditures.”
Littlefield said the Adirondack Club and Resort will serve as a magnet to attract people to the area.
Click the play button below to listen to our conversation on WNBZ…