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Saranac Lake Board of Trustees hold organizational meeting and swears in new mayor

Saranac Lake Mayor Jimmy Williams
Jimmy Williams for Mayor
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Saranac Lake Mayor Jimmy Williams

The Saranac Lake, New York village board held its organizational meeting and swore in a new mayor this week.

Republican Jimmy Williams won the mayoral race against two challengers on March 15th. Former Mayor Clyde Rabideau retired after a dozen years. Village health officer Ray Scollin administered the oath to the new mayor at the board’s organizational meeting this week.

“Do you James Montana Williams solemnly swear and or affirm that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of New York and that you will faithfully discharge the duties of mayor for the village for Saranac Lake according to the best of your abilities?” Scollin asked.

Williams responds: “I so swear.”

Mayor Williams offered only a few comments before getting down to business.

“Thank you for coming tonight and I am so happy to see this level of participation from our community and I hope that continues long into the future," Williams said. "I know I speak for all the trustees as well as myself when I say that we are eager to get to work for you.”

Appointments to key village offices and departments were first on the agenda. Before the new mayor took office the previous board released village manager John Sweeney after nearly 18 years of service. Mayor Williams had announced he would appoint Erik Stender to the position. During public comments Stender introduced himself and explained his qualifications.

“As part of my job I am responsible for project management, overseeing budgets and accounting, managing personnel logistics and communicating between finance and contractors on a daily basis. I am so honored to have been approached to become the village manager of Saranac Lake," Stender said. "I believe I will excel in this position because of my professional experience and my ability to rise to the challenge. Saranac Lake has influenced every aspect of my life and I will be honored to serve this community with integrity and dedication.”

Three appointments, including Stender’s, were approved as three-month interim positions.

Also on the agenda was a resolution offered by Mayor Williams to create a volunteer task force called The Help Desk to address concerns of village residents.

“There are village residents who have concerns, issues, need information and we need to make sure that they’re all replied to promptly and that they’re given proper information so that everyone, as I said in my campaign, is respected, heard and understood," Williams said "And I want to make sure we don’t have anyone falling through the cracks.”

The resolution was unanimously approved.

The village trustees also approved adjusting the meeting format to add a second public comment period and extend the time allowed for comments. The new board also did not adopt Robert’s Rules of Order.

Village Board Trustee Thomas Catillaz was named Deputy Mayor for a one-year term.

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