By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — Malone Village Board candidate Tom Grady says he’s neutral about dissolution and favors sharing services whenever possible to lighten residents’ tax burden.
He also believes in creating residential districts where a fee is charged on tax-exempt properties that benefit from village services but pay nothing toward them.
This is the fairest way to spread the expense among all property owners who otherwise obtain police protection, street plowing and water and sewer service at no cost, he said. That includes Franklin County, North Star Behavioral Services, the Adirondack Arc and the other non-profit agencies that pay no village taxes.
Grady, 59, who lives on Webster Street, is a Republican running against Democrat Brian Langdon for a two-year unexpired trustee seat on the Village Board.
“I won’t be popular with landlords,” he said of his district idea, but long-term savings will help all residents if the village remains intact.
He said owners could pass the fees on to their tenants, and that way the costs are spread fairly to those entities using village services.
Grady said he has not read the dissolution study adopted by the Village Board, which has placed the subject of dissolution on the ballot for voters on Nov. 6.
“I’m fairly neutral,” he said, adding that no matter how the vote goes, he has little faith that dissolution would actually occur.
“In the last 30 to 50 years, the state has refused dissolution,” Grady said. “Lake Placid tried it 10 years back or so, and the state said ‘no’.
“So I’m not certain it’s going to happen because of that,” he said. “But if it does, I will wholeheartedly work that way. We need to make decisions for the village if it’s going to stay a village.”
If elected, Grady said he would work toward merging the Town Highway Department and Village Department of Public Works into one site, whether the village dissolved or not.
The study recommends building a $1 million addition to the existing Town Garage, but Grady said grant funds might be available to help pay for it.
He feels maintaining a police presence is important, and he would want to see the Village Police Department retained and possibly expanded, which, he said, could be paid for through shared-services savings.
He said he would be just one vote on the board, but his priority would be to save as many jobs as possible or reduce them only through attrition.
“People are important, and we have to find alternatives. I’d like to think I’m a person who can work out difficulties and see the different sides.
“But I’d have to sit down and take a serious look and see what’s legal and not legal. I’m a firm believer in self-education, and I’ve got the time. I’m willing to talk and listen to anyone.”
A former reporter with the Malone Telegram who is now an author and web-page designer, Grady said he was approached to run by fellow members of the Malone Golf Club.
He has been campaigning and visiting all senior centers and a number of civic organizations to listen to voter concerns.
“I need to know what people are thinking.”
Email Denise A. Raymo: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education: North County Community College, licensed-practical nursing; Mohegan College, Norwich, Conn.; Lake Placid Central School.
Occupation: Self-employed author, novelist, web-page designer and editor of a monthly news magazine for a national non-profit organization.
Civic organizations: Malone Elks; New York State American Legion officer; Malone Golf Club; American Killifish Association; and more.
Military service: U.S. Navy, 1972-76; Vietnam War veteran.
Family: Wife, Phyllis; and an adult son.