November 5, 2013

Saranac, E'town council races detailed


---- — Editor’s note: This article includes profiles for Saranac Town Council candidate Michele Patrashune and Elizabethtown Town Council candidate Richard ‘Rick’ F. Olcott that did not appear in Saturday’s Vote 2013 publication. Out of fairness, we are re-running the other candidates’ information for those races, as well.


(Vote for two)


Party: Democrat / Working Families Party.

Age: 39.

Education: SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Substitute teacher.

Family: Wife, Kelly; son, Samuel; daughter, Ella.

What are the biggest issues facing your town, and how would you address them if elected?

“Budgetary concerns, trying to maximize what you can do. People don’t want taxes to go up and I don’t want them to go up. Trying to get high-speed internet and trying to bring a farmer’s market to town.” 

Also, he said, reducing the speed limit of a portion of Route 3.


Party: Republican; Independent, Team Saranac party.

Age: 43.

Education: Saranac Central School graduate; associate degree in business administration, Clinton Community College; bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration, SUNY Plattsburgh.

Occupation: Senior account clerk typist for the Clinton County Health Department; Saranac Fire District treasurer.

Previous government experience: Saranac Fire District secretary.

Civic organizations: Assumption of Mary Catholic Church member.

Family: Husband, Andy.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected?

“Obviously, the biggest thing is the economic times we’re in. We really have to pull together and get a team effort and look at every decision, everything that comes before the board, to make the best decisions with the information that we have, being conscious of the economic environment we’re in.”


Party: Conservative.

Age: 71.

Education: A.A., Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Retired as a lieutenant from Clinton Correctional Facility.

Military: Three years in the Navy (1960-1963); discharged as radar man 3rd class.

Previous government experience: Town supervisor of Saranac from 2000-2004.

Civic organizations: American Legion; president of Saranac Independent Cemetery Association.

Family: Wife, Joyce, deceased; son, Jamie Tedford of Saranac; daughter, Tammie Champagne of Plattsburgh.

What are the biggest issues facing your town, and how would you address them if elected?

“The same things that affect any small town — health insurance, making finances go as far as they can. Being financially responsible for every penny you spend.”

Candidates Ellen Lamora (D, WF) and Robert V. Brooks (R) did not respond to requests for information for this report.



(Vote for two)


Party: Democrat.

Age: 71.

Education: St. Jean Baptiste High School graduate; Wood Secretarial College graduate; studied real estate at Clinton Community College.

Occupation: Part-time, Essex County Public Defender’s Office.

Previous government experience: Elizabethtown Planning Board, 2007 to 2012; Elizabethtown Town Council, 2012 to present.

Civic organizations: Elizabethtown-Lewis Chamber of Commerce treasurer.

Family: Widow; three adult children.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community, and how would you address them if elected?

Probably the biggest one is business development in town, which ties into our having a sewer (system). The town put out a survey a year ago, and what most people were concerned about, it seemed, was economic and business development. Some people wanted things like a laundromat and a car wash to return to town, but we can’t really have those things without a sewer system.

“So it was looking kind of bleak for awhile because we were losing all our businesses. Over the last few years, a lot of our little shops have closed, but I think things are on the upswing. I’m really optimistic because, for instance, right now we have two small businesses that will be opening shortly, so I think it we’ll get back to where we were before.

“But we need that sewer system if we’re really going to expect any kind of development.”


Party: Republican. 

Age: 61.

Education: Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School graduate; studied physical education, Ithaca College; studied business, SUNY Plattsburgh; technical training at Rockwell Automation.

Occupation: Electrical supervisor at NYCO.

Previous government experience: Elizabethtown Zoning Board, Elizabethtown Board of Assessors.

Civic organizations: Coached varsity, modified and junior varsity basketball at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central and Westport Central schools for 19 years, senior warden on the board for the Church of the Best Shepard, Elizabethtown Thrift Shop volunteer.

Family: Wife, Gay; five adult children, seven grandchildren.

What are the biggest issues affecting your community and how would you address them if elected? 

“I believe right now that one of the issues that the town faces is the growth of the town, attracting new families by bringing in new business and promoting new business in town.

“I also believe that we have the ability to attract new businesses because we have a town that we can grow, and I think getting business into town is probably the most important issue we have, at this point.” 

Candidate William Wright Jr. did not return calls requesting information.