By SUZANNE MOORE
---- — ELLENBURG — Two candidates vie for a one-year unexpired term on the Town Council here.
Deryl Gregory has had some taste of what the job is about; though he does not serve on the council, he has been deputy town supervisor for almost a year.
Since his appointment, he said, “I think I’ve missed one meeting.”
Robert J. Poitras is new to politics but says his experience in construction arms him with knowledge that can bring better services to his town.
DERYL L. GREGORY
Gregory said he has always had an interest in the governmental workings of his town but raising a family kept him from taking an active role.
Now, he said, “I look around, and in every organization I’m involved in, I see most of the people taking leadership roles are older.
“It’s time for the younger people to take a part.”
Gregory is enthusiastic about about the recreation park the town is building and wants to help that effort along.
The money for that project comes from payments-in-lieu-of-taxes funds from the wind-park companies in Ellenburg, and he wants to be part of the process to make sure that money continues to bring improvements.
He knows people who live on Chateaugay Lake are concerned about the invasive species Eurasian milfoil. And he is aware of a growing Amish community “putting (fallow) farmland back into production.
“We’ve got to work with those folks,” Gregory said. “Obviously, they have some needs.”
A year’s term isn’t long enough to effect big change, he said, but after that brief stint in office he expects he’d have a better grasp of the town’s needs.
Most importantly during that time, he said, “what I would really like to accomplish is to have a cohesive town board that works together to get things done.
“I think, by and large, that is the way we’re going, and I want to be part of that.”
Clean, less-expensive energy, services for the elderly and young people — those would be Robert Poitras’s aims should he be elected to the council seat.
“Hydro — that’s one of the best sources there is (for clean energy),” he said, “because water always flows, and it’s not dirty.
“And we’ve got all kinds of lakes around here; there used to be a hydro dam at Chateaugay Lake.”
As a general contractor, Poitras believes his experience would come in useful. He’d like to find grant funds to improve the homes of senior citizens who can’t afford to make needed upgrades. He could help select qualified contractors, he said.
For young people, he’d like to see a skating rink in winter, a place to go swimming in summer.
“Keep them off the street,” he said of less wholesome activities kids sometimes adopt when there are not enough healthy entertainments available.
“And not just for Ellenburg,” he said. “There are other little (hamlets in town), Altona, Merrill, Chateaugay Lake, Chazy Lake — they are all part of Ellenburg.”
The town needs better Internet access, too, he said, noting he helped install fiber-optic systems in many area schools and also for the wind parks.
Poitras, his wife, Mary, and son, Joshua, bought the Owly Out bar/restaurant on Route 374 in Merrill, which they have completely renovated and will be opening soon.
That will bring some jobs to that part of town, including some for young people who can deliver food orders.
If elected, he said, “I want to help the people.”
Email Suzanne Moore:
firstname.lastname@example.orgDERYL L. GREGORY Age: 51. Party: Democrat. Education: Northern Adirondack Central School graduate, 1979; Bachelor of Science in chemistry/minor in history from SUNY Plattsburgh; master's in counseling from St. Lawrence University. Occupation: State Department of Correction and Community Supervision offender-rehabilitation specialist. Civic organizations: Windy Acres and Breezy Acres Senior Housing Board of Directors vice president, previous secretary; Knights of Columbus Council 4441 member. Previous government experience: Town of Ellenburg Zoning Board of Appeals member, about five years; presently deputy town supervisor, 11 months. Family: Wife, Christine; children, Joselyn, 22, Kelby, 26, and Loyal, 15. ROBERT J. POITRAS Age: 55. Party: Republican. Education: Northern Adirondack Central School graduate, 1976; electrician training with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 910. Occupation: Electrician, general contractor, presently working on the new Hudson Hall at SUNY Plattsburgh. Family: Wife, Mary; son, Joshua, 27.