By ANDREA VanVALKENBURG
---- — SARANAC — Ellen Lamora has been appointed to the Saranac Town Council, the first woman in the town’s 189-year history to hold a seat.
Lamora officially took office Feb. 1, filling a vacancy left by longtime councilor Philip Rice.
Rice, 71, served four terms on the council until his death Jan. 5, leaving behind a legacy of dedicated activism in the town.
With a sudden vacancy on the council, the town’s Democratic Committee recommended Lamora as a prime candidate for the position, Town Supervisor Ron Kent told the Press-Republican.
Her appointment will remain in effect through the end of the year, and the two-year term will be up for grabs in the November election.
It’s a big year for town politics, as that position and two four-year council terms will up for grabs at election time, Kent said.
For now, Lamora is focused on town business.
“It’s very exciting, and I’m already learning the ropes,” she said.
She would consider running for the seat this fall, she said, if she is “fortunate enough to get the nomination.”
Lamora, a volunteer youth soccer coach, has been active in the town for more than two decades, as her family operated what was for a long time the town’s only dairy farm, now just one of two in the area.
Her appointment kept the existing council makeup of one Republican and three Democratic council seats.
“I think she’s going to do what’s best for the town, and she’s very knowledgeable,” Kent said.