March 16, 2014

Rouses Point trustee candidates say budget, family activities paramount

ROUSES POINT — Trustee candidates here all want to see more family-based activities and better use of the Rouses Point Civic Center.

They are also concerned about village finances and the impending closure of the Pfizer plant.

Two seats are up for grabs, with incumbent Brad Martin challenged by political newcomers Sonya Rule-LaRoche and Andrew Vincelette.

Incumbent Steve Maskell opted not to run for re-election.


The Press-Republican asked the candidates the same questions about their intentions should they be elected.

What would you want to accomplish as Village Board member?

Martin: “The main thing is keeping an eye on the budget. And keeping costs down so people will stay here.”

That’s another priority — having enough to offer in the village that residents want to remain there and even attract new families, he said.

“We need businesses here in the village,” he said. “And our water and sewer costs — they’re still cheaper than most places around.”

Martin has focused a lot on bringing in family activities during his first term, and he wants to continue doing so.

New events are coming to the Rouses Point Civic Center, he said, along with a farmers market on the lawn of Dodge Memorial Library and other activities he said are in the works.

Rule-LaRoche: Her first move, she said, would be “to get in there and see how the village is running right now.”

She wants to try to attract new businesses, see what possibilities there might be for the Pfizer facility, which is likely to close down this year.

And she, too, wants to see more family activities locally.

“Summer programs at the Civic Center, indoor soccer, baseball clinics, rollerblading, craft shows — it would be nice to have something locally here instead of Plattsburgh. Either parents can’t afford to go down there or don’t want to drive that far at night.

“I just want to utilize (recreation facilities) more efficiently.”

 Vincelette: “Family is my biggest thing,” he said. “So many families around here are looking for things to do, but there’s nothing locally. At the Civic Center, the playground is unsafe for the kids; it’s falling apart.”

Work done last year wasn’t enough, he said, adding he would be willing help raise money for new play equipment. He, too, sees the Civic Center building as having tremendous potential. And fees from kids’ soccer, for example, could bring in revenue, he said. 

Vincelette is worried about the loss of Pfizer. “They pay two thirds of the village’s water and electric bills, he said, and that loss will inflate rates for everyone else.

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