To the editor:
Dear Mayor Clyde Rabideau:
As mayor of Saranac Lake, you have accomplished a number of projects that have improved Saranac Lake, not only as a great place to live but as a village that people like to visit as well. The infrastructure is improving, and we are more attractive to the visitor as well. I thank you for these improvements.
However, I must protest your decision to join Mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization. The goals stated by this organization are noble, and I agree with them. However, the methods used by this organization to accomplish its goals would greatly restrict the law-abiding citizen from exercising his Second Amendment rights.
When you joined the organization as "the mayor" of Saranac Lake, you were not acting as an individual but as an elected representative of the village. As mayor, you were a representative of all the citizens of the village. Your action to join as the mayor was without consent of the village board, without public forum and without authorization by the citizens that you represent.
I also oppose the use of illegal firearms. In fact, most everyone does, except criminals. The Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, however, is a misnomer. The title of the organization is misleading. Their stated goals are noble, but their methodology of accomplishing those goals are aimed at the elimination of firearm ownership by classifying more firearms as illegal to possess and by supporting legislation that would restrict legal gun ownership. Several mayors have withdrawn from the group.
As an individual, you certainly have the right to join any organization, but as the mayor of Saranac Lake, you have an obligation when using that title, as it insinuates that you represent all of the citizens in the village as the mayor. Many of our village citizens are firearms owners, and many of those are also members of the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club. Saranac Lake also has a long, proud history of firearm use for recreation and protection. Many of the local citizenry are displeased with your membership as their mayor.
This issue is not viewed as a Republican-Democrat issue but is viewed by members of the community as a public official using his title, without permission from his constituents, to an outside organization. I would ask you as our mayor to withdraw from this organization so that all of your constituents can support you in your work in the village. I have sent this letter to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, as per request of several local villagers.
Robert E. Brown