We respectfully submit the following plan of 2013 initiatives and goals for your consideration, comment and questions. We may have a few other ideas up our sleeves, and we welcome your ideas as well, but this is a start.
You may contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook at "Mayor Clyde Rabideau." Trustees may be reached at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We also recommend the Downtown Saranac Lake and Team Saranac Lake Facebook pages.
This year's initiatives are the most extensive and aggressive yet, but the trustees have laid solid groundwork over the last three years as a base to attain these goals. We have tremendous momentum, national and statewide attention and community focus, so now is the time to act and use this muscle to assure a solid and sustainable future for our community, Saranac Lake, the "Capital of the Adirondacks."
-Implement county 911 for both fire and police response. Throughout the nation and world, 911 is the norm for calling emergency assistance, and 911 is even taught to grade-schoolers as part of basic personal and family safety. It is dangerous for our community to expect everyone - residents and visitors - to know and memorize a totally separate seven-digit number for emergency responses while the rest of the world goes in a different direction. 911 operators are trained professionals who actually tell responders what needs to be done as they travel to the emergency and assist in talking through medical procedures to those on the scene, en route and on the way to hospital. Board members, spearheaded by Trustee Barbara Rice, have reviewed the resources available in each county and the procedures, and are analyzing the best options for Saranac Lake. Some believe that implementing 911 will reduce the number of paid fire drivers, but that is not true. It is time for Saranac Lake to synchronize with the rest of the world for emergency response.
-ADA awareness program: Snow is a constant challenge for us here in Saranac Lake, and we make the best of it and even celebrate it. But think about those with physical impairments and what snow means to them, and how much more difficult it is for those friends and neighbors to travel about our village. We will do two American with Disabilities Act initiatives in 2013. First, we will do an awareness campaign with Facebook and posters so that shop keepers, homeowners and village employees keep those with handicaps in mind while removing snow, making sure to the most reasonable extent possible that we accommodate our neighbors' needs. Next, I will ask our village manager to re-evaluate the handicapped parking spaces in our downtown areas, assuring that we have sufficient spaces set aside for those in need, as I was approached in the past year by those asking for more.
Job growth and retention
-American Management Association campus development: The village board will vote on whether to annex the AMA's 68-acre campus into the village of Saranac Lake. I am personally a strong supporter of the proposed annexation and look forward to the jump-start of its tax base development for the betterment of our village and the town of St. Armand.
-Incubator building: We will attain a purchase option or purchase agreement on an industrial incubator building for our future corporate citizens and biotech companies.
-Bio-cluster marketing: With the AMA campus and building, we will start a coordinated and concerted marketing effort to attract other biotech companies to Saranac Lake.
-Civic Testimonial program: Hold our first-ever Civic Testimonial, recognizing and tributing one of our larger existing employers.
-Hot Spot program: Can Saranac Lake be a new-business "Hot Spot" in New York state, as recently proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State message? There will only be 10 in the state over the next two years. Let one of them be in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, and let that Hot Spot be the Capital of the Adirondacks. Let Saranac Lake "think big" and go after it. We can do it.
-$1 billion green fund: With all this money set aside by the state for "green" initiatives, this is a perfect opportunity to team with North Country Community College and put together some training and entrepreneurial programs that make sense both for the environment and for the cold region in which we live. Let's create "the heat" and educate our college people in green technology applicable to our climate.
-I and Trustee Rice will participate fully in efforts to achieve the Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation Economic Development Committee goals for 2013 and will enlist the support of the SLLDC to achieve the village's 2013 economic development goals.