The Town of Mooers Democratic Party has named its slate of candidates for town positions that will be on the ballot this November.
During the party’s Aug. 24 caucus, four candidates were chosen to run for offices that will be up for grabs. Chosen were Cory Ross for town supervisor, Michael Willette and Alfred “Alfie” Ladue for two councilman positions, and Joshua Willette for town justice.
Cory Ross, owner of Ross Funeral Home, threw his hat into the ring for supervisor after learning current supervisor Rudolph H. Miller Jr. wasn’t nominated for another term by his fellow Republicans and that a political newcomer, Justin Sample, was given the nod.
Ross said he understands running a town is much like running a business, and that having run his own business for the past 18 years, he can bring that experience to the position.
“I have a strong background in business ... I care about the town I live in and I’ll watch people’s tax dollars and how they’re spent. I’ll make sure money’s not wasted,” he said.
Ross said he’d like to continue to build on the fiscally-sound state of the town and will continue to listen to the issues of the residents, if elected.
“I’ll be in the office every day and very accessible,” said Ross. “It’s important to be there and make yourself available. If there’s an issue going on in the town, I’d want someone to bring it to my attention to see what I can do about it.”
One such issue is the town’s current codes and zoning regulations, which have been argued by some to be written in a way that hinders economic growth.
“What I keep hearing most about is zoning,” said Ross, who said he would look more into the matter, if elected. “I’ll be there to address issues like that as they come. The important thing is to keep moving forward.”
Ross is a 1992 graduate of Northern Adirondack Central School. He attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., before transferring to the State University of New York at Canton where he obtained a degree in mortuary science in 1994.
Michael Willette said he chose to run for a seat on the council after having been an active volunteer in the community and his church for the past eight years.
“I felt I needed to do more for our community,” he said of his reasons for running.
Michael Willette, a member of the Knights of Columbus, has held several titles within that organization including that of president of the northern conference and treasurer. Utilizing his background in finance, Michael Willette said he’d like to look into ways to decrease expenses for the town and find more ways to increase revenue.
One way, said Michael Willette, is to examine creating a permit system for use of all-terrain-vehicles on town roads similar as to what has been done in other areas like St. Lawrence County and the Tug Hill region.
“It’d be duplicating what’s been done and what works in other areas,” he said.
Michael Willette said he’d also like to reexamine the town’s contract for plowing county and state roads, to see if any additional revenue can be brought in from those levels of government.
“We have a nice revenue coming in and I don’t want anything to interrupt that, but only see if there’s any way to increase that without putting a burden on taxpayers,” said Michael Willette.
One of Michael Willette’s first orders of business, if elected, would be to establish the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance at each meeting, which he said is currently not done.
“I think it’s important to remember who we’re working for,” said Michael Willette.
Michael Willette is currently at home disabled following a 2003 accident. He previously owned his own construction company and was delivery driver for Agway Energy Products. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clinton Community College which he obtained in 2006.
Alfred “Alfie” LaDue said he decided to run for town council because he “always wanted to do it.” LaDue currently serves as head of the town youth commission, overseeing various sports programs for kids.
“I think people are looking for change in the town of Mooers,” LaDue said of his reason for running. “I’m very outgoing when it comes to something like pushing to get something taken care of. I like that kind of challenge.”
LaDue said among his chief concerns is making sure the town’s codes are business-friendly and written in a manner that they attract business, and by extension, revenue, to the town.
“We have to make it a friendly environment for everyone,” he said. “Basically, I want to make sure people get a fair shot.”
LaDue said he is also concerned with making sure the town keeps its tax rates as low as possible.
“I want to do the right thing now so people of Mooers are not getting high tax rates later. Times are tough right now and the last thing people want to see is taxes going way up. I’m a taxpayer, so I know.”
LaDue has worked for the New York State Department of Corrections for the past eight years and has been an active coach for the town’s youth commission for the past 15 years, chairing the commission since 2008. He graduated Chateaugay Central School in 1992 and attended Clinton Community College for two years, majoring in physical education.
Running for the four-year position of town justice is Joshua Willette, who is a 2007 graduate of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Joshua Willette, who works at NovaBus in Plattsburgh, said he wanted to pursue the position of town justice as a way to further himself in his interest of the criminal justice system.
“I thought it’d be a good opportunity to get some decent experience and to learn more,” said Willette. “Eventually, I want to advance myself father in the criminal justice field ... I want to be able to learn as much as I can and make as much positive an influence in our community as possible.”
As the father of 4-year-old, Willette said he also is concerned over an issue of some ATV operators traveling at high rates of speed and driving unsafe throughout the town. It’s his hope he can work hand in hand with authorities to crack down on offenders.
“I’m hoping if I get into this position I’ll have a little more say and influence or pull to have something done to slow them down,” he said.
The Town of Mooers Republican Committee held its caucus earlier this summer where the body nominated its own slate of candidates — Justin Sample for supervisor, incumbent councilmen Steve J. Barcomb and Earl D. Robinson, and incumbent town justice Jeffrey L. Menard.