LAKE GEORGE - Competition is brewing in Lake George for the upcoming Primary, where five Republicans will be vying to be their party's representative for two town board seats. In this race, seats of incumbents Vinnie Crocitto and Frank McCoy, who is vacating his seat to run for town supervisor, are up for the taking.
Crocitto (R,Ic), councilman since 2002, is challenged by local businessman John Carr (R), former Town Board member George McGowan (R,C), Fran Heinrich (R,Ic), and Janie Green (R,D). In November, they'll be joined in the race by Democrat Marisa Muratori, a former Lake George Village trustee. Without a supplementary party endorsement, this Primary is Carr's first and only race for this year.
Lake George's supervisor race is uncontested in the Primary. But in November, Councilman Frank McCoy (R) will face former Town Supervisor Dennis L. Dickinson (D).
John Carr's candidacy is based on creative solutions to long-standing issues. George McGowan's is based on his belief in smaller government and separation of private and public power. Vinnie Crocitto, owner-operator of Lake George Super 8 Motel and the local laundromat, is running on his record and accessibility and commitment to the community - as are the other candidates. He listed among his accomplishments working to redevelop Gaslight village into a viable venue for festivals, renting the facility out to organizations to defray costs.
"We want to keep it affordable for taxpayers while boosting tourism," he said. Also, he cites his longstanding work with the town youth commission.
John Carr said if elected, he'd get to work defending property owners' rights in the face of pending Lake George Park Commission stream corridor regulations.
McGowan's been fighting against excessive government regulations for years. McGowan also said the existing town board should insist that all hiring be conducted with the explicit approval by the full town board. He said for years, town employees have been hired by the supervisor's sole decision and knowledge. Also, he said, the town budget should be written in descriptive English, rather than code numbers, which the public can't interpret.
"All efforts should be made toward containing the town budget, seeking not to invent ways to spend public money, but seeking to reduce government," McGowan said.
Candidates also said it was wise to thoroughly research the possible consolidation of town and village governments. McGowan said that the town should scrutinize the associated financial transactions. McGowan's been critical of village government in the face of the recent sewer system break, charging that proper upgrades hadn't been accomplished in recent years. Also, he said the village ought to charge dumping fees for private haulers, and use the money for system maintenance.
Carr cites his extensive business experience as a potential asset in the town board's decision-making and budgeting process. The new ideas he's already concocted include creating a bike trail network that attracts green and athletically oriented tourists, and establishing a restaurant district in town that has a distinctive, charming streetscape and ambiance. Carr is owner of Adirondack Pub & Brewery, Common Man's Bistro, and North Country House Crafters - all of which he actively runs - and they are all growing to date.
Janie Green said she'd work to improve infrastructure, boost tourism and scrutinize the effects of potential consolidation.
Crocitto, Green and Heinrich cite their experience in land use issues. Crocitto has served as chairman of the town zoning board of appeals, and Green has served on the same panel for five years, with a prior stint on the planning board. Heinrich has worked for the town for 17 years as planning and zoning coordinator. She cited her years of work for the town and county as helping her devise innovative ways of helping the middle class and those on modest incomes. Such ideas include intermittent half-price sales on landfill punch cards, amnesty for minor town code and land-use infractions, and holding local hazardous waste collection days.
Carr notes his regular attendance at town and county board meetings, which has given him considerable insight into local and regional issues.
"I look toward innovation, and I've got no axe to grind," he said.
Green and Heinrich also cite their experience in business, Green with restaurants and accommodations, Heinrich helping run a fuel company with her parents.