Just a few weeks ago, a political icon in Warren County and in the town of Hague retired.
Dan Belden, in office since 1971 as town supervisor or superintendent of highways, decided to turn over the reins of Hague town government and his seat on the Warren County Board of Supervisors.
Replacing Dan Belden is Edna Frasier, who also has also achieved a high profile in the community, first as an elementary school teacher for 38 years in Brant Lake and North Warren Central, followed by a work as bookkeeper at Lakeshore Garage — a business she co-owns with her husband Dick Frasier.
Although most of her career was in teaching or business pursuits, she’s also recently been active in public service.
For the past six years she’s served on the Hague town board, four of them as deputy supervisor. One of her major accomplishments was planning and developing the Veterans Park in Hague, which was dedicated this past year. Her work included tracking down names of veterans to be honored in the walkway memorial.
Frasier said she originally ran for the town board because she had concerns about various issues in town and wanted to do something about them.
“I had some complaints, and my kids said, ‘Enough of the complaining, get involved and do something,’ — so I did,” Frasier said.
Prior to taking office Jan. 5, Frasier discussed her approach and future objectives.
“I’d like to see the the town board members work better together, working toward the same goals,” she said.
While tourism is the major enterprise in Hague, the town is increasingly becoming a retirement community, she said, noting that it presents both benefits and problematic aspects.
Many businesses which were once year-round are now merely seasonal, she said, noting she’d like to spur more year-round commerce.
“I’m hearing from a lot of local businesses that we need to encourage more people to visit Hague in the off-season,” she said.
She noted that the town for years had a general store — an important commercial and social focus of the community — but it closed Sept. 1.
“Hopefully it will reopen,” she said, adding that she will be strategizing various ways to boost economic activity in town.