These days that’s changed dramatically, and nothing symbolizes this evolution more than the election of Paul Van Cott on Tuesday to Saranac Lake’s village board.
Van Cott, you’ll remember, is a top APA enforcement attorney who famously tangled with Essex farmer Sandy Lewis back in 2009 and was eventually demoted after calling Lewis “a sociopath” in an email.
In the election, Van Cott’s APA credentials drew a couple of scathing letters to the editor of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
“Do we really want to bring a Park Agency attorney into our local village government?” asked local resident Bruce Darring.
Apparently the answer is Yes.
But in fact, I’d say Van Cott’s Agency history was mostly a non-issue. He was elected handily after campaigning on a “jobs and community spirit” message, along with fellow Democrat Barbara Rice.
The vote occurred on the same day that the Park Agency was convening its Local Government Day session in nearby Lake Placid.
I attended that session and speaker after speaker noted the tone of detente and cooperation that now exists between local elected leaders and state officials.
So what do you think? Does Van Cott’s election represent another sign that the battle lines in the Park have blurred? Do you think views of the APA are changing in local communities?
As always, your comments welcome.