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Curtis won’t seek second term as village trustee

January 4, 2013

LAKE PLACID - One of the three men who ran as a team for the Lake Placid village Board of Trustees nearly four years ago says he won't seek a second term.

Trustee Zay Curtis, who serves as the village's deputy mayor and a commissioner of the police and fire departments, told the Enterprise Tuesday that when he ran for the seat in 2009, he only planned to serve for one term.

"I've done it; I like it," Curtis said. "I retired five years ago from my business, and at the same time I got a lot of pressure from people to run for the board. I agreed to do it for one term. I think I'm going to do what I set out to do, and that's retire."

A total of four village positions are up for re-election on March 19, 2013: mayor, two trustee seats and the village justice seat currently held by Bill Hulshoff. All are four-year terms.

Trustee Art Devlin was also part of the team that ran in 2009. Asked if he plans to run for another term, he said he isn't sure.

"That's a good question," he said. "If (Mayor) Craig (Randall) is going another term, then I'll definitely go."

Several messages left for Randall hadn't been returned as of press time this morning.

Curtis started out in the private sector, opening an investment and financial advisory firm in Lake Placid in 1968. He sold his share of Curtis and Bissonette Inc. to Gwyn-Anne Bissonette five years ago to retire.

Curtis, along with Devlin, was recruited by Randall to run as a team for three open seats on the village board in 2009. They were successful: Randall won a four-year mayoral term, and Curtis and Devlin won four-year trustee seats.

Curtis said the team's goal was to tighten up the village's finances.

"There were financial issues," he said, "and a need to run (the village) like a modern business.

Many of those issues were addressed in the village's response to a 2010 audit of the village by the state Comptroller's Office, Curtis said. That audit found that village employees received about $111,000 in unauthorized payments for unused leave time between August 2008 and October 2009.

It also found that village Clerk Kathyrn "Kook" McKillip collected some $22,700 in payments for unearned leave time.

"By addressing the issues in the audit, we addressed some underlying issues," Curtis said. "If (the state) hadn't come to do the audit, we would have asked for it.

"I think one of the major things we've done in the village has to do with tightening up on accounting procedures. (Village Treasurer) Peggy (Mousaw) gets a lot of credit for that. She's a highly accomplished municipal accountant; she's really done a great job of adding accountability, as well as a lot of control procedures. She's done an awful lot there."

Curtis said he's also enjoyed working with department heads like head Fire Driver Brad Jaques and police Chief Bill Moore.

Devlin said Curtis has been a "valuable asset" to the village.

"He was on the Administrative Committee - that requires a lot of time," he said. "He followed up on a lot of projects; he gave a lot of his time."

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@



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