Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | News | Local News | Contact Us | Home RSS

Barrett takes on Politi

September 16, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - A Lake Placid lawyer will challenge longtime elected official Roby Politi for his position as North Elba town supervisor.

Brian Barrett will be on the ballot as a Democrat come Nov. 7 to take on Politi, a Lake Placid native who has served as town supervisor for the past decade and previously served as Lake Placid village mayor and North Elba town councilman. On the ballot as an independent in 2015, Politi defeated Democrat Brendan Donovan with 943 votes to 419.

Speaking Friday, Barrett said he feels there is a disconnect between Politi and residents of North Elba. The lawyer preached a platform of working in the best interest of year-round town residents and also criticized Politi for having a conflict of interest as the owner of the Merrill L. Thomas realty company in a town where vacation rentals are increasingly becoming part of the local economy.

Article Photos

"Everyone knows and understands Roby is a very liked individual around town," Barrett said, "but his business interests are heavily tied to his politics. He is a second home salesman to multi-millionaires from New Jersey. While I understand Roby has a ton of ties to the community, I really don't think he understands the needs of the people that live here."

Politi dismissed Barrett's claims of a conflict of interest and said he seeks re-election once again because of his dedication and interest in the community. He added that he is proud of the accomplishments of the town council under his leadership.

"The challenge is, you work hard to meet those challenges," Politi said. "We have a very strong presence in Essex County. We have a very strong presence in Albany with our representatives - I think they will tell you we have a strong relationship there. I'm more about making sure that the community and decisions are stable, reasonable and in the best interest of Lake Placid.

"We have gotten millions of dollars of grants for the airport. And I know some people have gotten upset with the events, but events are what makes this community special. Events lead to state and federal infusion of money into venues. There are 17 other towns in Essex County that are dying to be like Lake Placid."

Politi added that he believes Barrett would have his own conflicts as supervisor.

"I think he's got a bigger conflict of interest with his father [J. Patrick Barrett] being chairman of the state Olympic Regional Development Authority and him [potentially] being town supervisor.

"There is no conflict of interest," Politi added. "That's silliness. If people really felt that way, I would never get re-elected. Everybody has got to be in business."

With regard to his platform, Barrett said he feels Lake Placid needs a parking garage but would also propose a "North Elba Town Center" with indoor soccer fields and a community track.

"I feel it can be built in conjunction with a garage," Barrett said.

Barrett added that he feels the village's police force should be expanded to the town, that he would like to bring concerts to the Olympic Center, that he'd like to build a grander monument to abolitionist John Brown at the state historic site where Brown is buried in North Elba, that he'd like to see a heated sidewalk on Main Street and around Mirror Lake, and that he'd like to establish a year-round Ironman training facility in town.

He also said he'd push for consolidation between the town and village.

"I just don't feel the village is ready to let that happen," Barrett said.

"The reality of the situation is the town controls the village," he added. "We need to continue to support the village and neighboring communities, and use [Saranac Lake] Mayor Clyde Rabideau as a guide, for all the wonderful things he's doing in Saranac Lake."

This is not Barrett's first political foray. He ran for Essex County judge in 2015, losing to incumbent Richard Meyer.


Town council


Another Democratic Lake Placid lawyer will be on the ballot for a town council seat, running alongside incumbent councilmen Derek Doty (Democratic) and Jack Favro (Republican). Only two of the three candidates will win seats.

Bryan "Liam" Kennelly, a 35-year-old graduate of Lake Placid High School, echoed many of Barrett's sentiments as to why he's running.

"I think the town desperately needs an infusion of new ideas and a councilman that will put the interests of North Elba first, second and third," Kennelly said Friday, "not the interests of businesses or clients."

Kennelly singled out the town's declining population, especially among young people, as the primary issue he'd like to address as councilman.

"The town of North Elba needs to be more friendly to millennials and young couples with children, and that includes myself," he said. "Those newly married who want to start a family here."

Kennelly runs a general litigation firm on Cascade Road, where he leases office space from Barrett, although the two are not partners in a law firm.

Politi spoke glowingly of Doty and Favro's contributions to the council and said he endorses them both "without question," come Nov. 7.

"All of the decisions they make are in the best interest of the community," Politi said. "They both have their own niches. Jack certainly knows a lot about the fire department and the United States Olympic Training Center [Favro works for the OTC], and Derek has been fabulous for helping get projects done throughout the community: the toboggan slide, the work on the lacrosse fields, the Town House facility in Saranac Lake."

Kennelly added that he welcomes a debate with any other candidates.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web