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North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi: Election debate ‘isn’t necessary’

October 13, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - It appears neither a Meet the Candidates event nor a debate between North Elba town supervisor and council candidates will occur.

Late last month, the Lake Placid Business Association brainstormed a "Meet the Candidate Night," tentatively scheduling it for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the North Elba Town Hall - three weeks before voters of this town will go to the polls Nov. 7 to decide who they want as supervisor and on the town council.

The LPBA's board intended to work out the exact details and a formal invitation for the event a week later. But last week, Jill Cardinale Segger, owner of the Pines Inn, emailed candidates informing them the event was cancelled "due to a lack of participation."

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"If you would like to submit a letter of introduction to our members in an electronic format, we will accept, and pass along via email," Cardinale Segger's email continued.

Speaking Friday, Oct. 6, Cardinale Segger said those interested in the event were challengers seeking the town supervisor and a town council seat: Lake Placid lawyers Brian Barrett and Bryan "Liam" Kennelly, respectively. She added that incumbent Supervisor Roby Politi declined interest, and she did not receive responses from the two councilmen who seek re-election, Derek Doty and Jack Favro.

"I thought it would have been an interesting thing," Cardinale Segger said. "I think the whole electoral process is important, and I just thought that it would be a good thing for people in the community to hear what each candidate could do for the town of North Elba."

Cardinale Segger emphasized that the idea of the event hadn't yet been presented to the entire LPBA, as it was a board-level discussion, one that was going to be brought up at the LPBA's Oct. 10 meeting.

"The business association is always looking for ways to get ourselves in front of the public, to draw attention to its members and the community," she said. "We kind of saw it as a service."

Politi said Oct. 6 he isn't interested in taking part in a Meet the Candidates event or debate, as he feels it "isn't necessary" due to the community's knowledge of his experience as town supervisor and Lake Placid village mayor before that.

"My job is to run the town, and I am concentrating on decisions for the town and Essex County, and that's it," Politi said.

"I don't think there's anything to debate, to tell you truth," he added. "I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm not going to debate anything. People know who I am and what I stand for."

"I don't know if he is choosing not to debate because he doesn't believe in democracy," Barrett said of Politi, "or if he doesn't like me. We should hash out the issues that have plagued the town of North Elba for years, if not decades. I just want a fair and open discussion. There are a number of things to discuss."



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