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Outgoing Lake Placid mayor calls for look at systemic racism

LAKE PLACID — Lake Placid’s outgoing mayor suggested the future administration look into putting together a committee that would focus on systemic racism.

Mayor Craig Randall’s suggestion came during his last village board meeting as mayor on Monday, March 29, and after the village Board of Trustees voted to approve its state-mandated police reform plan.

Randall, who has served as Lake Placid’s mayor for 12 years, said systemic racism isn’t “something that’s easily identified,” and it’s “not necessarily isolated to our police departments.” But understanding systemic racism could improve the community’s culture. He said he himself doesn’t “harbor any of those thoughts” — referring to racism — but it’s possible that others in the community may.

“It could be somebody walking down the street and you have no idea what they’re thinking,” he said.

Systemic racism typically refers to systems that perpetuate racial inequality — whether that be racial disparities in arrests by police, pay disparity, housing insecurity or gaps in educational opportunities.

Randall suggested the village board and the Community Development Commission consider establishing a committee that would focus on systemic racism “as a community discussion rather than just a focus on law enforcement.”

“We welcome the world,” he said. “We’re held to a higher standard than other communities, given our activities.

“Once an Olympic city, always an Olympic city,” he added.