LAKE PLACID - Joe Lamb is the North Elba Town Council's new choice for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority's board.
The Lake Placid native, appointed at Tuesday's night's town board meeting, will replace the appointment of Jim McKenna, CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. McKenna pulled his name out of the running last week after the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics raised red flags over a potential conflict of interest between his job and the ORDA board. McKenna and several town board members disputed the commission's opinion.
Four of the five board members voted for Lamb. Councilman Jack Favro abstained from voting because the Olympic Training Center, where he works as managing director, has a contract with ORDA.
Joe Lamb, a 1972 Olympian and president of Lamb Lumber in Lake Placid, awaits his appointment by the town of North Elba to the state Olympic Regional Development Authority’s board.
(Enterprise photo — Matthew Turner)
Andy Lack, chairman of Bloomberg Media Group who owns a home in Lake Placid, was selected by the board back in November along with McKenna. Once approved, Lack and Lamb will replace current ORDA board Vice Chairman Serge Lussi and board member Ed Weibrecht. Weibrecht and Lussi are Lake Placid hotel owners who have each served around 15 years on the board.
North Elba can appoint three members to the ORDA board; the governor gets to choose the other nine. One of the town's picks is recommended to be the vice chairperson of the board. The ORDA board's chairman is Pat Barrett.
The state Senate must confirm the town's appointments before they take effect.
"I'd like to thank the (town) board," Lamb said at the meeting. "I've waited a lot of years to sit on the (ORDA) board. I know I need to have a fast learning curve."
Lamb said he hopes to cooperate with ORDA and use his knowledge of the venues to help him.
"The venues are an important part to this community," Lamb told the Enterprise. "I hope to work together with ORDA for a revitalization of venues that sit on town property. I think it's essential for Lake Placid, ORDA and the U.S. Olympic community to have world-class facilities."
Lamb is president of Lamb Lumber, his family business in Lake Placid, and is also an Olympian, competing as a 16-year-old ski jumper in the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. Since then he he has been a coach, commentator and official for ski jumping, skiing and nordic combined, including as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's representative to the International Ski Federation.
"We all recognize your long-standing commitment and dedication to the youth and all the sports-related facilities we've had," town Supervisor Roby Politi said at the meeting, "going as far back as your dad, who was a great contributor to Lake Placid."
Lamb's father Vernon Lamb was one of the local men who helped solicit the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Politi said the governor's office recently called him and said Lack is ready for approval to the ORDA board and that the office would "move as quickly as possible to get Joe done this (legislative) session.
"The Senate session is just about over," Politi said. "I'm hopeful we could get a response by this Friday. I don't know how fast the Senate will move."