LAKE PLACID - A familiar face is in the running for one of the open seats on this village's Board of Trustees.
David Jones told the News recently that he's collecting signatures for an independent petition. He plans to campaign as a team with Mayor Craig Randall and Trustee Art Devlin, both of whom are seeking re-election to the board, also as independents. Jones said he was asked to run by outgoing Trustee Zay Curtis, Randall and Devlin.
"I felt honored," Jones said. "I talked it over with my wife - who thought I was crazy - and I finally convinced her."
Jones served on the board from 1989 to 2011, when he lost a re-election bid to Trustee Peter Holderied. Later that year, he ran unsuccessfully for town of North Elba highway superintendent, losing to incumbent Larry Straight.
Jones said he thinks the village is on firm financial footing. He said he wants to help the board as it looks to finance a multi-million-dollar sewer line replacement project.
"When I left the board two years ago, that was still a priority issue," Jones said. "We're still working on it. Now, the decommissioning of the lower Mill Pond dam is going to take place and is going to be part of the project. That added, obviously, more money and made the project bigger. We just got to see that through to fruition."
The village recently submitted an application to the state Environmental Facilities Corporation for low-interest financing. It also received about $1 million in grant funding through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. Officials hope to break ground on the project in the spring.
Jones said the Board of Trustees and department heads have done a good job running the village in recent years.
"We just know how to do things over here; we get it done," he said. "If it snows 2 feet, we clear the streets. We get it open for business the next day. ... I've always been impressed with how the village operates."
Meanwhile, Trustee Jason Leon said the North Elba Democratic Committee canceled a scheduled village caucus on Tuesday.
"It appears that the lack of candidates is a reflection of village resident support of the current slate that is running for office this March," he told the News.
Randall said that when it became apparent that the Republicans and Democrats weren't going to put forth a candidate, he and Devlin set out to find someone with experience who was interested in running.
"David really likes serving," Randall said. "He's an effective trustee and does put in the time that's really needed, especially during the work week.
The deadline to submit independent petitions is Feb. 13, according to village Clerk Kathryn "Kook" McKillip. Currently, Randall, Devlin and Jones are the only individuals circulating petitions. Each candidate needs a minimum of 50 signatures to qualify for the ballot; Randall said all three petitions have easily doubled that figure so far.
McKillip said no one submitted petitions to run on the Democratic or Republican party lines for the three open board seats. Justice Bill Hulshoff, who is running for another term on the bench, will be on the Republican line. The deadline to submit party petitions was Jan. 14.
Randall, Devlin and Curtis ran as a Republican team for three open spots on the board in 2009. Curtis announced in December that he would not seek another term on the board.
The four positions up for grabs - mayor, two trustees and one justice - are four-year terms.