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Keene voters elect Biesemeyer, Cheetam-Palen

November 8, 2017
By PETER CROWLEY - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

Keene voters re-elected one longtime incumbent but not another to the town council Tuesday.

Bob Biesemeyer was chosen to extend his 20-year run on the board, and Teresa Cheetam-Palen will replace Paul Martin, who has been a councilman for the last 36 years. Biesemeyer got 309 votes at the polls while Cheetam-Palen was close behind with 296 and Martin trailed with 216, not including absentee ballots.

"I'm happy; It's great," Biesemeyer said Tuesday night from his home in Keene. "I'm glad I got re-elected."

Article Photos

(Photos provided)

"It's just kind of all sinking in," Cheetam-Palen said Tuesday night from her home in Keene. "I'm excited for the work ahead. I also went over and talked to Paul Martin, who was nothing but gracious about the whole thing. He actually gave me good advice." Unlike politics in the larger world, she said, "here it was gracious and civil."

Martin, of Keene Valley, won't make it an even 40 years on the board, but he said, "I appreciated through all those years that people in the town of Keene had faith in me.

"Everything comes to an end, and I just wish the new member of the board, Teresa, the best."

"I have a lot to learn, but here I go," Cheetam-Palen said.

All the candidates agreed that overcrowded trailhead parking is a hot issue right now in the town, but Biesemeyer said it "isn't one you can solve overnight" and is more of a Route 73 corridor issue than a town issue. He doesn't want to lose focus on other priorities such as a backup water supply for Keene Valley. A solution for hiker parking "requires a little more ingenuity and a little most assistance from the state."

Cheetam-Palem, meanwhile, said her top priority, beside hiker parking, will be updating the town's zoning and strategic plan.


Highway superintendent

Voters chose Scott Smith over D. Craig Holmes, 328-141, to run the town highway department. Smith has worked in the department for over a decade and is currently the deputy superintendent while Holmes is an established private business owner specializing in tree removal and road maintenance.

Smith said Tuesday night he was "relieved, I guess. I'm glad that it's over." He said that after winning the Republican primary in September, he was less worried about the general election.



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