St. Armand to fill vacant town board seat

Town of St. Armand officials interviewed candidates for a vacant town council seat Monday.

The councilman’s seat formerly held by Charles Whitson became vacant in December when Whitson was named interim supervisor following the death of Joyce Morency.

Whitson told the Enterprise last week that the town received applications or letters from six people interested in serving on the board. Board members have reviewed and ranked each of the candidates, and forwarding their recommendations to Whitson.

Whitson said he wants to have someone in the position by Friday.

Town Clerk Davina Thurston said the board interviewed all six candidates for the job Monday night. She said the board could appoint its newest member at a special meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.


Filling the vacancy would give the board a full complement of five members for the upcoming vote on the proposed annexation of the American Management Association campus into the village of Saranac Lake. The village and town boards now have less than three months to make a decision on annexation, following a public hearing last week on AMA’s annexation petition.

St. Armand’s vote on annexation initially appeared to be complicated by the fact that two of its board members work for AMA: Donald Amell and Sam Grimone. If the board was short one member and both Amell and Grimone abstained, it wouldn’t have enough votes to either approve or reject annexation.

However, both Amell and Grimone told the Enterprise that they’ve decided not to abstain from the decision.

“I thought it over, and I think I can keep an open mind,” Amell said. “I don’t see a conflict.”

“I have given a great amount of time and consideration to this,” Grimone said, “and I believe I can act independently and without bias on behalf of the town and the residents of the town.”