Tupper Democrats choose candidates

TUPPER LAKE – Tupper Lake’s Democratic Party caucus selected four candidates for four town board seats opening this fall.

Town Supervisor Roger Amell’s seat is expiring, along with Councilman Jerry Fletcher and Councilwoman Kathleen Lefebvre’s seats. Each carries a four-year term. Amell and Lefebvre will seek re-election, but Fletcher will not. The two remaining years of ex-Councilman David Tomberlin’s unexpired four-year term are also up for grabs.

Tomberlin resigned earlier this month, citing a conflict with expanding his business as the reason. Former state Adirondack Park Agency employee and Tupper Lake school board member John Quinn, who was selected by the board to take Tomberlin’s place until November’s election, is seeking a four-year council seat the next go-around.

Sabrina Sabre-Shipman, an employee of the New York State Office of Technology Services and a former Tupper Lake Relay for Life chairwoman, is also running for a four-year council seat.

The Democratic caucus also announced its support for Tupper Lake village Mayor Paul Maroun’s re-election. Maroun is a Republican and is also the Franklin County legislator for the Tupper Lake area.

If elected, it would be Sabre-Shipman’s first term.

“I’m looking forward to running,” Sabre-Shipman said. “Ironically, today it’s been 17 years since I’ve owned my house in Tupper Lake, and for 17 years I’ve been struggling owning a house in Tupper Lake.”

Money is at the heart of her struggles, and she said it’s a problem she’d like to remedy for everyone.

“I’ve seen taxes increase every year,” Sabre-Shipman said. “It’s time for it to change. We need some more jobs; we need some fresh people to speak up and get some more ideas going. I’m looking forward to running so I can speak my mind.”

At the Democratic caucus Monday, Quinn said he is eager to get more involved with the town.

“I appreciate the support of the committee, and I think we can move this community forward,” Quinn said. “It’s often said that Tupper Lakers would rather fight than win. I think we need to stop arguing about opinion, and instead we need to look out for what’s best for this community. We need to focus on what we can do to make Tupper Lake a better place to live.”

Lefebvre said, “I think we’ve done some pretty good things in Tupper Lake. We’ve made a lot of improvements on things we already own, things that we needed to upgrade.”

The retired L.P. Quinn Elementary School teacher noted improvements made to the town beach and the food pantry as examples.

“I think we can get more grants and continue to do good things for this community,” Lefebvre said. “I’ve lived here all my life, and the people of Tupper Lake are important to me.”

Fletcher has decided not to run for a second term.

“At this time, between my family and my business, it’s overwhelming,” Fletcher said. “I did my four-year tour of duty, and it’s been a good four years, but it’s time to let somebody else take the reigns.”

Fletcher owns G.M. Fletcher Enterprise Inc. He added that everyone should get involved in local government at least once, if for nothing more than to get a feel for how the process works.

Amell, who will run for his third term, commended his party’s candidates.

“I think we have a good ticket here,” Amell said. “We’ve done a lot of good things for the community and stuff, with the previous board, and hopefully the people realize that.”

Amell said things are looking up for Tupper Lake, and he wants to continue that trend by pushing for the Adirondack Club and Resort project.

“I’m running because we’ve got a lot of good things going in Tupper Lake right now, and we need this mountain project,” Amell said. “We got the OK from the APA that we wanted in January (2012). In February we had 40 people working on buildings, and that’s just a small piece of the pie. Things are looking up.”

The Republican caucus has yet to select its candidates or set a date.