Tupper Lake’s Republicans pick candidates for town board

TUPPER LAKE – Tupper Lake’s Republican 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, both Democrats, 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. Former state Adirondack Park Agency employee and Tupper Lake school board member John Quinn, a Democrat, who was selected by the board to take Tomberlin’s place until November’s election, is seeking a four-year council seat next go-around.

Monday evening, the Republican caucus selected Councilwoman Patricia Littlefield to run against Amell for the town supervisor seat. Eric Shaheen was picked to run for the two-year unexpired term, and Don Dew Jr. and Michael Dechene will run for the two open council seats.

Littlefield commended the crowd at the caucus, which exceeded 40 people.

“You all know I’ve been talking about this for about a year now, and I appreciate all of your support,” Littlefield said. “I really need your help this fall. I’d like to pull this off if at all possible, so please do whatever you can to support me.”

She added that the town and the village need to cooperate to move Tupper Lake forward.

“I look forward to working with the people who were nominated tonight, and I look forward to working with the village board,” Littlefield said. “I think it’s time the town and the village work together, a little better than they have been in the past, and I hope we can make that happen.”

Dew, owner of the Timber Lodge in Tupper Lake, is a past president of the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, past member of the town planning board, and has also been an ARISE board member and is still an active member of the Tupper Lake revitalization committee.

“I’ve always been involved in the community since coming here as a businessman almost 10 years ago,” Dew said. “I had the opportunity this year and I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring. We’re on the cusp of so many things, it’s just a matter of pushing them over that edge.”

Dew applauded the groundbreaking of the Flanders Park Little Loggers Playground project, and cited it as an example of the kind of progress Tupper Lake needs.

“Studies are good, consultants are good, but we need shovels in the ground,” Dew said. “We’ve got some good things coming, but we also need to take advantage of what we’ve got now. We have to get people to come here for what we have now, and if the rest comes it will be that much better.”

Former Tupper Lake school board president Michael Dechene said, if elected, he will keep an open mind and do what’s best to improve the economy in Tupper Lake.

“I’ll always look out for the taxpayers in the community,” Dechene said. “I have no agendas. I don’t know what’s going on as far as picking sides on any of the issues that are out there, but I will research and do the best I can for the community and for economic development in the community.”

Shaheen, who runs E&M Enterprises, has served on the town planning board and is a board member of the Tupper Lake Country Club. He declined to comment during Monday’s meeting.

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.