Littlefield beats Amell to be Tupper Lake town supervisor

TUPPER LAKE – The town board here will look a little different come January.

Republican Councilwoman Patti Littlefield beat Democratic town Supervisor Roger Amell 799-508 for his four-year seat while Republican Michael Dechene and Councilman John Quinn, a Democrat, walked away with the open four-year council seats. They got 624 and 570 votes, respectively.

Their competition, Republican candidate Don Dew Jr. and Democratic candidate Sabrina Sabre-Shipman, walked away with 383 votes and 365 votes, respectively.

Councilwoman Kathleen Lefebvre, a Democrat whose four-year seat was expiring, challenged Republican candidate Eric Shaheen for the two-year remainder of the term of David Tomberlin, who resigned this summer. Lefebvre won with 674 votes; Shaheen got 300.

“I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family and this community,” Littlefield said. “We have to move Tupper Lake forward; that’s the key here. We need open government and open communication.”

There are two years remaining on Littlefield’s council seat, so her victory means the board will choose someone to fill that role until next November. The remaining year of the position will then be subject to a public election.

Littlefield said she would like to see more people participate in government and added that the town is making a concerted effort to reinvigorate the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. She also said Tupper Lake can learn from a Tri-Lakes neighbor.

“I can see the growth in Saranac Lake, and the way things are moving there,” Littlefield said. “(Mayor) Clyde (Rabideau)’s done a great job, and I’d love to sit down and have a chat with him.”

Amell said he didn’t have any advice for Littlefield, even after two terms as town supervisor.

“No, she seems to already know everything,” Amell said sarcastically. “Good luck to her, and good luck to the whole town. It’s going to be exciting to see how she’s going to do everything she’s promised to do.”

Quinn said he is appreciative of the voters of Tupper Lake, and he hopes he can meet their expectations and move the town forward.

The Setting Pole Dam issue will be at the top of Quinn’s agenda.

“I voted against the sale of it because of a lack of an appraisal,” Quinn said. “I think we ought to do this the right way now, back up, take a look at it, and if the community is behind selling it, we’ll have it appraised and put it out to a wider audience of possible buyers.”

Dechene said he wants to always work in the best interests of the taxpayers and added that he’d like to listen to their concerns instead of listing promises.

“I want everything to be out on the table,” Dechene said. “Everything needs to be discussed in open meetings. I want a transparent board. The well-being of Tupper Lake is very important to me. This is my home. I’ve had many opportunities to move away, but I chose to live here and I want to make it the best place I can.”

Lefebvre said jobs will top her agenda, as will the Adirondack Club and Resort project.

“I’m looking forward to working with the board on some things we’ve started,” Lefebvre said. “I’m pushing more for the ACR. I’m also going to keep trying to get more jobs to Tupper Lake.”

Sabre-Shipman, who was complimented by Littlefield for her strong first-time-running finish, said the town hasn’t seen the last of her.

“There are some changes that need to be made to politics in Tupper Lake,” Sabre-Shipman said. “We need to get some young people in there, and I’d like to begin working on that. I will run again.”