Riley, Goetz welcomed to Harrietstown board

SARANAC LAKE – Howard Riley and Ed Goetz took their seats on the Harrietstown town board at its first meeting of the year Thursday.

Riley won a two-year term and Goetz won a four-year seat in the November election. Goetz takes over the seat held by longtime Councilman Barry DeFuria. Riley replaces Jim Murnane, who was appointed the board after then-councilman Bob Bevilacqua became supervisor in 2012.

“Welcome to our new board members,” said Councilwoman Nichole Meyette.

“I look forward to working with you guys over the next few years,” Bevilacqua said.

“I’m happy to be here,” Riley said.

Goetz thanked town officials for bringing him up to speed and including him in meetings before he took office. He said he recently toured the town-run Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear.

“It was very educational,” he said. “We need to sell that more. People don’t understand the revenue that is generated out there. They only see what is spent. Yes, it is an expense, but it’s also a valuable asset.”

The board approved a long list of polices, procedures and appointments at its organizational meeting. Councilman Ron Keough was named deputy supervisor, a position previously held by DeFuria.

Among the normal committees approved for the year, the board created a new temporary Court Consolidation Committee, led by Riley and Goetz. The village is dissolving its court as of April 1, and the three towns that lie partially in the village – Harrietstown, North Elba and St. Armand – will have to take over the village court caseload.

Riley, a former town judge, suggested the town ask the village to audit the court’s finances before the changeover.

“They’ve had three different clerks there in the last year-and-a-half,” he said. “They take in a lot of money. That’s going to become our responsibility, and we don’t want to find out two weeks later that somebody slipped up.”

The board agreed to ask the village to have an audit performed by March 31.