Board dons shades for village’s bright future

SARANAC LAKE – In a ceremony that was part formal and part entertaining, village Mayor Clyde Rabideau and trustees Tom Catillaz and Allie Pelletieri were sworn in to new terms prior to Monday night’s annual village organizational meeting.

Harrietstown Justice Ken McLaughlin administered the oath of office to the three men during a ceremony in the Harrietstown Town Hall auditorium. Village Clerk Kareen Tyler, who was appointed to another four-year term later in the meeting, was also sworn in.

Rabideau, Catillaz and Pelletieri were re-elected to four year terms in last month’s village election. Rabideau, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Dianna Trummer. Pelletieri, a Conservative, and Catillaz, a Democrat, were the top two vote getters in a three-way race for two trustee seats that also featured Republican Gary Hoffman.

Rabideau, who served 10 years as Plattsburgh’s mayor from 1989 to 1999 before moving to Saranac Lake, said this was the eighth time he’s taken the oath of office in his political career.

“It’s just as special as the first oath I took over 25 years ago,” he said. “It’s an honor, and it’s a sacred vow that we make to do the best we can for our community.”

Monday’s ceremony wasn’t all speeches and oath-taking. At one point, Trustee Paul Van Cott asked to speak to the audience. He said the village has many challenges ahead of it but needs to approach them as opportunities.

“Saranac Lake is at a watershed,” he said. “I really believe that if we all give our best and do it with a positive attitude, we’re going to do some great things for you folks over the next few years.”

Van Cott then passed out sunglasses to the mayor and trustees, asked them to put them on and played the 1986 song “The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)” by Timbuk3 through a pair of speakers attached to his laptop computer. Van Cott and Rice danced briefly, and the board posed for pictures in their sunglasses.

“The future is going to be so bright that nobody can withstand it without shades,” Catillaz said.

Later in the ceremony, Saranac Lake High School music theater students performed a trio of numbers from their recent production “The Drowsy Chaperone” on the town hall stage, accompanied by school Choral Music Director Drew Benware on the piano.

The board’s organizational meeting followed. A long list of appointments, village policies and procedures were approved. Rabideau named Catillaz his deputy mayor for another two years. Charles Noth was appointed village attorney for another one-year term, and Treasurer Paul Ellis was reappointed for four more years. Leslie Karasin and David Trudeau were reappointed to chair the village planning board and zoning board of appeals, respectively, for one-year terms.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or