Bevilaqua and Mallach run to represent Harrietstown | News, Sports, Jobs
SARANAC LAKE – Voters will choose between two veterans of Harrietstown’s board of directors in the next city supervisor election – Jordanna Mallach, a current councilor who is running for the city’s top office on a deployment with the military overseas, and Bob Bevilaqua, who was Harrietstown’s supervisor from January 2013 until May 2014, when he resigned due to a family health issue.
Bevilaqua served on the Saranac Lake school board and served on city council for seven years, with just over a year as a supervisor.
“It’s funny, because a lot of the things they talk about now are the same things I was dealing with back then. “ said Bevilaqua. “It turns, roughly, in circles.”
Also, he said, “I enjoyed having my say in what is going on in the city.
He runs to expand the services offered by the city.
Mallach, currently a member of the Harrietstown council, is posing as the town supervisor while she is 4,400 miles in Kosovo, deployed with the military as part of NATO Task Force Mansfield.
If elected, she would take office in January and return to town in March. She would be absent for three months of her sentence.
Mallach had to get Pentagon approval to attend city council meetings overseas. She will continue to use Zoom, extending online participation in board meetings that began during the pandemic.
Although she may be involved in city affairs while stationed overseas, the military does not allow her to campaign while on active duty. Mallach left a document with answers to several questions about itself and its platform ahead of its deployment.
Mallach said she didn’t know she would be deployed when she announced her candidacy, but after receiving her orders, she discussed it with other city council members and decided to continue her run.
Not being able to campaign is “drive her crazy” Mallach’s husband Joe Gladd said. She talks to him about the countryside all the time.
Gladd said she would still be very invested in working here while she completes her deployment. It could also appoint an assistant supervisor, who would need the approval of the whole board.
Mallach said she would like to start weekly office hours, so the public can regularly talk to her about her thoughts on city government. While on deployment, Gladd said she would either do this through Zoom or have her deputy supervisor listen to the audience.
Gladd said she is “very passionate” on the work.
“I mean, who in their right mind, if he couldn’t be here, would take on this task?” “ Gladd said of his candidacy for the election.
“I have worked in government at the state and federal levels and in both of these situations I felt very distant from the people my work had an impact on,” Mallach wrote. “I like that as a city council we can vote to implement something at the local level with a lot less bureaucracy and ‘red tape’ than at other levels of government.
At a candidate event, Mallach’s daughter, Piper, pointed out that her mother served on the board for a year and a half – from November 2019 to December 2020 – during her deployment.
Mallach did not write about the accommodation in the paper she left before her deployment.
Bevilaqua sees both a housing shortage and a lot of open land owned by the city.
“Harrietstown has a lot of vacant properties”, he said.
He wants to put this land back on the tax roll and increase the housing stock. One place he is looking at is Harrietstown Business Park. The government built business parks across the country in the 1980s. Some worked well, like in Plattsburgh, he said, but Harrietstown never took off.
Courtesy of the federal government and Paul Smith’s College, which donated the land to the city, he said he would like to change the use of the land to accommodate housing.
Bevilaqua said the family home he grew up in is now an Airbnb. He’s not happy with it. There are also a few vacation rentals across the street where he now lives. But he doesn’t see them as a problem here like people say they’re in Lake Placid. He said he didn’t see “Noisy parties and decimated neighborhoods”, so he wouldn’t want the city to regulate them.
Both candidates said the city-owned Adirondack Regional Airport was a major asset to the city and they both wanted to support it. They had almost identical statements about the airport bringing business, money and work to the area, calling it “training effect.”
But the airport faces problems, as it has been designated as a Superfund site due to the harmful chemicals sprayed there. Mallach estimated that the cleanup will take 7 to 10 years to resolve.
“We have to make sure that the costs involved are not a burden on the taxpayers of this community”, she wrote.
Bevilaqua said he wanted the city to offer more to the people of his village.
“If you live in the Harrietstown part of the village, the only thing you get from Harrietstown is a tax bill,” said Bevilaqua.
He said he would like to open the town hall to more events – exhibitions, weddings and fundraisers.
Part of that, he said, would be allowing alcohol to be served there again. When he was a board member, the city allowed it, while forcing event planners to take steps to get approval.
He said he wanted to see something happen at City Hall every weekend.
Several community members have approached Enterprise with concerns about the posts Bevilaqua shares on her personal Facebook page, saying they promote racist ideas and deny the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I post things on Facebook that I find funny” Bevilaqua said when asked about the messages. “When I see something that I find funny enough, I share it.… I’m not really worried, because it’s Facebook.
He said he doesn’t create these images but shares them to spark conversation.
“It’s just a joke” he said.
One image refers to Vice President Kamala Harris as “a high-priced call girl.”
“I don’t think she’s a call girl” said Bevilaqua. “Is everything on Facebook true? Is Everything on Facebook Real? No. But there are some funny things in there, there are some things that are provocative.
Several memes on his Facebook page say the coronavirus pandemic is all about fear and paranoia. Bevilaqua said if elected he would follow the advice of city health officer George Cook in the event of a pandemic.
“Personally, I have a different opinion” said Bevilaqua. “But it’s not a dictatorship. You have to follow whatever the board decides. “
One of his articles refers to the murder of George Floyd, a black man, by the Minneapolis police, including former officer Derek Chauvin, who is serving 22 years in prison after being convicted of murder. Outrage over Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests last year.
“(Derek) Chauvin immediately stood up and calmly put his hands behind his back,” says the picture. “Imagine where we would be if George had done the same. “
Bevilaqua said he disagreed that Chauvin remained calm.
“If cooler heads on both sides had prevailed, there would have been no story” he said. “Chauvin got hot, Floyd got angry. It was a terrible tragedy that happened. No one deserves to die just because they’ve been arrested.
Another image states that “White slaves have been sold for centuries. … All of our ancestors took slaves, sold slaves, or were slaves. … You are not special.
“It’s only history” said Bevilaqua.
He is Italian and admits that his ancestors were never enslaved.
He said if a child comes to Saranac Lake and is the only black student in his class, he understands that he might feel uncomfortable. When asked if these kinds of messages contributed to this discomfort, he replied that he was not sure.
Bevilaqua said he sees these posts from a different perspective than others.
“It just means people who are offended by everything that happened 200 years ago… 20 years ago it wasn’t a big deal. “ he said.
He believes race relations have deteriorated over the past 8-10 years.
Bevilaqua thinks Facebook is different from real life. He can disagree with the people there and get along with them in person. He said he hadn’t asked anyone to tell him about what he was sharing on Facebook recently and felt like the people talking about it now are a “ambush” before the elections.
If elected, Bevilaqua would work with several family members at City Hall – including the city clerk, building code officer and accountant, but it wouldn’t be the first time.
When he was previously a supervisor, his brother “Beef” was the city judge and his daughter was the court clerk.
Bevilaqua said he would spend more time at his company, Carcuzzi Car Care Center, than at the office, because he’s one of three people working there. Each does their job independently, he said, adding that it is not for him to decide whether his family members work for the city.
“Anyone could have applied for these positions” he said, adding that anyone could also stand as a supervisor.
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