Rand runs for North Elba supervisor, Cassidy for councilman
LAKE PLACID — Councilman Jay Rand is running for North Elba supervisor, and 1990s Lake Placid village Trustee Rik Cassidy is running for the town council.
Five North Elba positions are up for election this year: supervisor, two council members, clerk and highway superintendent. Supervisor Roby Politi and Councilman Bob Miller have said they will not seek re-election, and Rand’s council seat is also up for grabs.
The primary to determine each party’s nominee will be June 25 — moved up from September this year so federal, state and local primaries coincide. The general election will be Nov. 5.
Jay Rand, who’s been a town councilman for the past 32 years, will run for supervisor. He said he’ll most likely run on an independent party line and also as a Republican.
Rand was born and raised in Lake Placid. He attended St. Agnes School as a young boy, then Northwood School. One of his classmates and close friends is Politi. Rand later went on to excel in ski jumping and competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.
Since the late 1970s, Rand has held various leadership positions in the community such as executive director of New York Ski Foundation, North Elba deputy supervisor, and he was general manager for three state Olympic Regional Development Authority sport venues — the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington, the Olympic Jumping Complex on Old Military Road and the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
Recently, he’s coached youth ski jumping for NYSEF.
On top of his professional career, Rand filled multiple volunteer roles. He was a member of the Lake Placid Sports Council, a member of the Lake Placid Lions Club, a National Sports Academy Board of Directors member and vice president of the Lake Placid Ski Club Board of Directors.
In his 32 years on the town council, Rand said one achievement he remembers fondly is developing the Black Fly Control Program in the ’80s and ’90s. Black flies are a common nuisance in the North Country. They bite and leave painful welts.
“There were some days where you could barely walk outside,” Rand said.
The town used to spray for the bugs, but the spray was potentially harmful and really only killed mature bugs, not the larvae. When the town council introduce the Black Fly Control Program and BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a safer chemical that’s poured into waterways to kill black fly larvae, Rand said it created a noticeable difference for locals and guests.
As for top priorities, Rand said he would like to continue to focus on affordable housing and short-term rental regulations.
“I was eating over at Big Slide Brewery the other day, and I started talking to the waiters and waitresses there, and a lot of them said they were coming from Malone (an hour away),” Rand said. He added that it would be good to find those types of people, ones who travel far for work, a home closer to their jobs.
If elected supervisor, Rand said he’d like to work more closely with and learn from the town departments such as parks, assessment and finance.
On the Essex County Board of Supervisors, where North Elba has the most weighted voting power due to being the county’s most populous town, Rand said he likes the work Politi has done and would like to continue in a similar manner.
Former Lake Placid village Trustee (1991 to 1997) Rik Cassidy will run for town council. He will run on the Adirondack Party.
In an email to the Enterprise, right from the start, Cassidy made it clear it wants to work toward regulating vacation rentals.
“There are things that I feel can be done now, to try to resolve or at least help the situation,” he said. “Some of my platform issues will be first when the current absentee owners sell their home we can encourage buyers to live in the community by offering tax incentives similar to the homestead program Florida currently has where owners agreeing to live at least 51 percent of the year in the community will be offered a property tax break. Second I feel we should wave the fee to register a home for rent to the local owners who are renting and are active community members. Third, we need to address the parking situation for homes in residential neighborhoods such as Hillcrest Avenue where at peak times it becomes almost a one-way street.”
Another one of Cassidy’s platforms if possibly limiting terms for elected town officials.
“We could do this by having a referendum to choose between no term limits, 8-year or 12-year limits on elected officials.”
He also would like to research having tax break incentives for anyone building affordable housing in the community.
“No matter whether I am elected or not, by bringing these issues up we can set a better course for our community’s future.”