Absentees seal Jay super seat for Stanley

Voters elect Sauer, Forbes to council

Matthew Stanley has secured the Jay town supervisor seat, and voters have chosen incumbent councilor Knut Sauer and newcomer Steve Forbes to serve on the town council, unofficial election results from the Essex County Board of Elections show.


Stanley led the supervisor race on Election Day, with 329 votes to Garth Rogers’ 263 votes, including ballots cast on Election Day and during the early voting period. Seventy absentee ballots were sent out to Jay voters. Fifty-two absentees and three affidavits were returned in time for the final count. With absentees and affidavits, Stanley secured an 81-vote lead with a total of 363 votes to Rogers’ 282 votes. Write-in candidate and interim supervisor Tom McDonald garnered 195 votes total.

Stanley said he looks forward to serving the town and “working toward a brighter future for us all.” He thanked all the voters who came out to support him at the polls.

“I’m very excited for the town of Jay,” he said Wednesday.

Stanley said he’ll “hit the ground running” once the election is certified, because he’ll immediately take over the supervisor position. He said McDonald has done a great job as interim supervisor.

Stanley said his first priorities as supervisor will be to provide transparency to residents and to have board information, including meeting minutes and agendas, ready for the public in a more timely manner. He said the town has been short-staffed recently because of the pandemic, and he wants to work on “getting things back in order.”

He’s also excited about having a full town board. Before the election, an empty town council seat and supervisor seat left the board incomplete. He said he’s spoken with the other board members, and he thinks they’ll be able to better serve the town with a “common vision” that puts personal feelings aside and focuses on “just getting the job done.”

“We all are really looking forward to working together and getting things done together as a team,” he said.


Town council candidates Sauer and Forbes were the top vote-getters on Election Day, including early voting ballots. They received 369 votes and 351 votes, respectively, and absentee ballots didn’t change that order. Sauer remained on top after absentee counts gave him a total of 409 votes, and Forbes secured the second seat with 388 votes in total.

Sauer said Wednesday that he feels validated by his reelection, because he believes it’s a testament that some of the changes that have happened in the town council over the last couple of years are what the people of Jay are looking for. He said he appreciates the support from people who came out and voted, and he’s looking forward to the new leadership under Stanley and working alongside Forbes.

“I’m excited about the new board and leadership, and … where we’re going as a town,” he said.

Sauer said his first priorities on the council will be to work on creating a strategic plan for the town and a “master plan” of “what the town should look like in 10 years, how to get there, (and) the resources we need to get there.”

Forbes could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. In a candidate questionnaire in the Lake Placid News last month, Forbes said his number one priority as councilor would be to “have open communication and cooperation between all members of the council, no matter their political party.” He also said he wanted to work with the town’s Department of Public works “to see what is needed for employee retention and longevity.”


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