Capital for the capital?

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau gives investors enthusiastic tour of downtown

Saranac Lake village Mayor Clyde Rabideau speaks to a group of investors from the Upstate Capital Association of New York in front of the Saranac Lake Youth Center on Woodruff Street. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

SARANAC LAKE — Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau jumped up on a bench at the corner of Church Street and Bloomingdale Avenue in the heart of what he calls the “Capital of the Adirondacks.” Shouting over the roar of trucks, he excitedly told the nearly 20 people he was leading on a tour of the village about the Downtown Revitalization Project and plans for the future of the area.

The people were from the Upstate Capital Association of New York and were conducting their first meeting in the Adirondacks that afternoon at the Hotel Saranac. Village Trustee Melinda Little, who was also on the tour, said her angel investor firm Point Positive Inc. and the Stafford Owens law firm in Plattsburgh helped organize the meeting to connect investors with opportunities.

Rabideau took the opportunity to lead the potential investors on a loop around the downtown area and stop at touchstones like the town hall, the planned future location of Pendragon Theatre and Berkeley Green.

“He’s the best person we could ask to lead a tour like this,” Trustee Rich Shapiro said.

Rabideau always led the pack, cracking jokes, listing off DRI projects and doing it all in high-energy fashion.

Saranac Lake village Mayor Clyde Rabideau speaks to a group of investors from the Upstate Capital Association of New York at the bandshell in Berkeley Green Thursday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

“Is he always like this?” one investor asked, curious if the mayor would lose his voice after the tour.

Before they retired to the hotel for lunch, Rabideau left one last message with the crowd gathered at Berkeley Green.

“Investors, those of you with money,” he said. “Feel free to invest here.”

Rabideau, Little and Shapiro made up a majority, or quorum, of the five-member village board on the tour. The state Open Meetings Law says that when a quorum of board members meets regarding public business, that constitutes a meeting that must be noticed in advance.

Shapiro said he had not known that Rabideau would be leading a tour and was surprised to see him there, as was Rabideau to see him.

“What are we supposed to do? Play rock-paper-scissors to see who leaves?” Shapiro asked.

He said Rabideau led the tour and did not privately interact with him or Little, and that he left after the tour was over.


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