Tupper Lake village mayor reads statement on discrimination, diversity

Paul Maroun, seen in February 2019, is mayor of the village of Tupper Lake and a Franklin County legislator. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

TUPPER LAKE — Mayor Paul Maroun read a statement on discrimination and diversity at Wednesday’s village Board of Trustees meeting.

Maroun’s following statement was read in full at the meeting.

“The village of Tupper Lake is an all-inclusive, family-friendly, community-supportive and recreational paradise in the Adirondacks. The village of Tupper Lake never has and does not support discrimination by, for or to anyone or any group. We do not discriminate by race, creed, color or sexual orientation (LGBTQ, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning.)”

“That is our statement, and that will put that to rest as far as the village of Tupper Lake,” Maroun said.

This statement was not a resolution, so it was not voted on or discussed by the board, but Maroun said he was delivering it “on behalf of the village board.”

The topics of discrimination and diversity have been the focus of a lot of discussion in Tupper Lake this month, after the Tupper Lake town board did not vote on a resolution condemning racism and asking people flying Confederate flags to consider taking them down.

The resolution, presented by Councilman John Quinn at an Oct. 8 board meeting, did not get “seconded” by another board member, meaning it could not be discussed or voted on. In September the board had agreed Quinn would draft a resolution to be discussed and possibly voted on this month, as the Enterprise reported at the time.

Town Councilwoman Mary Fontana said last week that the hesitance from the board to second Quinn’s motion was not because of their personal opinions — she said she is personally offended by the Confederate flag — but because they do not believe it is the board’s place to pass a resolution requesting town residents take the flag down.

“If we as officials affirm a resolution requesting that they remove an object found offensive, it can be interpreted as a directive from a governing body,” Fontana said before a budget meeting last week.

Town Supervisor Patti Littlefield had said on the day the resolution failed she had hoped for a more “positive” resolution, extolling the virtues of Tupper Lake, instead.

The statement read by Maroun did not mention Confederate flags or ask for their removal. It was more similar to the hypothetical resolution Littlefield talked about.


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