Village sets up new ‘Help Desk’ task force

12 members appointed by board

SARANAC LAKE — The village of Saranac Lake has created and appointed members to a Help Desk Task Force, which has the goal of acting as a liaison between the village board and residents with comments, concerns and requests.

Mayor Jimmy Williams said he was “excited” about this new group when the board approved its 12 members on Monday.

Right now, he said, there are two people handling all the inquiries to the village — himself and village Manager Erik Stender.

“It’s a big job,” Williams said.

People need help with all sorts of things — finding information on the village website, learning when street paving is happening or searching for paperwork to fill out. Williams said he wants to attend to every one of them, but there are a lot of them. So he’s delegating the easier ones to this task force.

“The purpose of the task force will be to assist with any questions that are routine in nature and answers are publicly available,” the resolution says.

This village board-appointed core group will handle these questions and manage any other volunteers who join the task force. When a resident has comments, concerns and requests, the group’s goal is to get them in contact with the proper person or agency.

Establishing the task force was the first action the new village board approved after appointing staff members to existing positions at an organizational meeting in April.

On Monday, Trustee Kelly Brunette said board members are still unsure on what, exactly, the task force members’ roles will be. The “umbrella” goal of “being there to help” is pretty big, she said. She wondered if their first order of business could be to put together bylaws and procedures to hash out the details of what they’ll do specifically.

Williams agreed and said he wants the task force to develop its own responsibilities.

The new task force members are Katherine Rhodes, Shaun Kittle, Eileen Mowry, Beryl Szwed, Shawn Boyer, Fred Balzac, Rachel Karp, Jacob Vennie-Volrath, Danie Carr, Trevor Sussey, David Lynch and Erika Bezio, who is the task force’s consultant committee member.

The resolution appointing these members says they were chosen for their “strong backgrounds in education, program design, social work, local resources, social media and planning events.”

Williams said most of them reached out to him after learning about the village’s plans to set up the group. He said he personally asked two of the members to join.

Balzac asked when their first meeting will be. Williams said he wants to set up an email chain with all of them and meet soon — within a few weeks.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today