Mountains and valleys

So much has happened in the last few days. We want to talk about a few things — so we’re bringing back an old Enterprise editorial format to go through the highlights and lowlights: Mountains and valleys.

MOUNTAINS of praise to the Lake Placid Central School District’s Community Schools program and its coordinator, Keith Clark. The Community Schools program has been a huge success in Saranac Lake, helping so many families over the past few years — we’re excited to see what impact this program can have in Lake Placid. LPCSD announced on Feb. 14, as reported this week, that it will be hosting some free educational classes for adults through the program, including painting, cooking and dancing classes. We hope the district continues to do this; it’s a great way to open the school’s doors to the broader community and be a resource for everyone.

MOUNTAINS of relief came for many in the Saranac Lake community this week after hearing that an investor, Todd Hoffnagle of Lake Clear, is looking to purchase the Hhott House garden store. On Monday, he signed an eight-month lease with the village of Saranac Lake to rent the property through the rest of the year. When the village announced that it would purchase part of a Petrova Avenue property from Citizen Advocates — including the Hhott House — many were worried that the garden store would close. We’re glad to hear that the store will remain open at least until 2024, when the store may need to relocate depending upon what the village’s plans are for the property.

VALLEYS of sadness upon hearing about a critical crash at Whiteface Mountain on Sunday, the second such crash in just over one week. We’re hoping for a speedy recovery for both skiiers. Skiing can be dangerous, especially in icy conditions. As of Tuesday, Wilmington Fire and Rescue had responded to 20 crashes at Whiteface in 2023 alone. It’s important to always ski on trails at or below your skill level, pay attention to conditions and be as careful as possible. Sometimes, even when people take all the proper precautions, accidents just happen. We’re grateful to Wilmington’s first responders for always getting to the mountain quickly when they do.

VALLEYS of disappointment upon hearing of more discord between the mayor and Saranac Lake Village Board members last Monday, as reported in the Enterprise this week. For the past few months — well, since Mayor Jimmy Williams was sworn in, really — voters have watched as trustees and the mayor have quarreled over a variety of things, mostly about how some trustees disagree with the mayor’s communication and decision-making style. Last week, the board held a work stoppage, refusing to move forward with a meeting until Williams agreed to add two resolutions submitted by Deputy Mayor Tom Catillaz to the agenda. The board is right to voice its concerns about how the government is being run, and we believe that Williams should’ve spoken with Catillaz about his resolutions before they were left off the agenda, but giving the mayor the silent treatment and refusing to do government business until the board gets its way isn’t exactly the best way to resolve a conflict. (Nor was it right when Williams called the police chief about a member of the public, Paul Van Cott, at an STR meeting last month.) Elected officials need to be leaders, show strong conflict resolution skills, work together and set the tone for others in the community. This is not the way to do that. It seems like there’s been a major breakdown in communication, and we hope that the mayor and trustees and come together and clear the air before things get worse.


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