Why so long to address vacation rentals in Lake Placid?

To the editor:

I have been reading with great interest that the Lake Placid village board and the North Elba town board are meeting to discuss the vacation rental situation in Lake Placid. Well, I liken this to closing the barn door after the horse got out.

I was a trustee on the village board in the ’90s, and we had had a couple of problems with the rentals in my neighborhood. I suggested at that time that we monitor the growth of these rentals and collect the bed tax that we were getting from the hotels, motels and B&Bs; to me this was the obvious thing to do. The majority of the board at that time didn’t feel this was necessary because there were not enough to bother with, but that was not the case even then — there were at least a hundred.

Here we are 25 years later, and we only started collecting the tax a few years ago. With the current situation, you are looking at declining enrollment in our schools and no housing for people who work locally. We already are feeling it with our police department. I read that the two boards are in agreement that they will ask the owners to behave civilly. I guess this is something, anyway. You have to ask yourself why has it taken to so long to collect the bed tax and let it get to this point!

Rik Cassidy

Saranac Lake