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Exploring Jay Rand’s ‘experience’

To the editor:

Recently I came across an ad Jay Rand’s campaign is running, boasting about his “experience.”

I believe a discussion of Mr. Rand’s experience is warranted.

Jay Rand has served on the town council for 32 years. The lack of affordable housing in our community has been a growing problem for more than a decade, yet Mr. Rand and the town council have consistently failed to address it.

Over the past several years, many members of our community have implored our leaders to pump the brakes on the current Airbnb free-for-all.

As a consequence of town officials like Mr. Rand’s negligence, an explosion of short-term rentals has turned once-residential neighborhoods into depopulated wastelands of unlicensed hotels.

Meanwhile, the town council has leisurely batted about draft regulations that are far too weak to actually address our housing shortage.

Jay Rand’s support for these draft regulations is evidence of his complicity in North Elba’s managed decline.

Rand was given the opportunity to speak about his accomplishments in town government in an Adirondack Daily Enterprise article about his candidacy. The achievement he pointed to was the fact that in the ’80s and ’90s the town began using different chemicals to control black flies. His only major accomplishment in office relates to, apparently, a problem solved decades ago.

Recently the Sun published a “Voter’s Guide” in which Mr. Rand proposed a 10-point program. Unfortunately for the curious reader, this program is a collection of vague, mundane, almost meaningless cliches and platitudes.

Rand used his time in the Sun to emphasize the importance of tourism and the environment, but he never even mentioned short-term rentals, affordable housing, or the dwindling enrollment in our public schools.

Rand has worked as an executive at Whiteface Mountain, a state-funded operation that regularly blows through huge sums on projects such as seemingly endless renovations to its base lodge.

Jay Rand has a great resume. He is personable and well-spoken. He has many good qualities.

Unfortunately, he lacks the quality I am most interested in seeing in a North Elba Town supervisor: real concern about the biggest issues facing our community. 

I don’t question his character. I question his priorities. 

Despite decades in office, he doesn’t even have concrete proposals to deal with pressing issues such as the obvious need for affordable housing or the worryingly small kindergarten enrollment of 24 children in Lake Placid’s public school — a shocking statistic. 

It is almost as though these issues do not weigh heavily on the mind of Mr. Rand.

On Election Day, do not be surprised if the voters worried about these and related issues look at Jay Rand’s experience and say, “No, thanks.”

Sincerely,

Sam Weaver

Lake Placid

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