Why I’m voting for Williams

To the editor:

Saranac Lake will always hold a special place in my story. I grew up on Broadway on the other side of Lake Colby, played ball at Ampersand court, shopped at E and M markets, and ate too many slices at Owl’s Nest Pizzeria. I would end up leaving this little village almost 20 years ago in search of myself and a brighter future.

After high school I moved to Albany, the big capital city, for college and a career. I’ve been there ever since. But like many of my friends and classmates, I keep a close tab at how things are going back home. Like many, I care deeply about my hometown and I visit often. No matter where I am, who I am, or where I go, my hometown will always mean something special to me.

That is why I care about the upcoming race for the next mayor of Saranac Lake. I believe deeply in the power of our democracy and the impact of our collective service. And I know that whomever ends up as our next mayor has a fresh opportunity to bring new ideas and new energy to a town that is desperate for change. I believe the person who should be leading us is Jimmy Williams.

Am I biased? You betcha. I’ve known Jimmy and his family almost all my life. In fact, most of my friends growing up knew Jimmy as well.

You see, I was in high school on 9/11. Many in my generation would end up raising our right hand and fighting in a war that we didn’t start and we weren’t allowed to finish. Multi-generational local names would eventually answer the call to fight the war on terror. I would do so myself as a platoon leader, 13 years later.

But one of the first people who raised their hand, one of the first people I saw go was Jimmy Williams. Unlike me, Jimmy did not take the easy route. I enlisted in the regular army, Jimmy was a Navy Seal. He knew the difficult path ahead, and he faced it without fear.

After serving his country, Jimmy again chose not to take the easy route and decided to come back home. He started a small business and then opened another one, always believing in and trying to build the community that he remembered growing up in and the atmosphere that would make kids like me want to come home. I recognize, and I admire, the guts it takes to do that.

The next mayor of Saranac Lake should embody that spirit, lead from the front, and be a proven warrior for the things that make this village so great. There is something that burns inside the soul of a kid from upstate New York that bends towards service. I believe Jimmy Williams has proven that unrelenting steeled character resides inside of him. And I hope, if you have the opportunity, you’ll get to know him the same. Vote for Jimmy.

Aaron Gladd

East Greenbush


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