The APA and liveable communities
To the editor:
Saranac Lake and other large hamlets in the Adirondack Park need New York state to do more to help us find solutions to our housing, taxes, infrastructure and economic development challenges.
My former agency, the Adirondack Park Agency, was created 50 years ago to preserve the Park’s “permanent, seasonal and transient populations for growth and service areas, employment, and a strong economic base.” Over the past 50 years, APA has never had the chance to truly fulfill this role despite the good efforts of those who tried and still try to make a difference. Over the next 50 years, New York should focus more on its statutory responsibility to help make our Adirondack Park communities stronger! APA — as the only state agency directly charged with this responsibility — should lead in helping us find solutions to these challenging issues. APA should be our advocate, partnering with other Adirondack Park stakeholders, and New York state should listen!
I spent 20 years at APA as an attorney mainly focused on regulating development and protecting state lands. My eight years as a Saranac Lake village trustee made clear to me the challenges faced by Park municipalities and the need for strong state leadership and advocacy to help us find solutions. Now that my two-year post-employment “ban” has passed and I can finally weigh in publicly on Park issues, this one is on top of my pile.
Paul Van Cott