The village director leaves on August 4 | News, Sports, Jobs


This title corresponds to this old quote: “The more things change, the more they stay the same” said French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the 1800s.

The headline, copied from the August 4, 1949 edition of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, was not much different from 2022, when the village manager of Saranac Lake suddenly resigned. The village headmaster we’re talking about in 1949 was Millar Johnson, and the brief piece I have of his departure is a bit of a mystery, but you come to your own conclusions when you read the story.

But first a bit of village manager history. The position was created in 1929 and applicants had to be engineers. The village was growing very rapidly and the infrastructure was the most important phase of this growth.

Wayne E. Timmerman of Massena was the first village superintendent, who served from 1929 to 1935. Millar S. Johnson was the second and served from 1935 to 1941. The post was later held by Louis Kendall, followed by Charles Goldsmith, and Mr Johnson became village manager again in 1946.

Company history

“A temporary acting village superintendent will likely be appointed this week to serve until a permanent superintendent with engineering qualifications can be obtained,” Mayor Alton B. Anderson said today.

“Millar Johnson, who had served as Village Manager since December 1946, will cease to actively direct the affairs of the Village on Thursday. [Again, I must add, the village manager is the CEO of the village, not the mayor. Also, the manager “serves at the pleasure of the board,” with never a contract.]

“The village council, it was revealed at last night’s meeting, has received three applications for the post of director. None have an engineering degree.

“Nominations come from Frank Buck, Sr., of Saranac Lake, John D. Hall of Waverly and Bruce Henky of Watertown.

“Mayor Anderson said a letter was sent to the New York City Conference of Mayors requesting a list of qualified men available for leadership.

“The Conference responded that there is no one in the state available at this time.

“At a village board meeting last night, which outgoing director Johnson did not attend, a motion was passed that he remain actively employed by the village until August 4; and employed inactive until August 18 to enable him to pay two weeks of vacation.

“Johnson has verbally agreed to step down as village manager following a special meeting of the board on July 22.”

[My village files reveal that Frank G. Buck was appointed to that position, three days later, on Aug. 9, 1949. He served as village manager for eight years, until June 25, 1957.]

Who was a candidate for the elections?

Well, we’ll tell you right away:

“Only two contests, one for Franklin County District Attorney and the other for Harrietstown Supervisor, will be decided by the Republican primary on September 6.

“An audit of petitions filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections in Malone, prior to the last midnight deadline, showed that all other county and city positions are sought by unopposed candidates in the primary.

“The candidates for district attorney are Irving Edelberg of Saranac Lake and Robert A. Moore of Malone. Hayward H. Plumadore and T. Jefferson [owner of Dairy-Dell, formerly Bartz Dairy] both of Saranac Lake are the contender’s post. [Newbold lost.] “No Democratic candidate has filed his intentions. Monday, Sept. 19 is the deadline for county and city Democrats to hold caucuses to nominate candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.

“Unopposed candidates seeking nomination to county offices in the primary include Ellsworth N. Lawrence, judge and deputy; George G. Bradish, clerk; Fred C. Conrad of Saranac Lake, Treasurer and Frank N. Machabee, Commissioner of Public Welfare.

“Uncontested offices in Harrietstown are sought by the following Republicans: BD Yorkey, assessor for four years; Dennis Ducatt, evaluator for four years; Gordon Vosburgh, Justice of the Peace; Frank E. Sheldon, Justice of the Peace; Clyde Cheeseman, alderman; Gordon Swinyer, Superintendent of Highways and Mathew M. Munn, Clerk.

[At that time, those elected to serve as Justice of the Peace also served as members of the five-person town council.] “No petitions have been filed in the cities of Santa Clara, Franklin, Brighton and Altamont.”

Music, dance rotating entertainment

“A group of Deerwood Adirondack Music Center students, under the direction of Elizabeth Johnson, performed a music and dance program for the Saranac Lake Rotary Club at their meeting at the Saranac Hotel.

“The first selection, ‘The Lass with the Delicate Air’, by Arne, was sung by Rachel Woods, soprano, of Ashland, Kentucky. Miss Woods’ opening selection was followed by a flute solo , “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” by Gluck, performed by Dorothy Stritesky of Racine, Wisconsin.

“Firestone’s ‘If I Could Tell You’ was sung by soprano Gwen Preston, also from Ashland, Kentucky. Anita Katchen, pianist, from South Orange, New Jersey, played Liszt’s “Waldesrauschen”.

“The program ended with a candle dance by Teresita Tirona from Manila, Philippine Islands. Miss Tirona, dressed in a white two-piece suit, danced with a candle balanced on her head.

“The artists were accompanied on the piano by Miss Johnson.”

[The Deerwood Music School was located in a beautiful, wooded setting on state Route 30, a left turn just before the left turn to Saranac Inn.]



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