Carvel nominated to move from Massena village board to town board

Jul. 26—MASSENA — A familiar face in Massena's political circles will be on this year's ballot for a one-year unexpired town board seat.

Francis J. Carvel, a 14-year member of the village board, was nominated during Monday night's Democratic caucus to fill a seat currently held by Thomas C. Miller, who is not seeking another term.

Mr. Carvel has two years remaining on his four-year village board term, and trustees will need to make an appointment to fill that vacancy.

Mr. Miller nominated Mr. Carvel to take his place on the town board.

"Francis has decided to switch from the village board over to the town board. ... He will bring a wealth of knowledge to the town board considering that board is currently filled with a lot of first-time council people," Mr. Miller said. "Sue (Bellor), the supervisor, has served a couple of years on the council and has now moved to the supervisor. So his knowledge of the municipal workings of municipal government will be really beneficial to the town."

Mr. Carvel is a retired superintendent of the Massena Department of Public Works and could provide guidance to a relatively new board. He said this will be the last time he'll run for public office.

"I feel at this point in time I would be an asset to the town, meaning that experience with the village DPW for all those years with infrastructure, water works, sewer works, things like that," he said.

The party did not nominate a candidate for a second unexpired term currently held by Debra A. Willer. She had been nominated by the Republican Party during its caucus to continue her role on the board.

They did, however, nominate candidates for village mayor, two village trustees and one unexpired village trustee seat. Incumbent Gregory M. Paquin received the nomination for mayor, incumbent Christine M. Winston and newcomer Kenneth J. McGowan were nominated for four-year terms as trustees, and Chad L. Simpson was nominated for the unexpired term.

Mr. Simpson was appointed in December to fill out Mr. Paquin's term as trustee after he was elected mayor. Mr. McGowan was nominated to replace veteran board member and Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire, who is not seeking another term.

"For the better part of this last decade I've had the honor of serving. I never dreamed I'd have that opportunity. It's been an amazing one, one that I take great pride in. Who knows? Maybe in the future I will come back and humbly ask for your support for something again. But for right now, I'm looking forward to serving our community in different ways," Mr. LeBire said.

Mr. McGowan explained why he chose to put his name on the ballot. A longtime resident of Massena, he worked for the Massena Volunteer Fire Department, volunteered with the Massena Rescue Squad, was on the county's hazardous materials team, currently serves as a trustee at the Elks Lodge, and volunteers at American Legion Post 79.

"My wife works here in the school district as a teacher. My kids live here. I'm hoping maybe I'll bring something to the table to help my kids stay here. What I want to do is work with the department heads to really address the issue of some of the properties in the village right now. We all live in nice neighborhoods. But there's one or two houses in every neighborhood that need to be addressed, and I know there's laws on the books," he said.

Mr. McGowan said he'd also like to assist first responders and their volunteer shortages.

"I think that's very important. Most people probably know that there is an issue with all those departments, not just Massena and statewide, but nationally," he said. "I think we really need to support those individuals along with the DPW employees and town hall employees also. I think keeping those people that we have here is very important."