FORT ANN — Village Mayor Denis Langlois has a challenger in the upcoming March election.
A retired corrections officer of 32 years, William D. Carey, is running against the incumbent. Both are running on their own party lines — Langlois on the Cardinal Party line and Carey on the Patriot Party line, said Village Clerk Linda Blondin.
Langlois was appointed to his current post at the end of 2017, after former Mayor Russell Blair resigned. He had been a village trustee before that.
The mayor of the approximately 490 residents gained some national and international attention last year after he made a controversial Facebook post, which he had thought was private.
Posted before the November elections, he wrote that anyone he knew voting for Democrats “should sign yourself into the Mental Health unit at your local Hospital because you are retarded and need help, Vote Republican and ‘Keep America Great’!”
At the village’s December board meeting, Langlois read an apology. He maintained that he is proud to be a conservative Republican, but he regretted his choice of words.
“In closing, I am certain that everyone has said or done something in their lifetime that they wish they could take back or do different,” he read at that meeting. “I know I have. ... I don’t believe it makes you a bad person to make a mistake. It makes you a bad person if you don’t try to correct it.”
Carey said that Facebook post is part of the reason he is running against Langlois.
“For our current mayor to ostracize an entire political party is immature, and dare I say, un-American,” Carey said in a phone interview, reading to The Post-Star from a letter he wrote addressing voters. “We need both Republicans and Democrats in our government to work together in governing. We the people, together, we can make Fort Ann a proud village once more.”
Carey, who has lived in Fort Ann for the past 15 years and is a 1971 graduate of Fort Ann Central School, said village residents have told him of their concerns while he was campaigning door to door.
The village septic system has problems, and the sidewalks are in bad shape, he said. He wants to be a voice for the village against mandates handed down from the state, which he thinks are costly.
The village needs to go after more grant funding opportunities to keep the financial burden on taxpayers low, Carey added.
This isn’t the first time Carey has run for mayor. He ran seven years ago against longtime Mayor Richard Foran.
Langlois emailed a statement to The Post-Star Monday afternoon in response to the mayor race.
He said he would like to continue being the mayor, and believes he has accomplished some positive things since his tenure on the Village Board.
He highlighted some examples, including work to improve the water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant and the village garage; improvements to the village’s park; the pavement of two village streets; the replacement of a pick-up truck; and meetings with different agencies regarding infrastructure improvements.
Langlois added that he has owned a business for almost three decades and is careful with money.
“I am as careful with village taxpayers’ money as I am with my own,” he wrote. “Going forward, the Village is working with a company to acquire grant money to make improvements to our wastewater treatment plant. We are looking into the future to plan for our Village.”
Blondin also said Edward Sharrow is seeking re-election as a Village Board member. He is running unopposed.
The final Village Board meeting before elections will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28. There will be no meeting in March. Village elections will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in the Village Hall.