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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Forbes clarifies remarks made at Massena candidate forum

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MASSENA - Village Trustee candidate DeWitt G. Forbes is clarifying remarks he made at a political forum earlier this week.

Mr. Forbes, 60, is a Republican candidate challenging Democratic incumbents Francis J. Carvel and Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies for two village Board of Trustees seats. The three discussed a wide range of issues at a political forum Tuesday night sponsored by the New York State Women, St. Lawrence County chapter.

Mr. Forbes was asked to respond to what he would cut first - the Massena Police Department, the Department of Public Works, or the Massena Fire Department - in the event the village board was in a budget crisis.

Mr. Forbes said it would likely be the DPW because crime was continuing to ramp up in Massena and the police and fire departments shouldn’t be cut. On Friday, he said he did not mean to imply he would eliminate jobs in the DPW. Instead, the board should attempt to save money through other ways at the DPW, such as ending the practice of maintaining a couple of privately-owned roads in the village.

“We’ve got to make some pretty serious decisions,” Mr. Forbes said. “We’re going to cut the amount of money we’re going to be spending.”

Mr. Forbes, who moved into the village in 2003, said several previous work experiences lend themselves to a position on the village board. He said he was a “working supervisor” at Alcoa’s Massena West plant during the installation of one of the facility’s potlines in the 1970s, and worked several stints as a security officer and supervisor. One of those jobs was supervising the security efforts during the construction of Massena’s Hannaford Supermarket over 20 years ago, he said.

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