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Currier explains descision behind Working Families petition

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MASSENA - Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said his decision to run for mayor on the Working Family party line, was driven in part by his strong belief in organized labor.

“Labor is an important part of the fabric of this community and the issues that are important to labor are important to me,” he said. “They are also important to the Working Family party.”

Mr. Currier, who was unavailable for comment Wednesday said he suspects the news he had filed a petition to run for mayor doesn’t come as a surprise to many.

“I suspect it does not come as much of a surprise to people that I am contemplating a run for mayor here in Massena,” he said in a statement. “The opportunity to seek the Working Family line presented itself and I am very grateful. The timing of it is dictated by law, so it was necessary to filed for the Working Family line now.”

Mr. Currier is expected to be joined on the ballot by at least one other candidate. Mayor James F. Hidy, a Republican, has announced that he intends to seek re-election.

While this will be Mr. Currier’s first time running for office in Massena, this is not his first foray into politics.

He was a candidate for the New York State Assembly for approximately 72 hours in 2008 after Darrel J. Aubertine left his post for the state Senate.

At that time, Mr. Currier was quoted as saying, “I’ve had some interest in politics for some time. I’ve been a public servant for 20 years and continuing to be a public servant, in some manner, has always been my preference.”

Mr. Currier bowed out of the 118th Assembly race after learning that state Democratic party rules would prevent him from being able to run on the Democratic party line. Party leaders backed Addie Russell, a Jefferson County legislator, for the post.

Because of his position as police chief, Mr. Currier had chosen to register as an independent voter and had changed his party affiliation to Democrat shortly before announcing his plans to run for the state Assembly.

His registration as a Democrat did not become official until after that fall’s general election, and Mr. Currier would have needed special permission from the St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County Democratic Committee Chairman chairs in order to be allowed on the ballot. Party leaders backed the candidacy of Ms. Russell, a long-time party member in 2008.

With 26 years of service to the Massena Village Police Department under his belt, Mr. Currier is eligible to retire at any time, something he would have to do should he be elected mayor.

According to Mr. Currier’s biography on the village police department’s website, he first began working for the department on Feb. 29, 1988 as a patrol officer.

In June 1992, Mr. Currier was promoted to patrol sergeant and on Sept. 7, 1993 he was appointed to his current post as police chief.

Mr. Currier is a lifelong resident of Massena and graduated from Massena Central High School in 1984. He has an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mater Dei College and is a graduate of Session One of the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services Law Enforcement Executive Institute.

Mr. Currier lives in Massena with his wife, Emily, and their son, Nathaniel.

A Democratic caucus will be held at some point in August, at which point Mr. Currier said the Democrats will nominate a candidate to represent them on the ballot in November.

“At that time the party’s choice in a candidate will be clear,” the party’s long-rumored mayoral candidate said.

The village’s police chief has been honored by the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and the Massena Rotary Club in recent months.

He was awarded the chamber’s Gert Jurkovich Commitment to the Community Award in April, an award presented to an individual, group or business that best exemplifies the former chamber director’s dedication to the community.

“When the chamber looks at this recognition, it tries to identify someone who has left their thumbprint on the community. When someone is recognized with this recognition, it isn’t the award that matters. It is the depth of commitment, the quality of service, the product of one’s devotion - these are the things that are counted in life. When you give purely, the honor is in giving, and that is honor enough,” chamber Director Kathleen Kelly-Ori had said when she presented Mr. Currier with the honor.

Ms. Kelly-Ori cited Mr. Currier’s involvement - and in some cases leadership in establishing - programs and initiatives including Neighborhood Watch, Massena TRIAD, the department’s canine program, DARE, Massena Drug Free Coalition, Teen Safe Home Check and securing a Humvee surveillance vehicle for the department.

“Tim has not only dedicated his career to making Massena a better place to live through his work as police chief, but he is also a consummate leader and volunteer guiding the youth of Massena toward the betterment of their lives,” she said in April before mentioning his efforts to help establish the Massena Boys and Girls Club.

“In just a short couple of years, Chief Currier has spearheaded a group of dedicated volunteers and business professionals to bring a Boys and Girls Club to Massena. He now serves as president of the organization,” she said. “Under his leadership, the Boys and Girls Club has realized tremendous success which has led to the club finding a permanent home in Massena. The Boys and Girls Club’s future is bright, and Chief Currier’s team is making progress by leaps and bounds.”

Ms. Kelly-Ori concluded her remarks by summarizing why exactly Mr. Currier was chosen for the award.

“His courage to stand up and fight for the quality of life in Massena compounded by his personal dedication to initiatives and programs to improve Massena is why Tim Currier is the recipient of this year’s Massena Chamber of Commerce’s Gert Jurkovich Commitment to Community Award,” she said when presenting the police chief with his award.

He also received the Massena Rotary Club’s Service Above Self Award in June.

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