LAKE PLACID - After about 24 years since she last served on the town council, Arlene Tuck is preparing to take a seat once again in the council chambers as a town decision maker.
Tuck said Thursday that she served about two or three years on the council in the late 1970s. She resigned to move to California for a short period of time. She returned to Lake Placid and worked many years for the town.
About a month short of 25 years of service, Tuck retired March 31, 2013 from her town clerk position.
Tuck was surprised that she became a council member without an election.
"I had already filed my papers and my fee and everything and I thought it was going to be a runoff among the three of us," she said, referring to herself and incumbents Mike Waldron and Debra Worley.
But, after the noon Feb. 21 qualifying deadline, she received a congratulatory call from Town Hall and was told that Waldron did not submit his qualifying fee.
Tuck was glad she didn't have to run in an election.
What were the big issues facing the council when she served in the late 1970s?
The Lake June Ball Park was built during that time, Tuck said. Starting a town sewer service was also an issue.
"There wasn't a whole lot going on back then; the meetings used to last about 30 minutes or an hour and that was about it," Tuck said.
Why did you want to become a council member once again?
"After being retired for a year now I kind of missed the political part of life," she said. "I enjoyed going to the meetings and being involved in all of that and it gives me something to do."
Her son, Andy Tuck, told her she was reading her iPad and Kindle too much and she needed to get a job, Tuck said with a laugh.
What's your position on establishing a community redevelopment agency, which is one town's current issues?
Tuck said she wanted to check with Highlands County Property Appraiser Raymond McIntrye to find out how much money a CRA would have brought in last year or the year before.
"If it's only going to bring in $1,000 a year, where are we going to get the money to run it? I don't want the town to get into something that is going to cost the general fund too much money," she said. "If it is going to benefit all the business people in Lake Placid that's great."
Tuck supports the town's annexation efforts.
"I think annexation is the way the town needs to go," she said. "I would like to see them continue with the one going north."
Tuck believes the council has done well this past year, but would like to see more effort on fixing the roads.
"That's one of the biggest problems that you hear is people complaining about the roads," she said.
Also, she believes some of the past beautification efforts may need updating.
Some of the trees on Interlake Boulevard had to be cut down, Tuck said. It might be time to replace some of them because it has been about 10 to 15 years since the work was done in that area.
The town's beautification efforts is one of the things that draws visitors, she said.
Tuck and Worley will be sworn into office at the start of the next council meeting which will be at 5:30 p.m., April 14.