In dedicating the David Harton Ackerman conference room, it would be easy enough to list the organizations David helped found, presided over, or improved in material ways by his participation: Mirror Lake Watershed Association, Shore Owners’ Association, Placid Lake Foundation. It would be equally easy to cite his lasting and ongoing contribution to the environmental health of our community: the Lake Placid/North Elba Watershed Management Plan.
However accurate these accomplishments are in defining David’s contributions, what set David apart was the example he set of patient, longterm civic engagement. David knew what it takes to get things done in local government. His formula worked something like this: 1. Study the problem; 2. Gather the facts; 3. Make your best argument in the appropriate forum; 4. Make your argument again; 5. And again; 6. And again, until you have worn down all resistance.
At the base of it all of course was David’s appreciation of the fact that the health of our lakes, ponds and rivers are of paramount importance to the vitality of our community. Not merely a beautiful backdrop and a refreshing plunge, they provide the water we drink, the reason tourists flock to our region, and the disproportionate property tax base that support our schools and maintain municipal services. David understood that the waterways that define the Village Lake Placid and Town of North Elba are not a special interest. They are our common interest.
Prepared remarks by Mark Wilson (7/29/2017)