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Gray gains official GOP nod to run for re-election

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MASSENA — The Massena Republican Committee made it official at a party caucus last week when it nominated Joseph D. Gray to run for re-election as town supervisor.

He will, however, be the only candidate on the Republican line in the town races, which also include three Town Council seats now held by Albert N. Nicola, Charles A. Raiti and recently appointed Thomas Miller.

The caucus drew 13 Republicans, and Adrian F. Taraska was nominated to run for one of the Town Council seats. He thanked caucus members for the offer but declined the nomination.

Mr. Gray thanked his fellow Republicans for their support for his bid for a second term as town supervisor.

“It’s a difficult time in local government, and we continue to struggle with expenses. We have some challenges at the town level,” he said.

Mr. Gray said many people want cuts in local government expenses, but they also don’t want to see services cut. “We are in the service business. Paying our employees their wages and benefits cost money. It is difficult to cut without cutting services,” he said.

The town supervisor said there will be a number of significant issues facing the town board over the next four years, with the future of Massena Memorial Hospital topping the list. The hospital’s board of managers recently commissioned a study to determine the merits of moving Massena Memorial from its public status to a private nonprofit facility.

“Everybody knows about the challenges at the hospital. That is our first and foremost challenge. The hospital is not going anywhere. It won’t be sold,” he said, noting that if it is determined the private status is in the facility’s long-term best interest, a local nonprofit would be formed, and the hospital would be run by a board of directors. The board of managers members are appointed by the town board.

Mr. Gray said it is important for hospital staff and administrators to work together with the hospital board over the coming months during the study of the facility’s future. “There are a number of misconceptions being thrown out there right now by special interest groups,” he said.

Mr. Gray, 49, and his wife, Marcy, live on West Hatfield Street.

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