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Wait Contribution Celebrated Nov 16 2011

Charles V Wait is the third of his family to lead The Adirondack Trust Company. On November 16 Wait was inducted into the Saratoga Springs History Hall of Fame at the Canfield Casino.

Charles Wait remembers vividly his first efforts to help reenergize Saratoga Spring's downtown. It was the early '70's and he just joined The Adirondack Trust Company.

So Newman (Pete) Wait, Charles' father and president of Adirondack Trust had just the job for Charles - get involved with the Downtown Committee. Note: this was in addition to his banking duties - Pete believed any officer at Adirondack Trust would also work for a community organization.

Charles helped transform the Committee into the Downtown Special Assessment District. As any Tea Party member will tell you, Special Assessment is just a sneaky way of saying new taxes.

Tough sell even back then - but Charles and the Committee got the downtown merchants to recognize the need for improvements and the Special District was formed.

If Saratoga Springs has a downtown the envy of other cities our size, we can thank Charles and the Committee for their efforts.

These were some of the comments Charles was making in a back-and-forth conversation with Mike Veitch, long time racing journalist and father of our Supervisor Matt Veitch.

In their hour-long conversation before about 200 at the induction ceremonies at the Canfield Casino the two discussed the future of this area -very positive with the racing finally stabilized, Global Foundries coming on-line.

Charles in his discussion of NYRA (New York Racing Association) could remember when his father was the first upstate member on the Board. And the days when NYRA looked at Saratoga as a distraction from the Belmont and Aqueduct tracks.

In 2007 Charles who had replaced his father on the NYRA Board resigned. The plans to convert Aqueduct into a Racino had met a brick wall in the New York State Senate and Charles wished to express his concerns about the impasse on a personal level and not as a Board member.

In the questions afterward, Charles was reminded of the decision his father had made to commit to revitalization of downtown Saratoga.

The bank had purchased the buildings on Church Street behind the marble headquarters and would renovate them for the bank's various departments.

Charles remembers that decision. He was the liaison between architects, contractors and the man in the middle.

Great conversation and Albert Z Solomon would have been delighted to see this as one of his Charitable Trust programs.

Tommy and Mary Luther were also inducted into the History Hall of Fame. Famed jockey and founder of the Jockey's Guild - Tommy and Helen were married more than 72 years. Tommy was fond of saying he got his marriage license for $2 in Saratoga and found a dime on the way out.

$1.90 for 72 years of happiness.