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Schneider resigns as Cape Vincent councilman after buying Wellesley Island house

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CAPE VINCENT — Republican town Councilman Clifford P. Schneider tendered his resignation this morning.

Mr. Schneider, who was elected to serve a four-year term on Town Council in November 2011, made the decision after closing on the purchase of a home Friday off Wood Cliff Drive on Wellesley Island. The purchase came after Mr. Schneider had been living temporarily in Sackets Harbor since the fall of 2013, where he moved from Cape Vincent due to personal reasons. Under that temporary living arrangement, he was not legally required to resign as a councilman because he had considered moving back to Cape Vincent.

“I closed on the house last Friday, so I notified the town of my resignation since I won’t be living there,” Mr. Schneider, 71, said. “Initially, I had an interest to come back to the town of Cape Vincent, but I found a house on Wellesley Island that’s really nice. It’s a beautiful place that reminds me of the Adirondacks, and I’m still in close proximity to friends and family.”

News in February that BP Wind Energy abandoned the application for its 285-megawatt industrial wind farm in the town did not affect his decision to move to Wellesley Island, Mr. Schneider said. The councilman opposed the project during his two years on the board, serving as a member on the town advisory committee that oversaw the project. He also served as an appointed town board member for one year in 2006, following the resignation of Michael J. Docteur, who now represents Cape Vincent on the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

“Some might have the view that BP chose to pull out of their project before I left, but I had a purchase offer on the house before that,” Mr. Schneider said. “But I was pleased that they chose to end their application, because I felt that it would be easier to leave. I had indicated that if BP had not gone, I wouldn’t be able to sit on the board but would still be involved in the advisory committee.”

Mr. Schneider, a Long Island native, was a Cape Vincent resident more than 40 years. He served as an aquatic biologist at the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Cape Vincent Fisheries Station from 1970 until he retired in 1999.

He currently serves as a member of the Jefferson County Planning Board.

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