The month of November brought mild temperatures which extended many projects and work our city employees could pursue such as road construction, street patchwork and cleaning, leave pick-up, and general maintenance. The city also saved money in departmental budgets due to the lack of snow which is a costly venture as most people know. There is no doubt snow will be arriving for the holidays, but I can only hope it will be minimal in nature!
November brought some very important events. Hospice of the North Country is constructing a new building which will be their new home. Everyone associated with Hospice is so special I can only hope personal donations by the public and business community will be considered for this project. I have faith the North Country residents will be generous in this endeavor.
I attended the annual Salvation Army kick-off event which featured staff and friends of this special organization. Captains Larry and Wendy Goodman were very appreciative many of us attended but I am proud of the Salvation Army and their efforts to help our community.
The CP Rail Holiday Train arrived in Plattsburgh much to the delight of area children and parents. I am always amazed by the attendance when the train arrives. I attended a press event with local leaders and the president of the New York State Economic State Development Corporation, Dennis Mullin, to tour the Imperial Industrial Park. The ESDC provided grant funding for infrastructure improvements for this facility which will assist this location in bringing in more small companies to the area. Mr. Mullin also met with local leaders to discuss the Pfizer situation that will affect the entire North Country. I did preside over a wedding ceremony in City Hall for two friends on Thanksgiving Day which was truly special.
As usual, I dealt with the many constituent concerns I receive daily. The council is holding budget hearings with the possibility of changing my budget by adding or subtracting items which will affect the tax rate for the residents of the city. I believe my budget was very responsible although it did not support all of the requests each department had asked for. Due to the challenging economic situation we are all facing, I did my best to maintain city services and keep tax and utility rates stable for 2010.
December is always a special month enjoyed by everyone. Reach out to our friends and neighbors who are not as fortunate as we are during this holiday season. Please think of our military personnel who are away from their families as they protect our freedoms. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from City Hall and warmest and best wishes to you all and your families!
Donald Kasprzak is the mayor of the city of Plattsburgh. His column appears regularly in the Clinton County Free Trader Today.