As I sit at the keyboard reflecting on the past month it is difficult to believe that another one has come and gone! Thanksgiving dinner is just a fond memory with Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping well behind us. All too soon the hustle and bustle to finish holiday shopping will also come to an end and the thoughts of a New Year will start to occupy our minds.
I have always found the months of November and December to be very special with family time and opportunity to remember the seasons that have passed. In the town of Plattsburgh we will also be thinking of the past with an astute eye on our future. As this calendar year comes to an end, we are hopeful that, in 2011, we will finally see the signs of economic recovery. I also hope to see an increase in the final sales taxes collected for 2010! Our 2011 budget is in place with hopes the coming year will bring new optimism and investment in our community. We did not cut positions or services for next year, but we did absorbe a significant increase in the cost of doing business, something that may not be possible again if recovery doesn't come in 2011. Municipalities, like other businesses and families, are also adjusting to the increase cost of everything along with the impact of decreased revenue.
On a very positive note, after many months of work, on Dec. 10, the Adirondack Coast and Visitors Bureau and the Strategic Tourism and Planning Committee will announcement a new Destination Master Plan for our county. This project is one I have participated in with the belief it will help usher in a new economy for the Champlain Valley. It is the beginning of what will become a journey, but the end result will secure our economic future. Please be looking for the announcements and media coverage of the event.
It was another month of meetings, events, celebrations, recognitions, management of resources and development of long range plans. Though 2010 was challenging, I continue to feel we are in the right place at the right time. The town is a progressive municipality that is a desirable place to live and to do business. We will remain diverse and competitive while protecting our environmental needs and investing in smart growth planning to help speed our recovery from what has been a very difficult economic period.
Best wishes to all for safe travel and a memorable holiday season!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.