Don Kasprzak, City Mayor:
Summer has finally arrived with some good weather! School is out and summer vacations have begun. My schedule is busy all year long, but at this time of year, it seems to be busier with events and constituent issues.
Sunrise Rotary and the Mayor's Office held a press conference to announce entertainment and regatta plans. We announced a new Ianelli Spirit Award, which will be given to a community leader which best exemplifies the qualities of former Mayor John Ianelli. I am proud to be associated with this award and Mrs. Ianelli will be presenting it at the regatta ceremony. I attended Media Day at Airborne Speedway, which is always enjoyable as Mike Perrotte and Steve Fuller do an outstanding job. My wife and I were honored to be part of the Hospice of the North Country ribbon-cutting ceremony. I had the opportunity to visit with the staff of the Nutrition Program for the Elderly and then have lunch at the Senior Citizen's Center. The Meals on Wheels Program is one of the most important programs in the North Country with wonderful people making and delivering the meals. The first fishing tournament of the season was held and the Plattsburgh North Stars Football Team won their first game. I attended the Special Olympics Torch Run Event which is always special and was invited to the flagpole dedication at Pine Harbour, which was a very moving event for our military veterans. Without their commitment and dedication to our country, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we enjoy today. The Farmers Market is open and very busy. I always support buying local products.
As we move into July, summer activities will increase. Enjoy the warm weather and sunshine!
Don Kasprzak is mayor of the city of Plattsburgh.
Bernie Bassett, Town Supervisor:
As usual, it has been another very busy month in the town of Plattsburgh. I always feel it is important to be "right out straight" as we say in the North Country and we have been "right out straight!"
It has been another month with new business and plans for construction that continue to move forward building our tax base and creating new jobs. I was pleased to join in the celebration for the first US Air flight out of the Plattsburgh International Airport. I firmly believe the larger plane with more frequent flights to and from our airport will bring more opportunity for all of us.
This month, we will have public hearings and pass a new local law to restrict the use of high-powered rifles on Cumberland Head. Over the past few years, the town board and I have been approached a number of times to address this issue. An ever-expanding population on the "Head," the new Connector Road that dissects the peninsula as well as an elementary school is sufficient for me to acknowledge it was time to take action. Hunting will be allowed, but the discharge of a high-powered rifle will not.
We have also addressed the organization of our ambulance service in the town. It is our goal to create a new town-wide single district that will have the same tax rate and service for all town residents. The existing service providers are excellent, but there have been contract issues, which were also addressed by the Comptroller's Office, that will be resolved with a new RFP.
The city's effort to proceed with their proposal to reactivate the sludge treatment plant off Rugar Street is a topic that will occupy my attention until it is resolved. The past history of that project is one with many concerns. Most important, though, is the greater concern businesses and residents, in both the city and town, should not be subject to such a proposal. I am not convinced the latest design will bring any different end result than what the former process did. That region has great economic value and sludge treatment is not the right use for the property. The city's motives are much more complex than simple sludge treatment and will not go without my commitment to preserve town property, the future economic growth of that region and the health and well-being of our residents.
Best wishes to each of you for a safe and enjoyable summer. Please keep in mind the many visitors to our region and, as you travel about, let's give them a warm North Country welcome!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.