Plattsburgh City Court Judge Mark Rogers administers the oath of office to Jim Calnon at the auditorium in City Hall Jan. 1.
Jim Calnon was sworn in as Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh on Jan. 1, and he’s doing his best to hit the ground running.
He was administered the oath of office at the auditorium in City Hall by Plattsburgh City Court judge Mark Rogers. The modest affair included the swearing in of city councilors, and was attended by several dozen people, including family and friends of Calnon and the councilors.
By Thursday, Calnon was already conducting business the way he likes to, in person. His first day focused on organizing his office, which didn’t even have a phone or a computer on the desk when hestarted, and meeting with people in and out of government to discuss issues.
“If I had a choice I’d rather be out talking to people, rather than running a city behind a desk by electronics,” he said. “To me, that’s the most important thing I’m going to be able to do over the next three years, is to keep people engaged in the conversation. To me that’s the real job.”
Calnon likes the direction the city is on, and doesn’t plan any bold, sweeping initiatives to start off his term. He is looking toward developing the waterfront in several locations. In 2014 he hopes to see a city marina, with some waterfront attractions, as well as land attractions to attract boaters. He foresees improvements to the city beach as well, but doesn’t want to take on too many projects at once.
“We have a little bit longer term goal to develop some things at the city beach. We’ll be doing some of those things this year. We’re still more in the planning stage than we are implementation. We’re going to do it in steps,” he said.
For downtown, Calnon is looking to continue the momentum started this past summer, lauding both The Strand and First Weekends for their efforts during the past year. Calling what achieved First Weekends a success, he says the coming year will “test the mettle” of the organization, and see if they are a sustainable force for the future. Having choices in entertainment and recreation is a key to keeping not just the downtown, but all of Plattsburgh vibrant, he said.
He also hopes to keep the synergy with the Town of Plattsburgh moving forward, looking to promote “Plattsburgh” as a recreational and economic destination, and not focusing on strictly city or town.
Whichever tact the city takes over the next three years, it will likely be directed with the personable approach that Mayor Calnon is starting his tenure with.
“I think my job is to be communicator in chief. I think my job is to be cheerleader. Is my job to handle the nuts and bolts of the city? Absolutely it is. But I think that the real strength of the office will be trying to...encourage it (economic growth) by remaining positive.”