All six of the city of Plattsburgh’s common council seats, and the mayor’s position, are open this year. City Democrats have quickly selected a slate of candidates, and this past weekend, they introduced themselves to the voters.
Standing on the steps of City Hall Saturday morning, Plattsburgh Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Tiffer introduced five of the six Democrats in the race for common council. He says the candidates represent diverse backgrounds and are the decisive leaders the city needs.
The candidates stepped up to introduce themselves and explain why they are running. Most have not run for office before, but have been active politically. Ward One candidate Rachelle Armstrong, a retired educator and writer, says city officials need to collaborate more with their town and county counterparts and attract more business to the south end of the city.
Ward Five Candidate Becky Kasper, a former city Democratic chair, says four themes drive her vision for the future of the city: collaboration, investment, innovation and development.
Ward Four candidate Paul O’Connell, a Department of Corrections retiree who was born and raised in the city, said he wants to give back by discussing issues directly and with an open door policy.
Ward Six candidate Joshua Kretzer is a designer who owns a studio in the center city.
Ward Two’s Mike Kelly, an IBM engineer, served on the common council from 2008-10. He decided to return to city politics because he believes the city has yet to tap its potential.
City Democratic committee member Pattie Bentley noted that Ward Three candidate Justin Meyer was unable to attend because he was at his brother’s wedding.
The current mayor, Republican Donald Kasprzak, announced on April 23rd that he would not seek re-election to another three-year term and will step aside at the end of the year.
No Republican candidates have yet entered the mayor’s race nor the campaign for Common Council.