Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh Common Council meeting 2-15-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A rash of retirements and resignations by department heads in Plattsburgh has some city residents concerned. But the mayor says it’s normal turnover for a city of this size.

Becky Kasper
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Plattsburgh city councilor resigned at the end of Thursday night’s Common Council meeting, further exposing rifts between some city leaders and the mayor.

Clinton County Legislature Chair Harry McManus provides State of the County report
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual State of the County, Town and City forum this morning to hear reports from municipal leaders.

Plattsburgh Mayor Pro Tem Peter Ensel
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Common Councilors chose a mayor pro tem Thursday evening.  The vote had been postponed following testy exchanges and a deadlocked vote the week before.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The debate over a long-term Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement between the city and town of Plattsburgh has led to the city retaining outside lawyers to investigate.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh City Council held its first meeting of the year last night. The organizational session was intended to choose a mayor pro-tem for the year.  But antagonisms between councilors flared and a final vote was postponed.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read 12-20-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read opened this week’s Common Council meeting by acknowledging the acrimony following an open mic conversation he had with a city councilor that circulated over the past week. He apologized to city employees, but not for having private conversations.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

A funny thing happened at the latest Plattsburgh Common Council session: the meeting ended, but the mayor kept speaking into a live microphone. The inadvertent recording of the mayor and a city councilor is upsetting the city labor force and relations with the adjacent town.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

Plattsburgh’s mayor recently reconvened a public safety council, asking it to find innovative solutions to 21st century challenges within the city’s budget constraints. Mayor Colin Read explains that the panel was originally created in January to search for a new police chief and review code enforcement.  With rural towns and cities facing challenges such as the opioid epidemic and related crimes, zombie properties and street safety, the mayor says it’s a good time to refocus on the panel’s work now that the city budget is complete.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Part of the city of Plattsburgh’s plan to stabilize its budget includes the elimination of four city departments.  When councilors voted this summer to approve the plan in an attempt to save more than a million dollars in the 2018 budget, the department heads anticipated they would have their jobs until the end of the year.  But now they have been notified that they must leave on October 4th.

Plattsburgh city councilors consider tax cap override
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh held a public hearing Thursday night to discuss exceeding the state-mandated tax cap — and then they passed the 2018 budget.

Plattsburgh Fire Department conducts night ladder truck training
Pat Bradley/WAMC

If you passed by SUNY Plattsburgh’s administration building Tuesday just after nightfall, you would have seen Plattsburgh Fire Department crews at the building.  They were not responding to an emergency but rather conducting night training with their new ladder truck. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

One of the largest annual events in Plattsburgh begins Thursday. The Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration starts with memorial ceremonies and features a number of reenactments.

John Linney (left) speaks to Plattsburgh mayor and city councilors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s a time of change in Plattsburgh city government. Thursday evening, officials held four back-to-back public hearings on charter change proposals to eliminate several city departments.  Councilors heard a mix of harsh criticism and strong support as they considered the procedural move.

Luke Cyphers addresses Plattsburgh City Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last week, Plattsburgh city leaders approved eliminating four departments in an attempt to save more than a million dollars in the 2018 budget.  During this week’s meeting, the Common Council approved public hearings on city charter changes to remove those departments.

A restored World War II B-17 bomber is making week-long stops in Plattsburgh and Albany during a 50-city tour across the U.S. and Canada.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The New York state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments issued its review of the city of Plattsburgh’s finances on Thursday. It offers several recommendations to reverse the city’s fiscal downturn.

From left: Strand Center's Karen Dispo-De Boos with Outside Arts' Amy Guglielmo and Julia Devine
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh are working to make the downtown center more appealing to tourists. One of the newest initiatives got a boost recently when the Sunrise Rotary announced it will sponsor a plan to create an Arts Walk in the center city.

Police have arrested two individuals accused of manufacturing illegal methamphetamines at a Plattsburgh home. 

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

New York’s lieutenant governor was in Plattsburgh last week for what Mayor Colin Read described as the time to end the concepts phase and begin implementation of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that an old gas station will be removed within a few weeks and public interaction will now focus on implementation of redevelopment plans.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in Plattsburgh 5-25-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Plattsburgh this afternoon to announce the final projects that have been approved for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative awarded to the city last summer.

Mayor Colin Read (left) and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau Director of Tourism Kristy Kennedy
City of Plattsburgh

Officials in Plattsburgh have announced a new summer event to be held at the city beach in conjunction with professional fishing tournaments on Lake Champlain.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

First-term Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read campaigned on the need for the city to move away from annual one-time budgeting to a long-term fiscal planning process to stabilize finances.  He has already started the 2018 budget process, working with the city council to create a five-year fiscal plan.  Late last week he announced that the city has a $2 million structural deficit that must be addressed.  He says  it’s a situation that’s been  building for years.

A pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply company in Plattsburgh has received a $1 billion contract over five years that will allow it to expand employees and infrastructure.

Despite inclement weather, nearly a hundred officials and business leaders from across the North Country gathered in Plattsburgh this morning to hear addresses on the state of the town and city of Plattsburgh and Clinton County.

Plattsburgh City Council holds special session 1-10-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors held a special session Tuesday evening to consider amendments to the proposed city budget as they try to complete the fiscal plan by Saturday’s deadline.

Mayor James Calnon
Calnon for Mayor/Facebook

James Calnon has served in Plattsburgh city leadership positions since 2007 when he was appointed to the common council by then-Republican Mayor Donald Kasprzak.  Calnon, who is an independent with Republican endorsement, was elected mayor in 2013.  He lost his re-election bid this year to political newcomer Democrat Colin Read.  As he serves his last days in office, Calnon says he and the city are ready for the transition.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh’s long-time police chief announced recently that he will retire in January.  Desmond Racicot has been with the department since 1989, serving as chief for the last 14 years.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he hadn’t planned to retire but a new opportunity arose.

Plattsburgh City Council 12/28/16
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors received the mayor’s proposed budget in October and must finalize the fiscal plan by mid-January.  The six-member board is still considering amendments as they try to lower a tax levy that at one point looked like it could be as high as 22 percent. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the last meeting of 2016 last night.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

In November, incumbent Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon was defeated in his re-election bid by Democrat Colin Read.  Calnon did not formally concede until absentee ballots were counted on November 21st.  The final result determined that Read had actually increased his lead by 84 votes, solidifying his win.  Mayor-elect Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that was a surprise, and he’s now deeply involved in transitioning the administration.

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