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October 25, 2013

Common Council candidates square off

(Continued)

“In some cases, people who did not have the chance to vote now do, and I think that is a great thing,” she said.

But Ferris said he felt there could be some “voter coercion” going on.

PRIVATIZATION

The format of the forum called for candidates from each ward to answer three questions from the audience of about 75 people, posed by moderator Betty Anne King, and then ask each other a question before submitting closing statements.

The order in which the wards appeared was chosen randomly.

In the Ward 3 session, Republican Dale Dowdle and Democrat Justin Meyer answered a question about privatizing some city services, such as trash collection and electricity.

“Nothing is off the table,” Meyer said. “But we have to look at what is most cost effective.”

Dowdle said voters he has talked to say they like the city’s trash-collection service and the electric rates, which are among the lowest in the nation.

LAYOFFS

In the Ward 5 panel, Republican Bruce Lawson and Democrat Rebecca Kasper were asked if they would be willing to cut city positions if the budget warranted it.

Lawson said he would.

“We have to be thinking of the long term,” he said. “We will have to make difficult decisions, and my business background leads me to understand that I am ready to make those decisions.”

Kasper said it was a “trap question.”

“If our only option is to lay people off, then we’ve failed,” she said. “We would need to put ourselves in a better position so we don’t have do that.”

BAR SCENE

In the Ward 6 portion of the forum, Democrat Joshua Kretser and independent candidate and incumbent Chris Jackson were asked what they think of the Plattsburgh “bar scene.”

Kretser said he sees downtown shifting from a college-bar atmosphere to more of an adult scene with bars that offer full-service menus.

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