“As far as I’m concerned, if the appropriate and legal behavior is followed by anybody downtown, then we don’t have any problem,” City of Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said before the Pub Crawl was shut down.
Clinton County Sheriff David Favro, too, is “fully in support of organized, properly managed events that provide entertainment and recreation for the community but are done so in a legitimate, legal fashion.”
But Springfest doesn’t have the best track record, he said, and the nature of such events often leads to problems.
“As soon as you introduce alcohol or any other drug, people don’t think rationally,” he said. “They don’t think about consequences; they don’t think about other people.”
The Sheriff’s Department saw that first-hand when responding to last year’s Springfest.
As well, he added, dispatchers, EMTs and ambulance crews get overloaded with calls, spreading resources thin and possibly slowing response times for other problems in other parts of the county.
“You tie up a lot of other resources.”
’OUR LAST HURRAH’
“I think the members of the city and law enforcement that are against it are making it a bigger deal than it is,” said Plattsburgh State junior Brittany Lareau. “I have been to Springfests for other SUNY schools, which were actually hosted by their schools, and there were no issues at all.”
One of those featured a concert that 6,500 students attended and not one issue came up, she said, “but, for some reason, they think the students of SUNY Plattsburgh are not capable of handling such an event.”
Melody Mentiply, a junior from Hoosick Falls, spoke to the Clinton County Legislature at a recent meeting, expressing her support for Springfest.
“I’m pretty sure the whole campus shares my opinion. Everybody really, really wants it,” Mentiply said. “We don’t have a homecoming here, we don’t have football or anything. This is our last hurrah before everyone graduates.”