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April 24, 2013

City mayor won't run again

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak will not seek re-election this fall to a second three-year term.

“I have been humbled and very grateful for the support of city residents during my tenure,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday. “I believe we have done our best to represent the majority of the taxpayers during one of the most difficult periods in our history.”

FINANCIAL CHALLENGES

Kasprzak, 57, was elected in 2006 to fill the final year on the term of then-Mayor Daniel Stewart, who left the city to take an appointment as a State Commission on Corrections commissioner.

A Republican, Kasprzak first defeated Councilor Michael Drew of Ward 1 in a primary before besting Democrat Kevin Duniho in the special election.

He won re-election to a full three-year term in 2007, running unopposed, and was victor over independent candidate Kathryn McCleery for another three-year term in 2010.

During his time in office, Kasprzak has dealt with difficult budget issues, as the city had been faced with severe tax increases in the final two years of Stewart’s administration.

Tasks and issues the mayor took on successfully included the mandate to close the former city landfill on Akey Road, replacing outdated water tanks, replacing the sewer system near the Macdonough Monument, paying more than $1 million in Workers Compensation costs and solving a $1 million deficit at the Municipal Lighting Department.

He also was able to negotiate health-insurance-premium contributions from most city employees and dealt with a devastating flood in the spring of 2011.

“I think the mayor was exactly the mayor we needed at the time he was elected,” Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem James Calnon (I-Ward 4) said.

“The six-plus years he has been mayor have been very good years, and I wish him the best.”

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