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April 24, 2013

City mayor won't run again

(Continued)

MANY GRIEVANCES

Kasprzak served as an alderman, the former title for councilors, from 1990 to 1994. He also worked for New York State Department of Parks and Recreation from 1998 to 2005.

While he was able to solidify the city’s finances, he had many high-profile battles with union leadership. He fought openly with Denise Nephew, the former head of the American Federation of County State Municipal Employees over contracts, and with the Fire Department’s Plattsburgh Permanent Firefighters Union.

Contacted about Kasprzak’s decision, Nephew, who was succeeded as AFCSME president last year by Chris Bleaux, would say only that she was “looking forward to the future with Plattsburgh growing once again.”

Bleaux, who has avoided public battles with the mayor, said he never saw the value of such street fights.

“I don’t think anything good comes from that,” he said. “I am glad he (Kasprzak) made his decision. He probably needs some rest. It’s a tough job to run a city — it’s like running a big business, and someone is always tugging at your coattails.”

Firefighters Union President Terry Feazelle said the union filed only three grievances with the city in the 15 years prior to Kasprzak becoming mayor — and 45 since he has been in office.

“We look forward to working with the next mayor and getting back to the days where we sat down and talked about our differences in private,” Feazelle said.

‘HONORED, HUMBLED’

Kasprzak was out of town Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

His statement said he has been “humbled and very grateful” for the support of city residents during his time as mayor.

“It has been a privilege and honor to represent the City of Plattsburgh for four years as an alderman and seven years as mayor.

“I have been very fortunate to meet and work with so many wonderful people from all walks of life.

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