Press-Republican

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January 23, 2014

City of Plattsburgh changes layout of council chambers

(Continued)

“It’s a small thing, but it’s a flavor thing.”

LONG TRADITION

The city was chartered in 1902, and City Hall was opened in August 1918, according to City Historian John W. Krueger.

There are old photographs of the Common Council meeting in what appears to be the present-day mayor’s office, but the date of those images cannot be pinned down.

No one knows for sure when the council began convening in the chambers.

City Clerk Keith Herkalo said that, as far as he knows, the setup was always in the horseshoe shape.

Calnon said he asked all the councilors what they thought of the idea of changing the layout, and they enthusiastically agreed.

MORE COMMENT TIME

The council also agreed to add another public-comment period at the end of each regular meeting.

There’s one at the beginning of each meeting designed to allow people to make any statements they wish.

The councilors are not required to respond, and usually do not, but there have been times over the years when they have engaged in debate.

The council removed the second comment period last year after some citizens made outrageous statements at the end of meetings that the council could not respond to.

Calnon said he hopes the public-comment period is not abused.

“We wanted to put that second comment period back in there so the public feels that it has a real capacity to tell us their concerns,” he said.

“But if someone says things that are outrageous and not true, then we will probably not adjourn the meeting and (will) talk about it.”

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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