Press-Republican

Local News

August 20, 2013

City councilor to run for re-election after all

PLATTSBURGH — Incumbent City Councilor Chris Jackson has decided that he will run for another term in Ward 6 after all.

“With the potential for a completely new Common Council in 2014, I feel my years of experience will benefit the new mayor and new council members,” he said in a statement released Monday.

“There is a steep learning curve for new councilors, and I am confident my experience would assist during this transition, especially during this difficult economic period.”

CONSIDERED COUNTY POST

Jackson was elected to the council as a Democrat in 2007 and re-elected in 2010.

He decided earlier this year that he would not seek another three-year term after considering a run at the Clinton County Legislature Area 10 seat.

Democrats chose Joshua Kretser to be their Ward 6 City Council candidate at their caucus in May. Republicans have selected James Wemette to run.

But Jackson, an accountant at SUNY Plattsburgh, has changed his mind about not seeking re-election.

CREATED OWN LINE

He has formed his own independent group, the Experience Matters Party, to join the race.

“In many discussions with constituents over the years, I have heard a number of differing opinions on how the city should be operating in the future,” Jackson said.

“Some feel we are too fiscally conservative and take too hard a line on union negotiations. Others offer new program ideas and support the settling of union contracts, which would directly affect the taxpayers.

“I fall somewhere in the middle. That is why I chose not to seek the endorsement of any political party and have formed the Experience Matters Party for this year’s ballot. I truly believe a majority of city residents feel as I do — that the answers lie somewhere in the middle.”

CHALLENGES

Jackson said the council has met many challenges in his time in office. Among the difficult obstacles to deal with were the state-forced $4 million closure of the Akey Landfill, federal requirements to build new water-storage tanks for another $4 million, a payment of more than $1 million to the Workers Compensation Trust, increases in the State Retirement Fund of more than $2 million and the loss of $850,000 per year in payments to the city from an agreement with Saranac Powers Partners that concluded.

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