By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Tuesday’s Independence Party primary in the City of Plattsburgh mayor’s race will feature only one candidate on the ballot.
But two others are also vying for the win.
James Calnon is on the Independence Party line, and voters can choose him or write in any candidate they want.
Calnon, a councilor from Ward 4, also has the Republican Party endorsement.
In November, he will be facing Democrat Mark Tiffer, a councilor from Ward 2, and Chris Rosenquest, who is running on the independent Plattsburgh Renewal Party line.
Both Tiffer and Rosenquest are making write-in bids on Primary Day.
The Independence Party has 656 registered members in the City of Plattsburgh who can vote in the mayoral primary.
Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Calnon said that, with his experience as mayor pro tem and budget officer of the council since 2007, he is the best choice as the Independence Party candidate.
“I have demonstrated my ability to manage the $52 million budget in difficult times, and I think I best represent the ideals of the Independence Party,” he said.
Calnon said he has been an independent voter for 30 years.
“I am not a member of a major party just looking for another line on the ballot.”
He said he has shown that he can practice fiscal responsibility, which is what the Independence Party stands for.
“In the six budgets before I joined the City Council, the tax rate went up a total of 93 percent. That’s more than 15 percent a year,” he said.
“In the six budgets I have been a part of, the taxes have gone up 5.4 percent. That’s under 1 percent a year.”
Tiffer said the election should be about changing the way city government functions, not about electing one individual to a particular office.
“Our city needs a leader who is willing to put his ego aside and work with a council, city managers, workers and residents to find long-term solutions to our city’s problems,” he said.
“Our city needs a master plan created and implemented in order to properly allocate our time, energy and resources toward attainable strategic goals.”
Tiffer said his involvement with the city’s Green Committee and the City Planning Board have helped him learn to “cooperate, communicate and collaborate with residents, managers and business owners.
“I am not only ready to work for you, but I am also ready to work with you and all other stakeholders,” he said.
Rosenquest, who moved back to Plattsburgh after living and operating businesses in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest the past 14 years, said the city needs a mayor who is “focused on a long-term vision and who has the education and experience to implement that vision.
“Plattsburgh’s future is at stake, and you have a say as to how our future turns out. Now is the time to fulfill what’s possible for Plattsburgh,” he said.
One issue Rosenquest is focusing on is the city’s waterfront.
“From day one, I’ve spoken about being stewards of our own waterfront, providing a future for our children, using innovation to deliver government services more effectively, and community and economic development as a means to lower taxes,” he said.
“Not only have I spoken about all of these things, I’ve laid out a clear plan, which includes local and regional partnerships, being fiscally responsible by investing our resources for our future, engaging our youth and creating Plattsburgh to be the cultural and economic heart of the North Country.”
Rosenquest said his independent candidacy would enable him to be a voice for all.
“I’m not tied to party politics or involved in political infighting or favoritism. I work for you.”
Mayor Donald Kasprzak is not seeking re-election this year.
Kasprzak was elected in a special election in 2006 to fill the final year of former Mayor Daniel Stewart’s term after Stewart left to take a position with the state.
Kasprzak was re-elected to three-year terms in 2007 and 2010.
Email Joe LoTemplio:firstname.lastname@example.org