Press-Republican

October 31, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 31, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Kretser goals

TO THE EDITOR: There is a reason the Democrats and the Working Families Party have endorsed my candidacy for Ward 6 councilor in the City of Plattsburgh.

Since returning home to Plattsburgh five years ago, I have built links across the community.

I am an entrepreneur who has built his own design firm. I have served on the board of directors for the Plattsburgh Rotary Club, the Adirondack Young Professionals and for the Plattsburgh Roller Derby league, the Lumber Jills.

I serve on the Steering Committee for Vision2Action, one of the organizations responsible for the First Weekends downtown initiative; as chairman for the Arts in Clinton County Task Force; as a member of the Plattsburgh Downtown Association; and as an ambassador for the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

People in every part of Plattsburgh have been telling me how concerned they are at the loss of the Community Development Office. The council has found the money to reopen this office, but this is only the first step. To be a success, the office needs dedicated political support and leadership. With that level of support, the office can bring in funds from other sources, such as New York state.

People have many other concerns. There is a lack of parking. The downtown area could benefit from the presence of national retailers.

But community support for this commercial expansion is not enough. Ward 6 needs a new, dynamic, forward-looking, representative to forge links between the council and business.

This is exactly the investment in Plattsburgh’s social capital that shows the skill set Ward 6 needs on the council. I am appealing to all Ward 6 voters to form a common bond with my existing supporters to build a new future for Plattsburgh.

Learn more at www.joshuakretser.com. Join us.

JOSHUA KRETSER

Plattsburgh

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Energy, involvement

TO THE EDITOR: I am writing this letter to support the candidacy of Joshua Kretser for Ward 6 councilor.

I met Joshua in 2008 and was instantly struck by his poise, energy and enthusiasm for community involvement.

Since then, I have had the chance to work with Joshua on the board of the Adirondack Young Professionals and through volunteer work with North Country Cultural Center, the American Heart Association, Vision2Action, North Country Chamber of Commerce, North County Lumber Jills and Plattsburgh Noon Rotary.

In 2012 Joshua, at age 34, was awarded the distinguished 2012 Rotarian of the Year Award for his hard work and dedication to Rotary and our community.

Having lived and worked in Ward 6, in the immediate downtown area, I wholeheartedly support Joshua’s candidacy.

He has lived and operated a business on Court Street since 2008 and understands the need for economic development to grow our downtown. He also understands the needs of the residents of Ward 6 and will be there to make sure our voices are heard in city government.

I strongly encourage Ward 6 voters to elect Joshua Kretser as your councilor. You will not be disappointed.

KERI MACK

Plattsburgh

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Realistic ideas

TO THE EDITOR: I had the good fortune this morning to meet Chris Rosenquest.

I was hesitant to do so at first, but I am very glad I took the time. Prior to the meeting, I reviewed his Comprehensive Action Plan for Community and Economic Deveploment.

I had several questions and concerns maybe even some preconceived notions. Chris addressed these issues one by one to my satisfaction.

When he left, I was convinced he would be the right choice for Mayor of Plattsburgh. He is bright and intelligent. At a time when our young people leave Plattsburgh because there is nothing here to keep them, it is nice to see a young native returning to the area and bringing enthusiasm and vision.

He will bring many new, realistic ideas that this area desperately needs. He has taken the time to do his homework. I was impressed with his knowledge of the operations and finances of the city.

He has education and experience with successful implementation strategies that he can share to the benefit of our community. He will help us control expenses.

I urge everyone to review his plan at www.rosenquestforplattsburgh.com.

He is very approachable, should you have questions. You can contact him, and he will take the time to talk to you about any issue you wish. 

HAILA J. CONANT

Plattsburgh

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Tackling problems

TO THE EDITOR: My husband, Gerard Renadette, is running for county legislator in Area 4.

I can think of three very good reasons why the voters in Area 4 should support him Nov. 5. I believe that having been born and raised here in Plattsburgh, having attending Beekmantown Central High and, with my help, raising four wonderful children not only gives Gerard tremendous ties to the area but an understanding of the problems that the local people care the most about.

We have experienced one such problem ourselves with two of our children leaving the area due to a lack of professional jobs in their chosen careers. Gerard wants to work to change that trend.

Gerard believes that town government and county government are not that much different. Many of the same problems and issues facing a town are also faced by the county. Balancing budgets, unfunded mandates and state-imposed caps are faced by both. Gerard’s 17 years of practical experience on the Town Council will prove valuable in addressing those issues on the county level.

I believe that being retired gives Gerard the time needed to attend the county meetings, answer residents’ phone calls and most importantly visit regularly with the people who know most about the problems that need to be addressed — those being both of your elected town boards.

My husband has done all of this in the past, and I expect no less of him moving forward.

Please join me in giving your support this November, and I know Gerard will serve you the way you deserve to be served.

PAULA RENADETTE

Plattsburgh

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Utmost professional

TO THE EDITOR: During the upcoming election, I ask that you consider Gerard Renadette for your choice to the Clinton County legislator.

I have had the pleasure to have known Gerard for a number of years on various levels, from personal, worship, fundraising activities to most recently belonging to the same Knights of Columbus Council.

During these times, Gerard has always approached any decision in front of him with the utmost professionalism and charismatic demeanor with only one thing in mind — what would be best for all concerned — and never for his personal gain.

I ask you to support Gerard in this upcoming election, as you will not be disappointed in this candidate for county legislator.

TOM HAMILTON

Morrisonville 

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Plattsburgh shortfall

TO THE EDITOR: A $60,000 lawnmower, a $90,000 bucket truck, a $148,000 camera truck, pickup trucks that employees drive back and forth to work, $800 entrance mats, raises for elected officials. And so it goes.

Year after year, auditors warned that their profligate spending was dangerous and if it continued, they’d use up the reserves and eventually face a shortfall.

That shortfall has arrived, and Town of Plattsburgh taxpayers are now facing an enormous highway-tax increase because the Town Council refused to heed the warnings and make hard decisions over the past years.

Last year, 10 well-informed taxpayers asked the Town Council to cut spending. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. New employees were hired, trucks were purchased, and raises were taken by elected officials, even though reserves had fallen from over $1,100,000 to zero.

This year, 48 comments were offered by taxpayers at a recent public hearing. Not one was in favor of the Town Council’s decision to override the state tax cap.

Will comments make a difference this year? No. The Town won’t cut enough to stay under the tax cap because expenses are too high, and reserves are depleted. We’re going to have to pay and pay.

On Nov. 5, carefully consider, before you vote, if you favor men with business acumen who understand finances and budgeting, men with a new and clear vision for our town.

Decide if your trust has been squandered. Decide if you want to continue in the same direction down this unsustainable current path. Decide if it’s time for a change.

If it’s a trustworthy alternative, new blood and ideas you desire, consider electing Bill Brudvig and Tom Metz to the Plattsburgh Town Council.

DEBBIE BLAKE

Plattsburgh

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Benkwitt goals

TO THE EDITOR: As candidate for Town Council in Schuyler Falls, I’d like to thank the Press-Republican for publishing the tons of endorsement letters they receive each election year.

Thanks also to the League of Women Voters for providing www.vote411.org so constituents comfortable online can read more about their candidates, races and issues.

And, finally, thanks to the Clinton County Board of Elections, which has a huge responsibility this time of year and has been so helpful to me as a novice independent candidate in walking me through the election process.

Now it’s time for you, the voters, to choose those who you feel will do the best job for your town, city, district, county or state.

In Schuyler Falls, vote 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 5 at St. Alexander’s Parish Center, Emory Street, Morrisonville.

Please support me by voting for Barb Benkwitt at position 6F, near the bottom right of the ballot.

I would be honored to serve and will do so with enthusiasm, honesty, fairness and care.

Thank you for your support.

BARB BENKWITT

Morrisonville

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Energetic women

TO THE EDITOR: It is time for more competent women to be elected to office.

Plattsburgh and Clinton County have an unusual opportunity to elect three committed, energetic and highly effective women. 

The City of Plattsburgh has a unique situation in this election, with all council seats and the mayor’s office open to the voters’ choice. It is an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future, set a new tone for the city and move forward with innovative and creative leadership.

In Ward 5, Becky Kasper is clearly the best choice for the ward and the city. She has worked tirelessly to meet every household in the ward, regardless of registration and has been energized by what she’s heard and seen. She is articulate, compassionate and realistic. She has a proven record of accomplishment at SUNY Plattsburgh and in the community. Becky Kasper will serve the needs and advocate for the city and move us into a more prosperous and progressive future.

In Ward 1, Rachelle Armstrong has demonstrated, by hard work and great skill, why she was the clear choice to represent the Democrats in her ward. She has the energy, vision and background to bring a consistent and well-informed voice to the council and community.

Kimberly Davis demonstrated her organizational abilities and determination in winning the Independence Party primary and, in doing so, revealed the misconception among so many that they were “Independent,” not pawns of downstate interests in one party. Davis is eminently qualified and motivated to be Clinton County’s next treasurer. She has the credentials, experience and temperament to serve the citizens and the county superbly.

I encourage you to vote for Becky Kasper in Ward 5 and Rachelle Armstrong in Ward 1 of the city and for Kimberly Davis for County Treasurer.

It’s time.

PATRICIA BENTLEY

Rouses Point

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Will listen

TO THE EDITOR: I’m writing this letter to urge all those who live in Ward 4 of the City of Plattsburgh to vote for Paul O’Connell.

I first met Paul as one of my football coaches and someone who worked with my father at Clinton Correctional Facility, and over the years he has become a friend. I know that he is someone who will hit the ground running and will work hard to make the City of Plattsburgh a better place.

He will listen to his constituents and is willing to put the needs of others first.

Paul is willing to do the hard work to make the city a better place, and I believe the voting members of Ward 4 will be happy that they voted for him as a councilperson.

MICHAEL DOE

Potsdam

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Honest, reliable

TO THE EDITOR: This letter is sent in endorsement of Don McBrayer.

I have known Don as a friend and business associate for nearly 35 years. He has always been honest, reliable and exhibited a great work ethic. I feel it is these quality traits that make him a worthy candidate for Peru Town Council.

As a citizen of Peru and Clinton County, he is well known for his work as a volunteer and committee member involved in a range of good-will organizations, Habitat for Humanity, Knights of Columbus, St. Augustine’s Church, as well as a host of others.

Don is a “go-to guy” when things need to get done. That said, I am confident he will carry on with the same energy and ferver as a member of the Town Council.

Vote for Don McBrayer, Peru Town Council.

JAKE SHERMAN

Plattsburgh

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Knows Willsboro

TO THE EDITOR: I believe at the local level, party politics are of less use because in small towns we actually know the people we vote for.

I’m a lifelong Republican voting incumbent Ed Hatch for supervisor. Locally, I vote for the person instead of the party.

Why would I vote Hatch when I don’t always get along with him nor agree with him? Heck, he even got me canned from the Youth Program in the 1970s. The reason I vote for him is because he knows Willsboro. 

He is from Willsboro, went to high school in Willsboro and married a local girl (Nancy Perkett). He went to college just across the big river and returned here for business and to raise their family.

He’s always been involved with public service and was supervisor in the 1970s before answering the call one last time in this new century.

He grew up on Middle Road and has bumped into or wrestled with everyone in town, from the family who needs a variance to stay in their trailer to seasonal second homeowners on Willsboro Point.

He knows what Willsboro is and who we are. He has the experience, no plans to use Willsboro as a springboard for higher office, and he’s doing this job simply because he wants to.

How much better can we be than to have someone with decades of experience to shed that wisdom in the daily operations of the town and be one of our own?

I have nothing against his opponent, and this letter is not about the opposition; it is about Ed. That’s why, at the small-town level, I vote for the person instead of the party. 

DOUG FERRIS

Willsboro

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Proven leader

TO THE EDITOR: Please allow me to endorse Paul Lamoy for the Town of Plattsburgh Town Council.

Paul has spent five years on the Town Council and has the dedication and knowledge of government we need in these troubled times. Now is certainly not the time for a person who can find fault but have no solutions.

The choice is simple; let’s re-elect a proven leader, the one person who will work to make sure the Town of Plattsburgh remains the “economic engine” of the county.

On Nov. 5, my choice is Paul Lamoy for Town of Plattsburgh Town Council.

BARBARA SENECAL

Plattsburgh

+++++

Dedicated, approachable

TO THE EDITOR: In a few days, we have the privilege of casting our votes in the city elections.

We have the opportunity to elect the best qualified, most honest and more transparent candidate to the position of mayor, Jim Calnon.

I am proud to say I have known Jim for more than 20 years and even more proud to call him a friend. Jim has served outstandingly on our Common Council for the last six years. 

He has been chosen to serve as mayor pro tem by his peers all of those six years. Jim has also served as budget officer for the six years. During this time, he has proven his leadership 

while gaining the necessary experience to run the city.

Jim’s qualifications include 24 years as executive director of the New York State Public Workforce, and he was elected president of the New York State Workforce Professionals Association.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh and furthered his education with business post-grad courses at Clarkson University.

Jim is approachable, hard-working, dedicated and honest. On Nov. 5, I am asking you to vote for Jim Calnon for mayor.

JIM CARR

Plattsburgh

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Davis goals

TO THE EDITOR: I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has welcomed me into their homes as I run for Clinton County treasurer.

As I travel throughout the county, I appreciate the time I have shared with voters. I have been in each of the 14 towns and the City of Plattsburgh, whether attending caucuses, harvest dinners, walking in parades or the numerous hours going door to door, giving people the opportunity to ask questions and getting to know my qualifications.

People seeking office have a responsibility to work hard to get elected and work hard once elected. Winning the Independence Party primary demonstrated that, as I not only had to meet with Independence voters but also ask them to write my name in on the ballot. Write-in campaigns are very difficult to win, but the time I put into this effort demonstrates how hard I will work for you as Clinton County treasurer.

Please support me for Clinton County treasurer on Nov. 5. Thank you for your consideration and for this wonderful experience.

KIMBERLY DAVIS

Plattsburgh

+++++

Outstanding candidate

TO THE EDITOR: We have the opportunity to elect an outstanding Plattsburgh city councilor in Ward 5.

Bruce Lawson has become a good friend over the past 10 years, and we know him well.

We have discussed the issues with Bruce many times. He has done his homework. This is not a surprise, since he’s been successful in business and a community leader for a long time.

Bruce retired just last December after 14 years as general sales manager at WPTZ-TV. He got this position the old-fashioned way; he earned it. We are confident that he understands how to make a budget and stick to it.

Bruce has also been active in community service. United Way, Red Cross, Lake Champlain Basin Program and his church have all benefited from his commitment. He plays a large role in the local arts community because he and his wife run a concert series at Palmer Street Coffeehouse.

City Council will be facing many difficult decisions. Budgets, contracts, waterfront development, all these and more will need to be decided. It is critical that we elect people who have the skills and talent for the job.

We are pleased to support Bruce Lawson for City Council. He is the right person for this job.

BRENT AND ELLA FAVARO

Plattsburgh

+++++

Vision, leadership

TO THE EDITOR: We are writing today to express our support for the re-election of Mike Morales to Beekmantown Town Council.

Mike has worked diligently over the past four years to improve the quality of life for all the residents of our town. He worked to implement effective ethical practices that had been sorely lacking in our town government.

Mike has also been instrumental in spearheading the movement to bring a natural-gas line to Beekmantwon. Once natural gas is established through our town, homeowners and businesses will be able to take advantage of a lower cost and cleaner form of energy to heat with. Heating with natural gas will also save our school money that is badly needed in other areas.

Beekmantown needs people like Mike Morales to lead our town forward. Mike has provided our town with fiscally conservative leadership and vision.

As small towns across our state deal with challenging economic conditions, it has never been more important to put the right people in elected office. Mike Morales is the right person for our town. Please join us in re-electing him.

CHRIS AND MICHELLE ROWELL

Beekmantown

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Cashman dedicated

TO THE EDITOR: If you really want to see the Town of Plattsburgh grow and you want to be certain that the business of the town will be carefully monitored for ethical behavior by both the administration and by the companies they do business with, I encourage you to cast a vote for Michael Cashman for Town of Plattsburgh councilor.

As a business owner, I support Michael. He has a strong knack for making certain that the people get what they pay for and his experience will ensure that the citizens of the Town of Plattsburgh will get that same level attention to detail that will both save money and give us the best bang for our buck.

Cashman is a strong and dedicated individual who believes that what is right is right and is not afraid to fight for it. Let’s have him bring that level of commitment to the Town of Plattsburgh.

A vote for Cashman is a vote for your wallet. He’ll make sure that we all benefit from the success of a strong town government for business owners and consumers alike.

DEBORAH ROLLIER

Beekmantown

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Community servant

TO THE EDITOR: My dad, Paul Lamoy, is the most qualified candidate running for Plattsburgh Town Council.

He has spent his entire adult life managing people and construction projects. He has five years experience on the Town Council and has the knowledge of how to get the job done.

My father has always been a servant to the community he lives in. He spent years as a volunteer fireman and rose to the rank of assistant fire chief. He has coached and officiated numerous youth sports and is an active member of the American Cancer Relay for Life Committee, raising thousands of dollars to find a cure for cancer.

As a firefighter myself, I see one of the greatest accomplishments my dad has made for the town is the passing of the Knox Box Law. This allows us access to buildings in off hours and gets our equipment and manpower back home much quicker than waiting for a key to re-set an automatic alarm. This saves the volunteers time, and you, the taxpayer, money.

Please join me on Nov. 5 and vote for my dad, Paul Lamoy, a proven leader for Town of Plattsburgh Town Council.

JASON LAMOY

Plattsburgh

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Thoughtful vision

TO THE EDITOR: Having talked with hundreds of voters, there’s a frustration that our community isn’t as vibrant as it once was, and not for lack of who we are and what we have available.

Consider our gorgeous waterfront and the river running through our downtown. Consider the hundreds of people who come out for our summer festivals and concerts at our newly renovated Strand Theatre.

The question is, what are we going to do to grow and capitalize on these (among many other) assets. We have only scratched the surface.

It’s not only about being proud and enjoying the quality of life in our city; it’s also to be known in our region. It’s about giving tourists a reason to stay and spend money, which generates revenue for the city and benefits the taxpayer.

There are also many grants available to develop our city that have not been sought after by our current leadership.

Mayoral candidate Chris Rosenquest has outlined a comprehensive Community and Economic Development Plan to fulfill what’s possible in our community. He comes with successful business experience, a thoughtful vision and a plan with real actions that will take Plattsburgh to the next level.

As Chris’s wife, I know we have dedicated our lives contributing to our community. It’s a true honor to come home to Plattsburgh to utilize our expertise, skills and passion here.

You have a voice with your vote. If you’re ready for new leadership, vote for Chris Rosenquest on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

TRACY VICORY-ROSENQUEST

Plattsburgh

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Positive change

TO THE EDITOR: The future of our county begins with the election of new legislators.

For some time, members of our community have been working to set the stage for positive change in our area. Vision2Action, a group of business and community leaders, through public meetings and thoughtful deliberation, has generated a plan to enhance our area; the Strand Theater is approaching its final stages; the discussions of the revitalization of downtown Plattsburgh and summer programming; and the facilitation of enhanced medical services in the region are but examples of efforts Colin Read has been personally involved in.

Colin is an economist and local businessperson who understands planning and how working with others can bring our county a brighter future.

This is the type of legislator Clinton County needs. Vote for Colin Read, Area 4 legislator.

FRED WOODWARD

Plattsburgh

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Fiscal responsibility

TO THE EDITOR: I am excited to endorse Mike Morales for re-election as town councilman.

Mike has met and exceeded his commitments as town councilman for the last four years. These include commitment to improve openness in town government.

Mike worked on the the town website to post important information for town residents, including events, council meeting dates, town department functions and contacts, town laws and other information; commitment to assure ethics in government and has done so by supporting a new law governing the ethical behavior of officers and employees of the Town of Beekmantown; and commitment to advocate for our community’s interests to bring greater opportunity to Beekmantown’s citizens through jobs and grant funding.

For the past year, Mike has worked with federal and state government officials, NYSEG, Beekmantown Central School School Board, the Town Council and the Public Service Commission to bring natural gas to our town businesses, BCSD main campus, our industrial park, local government buildings and residents.

He has also shown a commitment to work for fiscal responsibility and has done so. As a Town Council, we have worked diligently to keep costs associated with running local government down, always looking for places to trim our budgets while also being careful to maintain town services and safety.

Please re-elect Mike to the Town Council. You will find no harder worker or stronger advocate for your interests.

WANDA FLYNN

Morrisonville

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Read goals

TO THE EDITOR: There’s something in the water.

Some times, in the past, few would run for public office, but now there is a plethora of great candidates. Many sense we are on the cusp of some things great.

Our downtown and waterfront was once packed. Plattsburgh was a place to celebrate the bounty of a wonderful region, and many partook every weekend. We can capture that vibrancy once again.

Local government can help us realize our potential. It must keep the lights on and the roads paved and plowed, but it can also play a critical role in supporting, encouraging and cheerleading on behalf of our region.

In these times, government can ill-afford to purchase a brighter future, but it can do much to create the environment and the infrastructure that will allow us to live up to our potential.

First Weekends, Vision2Action, Vision2040, the Strand, the Saranac River Trail project, exciting museums, the Battle of Plattsburgh and myriad other examples attest to renewed local energy to create a more livable, amenity-rich community. I enjoy working with so many great individuals willing to take our future into our own hands.

Government must remain diligent, though. We are forecasted to lose 3,000 households by 2040 if we continue to suffer our national rural exodus. We want an attractive community that is also affordable and efficient.

I hear stories of those on fixed income forced to leave because of high, and rising, property and school taxes. We can’t attract new households if they are deterred by the sticker shock of property taxes much higher than many comparable places in this country. The books must be balanced through increased efficiency, not on the backs of already-pinched homeowners.

I will work tirelessly on these issues and ask for your support for County Legislature Area 4.

COLIN READ

Plattsburgh