April 9, 2014

Editorial: Keep the flow of new ideas

It takes a certain amount of courage to offer up a new idea to the public. You never know how people are going to react.

Some people embrace a new idea and heap praise on the originator. Others will have nothing but disdain and will not hesitate to express it.

The City of Plattsburgh has had mayors over the years who exhibited a range of talents and characteristics. Some, such as the Rev. Roland St. Pierre, were born administrators but didn’t have much in the way of creativity for new ways of doing things. St. Pierre made the city run with model efficiency, but he was not one for thinking up new ventures or new opportunities for prosperity.

Clyde Rabideau, on the other hand, always seemed to be looking beyond the boundaries of the everyday in an effort to advance the city’s fortunes. He is doing the same thing now as mayor of Saranac Lake.

Plattsburgh’s new mayor, Jim Calnon, has already come up with a few ideas for aesthetic improvements for the city, and the reinvigorated Common Council has offered several new proposals.

Joshua Kretser, the freshman councilor representing Plattsburgh’s Ward 6, is an interior designer and organizer whose livelihood depends on new ideas. Thus, it was no surprise to anybody who knows him that he suggested an idea to try to enhance exposure of people to what downtown has to offer — and what it could have to offer.

He has suggested the city explore the idea of closing part of downtown to vehicular traffic and devoting it instead strictly to pedestrians. That would be coupled with an effort to lure more businesses to set up shop there.

Burlington did this long ago, as most North Country residents know, to great effect. But would such an innovation have the same impact on Plattsburgh that it had on Burlington? Many people over the years have dismissed the notion.

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