PLATTSBURGH — The candidates for Clinton County Legislature Area 4 outlined their positions during a forum Thursday night, including contrasting views on town-city merger.
Hosted by the Cumberland Head Taxpayers Association, the event drew about 40 people to Cumberland Head Fire Station.
Gerard Renadette (R, C) and Colin Read (D, WF, I) offered their views on a number of issues.
They gave different perspectives on how they thought possible merger of the town and city of Plattsburgh might play out.
Renadette said the city would reap most of the benefits and not really experience any negatives from such a move. He doesn’t see the need for the town having its own paid police or fire departments when State Police, the County Sheriff’s Department and volunteer fire departments do a great job.
Read said that if you look forward 50 to 100 years, it seems obvious the two municipalities will have to merge. It’s not whether it will happen but when it will happen, he said, so the discussions need to start.
There must be some way to indemnify the town from being held responsible for the city’s obligations if the move is made, Read said.
“Surely we can figure out a way to work with one level of government rather than two,” he said.
The candidates, who seek the seat now held by Sara Rowden, were asked how they feel about the county’s planned $42 million airport expansion.
Read said he favors doing an expansion to meet future needs all at once, rather than piece by piece. He said it would be less expensive to do it right the first time rather than go through multiple expansions.
Renadette said he would have preferred the county move more slowly. He said county residents could be left footing the bill if projected enplanements don’t pan out or if the Canadian dollar decreases in value.