By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh could have as many as five new Common Council members as well as a new mayor next year.
“There is a lot of interest out there, and it will be interesting to see what happens,” City Republican Party Chairman Richard Cantwell said.
Mayor Donald Kasprzak announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election this year after serving for seven years.
Five of the six Common Council members have also said their names will not be on the ballot this fall.
One of them, Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2), said he wants to run for mayor.
“I believe I am the right person at the right time for the job,” he said.
“I know the issues, and I think it is important to have somebody who knows what is going on and can take over right away.”
Tiffer, 29, was elected in 2010 to a three-year term on the council.
He said improving the city’s infrastructure will be at the top of his campaign platform.
“We’ve done a good job of balancing our finances, but I think we’ve been lacking in investing in infrastructure,” he said.
“We are not making the improvements and the investments that will help us in the future.”
City Democrats will meet next month to formally choose their candidates, but Tiffer said he plans on running even if it means battling it out in a primary. He has already posted campaign literature on his Facebook page.
“It’s going to be a grassroots effort, and I am hoping to get a lot of support from a lot of people,” he said.
Cantwell said he expects to field a candidate for mayor who can win but also “do a good job.”
“It’s a tough job, and you have to be not only a good politician, but somebody that can serve the public and be fair and open-minded and prepared to deliver the services we need,” he said.
“And I believe we will have somebody like that.”
The mayor’s position carries a salary of just under $70,000.
Cantwell said he expects to find qualified candidates to run for council as well.
The Republicans will meet to choose their candidates next month.
George E. Rabideau (R-Ward 3) cannot run again because of the city’s term limits, and James Calnon (I-Ward 4), Chris Case (D-Ward 5) and Christopher Jackson (D-Ward 6) have said they will not seek re-election.
The Ward 2 race will also be open if Tiffer does run for mayor.
“We could have a whole new council, and it could be tough,” Carpenter said.
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