The responses to the Press-Republican's invitation to rate the performance of Mayor Donald Kasprzak after his first 100 days in office were overwhelmingly positive. There seems no doubt that his campaign of restoring fiscal integrity to the city is meeting with great favor.

The Plattsburgh mayoral election of November 2006 was a pivotal one in the city's history. A 35-percent increase in the city's tax levy in 2006 was followed up with a similar one in 2007. Taxpayers were complaining that they could no longer afford it and were insisting something be done.

But doing something about consecutive monstrous tax increases is not easy. It requires tough decisions that are bound to rankle many citizens -- the people who are being kicked off the gravy train and the people who stand to be held more accountable, among them. A mayor who wants simply to draw a paycheck and try to make as many people as possible happy will not confront the crisis situation effectively.

Kasprzak was elected on a promise to stare down the impending disaster and make the hard choices, regardless of whether he won popularity doing it.

If the first returns on our small survey are any indication, the course he chose was the right one, in the eyes of the electorate.

Don't read into this that we are calling this anything like a reliable survey. It is not. It is nothing more than a collection of opinions voluntarily given. The sample is not only small but unscientific.

Still, it is not a sample of only Kasprzak supporters. Some of the respondents backed him during the election campaign, but others did not.

All but one approve of his unrelenting stand against more than absolutely necessary city spending. The one dissenter said the city would never grow and realize its potential as long as the theme of frugality prevailed.

There is something to be said for that sentiment, although the rest of the respondents seemed to be saying it was more important to first get the city's fiscal house in order before chasing new -- and possibly costly -- attempts at growth.

We're guessing that Kasprzak wouldn't disagree with the detractor in the sample. He would probably like nothing more than to divine new avenues of opportunity and even invest city money into the effort, if money for that were available.

But first things first, as he indicated in his campaign and as most of the respondents seem to prefer.

Kasprzak has the advantage of not needing the job of mayor for his own prosperity. If his emphasis on frugality were to rub voters the wrong way, his future would be secure without the mayor's salary.

He will have to run for re-election this November, as his predecessor, Daniel Stewart, left the job in mid term. In November, we will learn for certain whether the electorate approves of his performance.

In the meantime, though, preliminary indications are that his tack against fiscal instability is catching on.

Recommended for you