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Elizabeth Gibbs discusses being challenged by the outgoing mayor in the Ward 3 primary race

Plattsburgh Ward 3 Democrat Elizabeth Gibbs
Pat Bradley
Plattsburgh Ward 3 Democrat Elizabeth Gibbs

In February, Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest announced he would not seek a second four-year term. But the mayor isn’t getting out of politics yet. Two months later, he filed to run for the Ward 3 common council seat currently held by Elizabeth Gibbs. Often at odds, the two Democrats now face each other in the upcoming primary. In a recent conversation with WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley, Gibbs says she is confident her constituents will support her over the mayor’s challenge.

He is challenging an incumbency so he is running against me.


Many mayors do not go on when they leave office and decide to run...


To seek a lower office.


Yeah, and seek a lower office. And he’s challenging, obviously he lives in Ward 3, but he’s challenging you. And you have often challenged him on many of the issues that have occurred here.


I take exception to that. The media has taken and twisted a lot of that so that it looks like it’s a personal conflict between the two of us. I have always stood up for what I thought was best for the city. I have stood on the pillars of transparency, ethical government, common sense spending and transparency. So much of it, of what is done in City Hall is not transparent. And so when I see something that needs to be addressed I am going to address it. Why wouldn’t I? I’m elected and I sit in office to be a good steward for the city’s resources, to ask the questions. Because look at what happens when people just go along to get along which a lot of our previous councilors have done. And now we have ballooning debt and we have redirected resources and we have missed opportunities. And that’s what I’m elected to do. So.


What are you hearing from your constituents in Ward 3 about the issues that they would want you to address in your next term if you are elected?


They are very happy with the way that I have governed in my Ward 3 seat. They’re happy with the way that I question. They are happy that I stand up and I will continue to do that.


Would you participate in a debate?


Would I participate in a debate? I don’t know. I can’t answer that because my life is very, very busy and so you’re asking me to carve out even more time on top of the things that I already commit my time to. So I’m not opposed to it. I guess it would depend on what the particulars were like time and place, that kind of thing, and if it works with my schedule quite honestly. But I’m not opposed to it.


What sort of issues do you feel should be the focus of the campaign once the primary is over?


We have to get our spending under control. You’ve got a lot of people who have been, we’ve been assessed in the city three years in a row. Commercial properties only once. That’s a huge financial burden to the taxpayers. And I think that is something that we should be concerned about especially as we have heard from the City Chamberlain’s office that we are spending more than we are taking in. Those are facts. The numbers are the numbers and those are the concerns that I know a lot of residents have.



The primary is June 25th. Four candidates are running to replace Rosenquest in the mayoral race.



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