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Long Time Town Of Plattsburgh Supervisor Announces Retirement

Town of Plattsburgh

Longtime Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett has decided not to run for reelection this fall. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, many candidates are expected to try to replace him.
The Democrat has been supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh for 10 years. He was first appointed to the position when his predecessor Republican Andrew Abdallah retired mid-term. He has successfully won the seat in each subsequent election. Bassett says he decided not to run again for a simple reason.   “When you run for an election in this case it’s a four year commitment. So I took a look at four years from now and what I’d want to be doing. I have a new grandchild being born in the Albany area, my daughter’s first. I have two grandchildren in Kentucky that I visited recently. I just realized that I might want to have more time for my family.”

During his tenure there have been a growth in transportation manufacturing with Nova Bus and Prevost plants based just down the road from Plattsburgh Town Hall. Supervisor Bassett believes he will leave at a dynamic time for the town and region.  “I feel very good about where my team is at the town. Our department heads, our staff, everybody really gets the bigger picture. There have been more jobs, economic growth and development. The county is one of the few counties in the state that gained a little population. Our sales tax has been strong. So we’re excited. We still get people who come off the Interstate and they see the hotels, the malls and whatnot, and they think they must be in the city. Well, you’re in the town.”

Deputy Town Supervisor Marty Mannix says Bassett changed the town administration to be more open and collaborative.  “The hallmark of his tenure is we have a great team of department heads within the town of Plattsburgh and there’s a good cooperative effort that goes on there. They do a great job of working together. One of the things Bernie did immediately was change.  In the prior administration information was not shared amongst board members. That changed. That was a sea change in how town government was going to function.”

Mannix has no interest in seeking the supervisor’s seat, saying he is content to remain on the Town Board. But Mannix, who is chair of the Clinton County Democratic Party, expects a lot of other people will be interested in running for the seat.  “I think there’ll be interest in both parties in the position. I’m aware of a person within the Democratic party that wants to run for the position. I can’t get in to who that is. But I think fairly soon a person will come forward and speak to that. I would be amazed if somebody doesn’t come forward on the Republican side and express interest in running  for the position.”

Bassett, who is 66, isn’t certain how involved he will be in politics but he does plan to continue to support things he believes in.   “Just slowing things down for a while is the goal at the moment. You know, one thing I’ve never tried in my life, and I’ve gone through a couple different careers but they’ve been back to back, I’ve never been bored. I’m curious about the concept and I might even want to try that for a couple hours!”

Bassett will finish his term as Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor, which ends at the end of December.

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