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A Look At The Candidates Vying For Plattsburgh Mayor

Democrat Chris Rosenquest (left) and Republican Scott Beebie
photos provided
Democrat Chris Rosenquest (left) and Republican Scott Beebie

Plattsburgh will have a new mayor in January after incumbent Democrat Colin Read lost a three-way primary in June.  The Democrat and Republican running for the seat agree on many issues but clash over who has the appropriate management skills to run a city.
In February, Chris Rosenquest, a Clinton County Legislator who had lost a bid for mayor in 2013, announced that he would challenge first-term incumbent Democrat Colin Read for the city’s top seat. Rosenquest said at the time there was a growing sense that change must occur in City Hall.  “Not so much about financially how things have been going, because I think it has gone in a positive direction. The concern though is how it's being done. You know, balancing the budget on the backs of our skilled staff; the amount of lawsuits and disenfranchised voices in our communities; the fracture between the town and the city.”

Rosenquest went on to defeat businessman Tenzin Dorjee and Read.

Republican Scott Beebie, a retired city police officer, announced his campaign for mayor in February and faced no primary challengers.  “I understand the nature of many of the problems that can beset a small city and stand ready to work with the experienced managers, staff, counselors and citizens to achieve sustainable progress towards clearly identifiable goals. It is my hope to generate a wide, less polarized interest in city government at all levels.”

The duo oppose the current plan for downtown development, share concerns about lawsuits that have been filed against the city and the erosion of town and city relations.  The primary difference between the candidates are their perceived management skills.  During a debate on Mountain Lake PBS, Rosenquest cast doubt on Beebie’s ability to manage the city.  “As much as you want to say  that you have you’ve managed people you’ve never had to fire somebody. You’ve never promoted anybody. You never had to budget. You know that’s the concern going into this office that you are also going into this office without the career experience required to be effective as a mayor.”
Scott Beebie: “Forty members worked directly for me when I was the lieutenant in charge of the uniform division. Not to mention the fact that I worked in every facet of the Plattsburgh City Police Department budget depending on what title I held at that time. So your assertions really don’t hold water.”
Chris Rosenquest: “Management is not supervisory. You don’t have budgeting experience. You may have looked at a budget but that was all done by your superior.”

In the past week Plattsburgh City Democrats scrambled to avoid voter confusion after a Facebook group calling itself Plattsburgh City Democrats 2.0 endorsed Beebie.  The page has since been deactivated.  Former City Councilor Rachelle Armstrong is a spokesperson for the city Democrats.  “We are concerned because there’s enough of a similarity in our names that it could confuse voters and the fact that they endorsed a Republican when they’re not even really a formal group. We felt it was important to clarify what was potentially misleading.”  

There have been no polls conducted on the mayoral race.


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