Two Democrats are challenging Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, forcing a primary in the race for mayor. On Thursday a fourth candidate – a Republican - announced his own run for the city’s top seat.
Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, a Democrat, is in his first term. He faces a primary against downtown businessman Tenzin Dorjee and 22-year-old student Miles Davis.
On Thursday Republican Scott Beebie, a retired city police officer, announced his own bid. “My goal for running for the office of mayor is to focus my experience and skills on best serving the city. 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 in a cohesive, cooperative manner, to achieve sustainable progress towards clearly identifiable goals. One of my strengths is developing teams to draw upon varied perspectives and carefully consider outcomes from all impacted parties. It is my hope to generate a wide, less polarized interest in city government at all levels.”
Beebie retired in 2017 from the city police force after 28 years of service. During his campaign announcement he outlined a number of community relationships he fostered during his career and said as mayor he wants closer cooperative partnerships with surrounding communities and economic developers. Beebie said his top priority will be the budget. “The finances have to be the major concern of not only the mayor and the council, the department heads, but the employees. That's going to be a primary focus. It has to be. The one thing we need to do more than we're doing today is generating revenue. We need to find sources where we can benefit from what's around us. We have a huge opportunity of a beautiful natural resource right there and we're not taking advantage of it. We need to seek out recreational opportunities. If we don't start generating revenue, the budget's going to fail. We cannot cut anymore. So we need to find other sources to bring in revenue to help maintain the budget.”
As for the controversial downtown development plans being considered by city leaders, Beebie plans to wait until the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and other studies are completed before committing to a course of action. “I am 100% pro-development within the city of Plattsburgh. I do have serious concerns of the current project. However there's a draft plan in place. There's nothing official. The PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program is still being looked at. The SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) is still being looked at. And I think we need to let that process work itself out.”
Clinton County Republican Committee Chair Clark Currier says Beebie is well known in the community and this year there’s a good chance of gaining the mayoral seat. “This year especially Plattsburgh mayoral there's a lot of controversy there with the DRI, with budget cuts. I mean the city isn't operating optimally. So I think it's a good chance for us to pick up the seat.”
Beebie has not held elective office. He is vice-chair of the Plattsburgh city Republican committee.