October 2017

On one of New York State’s many websites I found the statement, “Local government in New York is comprehensive.” I’ll say it’s comprehensive. According to the Office of the New York State Controller, there are 4,200 local governments and more than 6,900 town special districts in the state.

In this issue of Strictly Business we look at some of the government entities that impact us here in the North Country. We begin with Plattsburgh’s new mayor Colin Read, a professor, economist, lawyer, and change agent. After years of well-meaning leadership, we now have a mayor who is determined to make changes that will set the city on a responsible economic path while preserving the quality of life we value.

Shared services is a concept that has received lip service from politicians for decades. SB writer Ryan Lee spoke to Clinton County administrator Mike Zurlo and state senator Betty Little to learn about the work of the county’s Shared Services Panel. It appears from his article that rhetoric is giving way to solid planning and action.

Drive down Brinkerhoff Street in downtown Plattsburgh and you will see the beautiful mosaic that has been created on the south side of the Public Library. It is the latest addition to the Outside Art project that is making its mark on the city. Don’t miss new SB writer Robin LaBarge’s article about the work and dedication that has gone into making it a reality.

And then there is our Insight piece featuring former Plattsburgh mayor and current Saranac Lake mayor Clyde Rabideau. Clyde has had an impact on both communities and a host of building projects throughout the North Country. He offers a candid look at what he has accomplished and how he views the 40 years of his work life.

At a time when there is negative news about law enforcement, it is gratifying to pay tribute to three fine officers who have dedicated their lives to making our community safe. Plattsburgh’s new police chief Ken Parkinson, Clinton County sheriff Dave Favro and SUNY Plattsburgh’s University Police chief Jerry Lottie are all examples of what every officer should emulate.

Our “Working in Tandem” article features Paul DeDominicas, the city of Plattsburgh’s community development director and Trevor Cole, the Town of Plattsburgh’s senior planner. The two are eager to share details of the partnership they are developing to create a Complete Streets initiative.

In this issue Richelle Gregory, director of Community Services at Clinton County Mental Health and Addiction Services, presents an important look at how substance abuse issues affect our workforce and how we can find a better way to help people.

Attorney and former congressman Bill Owens is our Best Practices guest this month. His view of cross-border trade can help point the way to more business opportunities for area companies. Don’t miss his suggestions.

Chamber of Commerce president Garry Douglas shares news of the organization’s accomplishments during 2017 and plans for 2018.

In conclusion may I emphasize the optimism a move toward long overdue-shared services creates. Cooperation is critical to our future. If we can shake off the old ways that relied on “us” and “them,” and focus on “we” that will be good for business.