By the time you read this column, a new Common Council will have been voted on. The next three years will be extremely challenging and I hope the voters supported individuals who have the conviction and experience to make the difficult decisions necessary to keep our city moving in the right direction. October brought wonderful weather before moving into the winter season. The outdoor activities for the month were quite evident throughout the city as people spent time at our parks and waterfront area. Walkers. joggers and bikers were everywhere. It was good to see as we approach colder temperatures. My month was busy as usual. I had the pleasure in speaking with the students from the German American Partnership Program (GAPP). I met with 25 visiting German students and two teachers. It was a great experience listening to their feelings on the United States and Plattsburgh. I asked many questions and also gave my perspective on city government. I participated in the Crop Walk and Alzheimers Walk which both attracted many people. I attended the Domestic Violence press event at CVPH and took a tour of the Saranac Energy Co-Generation Plant with general manager David Lucas. I spoke at a breakfast meeting with the Clinton County Board of Realtors at the new Plattsburgh International Airport and attended a luncheon at the American Legion with the RSVP Volunteer Group. Volunteers are so important to our community and it was a real pleasure to be there with them. I stopped by the Elks Club to briefly visit with Senior Center members before their dinner gala started and also had a wonderful visit with residents of Long Apartments and Beekman Towers. I truly enjoy listening to our seniors. I coached at the Red/Gray PSUC baseball game against Councilor Jim Calnon. Bob Miller held boxing matches at The Crete Center which was very well attended. In City Hall, several difficult decisions were made. After working with our hotel developer with very little results since 2004, I decided to terminate his contract with the city. There has been quite a bit of interest from other developers since this decision was reported by the media. I provided my 2008 budget to the public which now will be reviewed by the council and voted on the second Thursday in January. I held a department head meeting to discuss my budget and listen to concerns. I have been working with PSUC students Jake Avery and Benjamin Pomerance on college related projects. I took a tour with Bruce Steadman from PARC of the Old Stone Barracks which is presently empty. Bargaining unit negotiations are continuing with the Municipal Lighting Department and will begin shortly with the Fire Department and Police Department. Library negotiations are at Impasse. And problems still continue between residents and college students in the center city. Being mayor is a difficult job. Everyday you come to work and do the best you can although there are groups of residents that simply cannot be pleased. This is part of the job that many people do not understand. My philosophy is simple: Listen to as many people as possible, gather all the facts, review them and make a final decision based on what is best for a majority of the city taxpayers. This philosophy, unfortunately, does not please the special interest groups that care for their specific issue regardless how it affects the rest of the city. That is a luxury I do not have which results in frustration by certain groups. I understand this but my responsibility is to the entire city. The challenges of being mayor! As we move towards winter I will continue to work closely with the public and city departments to address the many issues and complaints that come to my attention. Thanks you for your patience as we move forward!