September finally brought excellent weather we didn't have in the summer! Better late than never, so I hope everyone enjoyed the sunshine and great temperatures. Locally-grown produce was special and tasty as always.
This month was busy as usual, however, most of my focus was on the 2010 city budget. I held numerous meetings with department heads adjusting and reducing their budgets. What started out initially as a 27 percent tax rate per thousand resulted in a 4.9 percent tax rate which I am not totally pleased with but is a responsible budget for the taxpayers. Most services have remained intact which is good. City Chamberlain Richard Marks, MLD Finance Director Kelly Clookey, and Budget Committee members Jim Calnon and Chris Jackson did an outstanding job working assisting me with this budget.
The month was busy with events as well. The Battle of Plattsburgh Celebration was absolutely outstanding. All the people involved worked so hard to schedule so many events, music, and reenactments for the public to enjoy. The BOP parade was one of the best that I can remember. Every year at the BOP, I have the opportunity to meet so many nice people. We rededicated the Samuel de Champlain statue in tribute to the Quadricentennial Celebration. This was a special historical event which will be remembered in our city's history. I had the pleasure of meeting with three students from Oak Street Elementary to talk about being mayor. Caitlin, Trevor, Joe and their teacher, Nina Bell, visited and toured City Hall. Our discussion was the highlight of my day.
I attended the annual PARC Meeting. Bruce Steadman and the PARC board have done an outstanding job with the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base property. I met with several developers that are interested in locating or starting businesses in the city.