Don Kasprzak is mayor of the city of Plattsburgh.
On the first Wednesday of each month a group of local retired school administrators meet for breakfast. This is a great opportunity for me to meet with old friends and share memories of the time we spent together. As a former building principal, I make an effort to meet with the group whenever my schedule allows. It is always an enjoyable occasion and time well spent with old friends.
I take great pleasure in responding to their many questions about what new business or restaurant is coming to the town. They will quiz and challenge me to provide clear and precise answers on a number of issues they have heard or read about. As many of them do not come from the town of Plattsburgh, their perspective is also useful input and feedback. Though there are times when I long for their freedom and travel about the country and the time spent with children and grandchildren, I know my time will come, when this job is done.
In this my fifth year serving as supervisor for the town of Plattsburgh, I continue to face new challenges on a regular basis. I often relate the business of local government to laundry in that it's never done! The need to focus on the delivery of services while creating a quality of life for residents and interacting with other municipalities, agencies, developers, employees and navigating the world of politics and public opinion can be very demanding!
I have learned to appreciate the very complex nature of change. There is a demand for change, but as we have seen, at all levels, that usually means change for everyone else but not me! Still, I remain excited and optimistic about our future. It is often a bit like herding cats, but the signs of progress and change is all around us.
We have moved on to the second half of 2010 and the cooler evenings remind us that summer won't last forever. Time, as always, moves along and refuses to slow down, but the winds of change appear to be in the air now more than ever. I wonder what new questions my friends will have the next time we meet for breakfast and more than that I wonder what new answers I will have to share with them!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.