The transition from summer to fall has been moving along with seasonal and weather related preparations as well as the development of a new budget for 2011. It is a busy process for us to prioritize the needed expenditures for the coming year while planning and investing in the future. To focus on a bare bones budget is to focus on stagnation and failure. Unfortunately the cost of doing business, providing benefits for employees, purchasing equipment and materials just doesn't go down. Like others, we too are facing reductions in aide to municipalities and grant funds are few and hard to find. To keep the progress going, we must partner with others who share the same values and goals.
I remain optimistic the future will be better. The continued expansion of commercial and residential properties is encouraging. This fall will see a number of projects come to fruition as we continue to plan for new projects in the spring. Our offices and departments remain busy as the growth challenges their ability to keep up with limited resources.
We have made a number of changes along the way to help reduce the cost of government in the town of Plattsburgh, but most savings are lost with increased cost in operations. I believe the best thing we can do to help secure our long term economic stability is to position our community for continued economic growth that will bring more jobs while building our tax base. This takes time and resources. We must partner with developers and work with the few remaining funding opportunities to help bring incentives to our region. The collaboration I have seen between the different agencies that are working to achieve this goal is encouraging. There are many incentives and projects in the that most residents would not be aware of, but it's that collaborative effort that has kept us ahead of other municipalities and will continue to make us a positive and proactive community that attracts investment and development. My day would be much easier if I just did the office and desk work. That is not enough; I must also look for opportunity and do the networking that will build our town. I am committed to remain proactive and aggressively seek or create new opportunity.
Stay positive and remember though you may not have extra money to help a neighbor or favorite charity, you have skills, service and commitment of time that is often more welcome and more productive. Together we will succeed!
Bernie Bassett is supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh.