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Political parties working together

To the Editor:

The recent donation of a Boeing 727 from FedEx to the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute brought together a number of elected officials from our community, including Sen. Betty Little, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, Clinton County Legislator Keith Defayette and Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett.

We were among those who had the opportunity to speak at the donation ceremony last month. In the course of our remarks, we mentioned that elected officials and many members of the community put partisan politics aside and worked together on this project for the benefit of the region.

We pointed out that real bipartisanship was demonstrated here, and Assemblywoman Duprey proposed that we should export this spirit of cooperation to Albany and Washington. These remarks are extraordinarily important. As one looks around, not only at Albany and Washington, we have seen the process of rational decision making impeded by ideology and partisanship. This has to stop.

One reason we believe we work together well in the North Country is that we have the advantage of knowing one another as individuals. This does not mean we will always agree, but we certainly have the willingness to work together to solve the problems that face our community.

As elected officials, it is critical that we understand there are issues that we may not fully comprehend as individuals, and thus it is necessary to reach out, to listen and to learn.

We decided to write this joint letter because we both feel strongly that civil discourse must win out over partisanship if we are to move forward as a community, a state and as a nation.

We believe that this spirit of bipartisanship reflects the values of the North Country and the philosophy of those we represent.

Congressman Bill L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh

Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru

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