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Bassett: short term decisions with long term benefits

The Town of Plattsburgh supervisor reflects on his political career

Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett says making contacts is key to getting his constituents what they want.

Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett says making contacts is key to getting his constituents what they want. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— Unless there is a meeting or event, he is in the office from 8 to 5, meetings at least three nights a week and there are always weekend events.

“But it truly is a labor of love,” Bassett said. “You have to enjoy and believe in what you are doing.”

Being known is important, he said. The more contacts he has, the more he can do for his community.

“I immediately got involved in all levels of government,” Bassett said. “It is important to know people and build relationships.”

But his personal life pays the price and family life changes. It’s nearly impossible for Bassett to go somewhere without someone approaching him, and not everyone is happy when they do.

“You do become the position, even at the grocery store.”

Many people, who saw him as one of the people when he ran for office, changed their attitude once he was elected.

He considers a short term and long term thinker.

He’s made decisions in town concerning consolidations that have irritated people in the short term, but in the long term are fiscally sound.

“Many days my mantra is to be firm, fair and consistent.”

His constituents need him to lead and make good decisions in the short term that will bring benefits in the long term.

“Everyone who has an elected office, hopefully wants to be re-elected,” Bassett said. “So they have to have the best interest of the public in mind.”

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