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George Rivers leaving office after 14 years

The Rouses Point mayor reflects on the job and his political career

Rouses Point Mayor George Rivers says you have to have an open mind and know you cannot please everyone.

Rouses Point Mayor George Rivers says you have to have an open mind and know you cannot please everyone. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— For example, Rouses Point enjoys the lowest municipal electric rates in the nation. When that contract came up for renewal, Rivers helped Rouses Point become part of a program that provides rebates to residents for energy efficient purchases and changes.

“These are the kinds of things I like doing.”

But he cannot please everybody. Sometimes he has to say, “Sorry, it can’t happen.”

“You can’t let it bother you because if you do, you’ll make yourself crazy.”

The closing of Pfizer, formally known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, was a shock. It was the biggest employer in the area, supplying roughly 1,200 jobs.

“I never expected it,” Rivers said.

But he looks forward.

“That’s done,” Rivers said. “All those jobs can come back.”

His wife is his biggest supporter.

“It’ll make it or break it for you,” he said. “She helps me get through things.”

He thinks he’ll miss being mayor, but it’s time.

“I’m 76,” he said. “I wish whoever steps in this chair the best of luck in the world.

“It’s not going to be an easy time with the economy and Pfizer. Just keep an open mind.”

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