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Mayor should be more vested in arts & culture

Or maybe not.

In December, the NCCCA held its annual Holiday Member Show. The turnout was encouraging — people filled the newly-renovated gallery space, and many talked about going to grab a bite to eat or a drink downtown after leaving the exhibition. Congressman Bill Owens even showed up, but Kasprzak did not.

In January, ROTA Gallery brought in an artist from Saranac Lake, and an artist from Montreal. Word spread and people stopped by. Mayor Kasprzak did not.

As an elected official, the mayor should be doing more than what he thinks the city needs–he should be listening to his electorate and helping them achieve what they want.

We certainly commend the mayor for his fiscal prudence, but there is more to the job than that. Much more.

It isn’t like that in every town. Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau is one — the people of Plattsburgh certainly remember his tenure as mayor there. Lake George Mayor Robert Blais is another, along with Keeseville Mayor Dale Holderman and Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas — all of whom are active participants in their communities. They don’t just show up at events, either. They work with local groups, organize and even participate in events and are involved in discussions on how to improve their towns.

Perhaps those men understand that a few ideas can go a long way in a community. For years it was easy to dismiss revitalizing a theater, creating art galleries and making a bike path as pipe dreams. But they’re here. People made them happen, and now Plattsburgh is going through a reawakening.

The people putting these projects into motion know that, in order to get jobs, Plattsburgh has to give a little, too. Through hard work and an extraordinary amount of patience and perseverance, people have started bringing the things they want to Plattsburgh. It is a testament, not only to the determination of some who reside here, but to the fact that people want arts and culture in Plattsburgh so much they are willing to go after it themselves.

And it’s working, even if the mayor isn’t among those participating.

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