3 candidates to challenge Plattsburgh mayor

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) The primary election in Clinton County, New York, isn't until June, but the Plattsburgh mayoral race is already heating up.

There are three Democrats and one Republican contending for the mayoral primary and they all have their own vision for the Lake City.

Democrat incumbent Mayor Colin Read has led the city for the last four years and says if reelected, he is going to keep an eye on the budget and taxes.

"Wind taxes back to 1990 or 2000 level -- single-digit levels. We've got a fair amount of work to do for that, but I think it's feasible and it's really important because that's what allows people to stay in their homes," Read said.

Since the mayor's announcement to seek reelection, two other candidates have tossed their hats into the ring, both saying they are unhappy with the mayor and the local government.

Local restaurateur Tenzin Dorjee owns the Himalaya Restaurant. He moved to the U.S. 20 years ago from Bhutan and he and his family have called Plattsburgh home for the last 12 years.

"A majority of my life I spent in government -- civil service, then in different NGOs working for human rights, working for basic rights, working for housing, education, health," Dorjee said.

He says he can bring about a positive change Plattsburgh by putting a focus on transparency in local government.

"We are all interdependent on each other for our very survival. That is something that we really, really must understand -- that we cannot survive independently," Dorjee said.

The other contender is 22-year-old Miles Davis, a SUNY Plattsburgh political science grad who took on leadership roles in his college clubs.

"I knew the number one issue I had would have to tackle is how old I am and my experience, or lack of experience," Davis said.

He says his age can give a fresh perspective to the city. Davis also says the city lacks transparency and that Plattsburgh needs to do better on community safety. He wants to see more of the general fund allocated to the fire department.

"When the fire department is looking at you saying, 'Hey, we need to fix this issue,' we're playing Russian roulette with our city. I would say that's probably more important than most issues, if not all issues that we have right now," he said.

Former Plattsburgh Police Lieutendant Scott Beebie announced Thursday he will run as a Republican candidate in the primary.

He says his knowledge of the community will make him a great mayor. Beebie says he grew up locally and has spent his career serving the community. He said his top priority as mayor would be finding ways to bring more money into the city, including promoting outdoor recreation options around the city and teaming up with the town and county.

"We have to work together cohesively to market our brand. Our brand is the region of Plattsburgh. We need to be more effective in communicating with our partners, working hand in hand for positive growth across the board, not just the city and not just the town, but the region itself," he said.

Beebie says he is 100 percent behind the DRI development but he has serious concerns over the current project plans. He wouldn't specify what exactly he would change because the plans have yet to be finalized.