PLATTSBURGH — James Calnon was appointed the new Plattsburgh city councilor in Ward 4 Thursday night.Calnon, 57, fills the seat of William Sabourin who left the job two weeks ago to move to Pittsburgh, Pa."I will be retiring this summer and was looking for some new challenges and I think I have some skills that would be valuable so I took Bill Sabourin's advice and decided to step up," Calnon said shortly after being sworn in by City Clerk Keith Herkalo.Calnon, an independent, was the choice of Mayor Donald Kasprzak, who also lives in Ward 4.Kasprzak also considered Democrat Robert Hall, a former councilor and mayoral candidate, and Republican Joseph Lombardoni, also a former councilor.Calnon, a native of Chateaugay, has worked at the Workforce Investment Board, formerly the Private Industry Council, for the past 30 years.He hopes to jump right into issues."I know we have some serious budget issues in front of us and we need to be careful on how we proceed," he said."The biggest expense we have is staff and they do a great job so when we try to control spending we have to make sure we don't do it on their backs."While Calnon hopes to keep costs down, he said the city should not forget about the future."We can't lose sight of development," he said.Calnon said the city is the crown jewel of the North Country."This is a marvelous city. It is an absolutely great place and one of the main reasons why this region has been so successful," he said.Calnon's appointment was approved by the council by a four to one vote.Councilor James Godfrey (D-Ward 2) did not vote for Calnon, even though he felt he would be good for the job."I had pledged my support to Bobby Hall and that's why I have to vote no," Godfrey said.Kasprzak said it was a difficult choice between Calnon, Hall and Lombardoni."All three were very good, but I think Mr. Calnon with his experience will do an outstanding job," the mayor said.The appointment is for the remainder of this year. All six council seats are up for election in November.Calnon said he will consider running again in the fall.
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