Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest discusses his decision not to run for reelection
Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest delivered some breaking news at his State of the City address today: he will not run for a second term. The Democrat told the Chamber of Commerce audience he is not willing to sacrifice time with his 6-year-old son:
It's a little emotional for me, but I'll say this: that I hear many parents talk about the time that they lose with their kids. And I've got a six-year-old at home. And honestly, I've got maybe six to seven years of good time with this boy to focus on his growth, his development. And the mayor's seat is a full-time job. Make no mistake this is not a 40 hour a week job. And I just cannot find myself sacrificing that time with Myles to do this work. This work is important. But first and foremost, I'm a father, I'm a husband and then I'm a mayor. And so what it comes down to my family is very important to me. My boy is very important to me. And again, I just don't feel like I can sacrifice this time with him. So I'm not going to seek reelection in 2024.
Are you going to, in some way, remain in politics and remain in city activities?
I mean, like I will remain in city activities. I don't necessarily see a path right now politically. We are very community minded people. I often reflect on my purpose in life and it very much is to contribute to the community in a meaningful and lasting way. Regardless of whether I'm in as a mayor or if I'm actively working in my community. I've got a very good handhold on where the city is going; where the city should be going. We've created solid plans to move forward and it shouldn't be rocket science to follow those plans. But again, I point to the real need for a professional manager to manage this organization. The city of Plattsburgh needs a city manager. And I just point to my own experience from a business perspective and my experience sitting in this seat and say, fundamentally, it really does require an expert.
Mayor Rosenquest, above and beyond advocating for a city manager, what other initiatives and projects would you like to see completed before you leave office?
The Bike-friendly Plattsburgh Plan, hands down. We're not going to get all of the parks renewal stuff done, but we're going to get that ball rolling. These are major projects that we'd like to see. The Court Street and Brinkerhoff Street corridors that is going to be done this year. We talked about Cornelia Street it's well along the way that we should see that done in 2025. Broad Street, we should see that done this year, as well. And these are major, not only infrastructure, but quality of life projects that I was elected to do. And so these are things that I'd like to see done that are slated to be done this year. Moving forward, obviously, coming back to figuring out what we do with our beach. We've got a feasibility study for Sailors Beach. That's mostly ignored, but it's a great asset for us. But those are really the major components that I'd like to see done before the end of this year.
Rosenquest added that he could always do more, but is satisfied with what his administration has accomplished so far.
I love being the mayor. I love this job. It's a good fit for me. It's a good fit for my attitude, for my skill set. But again, when I look at the balance between spending time with my boy and the demands of this job, my family is going to weigh out every single time. And I do get emotional about it because of how committed I am to this work. But I also know that if I don't take this time with my family, I will regret it. And I just don't, I don't want to live my life with regrets.
Did Myles say something to you that really triggered it?
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I spend a lot of time outside of the house. And he knows it. He's aware of it. He sees it. He feels it. He's impacted by it. And so the many conversations I've had with him about, oh, I've got to go away for a conference this week. Or I'm going to be late, I'm not going to see you to bed tonight. I've got to leave early in the morning. I had to leave early this morning. I can't see him up in the morning to get him to school. These are things I do not want to miss out on. Myles is six one time in his life but the city of Plattsburgh is going to be here. I'm not going anywhere. My family's not going anywhere. You know whether I revisit the political life or not I'll leave that up to the future.
Rosenquest was elected to a four-year term in 2020.