Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest is denying allegations by Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Gibbs that he has bullied her and the other members of the Common Council.
Gibbs, a Democrat representing Ward 3, said she has twice asked Rosenquest to share Plattsburgh’s 2022 police and code enforcement budget proposals with her and other council members.
Rosenquest denied both requests. During the September 16 council meeting, he told Gibbs the budget proposals will be available at public hearings scheduled for next week.
“But the departments have,” she said. “I mean, I saw them with the Fire Department and —
“The departments have sent their requested budgets in, but I have proposed nothing at this point,” the mayor interrupted.
Gibbs chuckled and said, “So, that’s no?”
Gibbs accuses Rosenquest of following her out of City Hall after the September 16 meeting and confronting her on the front steps. In an email Tuesday, she wrote:
“Raising his voice and aggressively pointing his accusatory finger at me, the Mayor proceeded to berate me for my requests for information. He stated my repeated inquiries for information were overreaching and inappropriate. He claims all my requests for information have been fulfilled. That is a patently untrue statement.”
The mayor disputed Gibbs’s account in an interview Thursday.
“It was more about — what’s going on here? Why does this keep coming up? This question was answered on a number of occasions regarding the budget process — the Mayor’s budget process — that we’re currently in right now,” he said.
In her email, Gibbs says Rosenquest “is trying to bully the Plattsburgh City Council into submission. I won’t tolerate bullies.
“Mayor Rosenquest’s attempts to manipulate the situation and create a false narrative that I am the problem are troubling, at the very least.”
Rosenquest agrees he and Gibbs have contentious relationship. He proposed they attend mediation to clear the air.
“I sent an email this morning to solidify that, and to make that request of our Corporation Counsel and our (Employee Assistance Program) coordinator,” the mayor said. “I included Councilor Gibbs on that message as well.”
Gibbs was not available for comment Thursday.