Kevin Beckford and I value the integrity of elections and entered the 2017 Town Board race committed to running honest and fact-based issues campaigns – and we continue to live up to that goal in spirt and practice. We respect the right of the Fair Election Practices Commission to organize efforts to hold political candidates accountable for dishonest and unfair practices, and we thank them for their service. However, we disagree with recent findings that use one set of facts over another valid set of facts to determine whether campaign statements were accurate or not.
We stand behind our mailers and the fact that: Pittsford Town Board meetings between January and May 2017 typically lasted less than 25 minutes; and Pittsford administrative salaries (as budgeted) have risen 44 percent in the past seven years. Our mailer citations could have been better but the claims we shared with the FEPC – and voters – were not disputed. More importantly, we stand behind our vision, experience, and inclusive government practices that will propel Pittsford forward – ensuring we are a welcoming and vibrant community for residents, visitors, workers and businesses alike.
VISION FOR MUNCIPAL GOVERNMENT
Town government impacts our lives more than many people realize. Roads, emergency services, sidewalks and trails, streetlights, the library, recreation programs, senior services, economic development, zoning, property taxes – these are but some of the day-to-day ways the town makes our lives better (or not).
Pittsford’s Town Board should engage with residents in a way that is responsive to their questions and ideas, accountable to their needs, and affords meaningful opportunities to shape the future of our community.
This requires a Town Board that actively engages with and listens to residents. I will reach out, walk through neighborhoods, and visit with people on their porches. I will be an active participant in the community, asking for your ideas and even for your critiques, and working together to set a clear roadmap for making Pittsford the community we want it to be.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of life is the result of many elements that add up. It is the day-to-day interaction with government, neighbors and infrastructure that makes Pittsford more than simply a place to live. Like you, I believe we can have a more vibrant and dynamic town. Picture our town with:
- • More accessible transportation options including walking, bicycling, and public transit
- • Stronger safety nets, especially for the elderly, during emergencies
- • A community library that operates full hours on the weekends during summer months
- • More places and opportunities for adolescents to enjoy and grow outside of school
- • Community art where people of all ages can create, talk and learn
- • Free, town-wide wifi service
Local governments have a responsibility to efficiently use natural resources as a community asset. Not only is it the right thing to do, leveraging sustainability practices can also save the town and taxpayers money. Picture our town with:
- • Solar panels on municipal buildings and land that reduce town and resident dependence on RG&E
- • “Smart lighting” that is programmable, saves energy and is long-lasting
- • Alternative fuels in municipal vehicles
- • Charging stations for electric cars in commercial areas
- • Electrical rates that are cheaper and come from clean energy
- Solar-powered, LED streetlights at school bus stops
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
Strong towns aren’t simply places where people own or rent a home. Residents need opportunities to shop, entertain, access services, and work. This requires supporting a business base through intentional development practices that simultaneously preserve our resources, provide access to necessary services and make Pittsford a destination for people to visit, work and live. Picture our town with:
- • A stable and vibrant base of retail, restaurant, and service-based businesses
- • More employment opportunities for youth, college students and people who want to avoid a commute
- • A small business incubator to support emerging and expanding businesses that drives our reputation as more than just a place to live
- • Collaboration with the village and county that ensures integrated planning, resource allocation and funding
PLANNING FOR OUR FUTURE
Pittsford is fast approaching the point where there will be no more residential land to develop. In towns across the country, and even here in our region, reaching that point has had negative consequences unless there is a proactive plan for what comes next. Pittsford needs a plan that:
- • Preserves smaller neighborhoods with modest-sized homes
- • Diversifies revenues so homeowners don’t foot the bill for all improvements and repairs
- • Stabilizes property taxes to ensure people are not priced out of our community
- • Continues to protect our greenspace and provides recreational access to the natural environment