Residential development is strong in Erie and many of those projects are far advanced in their final planning stages and buildouts. I have learned through my work as a Commissioner on the Erie Planning Commission these last 4 years, there are aspects of the Uniform Development Code which could be amended (i.e. decrease density per acre levels) to be more aligned with the ideals and values of the community as we begin to slow residential growth and focus on retail and commercial opportunities. It has also become apparent that the Town needs to be more diligent in proactively informing residents of projects which may affect them. Changes to the Town’s notification processes need to be evaluated in order to disseminate information on a boarder scale, along with evaluating the methods used which will allow all persons to be informed. And then the Town and residents need to work cooperatively to ensure positive outcomes for Erie residents, as well as for the Town’s bottom-line. Education and inclusion of Erie residents is the best way to provide long-term results that will benefit us all. I believe that the Board of Trustees should create a coalition with representatives from neighborhoods/HOAs to encourage understanding the needs of all residents across our Town, ensure all voices are heard, and incorporate those voices into a common vision to make Erie a better place for all.
Oil & Gas
In light of continuing hazardous occurrences that have taken place as a result of O&G operations, it is difficult to believe that O&G understands all the dangers it poses, let alone how to mitigate the dangers that come as a result. I would advocate for:
- the largest setbacks possible for future O&G actions;
- the most stringent monitoring of all environmentally related measurements (i.e. air, noise, ground, etc), while also pushing for legislation to increase the standards by which those measures are judged;
- and push to hold O&G accountable for issues and prove, by their actions, that they respect the lives and investments of all of us living in Erie.
As an attorney, I believe Erie needs to continue to pursue all legal avenues to protect the health and safety of its citizens from all possible offenders. As a Trustee, I would want to work with State officials, and elected officials from surrounding communities facing similar issues, to expand the rights of a municipality to implement the proper safeguards for their community. If Erie could be a part of, or even a leader within, a coalition of neighboring municipalities and Towns, it will provide the voice we need to accomplish bigger goals on the State level. Finally, as a parent of a 3-month-old, for whom we recently put a deposit down at an area daycare (which subsequently had its own issues with nearby O&G operations), I’m very concerned and want to be a part of positive change that ensures the safety and prosperity for Erie and its families.
One of the greatest draws that led my family to settle in Erie is the amazing trail system that our Parks and Recreation Departments has helped create for us. For years, I have taken my dog on walks for miles around the Town and its neighborhoods. I absolutely encourage the protection and, where possible, the expansion of the Town’s holdings of Open Space. I look forward to working with Parks and Recreation on implementing the recently updated PROST Master Plan, and looking at possible amendments to it which may become useful as the Town expands.
The Erie Town Board of Trustees needs to work with Town Staff to ensure the Town is operating efficiently, thusly enhancing economic growth. The Town needs to continue to balance current debt, while diligently pursuing new revenue opportunities. Erie is changing rapidly and we need to realize those opportunities that will bring retail and commercial tax revenues to the Town as they arise. The Board needs to direct Town Staff to continuously look for effective ways to define and develop fiscal systems that best suit the needs of our municipality which continues to grow at such a fast pace, and still has a so much potential within its planning boundary.