When I first ran to represent Ward 4 on Canandaigua City Council, my platform included making public safety a higher priority, sharing services with the Town and County to spread our tax dollars further, and ensuring responsive, transparent representation. Now as I face reelection, having had the benefit of serving one term on Council, I understand that the issues facing us are far more serious than what I had believed and certainly more serious than can be addressed by superficial political bromides:
- The health of Canandaigua Lake: The Lake is not only our drinking water; it is our region’s economic engine. It is a driver of our property values. It is the cornerstone of our city’s quality of life. If we fail to protect it and recreation becomes impossible due to harmful algae blooms, our visitors will stay away and our city will wither away.
- Looming economic downturn: Key indicators are signaling that the US economy is headed for recession. While our city is currently in terrific financial condition due to a conscientious city staff and the fiscally responsible governance of our current Council, a downturn will still have serious consequences. It will mean higher costs as pension plans become underfunded and lower tax revenues as people stop eating out, buying cars and traveling.
- Tax giveaways: Development projects like Pinnacle North and the Finger Lakes Resort contribute additional strain on infrastructure and add volume to the services the city must deliver (e.g., more calls to the fire department, more garbage to pick up). However, thanks to the PILOTs granted by an unelected county IDA, developers do not pay their fair share in the taxes that make those services possible, so the individual taxpayer is making up the difference.
These issues demand critical thinkers and leaders with experience and imagination. Most importantly, they demand the political courage necessary for aggressive action.
I have that courage. I have advocated for aggressive measures to protect Canandaigua Lake in the face of majority apathy. I have rigorously evaluated every policy decision and been the sole vote against expenditures that fail to deliver value to taxpayers and benefit to city residents. I have spoken out against tax giveaways for billionaire real estate developers and challenged their rosy (and dubious) predictions of prosperity and empty threats of “well, we’ll just take the project somewhere else.”
I ask for your support on November 5th to grant me the privilege of serving you on Canandaigua City Council, this time as an at-large representative who will continue to work hard for you. I will continue to hold quarterly meetings so you can share your concerns and ideas with me. I will make representing you a priority through diligent preparation and exemplary attendance. I will be resolute and act in our city’s best interest, even in the face of critical opposition and condemnation. The challenges that lie ahead for Canandaigua require nothing less, and I am up to the task.