New York State Registered Dental Hygienist
A major goal is to safeguard the 1,426 acres of open space that the Town has acquired through the Open Space Preservation Plan. As we see many developers submitting plans in the town, it is critical that we protect this open space that has been set aside for the enjoyment of all the residents in Webster. In collaboration with the Friends of the Trails (an invaluable volunteer organization), miles of trails have been developed. These areas provide a magnificent trail system and connectivity wherever possible. An exciting plan is starting to develop for more public access to the Sandbar Park including walking trails, a playground, and a new lodge. The Town has received $118,000 in grant funding to begin this project.
I also support the continuation of providing quality services for Webster residents while maintaining a stable tax rate. Fiscal responsibility is of utmost importance.
Balancing the promotion of development while protecting the environment is critical and is guided by the New York State Environmental Quality Review process. This occurs at the Planning Board level; occasionally the Town Board will act as lead agency. A moratorium on building has been suggested by our opponents. I do not think that a moratorium is an appropriate tool to deter development. In essence, it is the government seizing private property. Every landowner has the right to sell, and a developer has the right to purchase and build if the property is zoned for the proposed project. There is a process to guide this beginning with the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. These Boards are independent of the Town Board.
Webster has affordable housing. There are zoning codes in place that provide buffer zones where residential and commercial areas sometimes intersect as well as myriad guidelines and restrictions. Variances are only granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Code enforcement is critical.
In an effort to control costs and avoid duplication of services, the Town of Webster shares many services with the Village, County and School District and has been doing this for years. A few examples are: the Highway Department shares equipment and manpower with the Village, School District, and the County, there is one Assessor for both Town and Village, and the Police Department coordinates law enforcement with the County Sheriff's Department.
A unique collaboration in Webster is the Webster Economic Development Alliance. It is a partnership with the Town of Webster, Village of Webster, Webster School District, Webster Chamber of Commerce, and Village Business Improvement District, all stakeholders contribute to the budget for this and have hired an economic development professional. This Alliance was formed after the recommendation was a made by the Chamber's Case for Business Committee on which I participated for several years.
In the past year, the Town adopted zoning regulations to guide the installation of solar arrays. These vary from individual homeowners to large community supported solar “farms”. This is clearly an initiative that has been supported by the state with many incentives. It is important to recognize the difference in scope of the residential application vs. the larger “farm” type project. As a town we are certainly open to these developments and welcome them but want to guide the process and provide sensitivity and protection to neighboring properties.
We have the opportunity to turn Sandbar Park into something very Special. We've already received grants to help us with the design of the Park and the construction of a building/cabin. We've recently hired a firm for the design of both. Their vision is shared by us where the park,when completed, will become not just a Park but a destination.
As we already do by applying all the rules of SEQOR to all projects,
I think we have, at present, enough affordable housing available.in Webster. We have employees that actively monitor code enforcement violations and issues, and do so adequately. Zoning is something designed in the master plan. As a Town Board it is something we alter reluctantly and only do so when it makes good sense and doesn't affect the community negatively. Zoning, as a whole, needs to be looked at occasionally, and that happens during a Master Plan update.
Webster presently has municipal agreements with Monroe County,all the Towns In Monroe County, The Village of Webster, The Webster School District, and the State of NY. We share services with all these entities. These agreements allow us to perform work , share manpower and equipment with them. For some reason, no matter how this information has been shared and publicized, most residents and our State legislatures don't seem to know of it. Our Governor certainly doesn't. Whenever I hear the term consolidation it makes me cringe. We have been doing it for so long and yet they tout it as a new idea or revelation. When I started working for Webster,in 1971, we had contracts with Monroe County and NYS to preform duties for them. We still do but in a much more formal way that also includes all the other municipalities I mentioned. This has been going on for a very long time. We help each other out whenever needed.We would entertain any further shared services if made aware.
I'm not aware of any but always open to ideas.
Director of Product Development
Town leadership should not operate in a vacuum. We need to work with our schools, the village of Webster, law enforcement, county officials, business owners, and residents to move Webster forward. My major improvement would be establishing collaborative relationships with the many stakeholders we need to run this town efficiently and effectively. I would do this by drawing on my ten plus years in engineering management and extensive volunteerism where I built great teams to accomplish a shared vision.
With my electrical engineering degree, I also pursued a concentration in environmental science. Renewable energy and sustainable technology is a passion of mine. My husband and I recently had solar panels installed on our house. We instantly started saving money and we will save approximately $30K over the next 20 years. Webster can pursue similar opportunities, whether it’s powering town buildings or working with solar companies to install more community solar arrays around the town to help bring cost savings to residents while promoting green energy.
Open spaces are key to the quality of living in Webster. That means we need to rethink the cluster development model which has put a strain on our infrastructure and natural resources. I support well-thought out community planning and looking into other development models such as the conservation development model.
I will not support multiple variances from the agreed-upon plan for every development proposal. We also need more transparency and community involvement in developments. Right now, the code in Webster is only residents within 300 feet of the proposed development are notified. We need to make it easier to find out about potential developments in our town and ensure that residents’ voices are being heard.
Working with the village of Webster to make the town and the village more attractive to small businesses is a must.
I would also work with county and state officials to take advantage of any services available, such as NARCAN training, to address the opioid crisis which is affecting all communities including Webster.
Renewable energy contains some of the fastest growing industries in the nation. Webster houses employees of these industries already but does little to actively support them and their companies. By finding ways for the town and residents to go green, we can save costs and fight climate change.