The Town Supervisor is the chief executive officer of the town, similar to a city mayor. He/she is an elected official, serving a two-year term. The Supervisor sits as the presiding member of the Town Board, an elected body of four councilpersons who, along with the Supervisor, are responsible for the adoption of the annual budget, and for the adoption, enforcement and execution of all legislative actions of the Board. The Supervisor's responsibilities also include the preparation and recommendation of the annual budget, reports, information and material for Town Board action, as well as recommending amendments to the Town Code and ordinances when necessary. The Supervisor manages and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Town government, and is available to meet with residents to discuss topics of interest to them.
One major improvement for Brighton that has been and will continue to be a priority is to enhance active transportation opportunities. This will help make Brighton more sustainable and healthy, and will reduce traffic in currently congested areas. Brighton adopted a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in 2013, which remains the roadmap for improving active transportation opportunities. Since that time, Brighton opened the Brickyard Trail, one of the most popular trails in the Rochester area. We have also established a bicycle boulevard, connecting with a similar bicycle boulevard in Rochester, to enable cyclists to avoid heavily trafficked arterial highways. We are currently developing additional trails and bicycle boulevards. The Monroe Avenue Green Infrastructure project, while primarily a stormwater project, will also improve conditions for pedestrians along Monroe Ave., from the 12 Corners to Allens Creek Rd., by enhancing green buffers between street pavement and sidewalks.
Brighton balances development with protection of the environment in many ways. First, Brighton regularly updates its comprehensive plan. The current update was funded by the New York State and is based on principles of sustainability, to help ensure that the environment will be protected even as development proceeds.
Brighton adheres to the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act as it considers new development proposals. SEQRA requires governmental entities to consider whether a project may cause significant environmental impacts and if so, how those impacts can be mitigated.
Finally, Brighton has been a leader in the use of incentive zoning, which allows towns to require developers to offer host communities amenities to offset impacts of development. Incentive zoning provides benefits to the community, ensures a more open and transparent development process, and helps protect environmentally sensitive areas while facilitating smart development.
Affordable housing is one way Brighton and other communities can help the Rochester area address the poverty crisis afflicting Rochester’s urban core. As Supervisor, I will continue to require new leased residential incentive zoning projects to include at least 10% affordable units. I will also support and introduce legislation making it unlawful to discriminate against persons receiving Section 8 financial support.
I have increased funding for code enforcement, and have increased code enforcement staffing, which is of high importance in preserving our quality of life.
Traditional zoning is most effective when based on an updated comprehensive plan. Brighton is currently updating our comprehensive plan, based on principles of sustainability, as well as the community values of Brighton, engaging local residents to work with Town staff and consultants. Brighton also uses incentive zoning as one additional tool to ensure that the potential negative impacts of development are mitigated.
Brighton has a number of existing shared service agreements, and is pursuing new opportunities. In addition to county wide shared services programs like snow plowing of all state and county highways, Brighton is a part of statewide or regional insurance initiatives for liability, health care and workers compensation insurance. Brighton is also a party to several individual municipal shared services programs, including a fire protection agreement under which the Town of Brighton pays the Rochester Fire Department to provide services in West Brighton, and a lease of space at Brookside School for the Parks and Recreation Departments.
Brighton has been an active participant in the Monroe County Shared Services Plan development process, and has discussed possible future shared services opportunities with several other communities, including sharing of a storage building in Pittsford and opportunities with the City of Rochester and other jurisdictions to share administrative services.
Brighton has long been a leader in sustainability, and I have joined the national Climate Mayors organization, in light of the threat made by the President to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. We are a NY Climate Smart Community, we have adopted a solar energy law and, as noted above, are in the process of updating the Town’s Comprehensive Plan based on sustainable principals. Going forward, the Town Board is considering joining Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA. CCA would be an opportunity to purchase renewable clean electricity, in bulk, for residents and small businesses, potentially saving money while sharply reducing the carbon footprint of our community. Brighton has held a public hearing on joining a CCA and is currently reviewing a proposed local law to take the first formal step in doing so.