In my opinion, the idea of sustainable development touches on several key points, as suggested in the graphic above. Of course, it means using building materials that are wisely sourced, will have low environmental impacts, and that will last. But, it also encompasses a more holistic look at how any proposed development will affect Penfield's bigger picture, which means assessing its viability for the Penfield of today AND in the future. Important questions I will ask of any proposed development are:
Does it make sense for Penfield?
Does it adhere to the vision laid out in the Comprehensive Plan?
How will this development impact current residents?
How will it impact current traffic flow?
How will it impact its natural surroundings?
Do we already have this kind of development in town and how successful is it?
As more land goes to development, and therefore less land to develop will exist, are we making the wisest choices with what we have left to us?
What do we do once all available land is developed?
A real plan would address these questions, not leave them to be answered by future governmental administrations. I believe development is at a tipping point in Penfield and that we need to begin to shift our understanding of it as we move into the future. We need leadership that will view these decisions through a lense of fiscal, environmental, and indeed, moral, responsibility.
Land is a finite resource, one that humans are responsible to care for. I believe that undeveloped green space enhances a town’s quality of life, increases surrounding property values, and, if marketed properly, can be a draw to residents and tourists alike, helping our local economy in the process. Not only does the protection of our precious land have other benefits such as mitigating air pollution and the negative effects of climate change, helping with drainage issues, and beautifying our neighborhoods, it is the legacy left to us by the last Democrat administration in Penfield in the 1970s. As a private citizen of Penfield, I have personally worked to keep more than 225 acres of undeveloped land as recreational space for all to enjoy.
Knowing that every small step counts, in my role as Town Councilwoman, I will advocate for more Earth-friendly practices in Penfield. A few ideas that I will work to enact are:
1) Judicious land use planning
2) Development of a concrete pesticide policy with the intention of becoming pesticide-free on all Town property;
3) Community Choice Aggregation. Learn more here:
4) Town-wide leaf pick up & composting;
5) Connection and/or completion of sidewalk-systems to encourage bike-ability;
6) Support for greater access to public transportation.
7) Working towards achieving 'Climate Smart Communities' certification. Learn more here:
As an elected official, I work for YOU. I believe that residents’ needs come first. Taxpayers deserve to have their questions or concerns addressed fully and in a timely manner, and conveyed to them with respect and honesty. Penfielders of any political party should be given equal opportunity to engage in civic responsibilities. Ultimately, the relationship I envision having with the residents I serve is one of communication, understanding that their feedback informs and shapes the decisions I will make as Town Councilwoman. I will be available to residents, they can expect an honest and timely response from me, and all Penfielders will be welcome to participate in their own town government.
The ability to attract vibrant and unique businesses is a key responsibility of local government. It requires interest and engagement on the part of town leadership. Keeping these businesses requires just as much engagement and solid "customer service" after a business is established as it did prior.
In my role as a Town Board member, I will make myself available to local business owners' needs and concerns. I will actively work to bring businesses to Penfield as well as support those already established. I will advocate for the upkeep of all commercial areas, including adequate parking and lighting, improved signage and surroundings.
"If you don't know where you came from, it's hard to know where you're going." -Sadie Roberts-Joseph
Preservation and progress: the history of a place provides it with a foundation, is a springboard to its future, and forms its identity. Historic structures add character and beauty, provide non-economic forms of meaning; they are also inviting to start up businesses, supporting the local economy and adding to the culture. They provide insight into the daily life of past inhabitants, which I believe increases our awareness and appreciation of our surroundings and for those who called Penfield home long before we did.
Penfield has an historic preservation ordinance that residents of landmarked properties must abide by, however, in the past few years, several old buildings located within the Four Corners (an historic preservation district) have been allowed by the Town Board to be demolished. These include an original blacksmith shop, the Penfield Tavern, Little Nellie's original print shop, and the first public library. A landmark status does not provide any protection from demolition, but it is my belief that with adherence to stricter standards, any or all of these buildings could have been adaptively re-used, thereby keeping the historic nature and unique character of this area intact.
As your Town Councilwoman, I will advocate for the care and respect for our history, and for its reintegration into our idea of Sustainable Development.