It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as Irondequoit’s supervisor these 19 months. Every morning, when I walk into Town Hall, I remind myself of how grateful I am to be able to work on behalf of the community I love. For that reason, I thank the residents of Irondequoit for their support this past Election Day.
I am proud that we have sustained the good work initiated by former-Supervisor Adam Bello. I often preach of the importance of the image of Irondequoit that is projected to the rest of the area. For a period of several years, that image was one of adversity and division. In short, I feel that has changed. The image that is broadcast to the rest of the region is that of the community we all love. We are telling the story of Irondequoit we want others to hear.
Elections can signal both a vindication of the performance of an incumbent government, as well as approval of the vision laid out for the future. Our team at Town Hall has made it very clear what we feel lies in store for our town these next few years. We will rebuild our Department of Public Works facility at a new address and allow us to realize the dream of a true Town Hall campus without an industrial artery in the middle. We will continue to promote and foster new economic development in our town, and with laser-like focus, do our part to facilitate to the redevelopment of the former Irondequoit Mall. Above all, we will continue to protect taxpayers.
It is my sincere hope that two years from now, the rebirth of the mall will involve a community center we have always envisioned, but never been able to see built. That process starts immediately, with our first public engagement session on Nov. 30 at the Irondequoit Library. I pledge to devote all my energy to see this project come to fruition, in a manner that is economically feasible.
Furthermore, I was very happy to see Councilman Peter Wehner also re-elected. Peter has been a wonderful addition to our team this past year and his years of experience in construction of public facilities that will remain an immense asset. Joining Peter next year will be Councilwoman-elect Kimie Romeo, a woman who has spent her life serving the community of Irondequoit in many regards and will continue to do so on the Town Board.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize Councilwoman Lorie Barnum, who decided not to run for reelection this year. Since 2014, she has brought not only a passion, but has proven to be one of the most thoughtful and committed elected officials I’ve ever known. Lorie has helped lay much of the foundation for a brighter future for this town, and for that I am grateful to her for her service.
It pleased me to see that more people came out to vote in Irondequoit versus previous local years. I attribute that to the fact we had contested elections, which is essential to democracy. I applaud all candidates who took the time to run for office — it is no easy chore — and for the civil discourse that we saw in Irondequoit this year.