From the Supervisor: Brighton makes progress on key issues
In March, I presented my annual State of the Town of Brighton message to the Brighton Town Board and the community. 2020 was a year like no other, with challenges we could not have imagined when the year began. However, in spite of the twin public health crises of COVID and racial injustice that we faced during 2020, Brighton remains strong, and our shared community values of education, sustainability and inclusion and diversity has helped us through those crises and will guide us as we address the challenges of the future.
During the pandemic, our town staff continued their core mission of serving the people of Brighton. Highway Department employees picked up leaves, paved streets and plowed snow, all working one person per vehicle. The Parks Department maintained parks and trails that saw record usage. The Recreation Department found new ways to connect with Brighton residents of all ages. Last March, I quickly declared a state of emergency and issued emergency orders that, among other things, streamlined the process for restaurants to open outdoor seating and prohibited door-to-door sales. We worked with Temple B’rith Kodesh and Monroe County to establish a rapid COVID testing facility that has served thousands of people.
2020 also brought the public health crisis of racism into focus. Like most people, I was sickened to see Daniel Prude left to die on the cold streets of Rochester, knowing that too many other Black men and women had been killed in encounters with police departments across the nation. I was proud to join the Black Student Union and hundreds of community members in a peaceful march from the Twelve Corners to Buckland Park last summer to reaffirm that Black Lives Matter in Brighton. In contrast to some other agencies, the Brighton Police Department uses a philosophy of community policing, serving as community guardians rather than warriors. Community feedback, solicited for preparation of our police reform plan, mandated by Gov. Cuomo, showed an impressive 90% level of satisfaction with the Brighton Police Department among all respondents,and 82% satisfaction among respondents who identified as members of so-called marginalized communities.
We didn’t let COVID stop us from advancing our sustainability goals. In 2020, Brighton became the first town in Monroe County to adopt community choice aggregation, bringing 100% renewable source electricity to most Brighton residential and small business customers. CCA will reduce Brighton’s carbon footprint dramatically, at no additional cost to residents, and is consistent with our sustainability focus.
Brighton remains fiscally strong and committed to our shared values and to our residents, our neighborhoods and our local small businesses. Please get your vaccination when you have the opportunity to do so and continue to practice all public health guidelines. Together, we will stay healthy and together we will stand strong as one community.
William Moehle serves as supervisor for the town of Brighton.