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July 27, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/27

Last week we said goodbye to Town Comptroller Bob Beedon after a distinguished 33.5 year career with Penfield. Bob came to the Town of Penfield in 1982, having served in the Air Force as a budget officer, at several well-known banks in Rochester, and a local municipality. Bob immediately jumped in to address town finances and ensure Penfield was a leader in Monroe County and New York State. Bob helped the Town of Penfield move from a B credit rating to an Aa2 during his tenure. This effort paid dividends when securing funds for public works projects as Penfield received some of the best rates in the state. On behalf of the Town Board and all the residents of Penfield, I want to thank and congratulate Bob for his service to this community. Bob, you are a dedicated professional with the highest integrity and a good friend. Your many years of service did not go unrecognized and will leave an everlasting mark on the finances of this great community. We wish you a long, happy, and healthy retirement, you earned it!

I ask that you join me in welcoming Barbara Chirdo as our new Town Comptroller. Barbara comes to us with more than 20 years of municipal finance experience that includes Human Resources, contract negotiations, shared purchasing/intermunicipal contracts, and public works. She is a recent graduate of Leadership Rochester (class of 2015), an organization that identifies approximately 40 emerging and existing leaders each year and brings them together with key leaders to discuss the most significant issues affecting Rochester and Monroe County. Barbara is a great addition to the Penfield team to expand the leadership for a sound and sustainable long-term financial strategy for our community—welcome Barbara!

In this week’s Farm Market/Garden Center series, I would like to highlight Wickham Farms, 1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. Bill Wickham began growing pumpkins at the age of eight at his family's farm in Flint, New York. After he and his wife, Debbie, graduated from Cornell University, they began growing and selling pumpkins in the Rochester area. In the 1980s and 1990s, you may have seen their red carts at u-pick pumpkin patches in Penfield, Webster, Fairport, Victor and Stanley. Since that time, they have concentrated their efforts on expanding the Route 250 farm that has made their farm one of Rochester’s top places to take the kids. Bill and Debbie established an active Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in 2012 that has become popular among people who want to eat seasonal, locally grown food. The basic idea of a CSA is that a farmer offers shares or memberships to the public and members receive a portion of each harvest throughout the farming season. Wickham Farms is much more than pumpkins and CSA—they also offer plants, gifts, ice cream and family fun with batting cages, u-pick, birthday parties, a bounce pillow, and more. For more information about Wickham Farms and the products and services they provide, go to remember to shop locally, it does make a difference for our entire community!

Important Dates and Events in History: August 2, 1964 – US Destroyer Maddox is attacked in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, beginning America’s major involvement in the Vietnam War; August 4, 1790 – US Coast Guard established; and August 5, 1917 – The United States National Guard is established.

Until next week…enjoy this wonderful stretch of summer weather!






July 24, 2015
NEW Fitness Trail System in Rothfuss Park

The Town of Penfield Recreation Department and its wellness partner, Wegmans, have installed a QR F.I.T. Trail system along the paved trail in Rothfuss Park on Five Mile Line Road.

The QR F.I.T. Trail is a series of signposts featuring QR codes that link to workout instructions and more than 150 instructional videos for core, upper and lower body, and flexibility workouts. The system works directly with users’ smartphones and QR code reader. Users scan a QR for a workout, choose their intensity level, view a video, and then perform the exercise. Exercise videos change monthly, so frequent visitors won’t get bored with the same routine. User data is not collected.

Penfield is the first town in the area to install this innovative outdoor fitness system. The QR F.I.T. Trail system follows the Town of Penfield’s successful trails “Passport to Wellness” partnership with Wegmans that originated in Penfield and has since been replicated in many states.

Rothfuss Park is a 70-acre multi-use park on the former Rothfuss farmland along the border of the Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Acre Swamp. It is home to four full-size rectangular athletic fields, picnic pavilions, a memorial flag garden from VFW Post 820, a playground, and seasonal public restrooms.

“Residents can now add a guided workout to their visits to Rothfuss Park,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Thanks to the great partnership between the town, our Recreation Department, and Wegmans, we continue to grow as a Wellness Community. This QR F.I.T. Trail is a simple, effective way to boost your personal fitness regimen.”

The QR codes direct users links and files located on the QR F.I.T. Trail server. As a general note, smartphone users should be aware of where QR code data originates. When QR codes are scanned the destination link is displayed. If the link is unfamiliar or seems suspicious users should not click on the link. Learn more about QR F.I.T. Trail at


July 20, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/20

In this week’s Farm Market/Garden Center series, I would like to highlight Grossmans Garden and Home at 1801 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. Established in 1984, Grossman's Country Nursery came to life out of a 10-acre corn field, with the Grossman homestead built in the center of the property in 1983. For the first 13 years of the business Larry Grossman designed and created one project at a time. One project, one crew, one client. In 1994 Larry married Frances, and with her guidance, their garden art department was created. Little did she know she would soon leave her job and work full time at the nursery. As their business grew, Larry and Frances continued to refresh and renew the operation with the same commitment to provide their customers with homegrown flowers, trees, shrubs, garden art, and furniture, offering their customers fun and easy gardening solutions for outdoor living.

In February of this year, Grossmans Garden and Home, one of the 2015 “Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers,” was purchased by Penfield residents Jon and Erika Stone. In addition to carrying on the tradition of Grossmans, they will be growing the business on all fronts. They are excited about the addition of a new Hardscape Design and Sales Center. The design center will allow visitors to visualize how elements, like outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, patios, trellises and retaining walls, would feel in their own backyard. The Stones also look to bring new events for adults and children and new product lines and gift ideas to Grossmans. All of the company’s employees were retained during the transition, with Larry Grossman staying on as landscape designer. For more information about Grossmans Garden & Home and their products and services, go to please remember to shop locally, it does make a difference for the entire community!

Route 441 reconstruction is well underway and I am looking forward to the repair of potholes and damaged catch basins, as well as the placement of new pavement. Villager Construction Inc. is the contractor selected by the NYS Department of Transportation for the project. They have extensive experience in road construction and pavement management. A significant part of the construction will be done after hours to minimize traffic disruption; however as with any construction project, there will be delays. Please use caution, reduce speeds, and obey traffic control signs and flagman. While there will be some inconveniences over the next several weeks, the final results will be well worth it for our residents.

The next Penfield Trails Committee free guided hike is Saturday, August 8 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in Ellison Park. Come and discover the off-beat pathways that reveal the natural vistas carved by 10,000 years of Irondequoit Creek flow. Meet at the south entrance at 1008 Penfield Road and look for the hike signs. All events are held rain or shine. For more information, go to and click on Penfield Trails.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, July 28 for “Cool Jazz” featuring Gap Mangione and the New Blues Band, and also Thursday, July 30 for “Kids Fest” featuring the “Dinner Dogs.” Both of these concert series have been crowd pleasers over the years! Music starts at 7:00 p.m. and great food is available each night with a wine tent on July 28 for your enjoyment.

Starting in early August I will begin to share the various milestones of the 2016 budget process so our residents have a feel for how things are shaping up for next year. I will discuss impact of the state and federal budgets on Penfield, proposed new plans and programs, as well as timelines for information meetings and public hearings.

Until next week, enjoy the summer weather. Be well and be safe!



July 13, 2015
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/13

This week’s shout-out goes to the Penfield Recreation, Penfield TV, and Public Works Departments for their efforts in a very successful Fourth of July parade and fireworks. The weather was fantastic! Many residents have sent notes commenting on the parade, music, and food, and the fireworks were a hit for a crowd of almost 15,000 attendees. I would also like to recognize and thank the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, the Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance and the Penfield Fire Company for supporting the event and keeping everyone safe. It was a wonderful community event!

In this week’s Farm Market/Garden Center series, I would like to highlight Bauman’s Farm Market and Greenhouses located at 1340 Five Mile line Road. Serving the area with fine fruits, vegetables and more since 1908, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know Bauman’s. They farm land in Penfield and Webster and employ local, hard-working people to harvest, stock and help you out. They have greenhouses that offer fresh plants from opening to closing (May to December). Let’s not forget that each winter they offer a wide variety of precut Christmas trees, as well as offering “u-cut” fields to those that like to carry on the wonderful tradition of cutting their own Christmas tree! Bauman’s has seasonal offerings and summer is the time to think about sweet corn, squash, broccoli, peaches, and cauliflower. They also offer pick-your-own peas. For more information about Bauman’s and what products and services they provide, please visit them on-line at remember to shop locally, it does make a difference for the entire community!

The recent Pharmaceutical Waste Collection held at Wegmans and sponsored by the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services was a big hit; however, I have had several calls and inquiries from residents saying that they were unable to attend and were asking about other opportunities in the future. I wanted to remind everyone that ecopark now accepts household hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste two days per week (Wednesdays, 1 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Appointments are required. This gives Monroe County residents the opportunity to properly manage these materials twice-per-week instead of just two times each month! For more information, please visit their website at and click on “ecopark” on the left-hand column.

There are still many opportunities to participate in our various recreation programs for youth, adult, and family wellness, not to mention special events at the amphitheater and the library. For more information, please visit our recreation website at for details and to register.

We have started the 2016 budget process with all of the department heads. Over the next several months we will be reviewing their draft 2016 Priorities and Goals and budget submissions as I prepare a tentative budget for the Town Board, due out shortly after Labor Day. Over the next several weeks I will keep you posted on how things are developing, as well as the hurdles we are seeing from Albany and Washington and their impacts on our local budget.

I close this column recognizing the Town’s Comptroller Bob Beedon who will be retiring on July 17 after 32 years of service to Penfield. Bob came to Penfield with experience in the banking industry, as well as municipal finance. Bob has served under seven different town supervisors with distinction. He helped to improve our credit ratings, introduced important policies and procedures to ensure proper fiduciary controls, updated the financial control software, served on statewide financial committees, and has been recognized as a financial leader across the region and the state. The town offices will be quieter without Bob’s robust laughter and “get-it-done” attitude! We take great comfort in knowing he is leaving the town’s finances as one of the leaders across the county. Bob, thank you for all you have done for the residents of Penfield, on behalf of the Town Board and entire community of Penfield we wish you a long, happy, and healthy retirement…great job sir!



July 6, 2015
Supervisor's column: Week of 7/6

CORRECTION…a few columns ago, I highlighted the accomplishments of five Eagle Scouts; however, I made a major mistake! I inadvertently used the father’s name (Michael) instead of the Eagle Scout (Benjamin) and I apologize for my mistake. Computers are great for misspelled words and correcting grammar, but they do not help to distinguish father from son! To that end, I want to recognize Benjamin Kabot of Troop 230. As a reminder, for his Eagle project, Benjamin digitized the old section of Oakwood Cemetery and permanently recorded the history and genealogy of 367 plots and approximately 2,000 headstones. Benjamin, thank you for your service, and I again apologize for my error!

The next opportunity to give blood in Penfield is Monday, July 13 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Browncroft Community Church, 2530 Browncroft Blvd. During the summer months blood supplies become dangerously low. Please consider taking an hour out of the summer to schedule an appointment, it does make a difference to many people in our community. To schedule an appointment for this event or another time and location, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or visit

This week I would like to highlight the former Country Way Garden Center at 2755 Penfield Road established by Tony and Michele Slominski. In August of 2011 the Garden Center was purchased by Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care, a family-owned company founded by Laurie Broccolo in 1990. For more than 24 years, the company has been recognized locally and nationally for its education efforts within the green industry, as well as serving its customers. Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care is an acknowledged leader in the care of nature's assets and provides award-winning service and practical, responsible care that promotes a healthy landscape environment. If you have questions about lawn care, tree care, or need plants and other materials from the garden center, please log on at or call 424-4476—and remember to shop locally, it does make a difference for the entire community!

The 2015 concert series has arrived! Starting next week and running for the next month, come and enjoy a variety of music at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage. So you didn’t get a chance to attend the recent jazz fest downtown? No worries, several of the same excellent musicians are performing for “Cool Jazz” Tuesdays: July 14 – Bill Tiberio; July 21 – Jim Doser Group; July 28 – Gap Mangione and New Blues Band; August 4 – Mark Cassara. What’s in store for our youngest residents? More fun! Come join in at “Kids Fest” Thursdays: July 16 – Paulsen and Baker; July 23 – Mike Kornrich; July 30 – Dinner Dogs, and August 6 – Dady Brothers. You still have not had enough? Come join in on “Saturdays on Stage”: July 18 – Mr. Mustard Beatle Review (with opening act – It’s My Party at 5:00 p.m.); August 1 – “ZBTB” (Zac Brown Tribute Band). Music starts at 7:00 p.m. (please note July 18 has an opening act at 5:00 p.m.). Great food is available each night and there will be a wine tent at Cool Jazz events.

There is still time to participate in the next Penfield Trails Committee free guided hike at Abraham Lincoln Park on Saturday, July 11, 9:00 to 11:00 am. Abraham Lincoln Park is a 182-acre Monroe County Park located along the southeastern shoreline of Irondequoit Bay within the town of Penfield. Come explore the ups and downs from wooded uplands to the bay shore trail connections. There is a possibility you may see the eagle that has been nesting in the area. Trails begin at the end of Smith Road off of Empire Blvd. Look for the "Hike" signs. While the hike is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6.

Until next week, I hope to see you out and about in our great community.



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