At this time of the year, the Town Board sits with all department heads to review their final goals and priorities for the upcoming year. The process started as we began to prepare the 2011 budget. Goals and priorities are part of the foundation for the budget (expenses and revenue), staffing, special projects, policies and procedures, training, and more. Reviewing goals and priorities also gives the Board an opportunity to review accomplishments against goals of the prior year. This format started approximately 15 years ago and has served as a great review to prioritize work and flush out waste so that the residents of this great town are best served for their tax dollars.
Update on the Sign Ordinance: As you recall, the Town Board held a public hearing in December with just a small number of residents and business owners attending to see what changes to the Sign Ordinance were being proposed. The Board and staff have collected all the input and will be holding a special work session in February to work through the final details. Our goal is to adopt the revised Ordinance by early spring. We will keep you updated in this column and on the Town's website at www.penfield.org . (Learn more, Zoning Ordinance)
It has been awhile since I have shared information on the Health Care Consortium that Penfield belongs to along with nine other towns and Authorities. Through this Consortium, Penfield's health care costs were reduced by $100,000 for 2011. Our "Health Care Trust" continues to actively recruit other organizations in Monroe and surrounding counties as new members. The more members in the "Trust," the lower our health care costs will be in future years, hence less costs to our taxpayers. I am honored to have been elected the vice-chair of the Trust's executive committee for the next two years. Additionally, I will chair the Wellness Committee for the Trust. The goal working with MVP Health Care will be to develop and implement a wellness program for the 2000 members, promoting fitness and nutrition, tobacco cessation programs, personal injury prevention, and much more. The Trust may not be able to stop health care increases; it has looked, and will continue to look, for creative ways to mange and minimize costs.
The Energy Efficiency Workshop held last Saturday was a great success! Experts from around the county shared easy and no-cost tips on how to reduce energy bills; identified low-interest and free services for energy efficiency improvements to qualifying households; and handed out a FREE kit of energy saving items and other valuable educational material. This workshop was such a success that the Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee is looking to conduct several more throughout 2011.
You may have seen some recent media coverage on Private First Class Terry Heise, a Penfield resident. Terry was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) which was detonated as his Army vehicle passed. Sadly, two soldiers were killed and two others injured. Private First Class Heise was awarded the Purple Heart on January 11, 2011as the result of the enemy action. We should never forget the sacrifices our military make each and every day to protect our freedoms. On behalf of the entire community of Penfield, we thank and honor Terry for his service to our country and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery from his injuries.
I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with Gordon R. Scott who recently turned 92 years old. The Scott brothers, Gordy and Don, operated a store and gasoline station at the northwest corner of Fairport Nine Mile Point Road and Atlantic Ave since 1947-it is currently operated by Gordy's nephew. Gordy served on the Town board from 1968 to 1971 and is credited for his vision and commitment to the Penfield Community. I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Mr. Scott for more then 25 years. I wish to thank him for his encouraging and supportive words at our visit.
Important dates in history the 20th day of January...John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 35th President in 1961, and Ronald Reagan is sworn in as the 40th President 1981.
If you have not signed up for that favorite class or program through the Recreation Department or Penfield Library, please reads through the current PenRec Brochure mailed to your homes in December or go on line to review all the wonderful offerings for youth, teens, adults and families at www.penfield.org , and click on ‘Parks and Recreation' in the left hand column.
Until next week, stay warm and drive safely!