March 8 Village Board of Trustees Meeting
This is the second of a series of articles devoted to how our Village Government is serving you. In my last post, I shared with you that our March 1, 2011 Planning Board meeting focused on the top three initiatives for implementing a portion of the Comprehensive Plan during the coming year. Our goal was to share these recommendations during a joint meeting with the Village Board of Trustees on March 8, 2011.
Having never attended a Village Board meeting in the past, I was not sure what to expect. After all… Planning Board members are volunteers, while Village Trustees are elected. So rather than anticipating anything, I went in hopeful as the Village Board did ask for our recommendations.
As you may recall from my previous post, our recommendations included updating the Village Zoning Code and Zoning Map; assembling a group of liaisons from community organizations; and redefining our local image through a branding and marketing campaign. The following is an account of what happened.
Update of the Village Zoning Code and Zoning Map. We actually made some headway with this one already so we explained to the Trustees that this initiative was well underway. Bergmann Associates had started to analyze our zoning code and awaited for input from Ron Vendetti (Code Enforcer), the Town Attorney, and/or from the Zoning Board about how to address “unzoned” portions of the Village. Once received, Bergmann would then update the zoning map; compare the current zoning against the Comprehensive Plan; then recommend updates to the zoning code and map. To that end, at our March 1 meeting, we provided Ron with the necessary contact information so he could follow up with Bergmann. To find whether Ron followed up with Bergmann Associates, contact him directly at email@example.com or attend our next Planning Board meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday April 5 at 7:00 pm at the Village Offices.
Assemble a group of liaisons from community organizations. This recommendation involved forming a group with representation from a cross-section of our community as well as from beyond Holley to provide the Village with expert advise and guidance as we move forward with our efforts. Surprisingly, this recommendation was a very “hard sell” with few Village Trustees understanding why we needed community liaisons. With the support of Mayor Kenney, a lengthy discussion followed to explain the benefits of having community liaisons. More specifically, with the Comprehensive Planning so robust, we needed help from those who have time, knowledge, talent, and expertise to advise and guide us. With their support, we could achieve our goals sooner. Despite the discussion, a few of us on the Planning Board felt discouraged by the “deer in the headlight” reception we received to this recommendation. Have no fear though… I am confident that another day and another approach will drive this need home. So… if any readers have any ideas and are interested in forming a community liaison group, let me know as this is your chance to have your voice heard.
Now for our third and final recommendation…Redefine local image through branding and marketing campaign. Really excited about the possibilities, we saved this one for last, which included a number of suggestions:
- Updating the Village’s logo, perhaps by holding a community-wide contest soliciting entries from residents and local students with artistic talent. Considerable discussion followed about whether we actually needed a new logo, outlining the merits and concerns in creating a new logo. If there are any students or residents out there with artistic talents… take a look at the logo currently on our Village site and share your ideas. This is your opportunity to shine!!!
- Posting signage with the Village logo on it at the Village gateways, in the Public Square area, as well as in the canal park and at the falls directing visitors. Some discussion followed as to where signage would have the greatest impact. The discussion then turned to one on securing grants to cover the expense of such signage and the importance of having someone local to administer grants so we do not lose out on future grant opportunities as we have in the past. Any grant writers administrators out there?
- Redesigning and maintaining the Village website with a fresh, new look and ongoing updates to content. Trustee David Dill indicated he is currently working on updating the design and content for the Village site. To find out the status of this effort, e-mail Trustee Dave Dill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Coordinating and promoting local events to area publications and organizations to supplement the calendar of events currently posted on the wall of the Village Office. This is a great volunteer opportunity for a retired individual or for a stay-at-home parent that only requires an hour or two a month. Any takers?
- Starting an indoor/outdoor Farmer’s Market. With much of the groundwork done last year, vendor management remains the greatest challenge. If you want to help out with this or want more information, contact Lori Passarell at email@example.com.
- Creating a Facebook page for keeping Holley informed as to what goes on in and around Holley. Trustee Connie Nenni indicated she was working on this. To find out the status of this effort, e-mail Trustee Connie Nenni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Securing the services of a marketing firm to help us with branding and marketing efforts. A suggestion of a Village Trustee, discussion surrounded around whether a third-party firm was actually needed to promote Holley, or if we could do it our selves to save money. Of course, we need a third party. Any marketing & promotion firms out there? This is your chance to demonstrate how and why a marketing campaign is needed to promote and revitalize Holley!
Other short-term recommendations included resolving parking issues to encourage new businesses; installing bike racks in the canal park, at the falls area, and in Public Square area; and seeking out and writing grants to help defray the cost of our initiatives as well as finding someone within the community to administer them.
As you can see, there is a lot to do and plenty of ways to get involved. Getting involved is easy; in fact, as easy as 1-2-3.
- Attend local meetings. Village Planning Board meetings are the first Tuesdays of the month while Village Board of Trustee meetings are the second Tuesdays of the month; both at 7:00 pm at the Village Offices. Missed a past meeting? No problem. For a full copy of the Village Board meeting minutes, write a letter to Gail Sevor, Village Clerk, 72 Public Square, Holley NY 14470 requesting a copy. All meeting minutes are a matter of public record and must be available to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
- Visit the “Visions of Holley Blog” often to keep up on the latest news in and around Holley then share it with all your friends, family, business associates, and service organizations.
- Ask plenty of questions to keep our Village servants accountable and to volunteer your time, knowledge, and talents.
With your support and that of your friends, we can truly make a difference. What’s more, we can make our collective “Visions of Holley” a reality!