Medina Village Board looking for people with ideas to boost community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2022 at 7:53 am

MEDINA – The Medina Village Board is giving residents a chance to send in a letter of interest to the village office if they want to be part of a group of visionaries that will brainstorm ways to improve many facets of Medina, from housing, neighborhoods, parks, the downtown and business districts.

The board welcomes letters of interest to be part of the Strategic Planning Visionary Committee to be sent or dropped off at the Village Office, 119 Park Ave. The group will be tasked with leading public meetings to get residents’ feedback on current and future needs in Medina, and brainstorm ways to make the village more attractive to residential and business development.

Mayor Mike Sidari said a visioning group can make a big difference for the community by focusing on initiatives to move the community forward.

The Village Board on Feb. 14 was presented with the idea of a visioning group. Kathy Blackburn during that meeting suggested creating a new Waterfront and Community Development Committee. Blackburn, chairwoman of the Medina Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, said the group would expand on the efforts of the waterfront committee that identified ways to boost business, recreation and tourism from the Erie Canal and Oak Orchard Creek.

Blackburn was among nine people whose names were submitted to the Village Board to consider for the new committee. The others included Chris Busch, Andrew Meier, Mark Zambito, Chris Goyette, Gloria Brent, Jake Hebdon and Scott Robinson.

The board wants to open up the chance to serve on the committee to the community, before naming members to the group.

Trustee Owen Toale said he wants a diversity of opinions and ideas from village residents.

“I don’t like to see the same names come up all the time,” Toale said.

Blackburn said the group will make it a mission to get a range of viewpoints and ideas.

“We just want to get a big picture and get peoples’ ideas,” Blackburn said.

Picking the members of the group will be put off until residents have a chance to drop off or mail their letter of interest.

The group also won’t be the Waterfront and Community Development Committee but instead will be the Strategic Planning Visionary Committee.

That’s partly because the waterfront committee needs to stay until the state Department of State gives the final OK to the LWRP, the plan for the waterfront that includes about 20 projects to better utilize the waterfront.

With the waterfront committee staying, the Strategic Planning Visionary Committee will look at many aspects of the village and how to improve the quality of life.

Mayor Sidari said he read an article from the NYS Conference of Mayors that highlighted how a visioning committee can make a big difference in advancing a village, especially for economic development. Many prospective companies are looking at more than suitable land and infrastructure when deciding where to locate their business.

Those companies want to be in a community with vibrant schools, parks and neighborhoods, Sidari said.