Talk to the Hand

That’s how I feel while waiting at South and Glen or at Hudson and Elm. I’m a detail person, and am indulging in a rant over the setup of our pedestrian crossings. Please bear with me.

Wait awhile

When I push the button and wait for the pedestrian signal to change, it takes a while, and then a while longer, and sometimes a bit longer. When I do get the signal to cross, I must remain wary of vehicles turning left and right. Yes, there are rules that turning vehicles must yield to pedestrians. We also know how well everyone follows the rules of the road. If compliance is 99%, do I still look forward to each crossing? What happens when I  cross the 100th time? Is there a way to improve the odds?

Back in May, I visited Troy and wanted to cross both 10th Street and Hoosick Street for a coffee at Stewarts. Hoosick has four lanes, not counting the left-turn lanes. 10th has two lanes with an extra to receive northbound traffic. I figured that, after pushing the button, I would be a tin duck in a shooting gallery. Not so. When my turn came, the traffic signals turned red for all lanes and all pedestrian signals turned white at all corners. For thirty or more seconds, all pedestrians from all directions could cross with confidence. All drivers waited. I crossed eight lanes with plenty of time to spare. Traffic didn’t stack up either.

Prosperity in Downtown requires welcoming pedestrians, and on leaving good impressions with visitors. Thoughtful attention to street crossings is important. We will study several intersections in town. It’s on the “to do” list. Thank you for your attention to my rant.

Details matter

I have visited over a thousand neighbors’ doorsteps since the start of the campaign. I have learned plenty from visiting with my neighbors across the City. I have also learned something important without speaking to anyone … Details matter.

There are numerous rental properties around the City, where you cannot quickly tell Apt 1 from Apt B from Apt 3. Sometimes the mailboxes are marked, and not the doors. Sometimes, nothing is marked. Sometimes, only past residents’ names are present.

Imagine an EMS response where time is wasted finding which dwelling requires assistance. We need property owners to care about EMS response to their properties, and mark the dwellings clearly and consistently. It’s on the Cirino Administration’s “to do” list.

How to save Glens Falls taxpayers $3,000,000

Estimate of City’s annual savings after NY Health Care Act implementation.

Margot and I just left an eye-opening meeting at the Crandall Public Library. The topic was single-payer health care and it supplied an overview of U.S. H.R. 676 and the New York Health Act.

We arrived, hoping to learn if either bill could save our City on its operating expenses. There was a full house and 100% were taxpayers. We got our answer, and there will be more to say. For deeper background from a 2015 presentation, visit this link and stay tuned.

About those lights

Photo courtesy of Jason Walter

We love sports here in Glens Falls. The recent defeat of the lighting proposal for the Glens Falls High School football field is no reflection on our love for our sports teams or our High School. Here in Glens Falls, we also love common sense.

Just across the city, we have a publicly owned sports field complete with bleachers, ample parking and … yes … lights. True, the lights are old. But, they are paid for and they are in working order. Common sense tells us that our city could offer the use of East Field to the school district.

Background for the lighting proposal is here on the Glens Falls School District website. In the presentation slides, there are several pretty photos of new lighting towers from a lighting manufacturer. Notably absent is any analysis of alternatives. The only statement that resembles analysis is a quote published in the April 6, 2017 Chronicle:

Mr. Jenkins responds that traveling to off-campus facilities for games and practices “often creates significant expenses for athletic departments, can create additional expense and inconvenience parents/fans, often limits revenue gained from ticket/concession sales, typically creates scheduling difficulties,” and he notes the district would have to pay to rent East Field.

Note that there are no dollar estimates of the “significant expenses” in any readily available publications on the topic. The voters were given a choice to spend up to $691,200 or nothing. On May 16, they chose wisely.

In the Cirino administration, the City will be open to a conversation with the school district on sharing facilities, and additional conversations on other ways to work together to deliver superior services at the lowest cost to taxpayers.

In the meanwhile, we can see GreenJackets football at East Field. The first game of the season will be on July 8 against the Watertown Red & Black.

How a Cirino administration in Glens Falls will work.

glens-falls-collaborative-logoSome of you may know about the Glens Falls Collaborative.

The Glens Falls Collaborative is a civic organization and I have served it from various roles since its founding in 2012. I have been its President since the spring of 2016. The Collaborative is not a political organization. Its work is civic, and its mission is to promote Glens Falls as a desirable place to visit, to work and to live. Here are a few facts about the Collaborative:

  • The Glens Falls Collaborative has done some great things in the past year. Its 2016 Membership encompassed 114 organizations, a record number. In 2012, the Collaborative consisted of a handful of retailers and restaurants. Today’s Collaborative Membership also encompasses artists and art institutions, financial, technical, media, real estate and legal professionals, lodging, human services and wellness providers, civic groups, churches, a town, a city and a political party. As an organization, it is larger, more diverse – and consequently – more capable than ever before.
  • The Collaborative produced events in Glens Falls on 23 different days in 2016. Wing Fest, Pet Fest, Art in the Park (7 days), Take a Bite (8 days), Grandma’s Table, Fit Fest, Take a Bite at the Movies, Boo 2 You, Hometown Holidays and New Year’s Dance Party. This was a record number of days when we delivered on our objective to “Put feet on the street” in Glens Falls.
  • The Collaborative distributed 15,000 visitors’ maps from Sloatsburg (I-87, near NYC) north to Saratoga, Exit 18 and Lake George. That’s up from 4,000 just two years ago. New for 2016, our map included 57 different Members’ events.
  • In 2016, the Collaborative’s Downtown Glens Falls Facebook site grew past 5,000 likes, and promoted Glens Falls with over 60 posts per month.
  • The Collaborative’s role in Glens Falls is vitally important. For measurable evidence, see questions 6, 8 and 10 in the recent Glens Falls Downtown Revitalization Initiative survey results.
  • The cost of Membership has stayed level at $240, and has never been such a good value for promoting our community and our Members’ organizations.

Leadership - Energy - SkillThe Collaborative demonstrates how the Cirino administration will work for Glens Falls.

  • I will work with a wide circle of people and organizations, and engage them to work together on projects for everyone’ benefit.
  • I love Glens Falls, and want more people to visit, work and live here.
  • I will be Glens Falls’s #1 promoter. We deserve a Mayor who is active with Citizens, visitors, businesses and other government organizations and is always promoting Glens Falls.
  • I will be actively communicating the City’s business to you. Does the current administration have a busy social media platform? Is it easy to navigate the City’s website to find what you need? Do you know only from the newspaper, what the City is doing? My administration will be open and transparent in operations and in planning.
  • I understand the value of a dollar. You work hard to earn your income, and then pay over a chunk as property tax. I will treat your tax dollars with respect, and use them wisely. I will deliver good value, and representation, in return for the taxes you must pay.
  • I don’t do all this on my own. The Collaborative has an active Board, involved Members and volunteers. Together, we do great things. As Mayor, I will work collaboratively with our City’s employees, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and neighboring jurisdictions to accomplish greater things for you.
  • I’m running for Mayor because I plan to be more effective for the entire City. The core of the Collaborative’s Membership is in Downtown, and I have been effective there. Glens Falls is more than its Downtown, and I’ll bring my energy, skill and leadership to the entire City.