We’re Paying Attention to Our Clarence Community
Clarence Wants A Dog Park
Interest in a community dog park has been growing steadily over the past few years. While concerns over liability and cost tend to dominate the conversation of our town officials, other communities have successfully addressed these issues and have installed well-constructed and well-managed dog parks.
Clarence needs a focused group to take a look at how other towns have managed to build a park. We can then use those efforts as a framework to put together an acceptable and workable proposal for our own dog park. Some may reject the idea as a strain on an already lean town budget, but dog parks can be developed by nonprofit organizations established specifically for this purpose. These nonprofits address funding, planning and development and coordinate with the town government to secure land and resources for the project.
Interested in how this can work? Take a look at how the Paw Park on Smith Road in Amherst came to be at https://www.thepawpark.org/about-the-paw-park.html
Let's Revisit Garbage Pick-Up
Many years ago, a proposition to include waste pickup in the town’s services was defeated in a vote by the people. But a lot has changed since then.
The number of homes, townhomes and condos has exploded in recent years. Because each household must procure their own garbage pickup from private companies, there tends to be duplicative schedules on each and every street. With no central coordination of pickup schedules, we see multiple trucks (regular and recyclables) on multiple days of the week. These heavy trucks stress our already fragile roads, our environment, and the flow of traffic. A windy trash day can spread cardboard, paper, and plastic into yards, roadways, and ponds.
The cost of private pickup is escalating almost on a quarterly basis with inconsistent pricing from household to household. In a neighboring town where trash collection is contracted by the municipality, the 2022 refuse line on a typical resident’s tax bill was $179.18. How does that compare to your annual waste removal bill?
The Clarence Democratic Committee believes it’s time to revisit the idea of having the town negotiate on behalf its citizens for town-wide trash pickup services.
We Are A Historic Agricultural Community
Clarence is a Right to Farm Community. This status protects farmers from nuisance lawsuits that might be brought against them as developments encroach on their farmland. While this protection is important, is it enough to safeguard and preserve our town’s agricultural heritage?
Our beautiful Clarence farms have shaped the character of our town and are a source of pride for many residents. In fact, the agricultural aesthetic is one of its primary attractions for home buyers. Now, as many regions experience food insecurity, we must value also the food resources that are close to home. Buying locally grown products doesn’t just support the local economy; it supports a healthier community. We know how our food is grown when it is grown close to home. It tastes fresher and tends to be higher in nutrients than imported foods. Local agriculture also reduces the impacts of long-haul transportation on the environment.
The Clarence Democratic Committee supports all efforts to maintain a viable agricultural economy. This includes maintaining low rents for town properties that are leased for agricultural purposes, as well as providing incentives for innovative, smart agricultural practices.
Keeping An Eye On Climate Change
And The Environment
The way humans interact with the environment has consequences that can be far reaching and life changing.
Since 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has acted to clean our lakes and rivers, de-smog our air, and remove contaminates from the soil. And now, with the recent Supreme Court ruling that severely limits the authority of the EPA to mandate emission standards, it has become the responsibility of state and local governments to ensure a clean and safe environment.
Our committee is reviewing the NYS Climate Act -- which represents the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the country – to identify best practices for Clarence. We will host presentations by local experts and stewards of the environment; develop programs to promote awareness of environmental issues; and become a resource for information on local impacts of climate change.
The Clarence Democratic Committee is committed to work toward a clean environment that ensures a good quality of life for generations to come.
In 2019, New York State passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Law. This requires a 100% greenhouse gas emission-neutral state by 2050, with 100% emission-free electricity by 2040. It also addresses climate justice and equity to benefit disadvantaged
communities. The Climate Law provided a Climate Action Council to include representatives of state agencies, environmental groups, climate scientists, and power corporations.
Communities across the state are beginning to create and implement their own plans to assist in meeting the goals of the New York State Law. The main areas of focus are: Commercial Energy, Consumption and Waste, Housing and Neighborhood Resiliency, Nature-based
Solutions and Transportation.
In order to identify best practices for the Clarence community, we plan to host those involved at the county level to clarify the goals and depth of the Erie County Climate Action Plan. The Clarence community will then be responsible for developing plans unique to our area and implementing them. This Climate Acton Plan affects everyone both now and in the future. The Clarence Democratic Committee is committed to work toward a clean environment that ensures a good quality of life for generations to come. In the months ahead, more information will be forthcoming.
Representation And Diversity
The Town of Clarence is perceived to be solidly Republican, but that is not factually accurate. As of July 2022 there are 7,305 registered Democrats in Clarence. With registered Republicans standing at 10,840 and total voter registration at 25,271, Democrats make up 42% of the major political party registrations in our town. And with the steady influx of new homebuyers & renters, this Democratic number is clearly growing.
The attraction of Clarence to new residents are many, but there is worrying doubt whether the benefits of lower taxes and rural character are sustainable given rapid residential growth and questionable commercial development. Clarence needs alternative voices and fresh points of view. This is unlikely with the unchanging Republican grip on our governance.
Democrats have no representation on the Town Board and in all elected offices. We are underrepresented on town committees. Women comprise 50% of both the total population and the voting population in Clarence, but they have no representation on the Town Board, holding only one elected office (Town Clerk).
The Clarence Democratic Committee believes that all voices play an important role in the health of our representative democracy. We are committed to work toward fair and equitable representation in our town government.
© 2023 by Clarence Democratic Committee.
Paid For By The Clarence Democratic Committee
PO Box 125, Clarence Center, NY 14032