Friday, April 29, 2011

Jason's 100 Ideas for New Paltz

Jason's List of 100 Ideas for New Paltz

1. form a public power utility
2. buy the streetlights, run ‘em on solar
3.  require curbside compost collection
4.  expand municipal compost
5.  expand the reed beds
6.  protect wetlands in the village
7.  limit the properties affected by a wetlands law
8.  get rid of poison ivy in parks
9.  ban pesticides
10. municipal garbage collection
11. make all new buildings green buildings
12. move the village dpw garage
13. change which fire station is the main location
14. move village hall
15. replace village hall with dowtown-type development
16. pay for new village offices with development rights
17. skate park
18. clean up medians and other overlooked public spaces
19. develop a northern gateway into the village along route 32
20. grow the downtown uptown
21. grow the downtown up towards the college
22. make ohioville a hamlet again
23. make the village gateway district mixed use
24. outlaw subsidized sprawl
25. create the tools necessary to outlaw subsidized sprawl
26. shift from use-based zoning to form-based zoning
27. lower rent
28. keep buildings near the street
29. no more mcmansions
30. raise building height
31. ban chain stores
32. full time work, full time pay
33. create a pocket park
34. create more public art
35. fund more public art
36. require mandatory paid sick time for everyone in new paltz
37. needle exchange
38. re-think the DARE program
39. simplify approvals for parades and park use
40. create a park at the water treatment plant
41. fix the springtown road boat launch
42. should the village be getting rent from watchtower farms?
43. biodiesel
44. plan tree plantings for the effects of global warming on forests
45. figure out new paltz’s collective carbon footprint
46. lay out concrete step-by-step plans for carbon reduction
47. sign the town on to the united nations urban environmental accords
48. plan programs for new paltz to meet the five-star rating of the u.n. urban environmental accords
49. narrow north chestnut street/ route 32
50. provide developers with trained green building professionals
51. encourage investment in long-term, capital-heavy green building practices
52. put living roofs on bus shelters
53. make the bus look like a trolley
54. create a park-and-ride to the mountaints bus loop
55. make the bus stops more convenient
56. make the bus routes easier to understand
57. make the bus stops more convenient
58. make the bus as frequent as possible
59. make the bus free
60. make the bus more frequent
61. finish creating the millbrook greenway
62. make the crosswalks look like they’re made of brick
63. make huguenot street look like a dirt road again
64. expand the inlaid brick sidewalks to main street
65. re-design main street for more people fewer cars
66. narrow main street for more sidewalk cafes and community-building loitering
67. replace some cars with more bikes
68. narrow plattekill avenue
69. keep the town rural 1
70. keep the town rural 2
71. keep the town rural 3
72. try to find more places for new hamlets
73. create a heating oil co-op
74. create the city of new paltz
75. use the industrial and commercial incentive board to create green collar jobs
76. use the revolving loan fund to encourage green-collar jobs
77. use instant runoff voting
78. use runoff elections
79. make the middle school green
80. clear the snow off the sidewalks, too
81. educate about tenants’ rights
82. educate about domestic violence
83. elect the town council by district
84. elect the town council by party
85. use our remaining water wisely
86. figure out how much water we have left
87. build a hidden parking garage
88. encourage more artists space
89. set a minimum amount of affordable housing
90. define “affordable”
91. create a local currency
92. make it easier for locals to go to suny new paltz
93. pave the streets with porous asphalt
94. abolish corporate personhood
95. recognize the rights of nature
96. unclog truck traffic on horsenden
97. re-route route 32 north
98. plant a buffer along the wallkill river
99. yank out invasive species
100. use only native plants when landscaping

Who needs a lawn sign?

New York Times, March 2004 - Mayor with a Mission

Jason West, the mayor of the little Hudson Valley village of New Paltz who married 25 gay couples last month before receiving a court injunction to stop, has been thinking about gay marriage for a long time. In fact, immediately after taking office last summer, the two things the 27-year-old asked his new village attorney to check on were, first, the state and local beaver trapping laws, since a dog had recently been caught and killed in a beaver trap on the old Bienstock property -- a huge New Paltz scandal that was soon labeled Beavergate; and second, whether a mayor could perform gay marriages. The attorney, Spencer McLaughlin, is a Republican legislator from Orange County and a former deputy executive director of the New York City Human Rights Commission under Ed Koch. That West would turn to a Republican for advice was a surprise to the people who thought the mayor, who was elected on the Green Party line, was a radical liberal activist about to turn the town into a socialist enclave. In his reply to West, McLaughlin noted that the law is unclear. ''That's because the laws were written around the late 19th century, and no one ever conceived of wanting to do this then,'' McLaughlin said recently. The attorney ended his memo to mayor saying, ''That's a very long-winded explanation of why you can't perform a same-sex marriage, but does not address the issue of whether you should or not.''

Read more here

Ryan Cronin - West is the Best!

Ryan Cronin's painting, being mass produced as 24"x24" campaign posters
for the last weekend of Get Out the Vote. Don't forget to vote May 3rd!

Facebook - I'm voting for Jason West on May 3rd

New Paltz Times - Democracy at work by Mike Townsend

Democracy at work NEW PALTZ Village Board election draws out impressive 13 candidates
by Mike Townshend

Read more: New Paltz Times - Democracy at work NEW PALTZ Village Board election draws out impressive 13 candidates

Jason West, who is running for a second, non-consecutive term as mayor, said he’d like to see a New Paltz that people could afford to live in from college student, to young family, to homeowner all the way to senior citizens.

“I think anyone who wants to should be able to afford to live here,” West said. In a general way, the former mayor said he’d like to see New Paltz remain the kind of place that welcomed college students with open arms -- a diverse place where art could flourish.

West, who came to New Paltz in 1995 for college and graduated with a visual arts and history degree, has run a house-painting business in town. In terms of the problems he saw facing the village now, West said that “volunteers are leaving or not being recruited,” the village’s infrastructure needs continued and diligent repair and the morale at the New Paltz Fire Department still needs to recover from an all-time low -- which saw the chief resign and more than 20 volunteers quit the ranks within four years.

“But these are not new issues,” he said, adding that all new mayors inherited a laundry list of continuing problems to solve.

In defense of his time as mayor, West pointed to the various boards and subcommittees he’d helped to form -- including the Landlord-Tenant Relations Council, the environmental conservation group and the Senior Advisory Committee.

Specifically, West would like to grow local businesses by expanding the downtown area onto Route 32 -- allowing for newer businesses to gain a foothold. “We need more Main Street,” he explained.

Like Gallucci, West also said he’d use his first month in office to put his house in order at Village Hall. However, he stressed his desire to talk to village employees at all levels to learn where the problems were, and talking to the village engineer and lawyer to get a grounding on the current situation -- as well as getting to know the new board members.

If elected, West said he would likely spend 40 to 60 hours each week at Village Hall and would serve the office of mayor as a full-time commitment.


Jason West's Letter to the Editor - I ask for your vote on May 3

Congressman Barney Frank has a saying, “Government is just the name we give to those things we choose to do together.” I know our village can do great things together, because I’ve seen it and been a part of it for over 15 years.

Do you want a New Paltz that’s affordable to all who want to live here, where everyone is respected and listened to -- whether you’re here to study, raise a family, retire, or just visit? We need rentals that are healthy and safe and homes that are economically within reach of those of us who live and work here.

Do you want a New Paltz where you can teach your kids how to ride a bike in front of a house you can afford, and know that there’s a place for you here when I retire?

Do you want clean water, clean air and clean energy? There are a tremendous number of committed environmental scientists and activists who live in New Paltz. We need to once again harness their collective experience and dedication in order to find ways to provide services and plan for the future in the greenest way possible.

Do you want more locally-owned businesses and family farms and open space protected? There are few, if any, vacant storefronts in our village, and what that tells me is that there are more people who want to start or relocate businesses here than we are providing room for.

With a SUNY- and ecotourism-based economy, we can’t afford to pass up the opportunity to attract more small businesses to our community; agriculture and business with fewer than a hundred employees are far and away the most powerful engines of our national economy and play a similarly crucial role in New Paltz.

Do you want a New Paltz where more of us are engaged in our local government, where volunteers, firefighters, municipal employees and the public are treated with respect, given a fair hearing and have every opportunity to volunteer their time to improve our neighborhoods?

These aren’t new ideas. Many of them are common sense and many will take time. I’ve got the experience, the dedication, the principles and track record to accomplish them with your help.

That’s the New Paltz I will work for. If you believe, like I do, that we can do this together, I would appreciate your vote on May 3.

Jason West

New Paltz