Two months ago, a public forum sponsored by Essex Initiatives (EI) was held at College For Every Student in Essex, NY to share information from the organization on its plans to restructure as well as solicit feedback from community members as to what they would like to see happen as Essex moves ahead. The responses we received were numerous; over 75 were collected from both those in attendance as well as via an online absentee form.
EI took careful time to review all submitted feedback and organized those responses thematically. The thematic responses are below for your review. EI is committed to keeping communication as transparent as possible. Making this feedback known to the greater community, town government & local organizations is very much one of EI’s goals and was a main goal of the public forum. We know that with clear and open communication, we can help empower citizens and friends of Essex to help EI organize efforts to support the improvement of the town and of the hamlet of Essex for all residents.
Thank you for your participation and support.
The Findings of Essex Initiatives Public Forum
The following six themes and their supporting ideas were compiled from feedback received at the March 12, 2016 Essex Initiatives public forum held at the CFES Center in Essex. The information was compiled from 75+ responses received from those in attendance, as well as via absentee forms.
Communication: Respondents indicated that they would like to see increased transparency related to town events and local business activities. Regardless of their residential duration (seasonal vs. year-round residents), all respondents care deeply about Essex and want to support it, but only can do so when they are kept abreast of what’s happening.
Commerce: Respondents indicated that they would like to see additional commerce (retail, eateries, medical, lodging, lake access, recreation, small business incubators) both in and outside the Essex hamlet that operate year-round.
Community: Respondents indicated that they would like to see the creation and sponsorship of events that bring all Essex residents together, a priority for the development of empathy, respect and community building. Doing so is seen as an important step in moving Essex ahead.
Affordability/Lifestyle: Respondents indicated that they would like to see improvements in infrastructure (additional pedestrian lighting on Main Street, state-of-the-art broadband, a walking tour of the Essex hamlet), affordable local housing options, reduced taxes and affordable services through grant funding and volunteer efforts.
Trust: Respondents indicated that they would like to see continual improvements made in opening the lines of communication and increased transparency that include all members of the Essex community. Doing so will benefit the development of trusting relationships and allay fears of mistrust and divisiveness.
Planning: Respondents indicated that they would like to see the development of a plan of action that represents the wishes of our broad spectrum of Essex residents. This will increase accountability and participation and help people visualize a road map for future success.
If you have questions or comments, please contact EI President Ken Hughes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.578.9112. Please feel free to also visit our Essex Initiatives Facebook page and leave a comment, question, or thought.
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