Editor's note: This letter was issued at the Monday night Town of Waddington Board meeting.
Dear Waddington Town Board and Community Members:
I believe that we share a common goal of doing what is best for the community of Waddington which we all cherish. Unfortunately, the past few months have been difficult for the Board and many community members as we have had important and sometimes contentious discussions regarding future land uses for the former NYPA surplus lands now owned by the Town.
Ten years ago this close-knit community became divided over Leishman Point (which was one of the parcels returned to the Town as part of the relicensing agreement) and I’m concerned that the events over the past several months could potentially polarize the community once again. I do not want to see this happen.
The advantage that we currently have that we did not ten years ago is the community created Town of Waddington Strategic Economic Development plan that has already surveyed the community and provided a road map for achieving our common goals. A large part of this plan, which was adopted by the Town, includes goals and strategies for utilization and development of existing land assets including Leishman Point, Whitehouse Bay, and old River Road parcels.
The plan states that the top land uses for the old River Road parcels, as chosen through the public participation process, include residential development, campgrounds, cabins, trails, recreational development and selling land to the adjoining land owners. To ensure that these land uses reflect the desired outcome of providing the maximum benefit to the town, the plan suggests that a cost/benefit analysis be performed and that the public is informed of the results and given an opportunity to provide input via a public forum.
Moving forward, I recommend that the Town Board do what is the best interest of the majority of the residents of Waddington and begin implementing the recommendations of the strategic plan. This is the best way to avert any further division amongst residents and help redevelop the town collectively and cooperatively.
We can learn from the past and move forward together in a positive and common direction – realizing that no-one is going to get everything that they want and that compromise will be necessary. I am hopeful that the Board and residents will work together on this and other important issues and that Waddington’s best days are on the horizon.
Mark Scott, Waddington Town Supervisor