A letter from Jason West

Dear Editor:

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 fifteen 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 you 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 re-locate 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