Any time we look to tackle an important issue at town hall, we make it a priority to utilize a broad collection of community stakeholders. I have always valued the notion that the best decisions are made only by first gathering a broad and sometimes diverse collection of opinions and viewpoints. At present, town hall is driving two initiatives that, while different in nature, rely on extensive stakeholder participation to confront.
Last year, we joined with the three school systems in Irondequoit; parents, advocates, health care professionals and, most importantly, students, to form a coalition to address the growing drug problem that is plaguing communities like our own throughout the nation. For the past several months, the Drug-Free Irondequoit Together coalition has been hard at work to educate parents and students about the growing dangers of drug use, particularly as we have witnessed a growing opiate addiction throughout the county.
D-FI Together strives to create and support the implementation of program and activities focused on the prevention, education and reduction of substance abuse. I’ll note that we have been working with students from all three high schools in town, and their participation has been both substantial and greatly helpful.
At present, the coalition is interested in garnering some baseline assessments about how drug use is perceived by adults in Irondequoit. This Adult Perception Survey is available on the town website or by visiting the link: surveymonkey.com/r/dfitsurvey. The survey is also available in paper form at town facilities. I encourage adult Irondequoit residents of all ages to help the D-FI Together coalition by taking a few minutes to complete this confidential assessment tool.
On a different note, the town is spearheading an effort to assess the feasibility of a year-round solution to allow motorist to travel across the Bay Outlet in Sea Breeze. I have long argued that it does not make practical sense to sever two communities for seven months of the year. There are numerous reasons that warrant this exercise, none more important than public safety and concern for our first responders.
Our first public meeting was held earlier in April and was very well attended. We received a high volume of very qualitative input from residents from both Irondequoit and Webster. Community feedback is essential in this process, and we want more of it. A survey can be accessed at irondequoit.org that will help us develop a sound alternative to best serve the interests of the community. I thank residents in advance for their participation.