Emerge 2040, the Buki Erie Refocused, the Downtown and the Our West Bayfront plans encourage “concentrating investments in targeted areas,” reasserting “Erie’s human scale” and elevating the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists above those of vehicles.
Erie must embrace efficiency and transparency in both services and the budget.
To streamline and reduce costs of city services, Erie must embrace appropriate technology. The City budget must become a transparent on-line document allowing residents to review the City’s income via taxes, grants and allotments.
The fixed costs, mandated expenses and allocation of any remaining funds must be visible. As has been proposed in other cities, I will undertake a City-wide Fiscal Responsibility Project including activity base costing, tax relief, review of delinquencies, partnering to provide services, reviews of our contract awarding process and other financial transparency tools.
Erie must embrace professionalism, inclusiveness and environmental responsibility.
Teachers, police, firemen/women and city workers must be introduced to a positive, hopeful vision for Erie’s future – and – their responsibility to play a part in the coming transformation. The talents and insights of City workers and others can help us save on budgets and to undertake creative, achievable changes that will revitalize Erie.
I will initiate a Standards of Service Project that will bring transparency to the board nomination process as well as increased pride, professionalism, quality management, customer service, communications and collaborations by cultivating an active pro-active problem-identification and problem-solving culture among municipal employees.
We must work to end practices that perpetuate institutional racism and systemic inequalities, and subject all new policy proposals to scrutiny through a lens of race, equity and inclusion. As we enter into each new project we must draft a community benefit agreement to protect long-time residents, our open spaces, waterfront and natural environment.
Create a Limited LERTA
Previous, well-intended LERTA’s have had the side-effect of promoting demolition. We must create a LERTA that will spur investment, but, will not promote the destruction of existing buildings. Repurposing existing buildings creates more local jobs, less environmental waste and, in general, promotes a sense of place.
Demolition Review Board
To protect Erie’s assets, I would seek the creation of a Demolition Review Board to curtail the loss of viable properties.
End Tax-reduction Incentives for Demolition
My administration would investigate a split-rate tax system to reduce demolitions of viable structures motivated by a desire to lower property taxes.
Engage the National Trust to train youth via their HOPE Crew to help renovate existing buildings providing them with marketable skills, an appreciation of historic structures and pride in this city.
Safe Routes to School
Especially in the wake of school changes, review, identify and enhance all safe routes to school for Erie’s children.
Recognize that some streets serve as the “front door” of the city. We need to review and prioritize enhancement of these corridors to change how our city is perceived from “moment one.” The major east-west arteries include bayfront, 8th and 12th followed by 6th and 10th. North-south arteries include State, Peach, Liberty and Parade.
My administration would investigate the advantages of form-based zoning, modeled after Buffalo’s Green Code that is helping to transform that Great Lake City.
By assigning officers to the same area, week after week, especially when decentralized store-front offices are utilized, he/she will become known to the community and can more effectively defuse conflict and engage in proactive partnerships with residents.
Reinvesting in our community centers across the city will attract youth to gather in protected, positive environments. We need to channel our pre-teens, teens and young adult’s energy, talent and intelligence into productive activities including mid-night basketball, chess, debate, dance, theater, music and more.
Repopulate the City
- Housing Incentives for Police, Fire-fighters, Teachers
- Housing Incentives for Employees of Gannon, UPMC Hamot, Erie Insurance (Employer-Assisted Mortgages)
- Housing Support through Faith Communities
- Support renovate-to-own options for distressed, vacant buildings.
Read more … Repopulating the City