Commercial growth is important in the city as we always look for new ways to augment our current revenue stream. Within District Three, special attention needs to be placed on improving the downtown area, the Lincoln Avenue corridor and the North Avenue corridor. I subscribe to a smart growth philosophy whereby each development project brought before the City Council is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine its overall benefit. With every development project that takes place in New Rochelle, I expect that jobs will be made available to New Rochelle residents, both during the construction phase and with the final product.
It is time that we start taking a serious stance towards improving the outlook of our planet and its natural resources. With the recent passage of GreeNR, our local sustainability plan, the city of New Rochelle is poised to become a national leader in combining environmental impact with economic impact. For instance, we take great pride in the fact that New Rochelle was recently voted first place at the 25th New York State Drinking Water Taste Test at the New York State Fair.
With so many environmental issues that affect our daily lives, including pollution, flooding and rising energy costs, it is imperative that we act now. The green collar economy, in which I have been very vocal, is one of the fastest industries worldwide; New Rochelle has been active towards the recruitment of green jobs for local residents.
In these tough times of global economic uncertainty, local governments need to be able to provide essential services, but at the same time minimize the impact on taxpayers. The current recession that our economy is experiencing has caused a re-evaluation of the operation of our local government. Sharing services, costs, and responsibilities among different municipal departments, enhancing the opportunity for volunteer services, holding companies doing business in New Rochelle financially accountable, and aggressively pursuing grants at the federal, state, and county level are options that need to be explored more fully as we move into the heart of the 21st century.
For example, I have sponsored legislation, which was passed unanimously, that sets substantial fines for companies that fail to properly restore our streets after construction. I am currently working on a proposal whereby our local Courts would impose community service hours on persons to perform duties for the city, such as picking up litter, that the city can no longer afford.
As we move forward as a district, we need to work together to achieve positive results. Several pressing issues such as crime-prevention, youth services, community building events, and overall civic awareness need to be addressed with a collaborative approach. Enriching our neighborhoods with resources already contained within ourselves is the first step towards a healthy city. People of all different backgrounds need to come together with good ideas and positive energy to further enrich the lives of our wonderful District Three residents.
I was particularly proud of the wonderful response of District Three residents to my beautification day held on August 20, 2011. People from all over the district, with the help of the Community Enrichment Zone, literally cleaned up, block by block, the Lincoln Corridor and surrounding areas. What a tremendous display of unity in the community!