Back in October, I hosted four “Neighborhood Conversations” around New Rochelle. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a link to my presentation. (This footage is from the final meeting at New Rochelle High School.)
At each of these conversations, I used an interactive application called “slido” to survey the audience and invite questions. Some big takeaways:
• Infrastructure emerged as the public’s top priority, way ahead of everything else. The good news is that the City’s 10-Year Capital Budget invests heavily in roads and other long-term assets, but it was evident that many residents want to do even more.
• Economic development was the chief focus of many questions, with specific inquiries related to fiscal impacts, student generation, construction jobs, and traffic. Given the pace and scale of change in our downtown area, this subject demands ongoing dialogue.
• By about a 2-1 margin, residents believe that New Rochelle is moving in the right direction. For a public official, that’s a very encouraging sign, but I am mindful that this also leaves a sizable minority with serious concerns, and I feel a responsibility to address and engage these critical perspectives, too.
Were these opinions reflective of our community as a whole? That’s hard to say. The folks who choose to attend meetings like this may not be a statistically representative sample of New Rochelle. But, regardless, I was very grateful for the constructive feedback and input.