Amherst Supervisor Susan J. Grelick says she has 10 goals for the New Year, but that getting people to work together for the common good will be the biggest obstacle.
In remarks prepared for her inaugural address today in the Amherst Museum, the newly re-elected supervisor of Buffalo's largest suburb implores diverse factions of the community "to rise above our differences, roll up our sleeves and make the commitment to work together for the common good of Amherst."
"That is our greatest challenge," Ms. Grelick declares, according to an advance text.
She ticks off these goals for the town to work toward in 1998:
A new townwide master plan.
A deer-management plan.
Improved conservation easement law.
Expanded Neighborhood Improvement Program to stabilize housing values.
Better purchasing and procurement policy.
14-point fiscal-reform program.
Planning for a new senior citizens center.
Money-saving departmental consolidations and the merger of the town's more than 300 streetlighting districts.
"And close to my heart, finding a way" to acquire the rolling, scenic Sisters of St. Francis property on Mill Street, naming it "Sisters Park" and making it south Amherst's answer to the planned Nature View Park in north Amherst.
Ms. Grelick and fellow Democrat Daniel J. Ward, elected to the Town Board in November, were to be sworn into office today.
Republican Town Board members Jane S. Woodward and James P. Hayes and Town Clerk Susan K. Jaros will take their oaths of office during the Town Board's annual organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Ms. Grelick, in a brief interview Wednesday, shied away from assigning priorities to the 10 items on her shopping list for 1998. But if she could achieve only one, she said it would have to be a new master plan to chart the town's course into the 21st century.
Amherst has had various master plans since the early 1970s, but none has ever been adopted by the Town Board.
Instead, the town Planning Board uses the master plans as the basis for the recommendations it makes to the Town Board on zonings and related development matters. Occasionally, the Town Board rejects those recommendations.
"We must move beyond piecemeal rezoning, beyond piecemeal sector plans, beyond piecemeal approaches to our town," Ms. Grelick says in her inaugural speech. "We're one community, and our planning efforts must provide the road map to our shared future."
"And once we have our master plan, our Town Board needs to take the historic next step of adopting it and living by it," she declares.
The master plan won't come cheap.
Ms. Grelick disclosed Wednesday the projected cost at about a half-million dollars.