Parks and open space are integral to Erie’s identity. When I converse with residents about why they are so proud to call Erie home, nearly everyone highlights the beautiful and expansive open space, parks and trails system that interconnect our neighborhoods. I share this feeling as open space, trails and parks was the primary driver in my decision to put down roots in Erie 8 years ago.
To preserve the character, beauty and recreational draw of Erie, I will prioritize investments in our community parks and open space to expand Erie's world-class portfolio of parks, open space and multi-use spaces. As Erie's next Mayor, I will be resolute in requiring developers to adhere to the high standards our Town code specifies versus accepting ‘fee-in-lieu’ for required parks and open space dedications. ‘Fee in lieu’ is a common mechanism developers propose to sidestep Erie’s top-of-the-line open space requirements and provide a cash payment instead of dedicating open space in their development plans. I have been one of the strongest and most vocal opponents to allowing this mechanism over the past 4 years and I plan to be even tougher as Erie’s next Mayor to ensure developers adhere to our open space requirements.
Supporting parks and open space purchases is an investment in tomorrow we must make today for our future generations. Open space makes Erie iconic so we cannot let our focus waver.