On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, Fresh Air for the Eastside Inc. (FAFE) hosted the FAFE Political Forum in Walworth, NY. The event provided an open invitation to candidates running for federal, state, and local seats an opportunity to address the public regarding the impact that the High Acres Landfill has had on the local community. Residents negatively impacted by High Acres Landfill from both Wayne and Monroe County were invited to hear the candidates’ ideas and solutions for the local dilemma.
The first half of the event focused on FAFE questions, which had been provided to the candidates in advance. While the second half focused on resident questions - screened by FAFE, and not provided to candidates ahead of time.
Candidates in attendance were:
Mark Johns (R, NYS Assembly- 135th District)
Andrew Gilchrist (D, NYS Assembly- 135th District)
Scott Comegys (D, NYS Assembly- 130th District)
Kenan Baldridge (D, Senator- 54th District)
Jen Lunsford (D, Senator- 55th District)
Julie Domaratz (D, Fairport Village Mayor)
Over the past year, residents have become increasingly concerned about operations at the Waste Management run High Acres landfill, and at the reality of Western New York serving as the dumping ground for NYC and Albany. In response to these concerns, candidates pointed to Governor Cuomo’s lack of oversight with regards to the NYSDEC, provided alternative solutions to the current methods of waste disposal at High Acres, emphasized the resident’s individual responsibility for waste, and pushed the need for the community as a whole to move closer to a zero-waste solution. Many of the candidates also reiterated that this is not just a single-town issue—expressing dissatisfaction at closed-door discussions and decisions—and emphasizing that the Town of Perinton, Town of Macedon, and surrounding municipalities need to work together with the community to ensure this issue is appropriately addressed.
In addition to the candidates in attendance, FAFE would like to give special thanks to moderator-Jeffrey Siuda, M.Ed., Riley E. Wheaton DJ & MC Services for the loan of the sound equipment, and the Town of Walworth for providing space for this event.