CANANDAIGUA — Town of Canandaigua residents can vote for two of three candidates who are seeking two open seats on the Town Board.
Incumbent Councilman Terry Fennelly and running mate Adeline Rudolph are running on the Republican Party line. Both won primary elections in June. They also were endorsed by the Ontario County Conservative Party, and they are also running on the independent Chosen Spot line.
Ryan Staychock, who serves on the town Planning Board, is an independent and is running on the Canandaigua Forward line.
They are running for four-year seats. The proposed salary for 2022 is $5,371.
Early voting starts Saturday, Oct. 23. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Fennelly, 75, and his wife of 52 years have three children and three grandchildren, with three generations living in town. A retired ceramic engineer and plant manager, Fennelly, who served as a commissioned officer (captain) in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976, has been a town resident for 37 years. He served on the town Planning Board from 2005 to 2007, including a stint as chairman from 2006-07. He has been a member of the Town Board since January 2010.
Rudolph moved to Canandaigua in 1982 when she was 9. After graduating from Hamilton College with a degree in government, she and husband Kurt chose to raise their children, Erich and Addie, in her hometown. Rudolph works for state Sen. Pamela Helming as a caseworker, helping constituents cut through the red tape in Albany. She was previously state sales and marketing director for the New York wineries Glenora, Knapp and Brotherhood. She said she is passionate about community service and currently volunteers as the vice president of the drama boosters club at Canandaigua Academy, on the worship committee at the First Congregational Church and on several town committees.
Staychock, 46, was raised in a Polish-Irish-Catholic family with two older brothers, a hard-working father and, he said, the world’s best mother who has a special place reserved in heaven for dealing with three boys. He is happily married to Emily and proud father to Collin and Caleb who both attend Canandaigua schools and are active in many different activities such as band, football, and playing too many video games. He coaches the woodsmen on the Finger Lakes Community College logging sports team. He is a teacher of conservation at the Finger Lakes Technical Career Center and said it has been a life passion to inspire young people to be active and appreciate nature and recognize that all are stewards of the environment. He has served on the town Planning Board since 2014. In that capacity he served on the recent comprehensive plan update and was co-chair of the 2018 open space, conservation, and scenic views master plan. He said he always voted consistently with town planning laws, and tries to enforce the vision residents expect.
Why they are running
Fennelly: My passion and dedication of service to others and the town of Canandaigua community. I have served the town altogether for almost 15 years since retiring from industry. This town has been a magnificent place in which to raise a family and enjoy the scenic, rural character for which it is known. Having served on the Town Board for several terms, I have acquired a great deal of experience and have been fortunate to help maintain its character through my active participation in governance, land use/zoning code development and infrastructure. Although we have put in place many measures to keep our community vibrant and thriving, we must never relax in our efforts to preserve our lake’s water quality and beauty. There is much more work to be done in managing growth and maintaining the unique character we all desire. I have the experience, desire and drive to make this happen.
Rudolph: After co-authoring our Town Trails Master Plan in 2009, I’ve spent the last dozen years as a volunteer member on several town committees, advising on what direction the town should take with parks, economic development and Complete Streets. As a member of Rotary, I consider myself a “Person of Action” and now it is time for me to have a greater voice in the future of Canandaigua so that my children can choose to someday raise their families in a rural, safe, clean and thriving community.
Staychock: Our children were born at F.F. Thompson Hospital and this is our home. We love the rural character of the town, Canandaigua Lake, great school system, great sports programs, great health care system, and we feel safe because of our law enforcement and emergency responders (especially the Cheshire Fire Department).
The Town Board has time and time again refused to vote yes on issues the electors of this town desire such as more public lake access, more hiking trails, and more protections for our rural character. There is a 2004 open space plan. There is a 2004 Cheshire master plan. There are plans, plans, plans, that the Town Board does not vote to support becoming law. We have an Agriculture Protection District and a Forest Protection District that are only colors on a map because the Town Board has not passed laws that limit development in those areas. Who is going to champion the balance of growth with conservation? Who is going to advocate for Cheshire? Who will advocate for our town to manage development, rather than default to the developers to determine where this occurs? Who is going to advocate for laws so that open space and agricultural areas remain protected and undevelopable for the next 300 years? I will. For me, and my children, and neighbors, and for you — the town of Canandaigua electors.
Where they stand on ways to protect Canandaigua Lake
Fennelly: I believe that a principal effort will be to implement the goals and action steps outlined in the recently adopted 2021 comprehensive plan. This guidance document sums up the path forward to put in place added measures to protect the lake while maintaining managed development. In addition to this plan, we are still implementing the water and sewer master plans developed and adopted during my tenure in office. We designed a sewer system for the Hamlet of Cheshire but it proved ultimately to be too costly for the residents. However, with the federal government’s recently passed American Recovery Program, we may have found a source of funding to make it more economically feasible. We will be updating the cost figures and will be returning to the residents to see what they think. We are also working on a sewer project for County Road 28 residents and will be contacting them soon to gauge interest in moving forward. These efforts are aimed at protecting the lake by removing septic systems which may be faulty from active use. Of course, building and development must be considered as potential threats to the lake. In this area I have been actively involved in developing zoning codes to better manage development by steering it to areas where the threat can be minimized.
Rudolph: We can encourage stewardship of the lake by working with our partners in the Watershed Association and Ontario County Soil and Water. Whenever possible and within the budget, we should consider protecting large available properties with drainage into the lake through direct purchase or Purchase of Development Rights, or PDRs. This would be particularly beneficial in properties connecting to our existing parks and trails system. We need to continue encouraging homeowners to make choices in their yards that benefit lake health as well as recognizing our many responsible agricultural landowners for acting as careful stewards of the land.
Staychock: All three of my priorities work in tandem with each other to protect Canandaigua Lake: Smart growth, open space protection, and sewers in Cheshire. More specifically, first, I want to enhance the support for the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council. Let’s lead an effort around the lake to enhance funding and support for the Council — if there are more resources we can have more projects to support lake water quality. Second, the town should build a stronger “public-nonprofit partnership” with the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association — let’s capitalize on the passion of this association to help fulfill its mission. We can partner to educate the public about harmful algal blooms and invasive weeds, and to bring more science to decision making. Third, I want to start conversations about forever protecting Canandaigua Lake from ever being a water supply for other areas of the country. I never want to see a pipeline taking water from our lake to other parts of the country where fresh water is scarce. I know from experience that there are people out west who have their eyes on the fresh water resources of the Finger Lakes. We need to be proactive and put as many laws in place at every level of government so Canandaigua Lake is protected into perpetuity.
Where they stand on protecting town’s character from over-development
Fennelly: Over the past six to eight years, I have helped develop and adopt code that limits development in steep slope areas, identified natural resource areas to be avoided and revised many of our land use codes to diminish the volume of housing that could be developed. The town recently held a workshop that included all of our various boards and committees with a goal of identifying five strategic action steps from our comp plan that we would work on in 2022. My running mates, Jared Simpson and Adeline Rudolph, participated with myself and about 30 others. Three of the five action steps are specifically aimed at managing growth and directing it toward comp plan identified appropriate areas in the town. Those three steps are: Promote housing/development within identified appropriate areas or growth nodes and discourage development in environmentally sensitive areas and make code revisions as needed; encourage continued agricultural use of viable farmland while discouraging development of those parcels by directing developers to already identified growth nodes; and develop procedures to permanently protect lands with natural significance and support passive recreation on these lands. Taken together the above strategic efforts should limit over development and direct managed growth of future needed housing into appropriate areas.
Rudolph: We need to protect the rural character of our community and ensure that future development is not rushed. All too often, the public is left out of the decision-making process or told after the fact — this needs to change. As a town, we need to take every opportunity to discourage development from destroying our agricultural lands and threatening our lake. Much of this can be accomplished through zoning changes and enforcement as well as adhering to town plans to protect scenic viewsheds, decrease lake erosion and shift new development to areas close to the city line rather than carving more developments from our scenic rural vistas.
One area of particular focus that we need to address is the cost of increased traffic and service costs of large-scale apartment developments. I am concerned about proposed developments currently being reviewed by the Planning Board and their potential impact on runoff into the lake. We can demand quality designs focused on the health of our lake that have a positive impact on our community.
There is no greater honor than being elected to represent your fellow citizens. I will ensure that all Canandaiguans are heard and represented as we spend their hard-earned tax dollars.
Staychock: The town can best protect our character from over development by adopting an open space plan as law (we can name it GOCAN for Great Outdoors Canandaigua), by managing and promoting development near the city limits, and not allowing any high-density development in our rural areas. We will never be able to stop growth (people want to live here for all the right reasons), and therefore the town needs to proactively manage development by passing laws that have goals to protect our rural character. The Town Board has the authority to do this. I will vote yes to protect our rural character.
I support smart growth. We need to balance growth with conservation. It has to go hand and hand with each other. I want to develop a proactive open space plan that protects agricultural areas, important natural areas and establishes community separators. The new Vista Project is a model we can use, but that project/deal took 10 years to complete! Ten years. That is too long to wait to protect target areas. We cannot wait 10 years for every deal to go through — an open space plan will reduce the timing of those transactions to less than 14 months.
Smart growth is good for business and good for the environment. Growth is happening. If the Town Board continues to do nothing about it, then we will continue on the path of urban sprawl — with high-density neighborhoods creeping south down Route 21 and County Rd 32, and into our northern agricultural areas. I don’t want that. So I ask for the support and vote of every person who cares about conserving our rural character. Please visit www.ryanstaychock.com to learn more about me and feel free to email me for any reason at firstname.lastname@example.org.