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The Times
  • Little Falls community group seeks discourse on issues

  • With the approach of fall elections, individuals connected with a loosely-organized group of residents, business people and others with an interest in the future of Little Falls are hoping to stimulate discussion about what they perceive to be a number of key issues for this city. That’s according to Little...
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  • With the approach of fall elections, individuals connected with a loosely-organized group of residents, business people and others with an interest in the future of Little Falls are hoping to stimulate discussion about what they perceive to be a number of key issues for this city.
    That’s according to Little Falls native Rob Richard, one of the individuals associated with the loosely-organized ad hoc group Main Street First. He was asked to speak on the group’s behalf about their recently formulated “Statement of Principles.”
    As noted on the website they’ve developed, www.mainstreetfirstny.com, the nonpartisan group supports the following key points: the economic revitalization of Little Falls, the development of a comprehensive master plan for economic development, open and transparent government, city-wide residential revitalization, the development of green and sustainable technologies and preservation efforts.
    Richard said the individuals’ interests are rooted in a desire to help revitalize the city and to work constructively.
    He said, “Through the principles, we’re trying to encourage the candidates to think about, engage and talk about these issues as they’re running their various campaigns for mayor, alderperson” and the like.
    They’re hoping the city’s citizens will also bring the issues raised into the dialogue.
    “They’re very important to the future of Little Falls,” he said. “The election is important because it’s the role of these people that are running to carry the city forward.”
    Two members of the informally-organized group — Jeffrey Gressler, who’s running unopposed for an alderman’s seat, and mayoral candidate Margarita “Margie” Widay, who will face off in a primary election against incumbent Robert Peters and Alderwoman Teresa Lee — are seeking city posts.
    Despite that, however, Main Street First is neither supporting nor endorsing any of the candidates, he said.
    In fact, Richard noted it’s “well known in the group that various people within the group are supporting different candidates for mayor and alderperson. I think that’s a strength of the group. Despite who we support or don’t support individually, we all are backing these five principles as things the candidates should address.”
    Richard said people involved with the group would like to see a debate among the city’s candidates, but they don’t think they’re the group that should organize it.
    “It should be a political entity within the city or the county,” he said.
    Main Street First meetings are open to the public. During the summer months, gatherings are held every other Monday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the commercial building at the corner of Salisbury and Main streets.
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