Oct. 9—MASSENA — The latest meeting to discuss the Massena Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan drew about half a dozen people who said they would like to see more community involvement.
Full details of the 15 proposals discussed at the meeting are available online at wdt.me/pyM7dK. Further details on the local waterfront revitalization program are available at wdt.me/Rfwvem.
“The next step in this process is for people who aren’t there, we’d like to see them contribute online,” said Robert J. Murphy Jr., the project’s senior community planner at Barton & Loguidice, the contract company. with the village. Assist the local Waterfront Revitalization Committee in developing the plan.
“And how are you going to broadcast it to let people know?” Bruce Serviss asked.
Mr Murphy said they could post the information on social media and distribute flyers with a link to the information.
Mr. Serviss said he learned about the meeting on social media two hours before it was held.
“I don’t read everything. I don’t get the newspaper like I used to,” he said.
Mr. Murphy suggested spreading the information in social circles could help spread the word.
“Just say, ‘Hey, go check out this website,'” he said.
“That’s the hardest part of anything new is getting it out to the public,” Martha Slack said. “Like Bruce said, I saw it on Facebook. Otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it.”
She said many people aren’t on social media, getting the newspaper, or listening to the radio, where information could get out. She said that in the past, people got their information from local media, such as newspapers and radio stations.
“I wonder if, like Bruce just said, flyers in service clubs. You know, the Elks, Amvets, American Legion, VFW, churches, schools,” Ms. Slack said.
Village administrator Monique N. Chatland, who sits on the committee, said she posted the information on social media and the village’s website and emailed more than 50 people to let them know. Of the reunion.
“Several people actually reached out and said they couldn’t come for different reasons. But any recommendations or help with information I would appreciate,” she said.
Mr. Murphy said there would be a third public meeting.
“If we can find another way to get the word out, we can try to do that as well,” he said.
But, he said, the lack of participation was a concern.
“Any plan is a function of who is going to help implement it, who is going to champion those ideas. You could develop the greatest plan of all time. If it sits on the shelf, it won’t be implemented. You you need engaged people who want to push them through. That’s why it’s important to have a strong public engagement, which we hope we can work on a bit more,” Murphy said.
“I think our biggest drawback is involving the audience,” Ms. Slack said. “I think of things that happened here, and maybe I’m off the mark, but I think the last big thing that was supported was the setting up of the arena. People were behind it and, in hell or in the open water, Massena was going to have an arena, and we got it because we had the audience, we had the support and unfortunately we don’t see it anymore.
“You had a group that did it too. It wasn’t just you and me sitting here,” Mr Serviss said.
Mr. Murphy suggested establishing an organization that could get things done, separate from the village government. But, Ms. Chatland said, it hasn’t worked in the past with various committees. She said it was difficult to keep people engaged over a period of time.
“I think in general there are people who want to help you, but somehow you have to find the right group and the right time. It’s just continuous pressure because it’s really is what it takes,” said William Fiacco.
Aaron T. Hardy suggested that the biggest problem was that individuals want “instant gratification”.
“For someone to say, ‘Okay, this is a project we want to do, and to be honest with you, we’re not going to see the benefits of it for another five years. Five years is a very long time for someone to keep pushing for that,” he said.
“Let people know upfront. That’s the most important thing because I’m going to tell you what, a lot of people think it’s going to happen overnight,” Mr Serviss said.