Grand and Gradual

My comment below, which I delivered publicly at the meeting where the Rochester City Council adopted the DMC Development Plan, were inspired by Planning and Zoning Commissioner Brian Childs' comments at the earlier Planning and Zoning meeting.
 
First, thank you to everyone who is here tonight and all those that provided comment throughout this process for participating in this significant moment for our community.
 
The hard work of many has led us, inexorably, to this moment where, weighing the needs of our current and future residents, we must make a choice.  The choice is between taking control of our future or waiting for our future to happen.  Between empowering our residents and businesses or relying solely on chance.  Between collaboration between our city, region and state or going it alone. 
The vote tonight is not about where our vision ends, but about where it begins.  I believe it begins with a framework and a commitment.
The development plan lays out both a strategy and framework to maximize our local investment. It is about coordinating a public and private partnership. The framework will guide Rochester toward a future that multiplies the effect of our investments by helping us to share a common focus.
 
Today, the gap between the development plan's imagery and shovel ready projects is significant, as indicated by many of our shared concerns.  Closing this gap, however, is exactly the type of work our city excels at.  The commitment tonight is to work openly and transparently, through all local departments and all levels of government, toward the best outcome for Rochester.
 
The vision is grand, but the journey will be gradual.  I would ask everyone to temper their expectations with the knowledge that the needs of the community are many and extend beyond DMC.  Our community faces both practical and principled challenges.  This plan must act as a catalyst for long, lasting policy changes which move our community forward. I will work to make sure this investment does not leave any members of our community behind.
 
I would be remiss if I didn't address the many concerns that have been brought to me, specifically the finances.  I want to be both clear and concise: my support is not a blank check. I recognize the value of economic development, but I also realize the need to limit the burden.  The framework for sharing the responsibility and revenues at a local, regional and state level is clear. Needs of our community beyond DMC will need to be met and my willingness for further sacrifice will be limited.
 
Tonight I support approval of the Destination Medical Center development plan. I am excited to move our community forward as these DMC development plan concepts become policy, partnerships and places.

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