Jean Kessner wants to deconstruct

Was there a specific idea that got you involved in the campaign?

A couple of things. It was a house that was being torn down, a beautiful old Victorian on the southside. Now for the past 20 years around the country there have been successful efforts in deconstruction. There are buildings that need to come down, although not as many as we tear down. If they need to come down, can they be deconstructed? That means take them apart, and sell or make available the parts: beautiful woodworking, marble, brick. Jobs are created. Reusing things instead of landfilling them.

Another thing that gripes me a lot. I'm from a little place called Tell City, Indiana. I love it. I'm not going to knock it. The first house was built in 1858, two or three stories, that and the city hall, everything, pales in comparison to what you find here. The city after all is a collection of people and buildings. Why you incorporate as a city is because you've got something there, and things there are beautiful. But we seem to do the craziest things with what's beautiful here. In Rochester they've torn down the whole downtown. And Auburn the same thing.

You became known as an environmental reporter. The city administration has painted a picture of Syracuse as a "Green City," greener than most. Is that accurate?

I don't know enough about everything that goes into that to say it's accurate. I do believe it's a true hope. And I would hold it as something a public official should be responsible for. Sometimes you need to say, here's what you are. And sometimes it might not be true. But if someone says to me Syracuse is a green city and getting greener and greener, I'll say good for us.

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