Baldwinsville After reading all of the news in the last few weeks about the Northwest area YMCA: Village of Baldwinsville and Town of Van Buren resolutions and pledges of support; "anonymous" $500k donation; the JAM ad on the back of the Messenger this week; and finally the RCA Board decision to back the YMCA at the 98,000 square foot size, I have to ask why the YMCA has become a political issue?
Whether you agree with the Planning Board decision or not, for the YMCA officials/donors to let their group become pawns for political change is shameful. People/candidates like to point out the phone survey conducted in 2010. The over 80 percent of citizens want the "Y" at that corner statistic is what bothers me the most. How many people were actually polled in the survey? Answer: 604. How many people polled said they would actually join the YMCA? Answer: 64 percent. Let me put this into perspective. More than 550 people signed my petition to allow me to run for town supervisor. This is about 30 more people than favored the Y in the phone poll. This does not mean our entire town wants me to be town supervisor. Based on this poll, more than 80 percent of people want the Y built there, but about only two-thirds will actually pay to belong. Here is one more fact I learned about the YMCA at Drakes and 31: Day care will still be at the Ice Rink location. You will still have to go there to pick up children from after school day care. Even at 98,000 square feet, there is no plan for this to move there.
This is the great thing about statistics. Presented one way, they show great support. When given the rest of the data to go along with the statistics, they seem to pale. If the YMCA is legally built, I will live with the decision, as a resident of Radisson and Lysander. It will have a direct impact on my life if it is built on the corner of Drakes and 31. If elected town supervisor, I will let this issue "play out" in the Planning Board, where it legally belongs. I have my own opinions on the issue, but that is all they are, my opinions. The Planning Board has to look at legal issues, and some intangibles. This is not an easy task.
To have a political group "offer" to give money to the Y group to sue our town is wrong. To have the Radisson Community Association Board "speak" for its residents, which they know are divided on the issue, is also wrong. There are many other issues directly related to running our local government our candidates should be concerned with. Vote for the candidates that will try and resolve all of the issues in your town, not just the issues bankrolling them.
Kevin Rode is a Lysander supervisor candidate.