Create an actionable strategy to protect and serve our community. I believe that efficiency and communication are key components when addressing the concerns of our residents. Residents want to be heard, and they deserve that opportunity. That is why the first part of this energy plan will be to streamline the complaint procedure for our citizens. The board of trustees will direct the town staff to establish a role within the town government where all energy related complaints will be directed.
I suggest that the most efficient path forward is to utilize our new environmental planner as the direct line of contact for our citizens. Erie residents helped select him, and he brings knowledge and experience this town has never had before. We must maximize this position to its full potential.
We have tried symbolic agreements, full of optics and empty promises. Now it’s time to implement an effective strategy aimed at engaging the industry, the State, and all concerned parties. Erie neighborhoods deserve real protections, not more empty promises. As your mayor, I will make sure that your concerns are heard and that the Board of Trustees can then act in the most effective manner possible.
As your Mayor, I will work with the Board to form an Energy Committee to provide advice and consultation on matters related to oil and gas. As I envision it, this committee will be made up of citizens of Erie who represent a broad spectrum of community voices. I would like to see a 6 person committee comprised of 3 industry knowledgeable residents as well as 3 non-industry residents- guaranteeing that all voices can come together in a civil manner to address this challenge.
Working closely with our environmental planner, the goal of this committee will be to establish an Erie-based forum to raise industry concerns, promote education, knowledge of State Law, keep tabs on innovation, and advocate for Erie's environmental concerns.
We are so fortunate to have such a rich talent pool from which to draw, and we need to capitalize on it. Who better than Erie residents to advocate for our interests? Working together in a civil, productive manner we can bring all of Erie to the table as a collective voice for our town.
Summit of Area Leaders
Erie is far from alone in experiencing the impacts of oil & gas development. Therefore we should move away from our current go-it-alone strategy. As your Mayor I will work to establish a summit of mayors and area leaders to more effectively engage the State and industry. As part of a regional coalition, we would better understand what surrounding communities have done to address citizen concerns and maximize our influence. Our focus should be on what works, what's not working, and the common challenges our communities face.
Let's strip away the politics and divisiveness and focus on finding real regional solutions. No more optics. No more symbolic agreements that are expensive and ineffective. Let's mobilize the incredible resources we have here in Erie to truly lead by example.
As a successful business owner, I've learned the values of working smarter, leveraging resources, and that the best outcomes are achieved through education and cooperation. Erie can lead the way toward finding new ways to balance interests and bring everyone together.
Standard Operating Agreement
Through my 20 years of business experience, I have learned you never enter a negotiation without a plan. Let’s take what we’ll learn from our residents, from experts, from surrounding communities, and establish a new minimum standard for energy operations in Erie. We can do this by mobilizing the best and the brightest. We can do this by encouraging use of the latest technologies. We can do this by taking our message directly to the State legislature. We can do this by engaging the industry in meaningful dialogue. Let our Board of Trustees, demand a solid Standard Operating Agreement for all operators to adhere to if they choose to work in Erie.
To me our choice is simple. Keep spending money on ineffective agreements, keep paying legal bills defending ordinances, all while asking Erie taxpayers to keep footing the bill. If we don't like the laws, let's go try and change them. If we want better BMP's, let's work with the industry to implement them. If we want better rule-making, let's go participate in the COGCC rule-making process. Or we try a new strategy because what we are doing right now isn’t working. It’s time to take Erie in a New Direction.
A common sense business approach is what's needed, and what I promise to bring. Together we can set a new example for the rest of the state for how to effectively engage with the operators, the COGCC, the legislature, and most importantly, our residents. I believe our residents deserve nothing less. Instead of allowing the topic of Energy to divide us, let it unite us!
“Erie should not be divided by our differences, our strength should be in our ability to unite.” -Dan Woog