It’s time we take on the ownership of the town

To the Editor:

As many of you know, during my campaign last year for town supervisor, I spoke with hundreds of my neighbors in Knox and learned what is important to them.  The two items that came up most often were basic services (milk and eggs, gas, postal services) and opportunity for growth of businesses. 

I commend Mr. [John] Elberfeld in his letter last week, for pointing out how, decades ago, Knox was a real town.  Knox had shops and stores and churches and a school; a doctor, lawyer, tanner and a carpenter.

How wonderful would that be!  And all we’re asking for are New York State inspections, milk, and gas!  I pray that our town officials will remove their blinders and set aside their own personal agendas in order to make Knox the town it once was — a town that a vast majority of the current residents want it to be.

Despite claims of being pro business in Knox, our town officials are currently trying to shut down a successful small business, Hitmans Towing, owned by a young family, which also employs a few town residents.  This business functioned for three years completely ignored by those same town officials.

Only when Hitmans’ owner approached the town for a letter of approval to submit to the state to become a state inspection station did the town pay attention, to Hitmans’ detriment.  Hitmans’ owners have not only brought tax revenue to Knox from off the Hill with their towing services, they have also built their house on the property and have become full-time residents and taxpayers here.

Hitmans Towing is not the only business in Knox being held back by our town board.  And yet there are several, simple fixes the town board and/or the planning board could do to make things work for these business, thereby providing increased opportunities for resident entrepreneurs and Knox residents with a diverse mix of much needed and desired services.

If you support businesses and business districts in Knox, please come to the next town board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. 

Attending planning board meetings would help as well.  The next one is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m.  During the planning board’s months of discussions over Hitmans Towing, a plan was created for a second business district in Knox — from Lewis Road, moving westward along Route 146 for about six to eight lots.

Some discussions even took this Business District 2 as far west as the Township Tavern!  Wouldn’t that make sense?  A business district encompassing a few miles of a main thoroughfare through town, which already houses six or eight business!

This item was voted down by a 4-to-3 vote of the planning board in October 2013 and never made it to the town board, much less to a public hearing.  And yet the planning board members have been known to say they have no impact on the future of the town/town laws.  Really?

It’s time we take on the ownership of the town, remind our elected and appointed officials who they work for, help them remove said blinders and personal agendas, and help Knox move forward in a more positive direction.

As I stated last fall, creating more of a community feel in our little town takes the participation from everyone. 

Pam Fenoff

Editor’s note: Pam Fenoff is employed as the recording secretary to the Knox Planning Board.

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