The Community Recovery Fund, Enfield, and Me

Here’s what I said about the Community Recovery Fund before the Enfield Town Board in late-December, 2022:

“It was not a pleasant meeting”

Enfield Councilperson Robert Lynch, addressing the Enfield Town Board during Privilege of the Floor Comments, December 27th, discussing an earlier meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature and its decisions on distribution of Tompkins County’s Community Recovery Fund:

“I just wanted to take a couple minutes to talk about nothing that happened at this Board, but something that happened about six or seven miles away to the east.  And that was a week ago, downtown at the Tompkins County Legislature.  They had a decision to make, and they made it.  They appropriated nearly $6 Million in money under the Community Recovery Program.  The Town of Enfield and its agencies that applied didn’t get a thin dime of that.

“And I could sit here and pontificate for three minutes about what that means for Enfield and what that means for what some people in Tompkins County Government and their consultants think of the Town of Enfield.  But I’ll just put the words of our—one of our elected County legislators, Randy Brown, on the record.  Because he spoke up in favor of Enfield and his own Town of Newfield that also got slighted in many respects

“He (Brown) said at that meeting, I quote, ‘Enfield is completely ignored by the County; Newfield, completely ignored by the County,’ In terms of government funding.  He continued, ‘Nothing happens there.’

“Brown told colleagues that in Enfield, quote, ‘They’re pinching pennies every day; the poorest district in the county.  They’re buying used equipment ‘cause that’s all they can afford.  And yet nothing got funded.  In recognition of all the problems in the county, you didn’t even think about Enfield and Newfield in my mind.’

“He went on in that meeting, quote, ‘I respect what the committee did,’ —that is, the Advisory Committee that made its recommendations and did not  recommend Enfield be funded—He said, ‘I respect what the committee did, and this is definitely water that’s never been paddled through before,’ Brown told legislators moments before he cast his lone dissenting vote.  And he continued, ‘But I feel that the committee didn’t even understand the transformative processes that Newfield and Enfield attempted to do.’

“’Enfield is feeling the exact same way,’ as Newfield is, Brown said.  ‘They’re on their own,’ end of quote.

“There may be opportunities for some applicants, probably most likely the Enfield Community Council, to get something, because there’s one big project in Newfield which would draw about $500,000 in Community Recovery funds.  It’s the Second Wind Cottages proposal.  It’s become controversial down in Newfield.  The Newfield Town Board has resolved against funding that particular proposal.  I’m not going to get into Second Wind tonight.  That’s really not the purpose of what I said.  But if there is money left over, if Second Wind is taken out, of if the County Legislature decides later, next year, to put more money in the pot to fund agencies, we may get some funding—for ECC, maybe the Fire Company, and maybe even the Food Pantry.  We’ll see.

“That’s all I have to say on this.  But it was not a pleasant meeting one week ago.  I attended it.  And Randy Brown spoke up.  And he was about the only one.  And I’ll leave it there.”