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Deb Root: Forward Thinking

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From Deb Root, Allegany County Legislator from District 3

What is the 7th generation Principle and how could it have an impact on Allegany County?

The Seventh Generation Principle takes its name from the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee, the founding document of the Iroquois Confederacy, the oldest living participatory democracy on Earth.  It is based on an ancient Iroquois’ philosophy that: “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”

(The great binding law) explains this philosophy, one excerpt that I particularly like is: “Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations…. the unborn of the future nation.”

Today, this principle usually applies to decisions about the energy we use, water and natural resources, and ensuring that our decisions made today are sustainable for the future generations to come.

As local leaders, our role is to adopt policies and keep the county running smoothly. We spend a lot of time down in the weeds. While attending a NYSAC conference a couple of years ago, a take away theme for me was “Forward thinking”.   A session on Climate Change, talked about the next several decades and how this change will affect the Ag Business in NYS.  Another session talked about how AI (Artificial Intelligence) is having an impact today, but also how will it impact future job markets, and existing businesses.   Attending this conference, re-enforced to me that while it is important that we take care of our daily business, it is equally important for us to be” Forward and Strategic Thinkers”, how do the actions we take today impact the “unborn of the future of this county”.

As we plan, make decisions, and take appropriate actions for a successful future, I believe, it is just as important to take the time to acknowledge the successes we achieve along the way. We have had our ups and downs lately, but we have also had several successes in the economic development area, most notably the new waterline to Crossroads and the new Quicklee’s travel center at Crossroads, as well as: the creation of the Wellsville Business Park with over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space; 12 community solar projects in progress for total of approximately 60 Megawatts worth over $100 million and one larger solar project and wind project in development of another 440 Megawatts of power worth over $270 million with others being proposed; $170,000 going to 6 businesses from the Micro enterprise grant to implement their business plans; $2.5 Million Smart Growth grant for downtown revitalization of Alfred; $423,000 ARC Power grant for updating wireless Broadband equipment, the creation of an Outdoor Recreation and Advisory Committee to help coordinate development of all trails; and the launch of “Wild Souls, Wild Places” social media campaign promoting the area to the world, to name just a few. 

Let’s celebrate these successes!

Let’s also acknowledge that we live in a beautiful area with a sense of community where family and friends are important (and oh-by-the-way, have you noticed the Real Estate market is booming) while we continue to look forward and plan for the future of Allegany County.

Debra Root, District III Legislator

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