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Village of Lewiston election: Board candidate Bevacqua has creative input & ideas to support small businesses


Fri, May 6th 2022 10:35 am

My name is Savana (Crapsi) Bevacqua, and I am running for Village of Lewiston trustee. Please allow me to introduce myself and share my vision for the village. I am mother to Guy (8) and Margaux (6), both of whom attend Lew-Port, and have been married to my husband, Alex Bevacqua (Lew-Port ‘06), for 10 years.

I am both a St. Peter’s graduate (1999) and a Lew-Port graduate (2003). I have my AAS in humanities from NCCC and my Bachelor of Science in urban planning from Buffalo State College. I am currently attending graduate school at the University at Buffalo for Master of Urban Planning, with a focus on historic preservation, a focus which very much lends itself to the many needs of our beautiful village. I am a U.S. Navy veteran, having served from 2006-11 as active duty and inactive reserve.

I am an active CrossFit athlete at Lumber City Athletics, having finished in the top 91% in the world for women (35-39) athletes in the 2022 Open. I was invited to compete in the quarterfinals as well as the age group qualifier and occupational qualifier for 2022.

I have served on the Village of Lewiston Planning Board since 2019, and have worked alongside the Historic Planning Commission and Mayor Welch. As a moderate, I easily work across party lines utilizing something that is often lacking in politics – a desire to understand, see the big picture, and choose the option that makes the most sense to the community I represent.

As a potential member of the Board of Trustees, I bring to the table a fresh awareness and knowledge of important technical issues regarding the planning required to improve and make a municipality efficient. Currently, there are no planners on staff for the village, and any consulting is done on a contract, paid from taxpayer funds. A planner addresses a vast array of issues, such as: parking solutions, housing issues within the village, identifying potential ecological impacts projects may have, identifying gaps within the village business market, assisting in historic preservation, and assisting in determining impacts of large-scale projects, among many other contributions.

In my studies, I have worked extensively on projects centered on the needs of the Village of Lewiston. These projects have studied issues such as parking and the short-term rental properties that have popped up within residential neighborhoods. I am interested in developing innovative solutions that protect the integrity of our neighborhoods, as well as support and encourage small businesses and tourism.

I do not believe we have efficiently taken advantage of our incredible tourism industry. The amount of visitors to our village has expanded over the years, and the village has lacked the support and initiatives needed for a proactive approach to both gain the benefits brought by these visitors, while at the same time preserving the quality of life of our residents. I believe that utilizing our tourist season to create income for the village that supports infrastructure (DPW, beautification [Garden Club], parks, recreation, updating village features such as white picket fences, etc.) improves the financial budget of the village, and relieves burden from the taxpayers, without outpricing the benefits of visiting our fantastic restaurants and businesses.

Let’s be honest: Aside from our incredible geographic features, the visitors come for our restaurants and shops. Our mom-and-pop restaurants and boutique shops are the beating heart of our community. Our businesses deserve fair support from the village government. We need creative input and ideas in supporting our small businesses during the long stretches of winter with activities that drive business to the village.

Many municipalities across the country face the same issues and challenges the village faces, but do not have what we have in the Village of Lewiston: great residents, business owners who take great pride in both business and community, a natural beauty unsurpassed in most area, and a willingness to work for the common good.

The good news is that the solutions are out there! I believe the village needs a fresh perspective to these challenges, a working technical knowledge of municipality probability and possibility, and continuous open dialogue with village residents and business owners in order to fully understand the needs and wants of our community. I believe that I bring these attributes to the table, and offer perspectives that are much needed on the Village Board of Trustees.

Thank you for your consideration and for coming out to vote on June 21, 2022.

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