After watching the video, I could not help but do a little research on Corning. I wanted to know…is Bellevue able to get to this point? I found out that there are some great similarities… Bellevue is 1 square mile, Corning is about 3. Bellevue’s median income is $31,480, Corning’s is $32,780. Corning has a walkable business district, so does Bellevue.
I thought it would be great to get some first hand knowledge on Corning, so I touched base with Corning Mayor, Mr. Rich Negri. He was so enthusiastic about his city, it’s development, and it’s goals and opportunities. It was a really great conversation. What I gathered was that Corning was revived after a devastating flood in 1972. Corning Incorporated Glass Company saw the opportunity to invest into the City of Corning and bring it back to life after the flood. According to Mayor Negri, he accredits Corning Incorporated for ensuring that the city was not left as a ghost town. They’ve made significant donations to development, schools, parks, shopping districts, etc. He also mentioned that associations within Corning work to research what businesses would work well in their city, and follow up by recruiting entrepreneurs and businesses according to their findings. Corning’s Gaffer District & Market Street are historical districts bustling with businesses, restaurants, entertainment, breweries, juice bars, bakeries, pubs, antiques and retail. Market Street was awarded as one of the top 10 most beautiful streets of 2013 for their building restoration & streetscape design.
Mayor Negri was passionate about how diverse the city truly is. Economic development has lured people from all over the world to live, work, and play in Corning. With this diversity of people, comes diversity of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment. While Bellevue doesn’t have a fortune 500 company to invest and develop our borough, we do have tons and tons of great reasons for people to invest here. Location, parking, flat business district, historical store fronts, etc…
Many people ask me what my ultimate goal is for Bellevue. They ask me why I am so passionate about this borough. They ask me why I put in so much time & stress into the ideas and vision behind Liberty in Bellevue. They ask me why I don’t just move to an area that is better than Bellevue.
The answer is simple: I want to see Bellevue reach its full potential, our borough has the bone structure to do it, we just need the right people in place to make it happen. And by make it happen, I mean to seek out and put the trust in the people that make things happen. It is not the job of council to develop our borough, it’s the job of council to put the trust in organizations that develop our borough, give a “yes” vote to those that develop our borough. Not micromanage everything, not road block everything, and certainly not stone wall new ideas. A councils job is simply to legislate, that is all. Legislation needs to support new ideas, new developments, and be willing to take a risk or two for the betterment of the future of our borough.
I want to see the new council seat holders approach our borough with an attitude of “How can we make it work.”, NOT “That won’t work here.”. We’ve heard that phrase for far too long, and it hasn’t done an ounce of good for our town.
Bellevue, do you want to see our borough develop and head in a great direction like Corning, NY, or are you happy with the direction we’re heading right now? I hope to see some great ideas and conversation in the comments!