Transparency & Accessibility
Government is for the people. The people deserve to know what their government is doing and be more involved. Smithfield can lead the county in civic engagement and transparency.
Updated Digital Presence
We must rebuild the township website with public use in mind. An established social media presence is necessary to increase accessibility to township functions and compete effectively with other municipalities. In addition, Smithfield should adopt a newsletter program.
Encourage Public Participation
Smithfield must move public meetings to more accessible times and dates, as well as live stream/record public meetings and publish them online. One of our most important duties is to encourage young people to get involved. As a young student, Jacob recognizes the need to educate young people on the functions of a municipality. The best way to do so is to allow for a “Junior Supervisor” position and internship programs. More citizen participation on municipal boards and authorities is necessary.
Environment & Recreation
The Poconos has always been known for its beauty, clean air, and pristine streams. Smithfield is at the center of this preserve, with much of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in our township.
Strengthen Current Protections
Smithfield already has considerable environmental protections on the books. However, we must preserve our pristine water status and work with local authorities to do so. Our wildlife, and our lives, are at stake when bad actors choose to pollute and take advantage of weak regulations.
Expand and Promote Our Parks
Our parks are some of the most beautiful places in our commonwealth and our country. We should strive to promote their use. We should encourage campers, concert groups, and many others to utilize our parks. It would be to our benefit to have routine events sponsored by our township.
We have enormous potential, but have settled for less. With new ideas, cooperation, and partnerships, a prosperous local economy would be born.
Bring in Businesses
Supervisors should explore ways to make Smithfield more economically viable. This merits consideration of the creation of a township position, known in some municipalities, as the Director of Economic Development. That director should seek input from local businesses and other sources in order to bring in new jobs to Smithfield.
Cooperation & Partnerships
Smithfield should have an active presence in the local Chamber of Commerce, local business expos, and other community events. Other valuable partnerships include East Stroudsburg University and East Stroudsburg Area School District. Through these institutions we can create jobs in up-and-coming fields and their alumni network.
End Corporate Welfare
Smithfield Township has an obligation to protect its residents from harm. Corporate welfare, via TIF (tax increment financing) and LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance) programs have cost local taxpayers a great deal since they’ve been used. Taxpayers should not subsidize developers who have poor labor standards (low wages, no benefits) and sorry environmental records. We should reward businesses who pay their taxes, have a positive environment, hold up to high standards, and serve to grow our area.
Our infrastructure has ailed as funding was pulled and politicians broke promises. It is time to deliver rail, repair bridges/roads, and pursue municipal internet.
Smithfield must work with Congresswoman Wild, Congressman Cartwright, and state legislators to petition for funding for projects to create a public passenger rail service. This service would bring unprecedented economic growth to the township, creating thousands of jobs in maintenance, retail, dining, and more. Not only would rail enhance the economy for tourists, it would also create a safer commute and enable locals to partake in recreation in more places.
Roads & Bridges
It is imperative that we seek funding from the state and federal level for upgrades to our township roads. Such upgrades would preserve our roads/bridges, create jobs with fair pay and benefits, and make travel easier (potentially saving drivers money).
End the Internet Monopoly
Like Kutztown, Smithfield should pursue a municipal internet system that enables all residents to access high speed internet, all without creating additional taxes and instead saving money. The information highway can only get more powerful, as it becomes more important for the future of the workforce. Smithfield must lead the way on this issue.