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There’s reason to take pride in town

I would like to respond to a Nov. 6 commentary headlined, “Sheridan has become stagnant.”

As a resident of Sheridan I was quite surprised at the headline, which indicates that Sheridan has become “stagnant!” I was even more surprised that the content by the writer Susan Bigler indicated Sheridan was in “a rut” that we needed to “climb out of.” The negativity of the article, written by an unsuccessful political candidate was truly disheartening.

The notion that she would bring some benefit to the town was obviously not shared with the residents as indicated by her vote total. In the article, she claims to want to “share my pride in my hometown with the entire area” – instead she portrays it with negativity and while she claims not to be “sorry” for herself her sour grapes article indicates otherwise.

To be clear – Sheridan has so much to offer, not only the residents of the town, but the entire area. We may not have a Welcome sign – but the area on Route 20 alone – an approximately five-mile stretch from Sullivans to Stebbins Road has conservatively 20 small businesses.

Other businesses off the main road continue to provide valuable services as well. For example, Walkers on Route 39 is an impressive operation that processes many local and area grapes and juices and distributes product across the country. The large grape farms that are part of generations of hard work and the produce farmed by providers who work from sun up to sundown to provide fresh local produce to the area are an indication of commitment to the town.

Our town boasts of four wineries that bring in tourists and that are active in community events.

We have greenhouses that offer varieties of flowers and vegetables. We have several garages providing services. Sheridan has a modern firehall with men and women who volunteer to provide safety to the community. There is also a vibrant VFW Post which constantly honors our veterans who are so important to small communities like Sheridan.

We do have an amazing Historical Society that has worked diligently to preserve the history of the town. If there are activities that this group believes would benefit the society or events that will entice people to the site, they should bring them to the Town Board and get the word out. While it is true and unfortunate that we lost our Catholic Church, this was a decision by the Catholic Diocese — not by the parishioners and certainly not the Town.

Sheridan is not, as noted in the article, “losing our identity.” People living in the town know they are Sheridan residents – by their tax bill, not just because they are “voters.”

This raises another issue. People living in Sheridan have reasonable taxes compared to other communities. This is accomplished by having members of the Town Board working to maintain that status. Sheridan Bay Park as an example, was mentioned in this article as well. The town has worked diligently to secure a grant for the repairs and updating of this facility. It is my understanding that this has finally been approved. This work will be completed without additional taxes. We will need this expertise as we work toward additional water districts for the town.

I believe we have representatives who are always open for new ideas and suggestions and we are very fortunate to have good, honest elected officials – all of whom work tirelessly in their private lives but still offer to serve the town with dedication because they believe in its history, future and our people. The elections really have less to do with political affiliation, as suggested, but more to do with the character of the candidate.

Personally, I am proud of our town. I think Sheridan is doing just fine.

JoAnn Niebel is a Sheridan resident.

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