Town supervisor works to make Brighton more diverse, sustainable. He discusses plans for a new community center
By Mike Costanza
Q. What brings you into the office every day?
A. Coming to work every day gives me a chance to make Brighton better for all of us. I also work with great dedicated people, and that is a real joy. I’m also very fortunate to be able to walk to work every day.
Q. What are your priorities for Brighton?
A. I focus on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion. Those are really very important policy drivers.
Q. How has Brighton sought to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive during your time in office?
A. We are the first town to have a diversity, equity and inclusion plan, what we call our IDEA Plan. Based on that plan, we made a decision to hire a chief diversity officer, Miriam Moore. She brings so much to the table in her own personal experience working in the diversity field. We’ve also engaged with other communities. We’ve done a whole raft of things in that area.
Q. What has Brighton done to make its operations more ecologically sustainable?
A. We have a volunteer sustainability oversight committee, people who in many cases make this their professional work. We’re developing our climate action plan. We’ve received a variety of grants over the years, all intended to reduce carbon emissions and make not only town government but the community as a whole more sustainable.
Q. Why did you go into public service after leaving your law practice?
A. Both of my parents held local nonpartisan elected office in the Detroit area. I saw how important community service and public service was in their lives and the difference they made in a community.
Q. Of your accomplishments as supervisor, which one makes you most proud?
A. The Brickyard Trail, I have to say, exceeded my wildest expectations. It is a three-quarter-mile trail that runs through one of the largest, I think the largest, wetland areas so close to downtown Rochester. It’s a multimodal, ADA-compliant trail designed for pedestrians but also for bicycles. I walk on the Brickyard Trail every day. It really gets you away from the hustle and bustle of a fairly dense residential community.
Q. What challenges does the town face right now?
A. One of the things I’ve heard loud and clear is that this community would like to see us develop a community center that meets community needs.
Q. Where is the town in the process of creating a community center?
A. We have a consultant who we retained to do a study. There are a few different approaches that we could take. We could buy an existing property and develop it. We could partner with an existing community organization, like the JCC [the Lewis S. Wolk JCC of Greater Rochester] for example, or we could build a new community center facility on town-owned land. Our consultant is reviewing those options in the context of a lot of community input.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I walk, I play golf. This weekend was kind of special. There are a lot of Brighton’s in the world, but we all descend from Brighton on the south shore of England. Brighton has a soccer club, the Brighton and Hove Albion (Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club) in the Premier League, the highest soccer league in England and the world. I’m not as big a soccer fan as I am, say, baseball or football but I’ve really been taken by Brighton. They were recently playing as part of the Premier League’s American tour. I drove down to New Jersey to watch Brighton play Newcastle in a soccer match. The stadium was sold out.
Photo: Bill Moehle spent 33 years as a lawyer in private practice, the last 19 of them as the head of his own firm, the Law Office of William W. Moehle. In addition to serving as Brighton town supervisor, he is currently president of the New York State Association of Towns.