MEDINA — Village of Medina Unit President Jason Watts is quick to admit residents he serves absolutely love their hometown and will do just about anything to help sustain their quality of life in this idyllic community.

The village, located in Orleans County, has a population of just over 6,000 residents. The community blossomed after construction of the Erie Canal, which bends as it passes through the village, creating a basin that served as a stopover point. The village is also about a one-hour drive from both Rochester and Buffalo.

“The residents of Medina love their public services, especially our parks and outdoor spaces,” Watts said.
Watts, a motor equipment operator at the village’s Department of Public Works, also said that over past few months, villagers have been flocking to the downtown parks and spending time at the local cemeteries, partially due to the health care crisis and a need for exercise and outdoor recreation during the summer months.

Co-worker Kyle Morgan said the immediate focus on sprucing up pocket parks is a welcome sight for outdoor lovers in the community.

“Right now, we are in the middle of installing a new sidewalk, a new splash pad with five ground spray elements at Pine Street Park,” said Morgan. “The splash pad will be the first of several improvements, with a new playground and a butterfly garden to follow. The kids are going to absolutely love this.”

“We have to be a jack-of-all-trades, so to speak,” said Watts. “Every job we tackle requires us to use a variety of skills, including electrical work, masonry, excavation, plumbing and so much more.”

Community members enjoy the results of our members’ hard work.

“I know village residents appreciate what we do,” said Watts. “The folks who live here are also very proud of where they come from.”

The many services that Medina residents enjoy is the result of maintaining a village government structure. In 2015, village residents voted to keep Medina an incorporated village, defeating a proposal to dissolve the village into the nearby towns of Shelby and Ridgeway.

CSEA led an informational campaign to make sure voters had accurate and detailed knowledge of what a dissolution would have entailed. Dozens of village jobs, including DPW workers and public safety officers, were saved in the process.

— Ove Overmyer

Above, from left, Village of Medina workers Jason Watts and Kyle Morgan look over a newly-poured concrete sidewalk that will soon be a new splash pad.

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About Author

Ove Overmyer is an award winning photojournalist and writer who has promoted the virtue of working people and the value of public service throughout his career. His work has been published by many well-respected international media outlets, including PBS Moyers & Co., Steward Update UCS Worker Institute Cornell ILR, CBS News, The Weather Channel, SCI-FY Channel, Associated Press and LOGO-TV. Before joining the CSEA Communications Department staff in 2015, Overmyer was a CSEA member employed by the City of Rochester and an officer of the union for more than 18 years. He covers a 14 county area of Western New York and lives in Rochester, NY.

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