Hey Mr. Mayor… An interview with Steve Noble

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Kingston Mayor Steve Noble with his wife Julie and their son Matthew.

The new year brings on a lot of changes. A new season, new diets, gym memberships and maybe a new job… Well, definitely a new job for Kingston’s new mayor, Steve Noble. With almost 2 months under his political belt, we had the chance to sit down and talk all things Kingston and greenspaces with our exciting new Mr. Mayor.

What inspired you to run for mayor?
I found myself saying that “I wish” the city could do this or that “ I hoped” the city would get this done and I realized, that while I was already working for City Government, I still was somewhat on the sidelines and that instead of waiting for the changes that I believe the community wanted, I should jump into the mix and take more of a leadership role.

I also have a five year old son, and I want his childhood to be as good as mine was, and I want him to be able to live here when he is older, so we need a thriving, sustainable community for that to happen, and I hope I can help move us that direction.

Why did you initially form the Kingston Land Trust?
When I co-founded the Kingston Land Trust with Arthur Zackiewicz, my main interest was preserving what was left of our urban greenspace in Kingston. While we have a large amount of parkland for a city our size, much of it was more traditional parkland (ball fields, pools, playing fields), and I felt we didn’t have the greenspace for nature appreciation, walking trails, and for biological diversity. We were not being serviced by other land trusts in the area and I knew the KLT could be a unique urban land trust.

How do you think the completion of the Kingston Greenline will improve people’s experience of Kingston.
The Kingston Greenline will help connect people in Kingston to each other and to the greenspaces that encircle our city. A park, a trail is only good for people if people have access to it and I believe the Kingston Greenline will do that and will continue to expand the urban greenspace in our city.

Do you think the Kingston Greenline will improve tourism?
I believe the Greenline, along with improvements to our park system will continue to attract those who come to our region for an outdoor experience. Many come here for the Catskills, the Hudson River, or the Rondout Creek, but many are looking for smaller, more intimate escapes from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and that is where the Greenline comes into play.

A major concern for many Kingston residents is parking. What is the city doing to address this concern?
Parking is an issue in every community in this country, however,  if we are smart about it, parking can be managed effectively and alleviate many of the concerns residents have. As we improve our non-motorized and motorized transportation systems in the City, I also believe our parking system will improve as less people will feel the need to drive around our city.

How can people get involved to make the most of their community parks?
I believe it is important for individuals to understand what our parks and open spaces have to offer. The Kingston Parks and Recreation Department offers a map, both in English and Spanish that discusses all currently available amenities in each of our parks. The Department also offers a variety of free and low cost programs that encourage people to USE their park system. If people don’t USE their park system, they risk losing it.

What do you love the most about Kingston?
I love its size. Everything about this city is the right size. It’s small enough that you can know your neighbors, walk to the corner store, and feel as though you can still make an impact on your community, but yet its large enough to still attract a diversity of people, opportunities and employers.

Who is your role model?
My current role model is my 5 year old son Matthew. Each day, he starts his day fresh, excited to learn, excited to play and has only love in his heart. If I can emulate that, it’s a good day.

Okay Steve, it’s time for… SPEED ROUND:
Fave Color: blue
Fave Movie: Moulin Rouge!
Fave Band: Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones
Fave Food: pub food including the beer
Fave Book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

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