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November 6, 2017 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia, Law Street.

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Photo submitted by Lynette Celedonia. Send flooding photos to [email protected].

A Batavia Police officer has asked dispatchers to inform the school bus companies that Law Street is not currently passable due to flooding.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: The east-west portion of Ganson Avenue is closed due to flooding and so is a portion of South Jackson Street.

UPDATE 3:24 p.m.: The city's yard waste station on Law Street is closed due to flooding.

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Photo by Steve Ognibene.

UPDATE: Photo of Jackson Avenue by Steve Ognibene and 9156 Clipnock Road, Stafford, by Crista Boldt.

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November 6, 2017 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, batavia, news, notify, Alabama.
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      Paul Hoffman

Paul Robert Hoffman, 43, of South Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with assault, 2nd, strangulation, 2nd, and unlawful imprisonment. Hoffman allegedly struck another person with a hammer during a fight at a location on Knowlesville Road, Alabama, at 8:30 p.m. Friday. He then reportedly choked the person to the point of unconsciousness and prevented the person from leaving. Following the incident, Hoffman allegedly called 9-1-1 requesting assistance for medical attention due to an unknown medical condition. An investigation led to the charges against Hoffman. He was jailed on $75,000 bail. The victim was treated at an area hospital for injuries sustained during the incident and released.

Frank H. McEwan, 18, of Batavia, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, failure to obey a police officer, unsafe turn, unlicensed operation, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, depositing refuse on a public highway, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal nuisance. Cramer J. D'Andre, 18, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and open container. McEwan was stopped at 1 a.m. Oct. 21 on Keeney Road, Warsaw, by State Police for an alleged traffic violation. Troopers alleged that McEwan did not have a driver's license and was violating conditions of his parole. D'Andre was a passenger in the vehicle.

Sarah Ann Malone, 35, of Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Malone is accused of driving on Verona Avenue, Batavia, at 6:04 a.m. Sunday while intoxicated. She was arrested by Arick Perkins.

Dwayne L. Sheffield, 24, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Sheffield allegedly did more than $250 damage to property during a fight at 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. He was jailed without bail.

Randy G. Leach, 31, of Torrey Road, Stafford, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, and unlicensed operation. Leach was stopped for an alleged traffic violation at 9:13 p.m. Oct. 31 on East Avenue, Batavia, by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Jeffrey D. Anderson, 22, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Anderson is accused of failing to provide adequate supervision of a child.

John J. Caez-Gonzalez, 30, of Cunningham Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal trespass. Caez-Gonzalez allegedly entered a dwelling on State Street without permission and after being advised to stay away. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Minnie Marie Henry, 29, no permanent address, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. At 4:51 p.m., Oct. 29, police were flagged down to investigate a disturbance on State Street involving multiple individuals. During the course of the investigation, Henry was allegedly found in possession of narcotics. She was issued an appearance ticket and turned over to State Police on unrelated charges.

Jared M. Adamski, 21, of Krieger Road, Webster, is charged with criminal mischief. Adamski allegedly damaged the property of another person at a location on Bank Street, Batavia, at 6 p.m. Oct. 28. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Julia A. Calzaretta, of Eustis, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and illegal signal. Calzaretta was stopped by State Police at 7:57 p.m. Friday on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

Stephen J. Tomidy, 58, of Le Roy, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate plate lamp. Tomidy was stopped at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday by State Police on Route 33, Stafford.

November 6, 2017 - 8:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, batavia, news, notify.

The Tonawanda Creek crest at 9.5 feet this morning, causing flooding at Kibbe Park and along Walnut Street and Law Street, officials say.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the area and the City of Batavia has alerted residents.

As of 7 a.m., the creek level, measured behind the courthouse, is reported at 7.66 feet, having risen more than 3.5 feet in the previous 12 hours.

The moderate flood level is 10 feet.

The National Weather Service also warns of flooding along West Main Street Road and South Main Street Road, from Batavia to East Pembroke and extending into the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

The flooding will mainly impact roads, according to the weather service, with some residential and commercial flooding.

The City urges residents to remain vigilant and take precautions.

This morning the following roads are closed due to flooding: Route 20 between Route 98 and Brookville, Peaviner, Cookson, Dorman, Cole Road between Route 236 and Mud City, Clipnock between Route 5 and Sweetland.

The flood warning is in effect until 1 p.m., Tuesday.

UPDATE: Submit flooding pictures to [email protected] or use our mobile app for iOS.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.: DOT reports Route 20 has reopened.

November 5, 2017 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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Press release:

This week members of the New York State Department of Homeland Security, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, were in the City of Batavia to train members of the Fire Department in Confined Space Rescues.

This course provided practical training in confined-space hazards; air monitoring and ventilation; space isolation techniques; personal protective equipment, including both supplied air, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and respirators, as well as retrieval systems and retrieval methods. Practical evolutions enabled the members to evaluate a specific confined-space incident and perform the necessary procedures to safely and effectively rescue the victim.

Several confined space entries occur at businesses throughout the City each week. After completing this four-day, 32-hour course, the City of Batavia Fire Department now has 23 new Confined Space Rescue technicians ready to respond 24 hours a day should an incident occur. 

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November 4, 2017 - 4:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire, news, notify.

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fire that occurred at an area motel this morning.

At 8:57 a.m. today the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a fire at the Sunset Motel, located at 4054 W. Main Street Road (Route 5) in the Town of Batavia. Crews from the Town of Batavia Fire Department arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire quickly, keeping the fire contained to one room.

The occupant of the room, Lance Dery -- age 66, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The preliminary investigation indicates that Dery was smoking in his bed, which ignited the blankets and mattress.

Coronor Karen Lang directed Dery be taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy.

The investigation is continuing by the Town of Batavia Fire Department, Genesee County Emergency Management Office and the Sheriff's Office.

(For initial post, click here.)

November 4, 2017 - 12:00pm


St. Joseph School will be honoring Monsignor McCarthy with the Spirit of St. Joe's award at their 58th Annual Popcorn Ball this year! Get your tickets early and come out and show your support for Msgr. McCarthy and St. Joe's! Tickets are now available to purchase at sjsbatavia.org, at the St. Joe's office or by clicking on the link below! 
https://app.etapestry.com/…/StJosep…/PopcornBallTickets.html

November 4, 2017 - 9:08am
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia, news, notify.

A working structure fire was reported at the Sunset Motel at 4054 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. It started in Room #6 Correction: It was not Room 6. A first responder on scene said the doorknob is hot to the touch.

Town of Batavia Fire Department responded. Fire was immediately knocked down. There is one occupant in the room.

UPDATED 9:09 a.m.: Mercy medics squad #1 is on scene.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: "An ambulance won't be needed per command."

UPDATE 10:12 a.m. (By Howard): One person was found deceased in the motel room when firefighters made entry. An investigation has yet to determine if the victim died before the fire started or as a result of the fire. It was a small fire said Town of Batavia Fire Deputy Chief Chad Higgins. "I pulled in on location," Higgins said, "went to the door, the door was hot, tried to make entry through the door, there was too much smoke. Our first engine company was right behind me. They made entry, found one victim, a small fire ...  the fire had pretty much already snuffed itself out. Once we opened the door, we gave it a little more oxygen but we were able to knock the fire down with an extinguisher, so it wasn't a very big fire." Information about the victim isn't being released pending family notification. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

November 3, 2017 - 6:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, St. Jerome Guild, Christmas, batavia.

Press release:

The St. Jerome Guild Inc. annual "Noel Nook" will take place at the Gift Shop located at the Jerome Center at 16 Bank St., Batavia, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4.

All customers will enjoy a 10-percent discount on their entire order, some exclusions apply. The Guild, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, has been serving the healthcare community for decades, and this year we are celebrating our 100th Anniversary!

Enjoy punch and cookies and browse our Christmas and holiday inventory in the Shop and in the huge backroom "Nook" of Snowbabies, Jim Shore figurines, Santas, snowmen; artificial trees and glittered stars; holiday wreaths and sprays, hundreds of elegant and country tree ornaments similar to Pottery Barn and primitive art of tin and wood; canvas art, throws, centerpieces, potpourri, and scented McCall candles, battery-operated candles, candle warmers, frosted lamps, night lights, angels and religious items.

New this year are items from Stonewall Kitchen -- jams, jellies, grilling sauces and dessert toppings -- which are now carried in the shop.

Written expressions are featured on wall art, pillows, and kitchen towels. We also carry a popular variety of wooden walking sticks. Healthcare providers can enjoy stylish lanyards with an assortment of clip-on jewelry. Gift cards are available.

If you like to shop at Giftology then you will find bar accessories of wine stoppers, Corkcicles and Corkcicles beverage cups, "Pilsner Chillers," fruit infusers, and eclectic and new designed metal wine caddies depicting doctors, golfers, nurses, firefighters, musicians, athletes, and gardeners, etc., at a more reasonable price. If you like Anthropologie then you will love our home goods including, aprons, serving pieces, spatulas, mugs, and popular maps.

We feature a variety of brightly-colored holiday florals and wall hangings; Charles Viancini silicone casserole and baking lids, matching aprons, magnets and stoppers.

’Tis the season to wear our ponchos and shawls, in many patterns, along woven glittered caplets, fur-trimmed hats, gorgeous scarves, headbands and gloves. We continue to carry our selection of purses, wristlets and wallets and our "Jerome Collection" jewelry include: semi-precious stone necklaces, necklace sets, bracelets, earrings, and watches. We feature Lottie Dotties, a popular line of reasonably priced silver plate attractive rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Dotties are magnetic of birthstones, pearls, beveled glass and are interchangeable with each piece of jewelry. Our inventory includes Anju jewelry in copper and silver, Janelle bracelets, as seen at Parkleigh, and new to the shop Jane Marie children's collection.

Our "Jerome Baby Collection" of stuffed animals, coats, tummy blankets, knit hats, booties, socks, banks, picture frames, milestone items, plates, utensils and accessories, and children's toys, lunch boxes, cups, plates, and utensil sets at an affordable price.

The Guild sponsors an annual Health Care Professional Scholarship to qualified UMMC employees, who pursue their educational careers. The Guild sponsors the Jerome Center Annual Employee Recognition Day to thank employees for their efforts serving the community. Initiatives providing a comfort bag to patients of the Oncology Center, and children patients of the Jerome Center Urgent Care are comforted with stuffed animals.

The St. Jerome Guild Inc. has fulfilled pledges of $80,000 to the UMMC facilities expansions and other major initiatives. The Guild supports the UMMC/Rochester Regional Health Care Foundation projects as a major corporate sponsor for the annual spring Gala. Guild members donate thousands of volunteer hours at the Gift Shop and at many UMMC fundraising events.

Gift Shop business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. - noon and managed and operated by Guild volunteers. At the annual Membership Tea or throughout the year, new members are welcomed. Members attend regular monthly meetings and guest speakers. The Guild sponsors a daily lottery and anyone can participate.

November 3, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, notify, Le Roy, alexander, batavia, news.

Jeffrey L. Barr is indicted for the crime of attempted murder in the second degree, a Class B violent felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 13 while at 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Town of Batavia that Barr intended to commit the crime of second-degree murder. Specifically, he allegedly intended to cause the death of another person by stabbing the intended murder victim multiple times with a knife. In count two, Barr is accused of first-degree assault, another Class B violent felony. It is alleged in count two that Barr intended to cause serious physical injury to another person and caused such injury by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument -- a knife.

Daniel L. Green is indicted for the crime of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on April 25 in the Town of Le Roy that Green -- for his own sexual arousal or gratification -- did intentionally use or install an imaging device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record a person dressing or undressing or the sexual or other intimate parts of a person at a time when she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. He allegedly did so without the person's knowlege or consent.

Kevin L. White is accused of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on May 31 in the City of Batavia that White unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug with intent to sell it. In count two, he is accused of the crime of escape in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly escaping from custody on May 31 in the city.

Marcos Cacho-Velaz is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 23 in the Town of Alexander that Cacho-Velaz drove a 2006 Chrysler north on Route 98 while intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 23, the defendant knew or had reason to know that his driving privilege was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities and he was allegedly driving under the influence for alcohol or a drug at the time. In count three, he is accused of refusing to submit to a breath test requested by Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Saile. In count four, he is accused of failure to dim headlights. He allegedly failed to dim his headlights when a vehicle with headlamps was approaching ahead from within 500 feet, so that dazzling light interfered with the driver of the approaching vehicle when no exception to dim the lights was applicable. In count five, Cacho-Velaz is accused of consuming or possessing alcohol in a motor vehicle.

November 3, 2017 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A residence on Hutchins Street in the city is being evacuated after the caller reported the stove was malfunctioning and there was an odor of chemicals in the house.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: City Fire back in service.

November 3, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, Grand Jury, notify.

Phillip R. Chin is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 5 in the City of Batavia that Chin knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug with intent to sell it.

In count two, he is accused of the same crime for allegedly knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and these had an aggregate weight of a half ounce or more.

In count three, the defendant is accused of criminally possessing drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count three that Chin knowingly possessed or sold gelatin capsules, glassine envelopes, vials, capsules or other material suitable for packaging individual quantities of narcotic drugs or stimulants. Furthermore, it was allegedly known that these were intended to be used for unlawfully manufacturing, packaging or dispensing a narcotic drug or stimulant.

In count four, the defendant is accused of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count four that Chin knowingly possessed scales or balances used or designed for the purpose of weighing or measuring controlled substances and these were intended to be used for unlawfully manufacturing, packaging or dispensing a narcotic drug or stimulant.

In count five, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count five, that on Oct. 5 in the Town of Batavia, that Chin -- with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another -- falsely made, completed or altered a written instrument. This instrument was purported to be a public record required or authorized by law: a two-page written statement given to an investigator with the New York State Police in the name of another person.

In count six, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, also a Class D felony. It is alleged in count six that on Oct. 5 in the City of Batavia that Chin -- with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure another -- falsely made, completed or altered a written instrument. This instrument was purported to be a public record required or authorized by law: a Genesee County Jail booking card.

In counts seven through 17, Chin is accused of second-degree forgery, all Class D felonies, for his allegedly fraudulent completion of various Genesee County Jail paperwork.

In count 18, he is accused of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a Class E felony, for providing a two-page written statement to an investigator with the New York State Police which contained false information.

In counts 19 through 30, this man is accused of offering false instruments for filing in the first degree, more Class E felonies, for putting false information in all of the allegedly forged paperwork.

(If you're counting, that's two misdemeanors and 28 felonies.)

November 3, 2017 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BOCES, Batavia CTE, batavia, news, schools, education.

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Parents of students and parents of prospective students were able to tour Batavia CTE (BOCES) last night and see firsthand what some of the course offerings are that help prepare students for careers in law enforcement, welding, manufacturing, agriculture, auto repair, cosmetology, culinary arts and other careers.

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November 3, 2017 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Police have finally been able to interview the man who had some sort of liquid sprayed or splashed on him the night of Oct. 24 in a parking lot off East Main Street by three youngsters on bicycles, said Det. Eric Hill.

The man was not injured.

Hill said police still don't know what the liquid was. The initial dispatch said the victim had gasoline sprayed on him, but Hill said the officers who responded reported no odor of gas or any other substance.

Police would still like to talk with the youths, Hill said, and are trying to locate them.

Previously: Police investigating report of man sprayed with fluid in Downtown parking lot a week ago

November 3, 2017 - 10:34am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in GCC, news, history, batavia.

Those who authored common core requirements for schools, de-emphasizing local history, stressing standardized tests and rote memorization, serve to preclude the joy of discovery and independent thinking, said Genesee County Historian Michael Eula, Ph.D.

Visiting museums or archives nurtures the joy of discovering and independent thinking, Eula said.

A local history conference at Genesee Community College on Saturday in Batavia, will explore disaster planning, the state of history in Genesee County, teaching history in classrooms, and Confederate monuments.

Eula will be doing a presentation at 9:15 a.m. on the state of history in Genesee County. Presentations run throughout the day until 2:30 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building, at GCC’s Batavia Campus.

Eula said after three decades of historical practice, he has been continuously awestruck by the levels of commitment, talent and devotion that those in the county display in their quest to discover the history of Genesee County.

A topic in Eula’s presentation is about the practice of history in the classroom.

“[It] is not always connected to the purity of purpose and the energy articulated by our County’s public historians,” Eula said.

History teachers have the task of synthesizing the local history of the county, Eula said.

“Young people – our future – need to be brought more fully into our historical conversations,” Eula said.

Eula said he believes local schools are under pressure from state and federal officials to teach materials that are consistently national and international.

“The tone that is set is that somehow local history has a small part to play in an understanding of how contemporary society came into being,” Eula said.

One consequence of the common core is an erosion of a history, tending to build pride in one’s past, Eula said.

“[It’s] the kind of self-esteem that makes one proud of their community,” Eula said. “This consequence may in fact tell us much about the ideological motivation of those on the state and federal level who seem to view local history with suspicion,” Eula said.

Public and private historians are welcome to attend the conference, as well as history buffs of all ages. The conference is being sponsored by the Genesee Community College History Club and the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies.

A presentation called “Tracing Lineal Heritage/Daughters of the Revolution,” will be at 10:15 a.m., a panel discussion for disaster planning for historical organizations and museums will be at 11 a.m., and a discussion considering Confederate statues, memorials and symbols will be at 1:15 p.m.

Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history, History Club advisor and president of the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies, said in a press release, that they put together a day of interesting programs that should appeal to a wide variety of history-minded folk.

“I am especially interested in the session on disaster planning and the panel discussion about the Confederate monument controversy,” Maxfield said.

Historical agencies and museums are invited to set up displays for visitors to browse.

Registration for the event is $25 and includes a boxed lunch. If you wish to attend sessions without lunch, registration is $12. Those wishing not to have lunch may register the day of the event and pay at the door.

November 2, 2017 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, accidents.

A collision involving three vehicles is reported at Route 5 and Seven Springs Road. One person has a head injury and another has a hand injury. It is blocking traffic. Law enforcement is on scene. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:57 p.m.: The accident is near 5248 E. Main Street Road (Route 5).

November 2, 2017 - 11:54am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A two-car collision with unknown injuries is reported at Jackson and Main streets in Downtown Batavia. City fire, police and Mercy medics are responding.

November 2, 2017 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in city council, batavia, news.

Three at-large City Council seats are up for election Tuesday. There are eight candidates. We asked each candidate to answer five questions and this morning we published their answers verbatim. 

Below are links to each candidate's response:

November 2, 2017 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in city council, news, batavia.

Three at-large City Council seats are up for election Tuesday. There are eight candidates. We asked each candidate to answer five questions and we are publishing the answers verbatim.

Here is the Q&A with Brad Eddy.

If elected, what’s your #1 priority? Our community is my priority, so I plan to always listen to and be the voice of the people in our area. As I have met so many great people across the city, I have heard many times, “No one hears us or cares what we think.”  I want to change that perception by being a true progressive voice for our community and city.

There has been great progress in the city toward revitalizing the core downtown business community. What will you do to accelerate the revitalization process? I will be a strong advocate towards continued downtown development, as well as citywide revitalization. To help accelerate the process, I will work collaboratively with the city and other local officials/entities to prioritize the 10 million dollars the city has received from the state. I will ensure that the money is going to projects that increase the appeal and standard of living for current and future city residents.

What services currently provided by the city should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? I am committed to reevaluating the amount of resources that are given to services by the city and redistributing them to make the most sense/impact for our community.

What business, leadership, or economic training and experience do you have that make you more qualified for a job on the City Council over other candidates? I have spent my professional career leading businesses, both large and small, in the area of Human Resources. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Human Resource Management from Western Governors University, and I hold two Human Resource certifications, a project management certification and am a proud graduate of the Leadership Wyoming class of 2014.  I am currently completing my Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane University Law School.

Being in Human Resources, I am charged with balancing what is right for a business with the needs of their employees. This position has prepared me for the role on City Council. I have the expertise and skills of listening to both sides of an argument while maintaining objectivity and providing unbiased proposals for the best outcome.

What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? When it comes to holding an elected position in government, the community’s residents often look to their officials to represent their best interests and act as a leader. I have read many leadership books throughout my career, and The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell is one that I feel has influenced me the most.

In Maxwell’s work, he teaches that most often the best place to lead is from the middle.  Leadership is not as much about the position you hold as it is about your disposition. I have learned the importance of approaching every situation the right attitude, building strategic relationships, envisioning long-term goals, and dedicating myself to see those goals through to completion. Maxwell’s writing has shaped my perception of what a leader should embody and how I as a leader can have a positive influence on our community.

November 2, 2017 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in city council, news, batavia.

Three at-large City Council seats are up for election Tuesday. There are eight candidates. We asked each candidate to answer five questions and we are publishing the answers verbatim.

Here is the Q&A with Mark Potwora.

If elected, what’s your #1 priority? My first priority, if elected, would educate myself on the protocol for being a member of city council.
I am running on a platform of replacing the city manager. In my opinion, he has presented budgets with higher tax levies year after year.
All this as council cut trash and ambulance services and privatized them. Which I did agree with. We were told that they were big budget items. The incumbents at large have also been on board with these increases in the tax rate. Also, I feel that his solution to the mall is just doubling down on ownership as the answer to all the mall problems. All the city did was agree to do what they were expected to do in the beginning and that maintain the concourse which he didn't do and now ten years later the problem is going to cost more then if the city had been doing it in the first place. Also, it cost the taxpayers more in court and lawyer fees. We need a new manager with skills and vision to not allow in this case the mall, to go to this extreme to be solved. We need a manager responsible to the people. He works for us. As I walked many streets going door to door talking to hundreds of residents getting signatures and introducing myself for the most part the underlying theme I heard was it is was time for a new manager and that we should be out of the mall business and our tax rate should be lowered. No one said we need more brewery/restaurants. In the end, it is all about change at the top and that would be replacing the city manager

There has been great progress in the city toward revitalizing the core downtown business community. What will you do to accelerate the revitalization process? First off I don't know what core businesses you mean. When I look at Main I see a bar/restaurant trying to open for the last couple of years with the help of taxpayer dollars. I see empty storefronts (Carrs building, hair salon and another empty building on the corner. On Jackson, there are a few others. Across the street, I see a mall with many empty storefronts. In fact, the city owns nine of them. No revitalization there. Just a statement that someday they will be filled. I would rather see lower tax rate for all businesses, not just a select few that get abatements or grants. The BID should be part of the solution but that is just another tax on a business which some would say with little results. BDC seems to function as an extended arm of the GCEDC. Seems they need the involvement the GCEDC to move forward on a project. Ex is Arby's. So I would say why are we funding the BDC? Eliminate it and save the taxpayer some money. 

What services currently provided by the city should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? What is the role of city government? Those that live here decide what services they need and can afford. I can only ask for more efficiency in all city departments (DPW, police, fire) after all those who work in those departments are more apt to know where the process can be done better. I don't mean managers I mean those who fight the fires, patrol the streets and maintain the infrastructure. They should be rewarded or compensated for saving taxpayers money.

What business, leadership, or economic training and experience to you have that make you more qualified for a job on the City Council over other candidates? I have worked for a major corporate-owned business, been a member of a union for 30 years, held office statewide for a political party. But I would say what is most important is the many years I have lived in this city. Paid property taxes. Raised a family. Balance my budget every year. Learn how to live with in my means. So I do understand what is takes to maintain a home here in Batavia. I have no conflict of interests.
I do see how many are struggling to pay the taxes that the city imposes on them. but too many are on fixed incomes and are having a hard time making ends meet to stay in those homes that they raised families in for many years.

What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? 
Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut It is a story essay that in reading it I can see where government can take us. That to get equality you need government control. Which IMO is dangerous.

Don't Hurt People And Don't Take Their Stuff, by Matt Kibbie. Title says it all.

November 2, 2017 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in city council, batavia, news.

Three at-large City Council seats are up for election Tuesday. There are eight candidates. We asked each candidate to answer five questions and we are publishing the answers verbatim.

Here is the Q&A with Bob Bialkowski.

If elected, what’s your #1 priority? My #1 priority is to continue to represent the interest of the citizens of Batavia.

There has been great progress in the city toward revitalizing the core downtown business community. What will you do to accelerate the revitalization process? I will work to build the infrastructure that is needed to revitalize all of the community, not just downtown. The best thing government can do for business is to not interfere but to simplify overcomplicated rules and regulations. Our new comprehensive plan should be a step in that direction.

What services currently provided by the city should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? This is for the community to decide. As of this time I have had zero requests to cut any services.

What business, leadership, or economic training and experience to you have that make you more qualified for a job on the City Council over other candidates? I have owned two corporations and have over 40 years of business experience. I retired as an Army officer with 30 years of service and have taken many leadership courses through the years. As an Army Master Aviator and a civilian Commercial pilot with over fifty years experience, I am accustomed to making vital decisions. I still serve as a Coast Guard Auxiliary “Aircraft Commander”.

What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and Government? 

1. His Finest Hours by Graham Stewart. (The War Speeches of Winston Churchill).  

2. Benedict Arnold’s Navy by James L Nelson. (The Rag Tag Fleet that won the American Revolution).

3. Hit the Target by Bill Yenne. (8 Men who let the Eighth Air Force to Victory over the Luftwaffe).

These books were all written about great men in history that accomplished huge deeds for their countries. These three books verify that government as a whole does very little for the people but the people themselves with great resolve can accomplish monumental achievements. In the case of Winston Churchill, one man that was a great Statesman rallied not only his own country but the United States to stand up against tyranny. It is unfortunate that today there are few if any Statesmen in the world. The people should remember that it is their government and it must always be held in check and accountable at all levels.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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