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April 27, 2010 - 3:22pm

Batavia supervisor says state should have accurate data before restriping Ellicott

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Ellicott Street.

Remember the two Town of Batavia employees we found at Main and Ellicott one day last week counting cars?

countingcars.jpgA few days later, I ran into Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post and he explained to me why what they were doing was so important.

The town wants to make sure the state is working with up-to-date, accurate data before making a decision to reduce Ellicott Street from two lanes in each direction to one, with a turn lane down the center.

Disrupting traffic flow on Ellicott, Post said, could significantly hurt four of the county's biggest employers -- Hanson Aggregates, Chapin Industries, Graham Manufacturing and O-AT-KA Milk Cooperative. 

All four rely on big trucks being able rumble down Ellicott and if it turned out that reducing the number of lanes on the street through both the city and town added minutes to each trip, that could add up to a truck load of money.

Post said most of those trucks cost about $75 to $85 per hour to operate, so a five-minute travel delay adds about $7.50 to the cost of moving product or material.

"Ultimately, somebody has to pay for that delay," Post said.

And it's not just the local businesses that rely on smooth sailing down Ellicott, a lot of Western New York truck traffic passes through Batavia on Route 63.

By making the effort to get an accurate count a multi-jurisdiction effort, Post said he hopes the Department of Transportation will have better data to work with.

"The state has had budget cutbacks just like everybody else," Post said, explaining why a multi-agency approach made sense.

There were counters from the DOT out at the same time as the town employees.

As for using human counters instead of automatic counters in rubber hoses laid across the roadway, Post said people can pay attention to where cars turn, not just that they passed over a certain spot. Also, since we're not out of snow season yet, the counting boxes could be easily damaged if plowers were put back into action. He said costwise, it doesn't make that much difference -- a lot of boxes would have needed to be placed on Main and Ellicott to get an accurate picture of traffic patterns.

"This is just an effort to find all the most accurate and up-to-date information possible," Post said. "This is a major project. We want to get it right. There's the old saying, 'measure twice, cut once.'"

Robert Caplick
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That is the last thing they need too do is make that into 2 lanes..., Yes a turning Lane would be great, hard enough getting through there, plus even harder running a business on that end of town. Been there done that...
Joe Lullo
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Well, all I can say is thank you for making Oak street 1 lane so that a total of 2 cars can park there once in a while
Mark Janofsky
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It’s my understanding that the reason for the lane reduction on Ellicott Street is for accident and speed mitigation. If Oak Street is an indication of what we can expect, I’m all for it. Accidents appear to have decreased and average speed is definitely down with less need for enforcement. I guess Mr. Post is more concerned with moving large trucks quickly through our city than he is for our safety. A message to the owners of the companies Mr. Post mentioned: If your fleet managers are sending trucks through the center of Batavia between the hours of 4:30PM – 6:30PM (traffic count hours), you may want to consider replacing them with a box of rocks. You can count on a box of rock not to make such a costly mistake.
Peter O'Brien
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" I guess Mr. Post is more concerned with moving large trucks quickly through our city than he is for our safety." Way to mis-characterize his words... I live on Ellicott on the north side of the street. I don't give a damn about parking. I want to be able to pass a truck that can't move.
Mark Janofsky
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"mis-characterize his words"? Let's crunch some numbers to show how off base Mr. Post is. The following are cost set by actuaries for each type/level of accident: https://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/policy-and-strategy/darb/dai-unit/ttss/... Fatal $3,500,000 Injury $95,000 Property damage only $3,800 Using Mr. Post's average truck cost of $80/hr. Each average property damage only accident avoided is worth 47 hours (2 days) of delay. Each average injury accident avoided is worth 1180 hours (49 days) of delay. Each average fatal accident avoided is worth 43750 hours (5 years) of delay. The 3 lane configuration appears to be working on Oak St. and Oak has the same amount of traffic, if not more, than Ellicott. If one less person get hurt, I really don't care how long you are anyone else has to sit in traffic. If Mr. Post is still concerned about delay, maybe he can offer up some of those Town roads for big trucks to rumble down.
Beth Kinsley
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I live on Oak Street and have to back out every morning into what I guess would be considered "rush hour" traffic and have no problems at all. And I used to see accidents all the time at the Oak/Richmond intersection and haven't seen one in a long time. I think it is a definite improvement.
Karen Miconi
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Its all about creating projects and the almighty dollar to be made. I could rant till Im blue in the face, but Im done wasting my breath. The county must have alot of extra money to throw around, along with the overtime these guys make. There are so many more pressing issues to be dealt with. There are so many more adgendas, that need addressing. Its not Mr. Posts job to ensure the concrete place stays busy, and to pave the way for big trucks to haul *ss through the city, tearing up our city streets and costing the taxpayers MORE Money. It is however his job to look out for the people of Batavia, and start and complete projects that need immediate attention, in the best interest of our city and town. Greg you have alot of pull and influence in this area. Please use it constructively to benefit the city and town, not private trucking businesses. Just my opinion
Chelsea O'Brien
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Is there any data on if there are fewer trucks on Oak St now that it's 2 lanes? Is there any data on if there are fewer accidents or if there is better access for businesses and homes? I think other things can be changed on Ellicott before ripping it up. How about making sure the lights are times correctly? Or, having the lights flash yellow on Ellicott and red on the side streets at night? Or have it patrolled more often for speeding trucks? I don't mind the traffic, but the trucks drive me nuts. When certain trucks drive by they make the whole house rattle and shake, you can barely hear yourself think when they fly by. When I come home from working a night, I get stopped by at least one light on Ellicott, why don't they change to flashing to better improve how the road operates? And, my final suggestion, fix the light at Ellicott and Main, so that more than 2 trucks can get through before it turns back to red. I've sat through 3 cycles of that light before because the trucks can't make the turn in a timely fashion. When I "officially" move to Batavia in July (after the wedding) I will be doing research and bringing it to council to see if changes can be made.
Beth Kinsley
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It's my understanding that it is a state road so I don't know what changes the council will be able to make.
John Roach
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Beth, It is a State road, so there is a limit to what the City can do. But the problem with trucks is one of cost. The state made the Thruway too costly for them, so they take the short cut through Batavia to the 390 around Mount Morris.
Bea McManis
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This situation is the same as people who move near an airport and then complain about the noise; or those who purchase a home in a subdivision that borders on a major highway and demand noise barriers be constructed. Rt. 63 is a truck route. When moving into a home on a truck route the noise is a given. I'm not picking on you, Chelsea, I lived on Rt. 33 for a while and know exactly what you are experiencing. I'm curious how much influence the city council has over state roads. I don't know what you plan to bring to the council, but I have a feeling there isn't much they can do. If you owned your home before Route 63 was designated a truck route, then you might have a case against the state. However, moving into a home on a road already mapped as a truck route may only garner a "let the buyer beware" reply from the state. .
Chelsea O'Brien
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Simply because it is that way now, does not mean I need to accept the state quo (or anyone else for that matter). The more I experience Batavia, the more I realize that it is not going to ever be a place young people want to be. Changes are not going to happen. Things I want in a community, and many younger people want in a community, are not accepted or utilized here in Batavia. Part of it is NYS, but part of it is the people and the government here. I am highly educated, I have opinions and suggestions, and I do research before putting my ideas out there. As a community member of Batavia, I have the ability to speak out for change. My itty bitty person bringing a complaint to NYS isn't going to do much good. If I can get city council to submit suggestions for changes to NYS, that might make a difference. If city council submits it to the county, and the county submits it to the state, it might make a difference. If city council agrees with my suggestions, and I send that information to my representatives in the state, that might make a difference. Telling me I don't have anything to stand on, isn't going to make a difference. Accepting the status quo has got to stop if things are going to change for the better. Something I thought you would understand being active in the community.
John Roach
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Chelsea, Could you tell us what things for young people are not accepted or utilized here?
Bea McManis
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Being active in the community and planning to change the community to fit a personal agenda are two different things. There is something called compromise. There has to be a community that fits the needs of all, and not just the needs of a few. You'd be surprised how many families were raised in this doddering old city and how many successful, educated people it has spawned. I appreciate your education background, you remind us of it quite often. I can assure you that you are not the only well educated person living in the city of Batavia. Many who did the research and many who have made significant changes to this city. On the other hand, many have done the research and done great harm to the landscape and the business climate here. I wonder just where your research will take you? Living in a small community has positives and drawbacks. I've lived in both and will take the small community any day. You and Peter have done your share of complaining about Batavia. I echo John's question. Why did you chose to move here? What possible assets did you find in this city for you to decide to plant roots? There is more to being active in the community than just seeing the problems. There is an appreciation of it's history; a sense of well being in the present; and, most important, a hope for a bright and promising future. Without the optimism of those who actively take part in the preservation of this community everything is lost.
Chelsea O'Brien
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Things I want (and have seen in other comparable cities), dog parks, farmers markets, home-grown/home-made retail items (baked goods, jams, honey, etc), community gardens, community composts, environmentally-friendly actions (such as making sure all of the street lights have timers working properly to save energy). Yes, there are farmers markets here, and I have visited them, but they do not thrive like those in other communities. They are one of the cheapest ways to buy produce, and yet few take advantage of it. They also directly support our neighbors. Home-grown/produced items are around, but they are few and far between. More people would rather go to Tops or Walmart than Clor's for meat, or Panera instead of Kravings for lunch. I drop off my yard waste, and then what? I don't get anything back from that action. Compost is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to fertilize my gardens, So, hopefully this year, I'll start my own compost and not have to worry about hauling my leaves away. I see a lot of problems in this community, and not a lot of solutions taking place. In the past, I have given a lot of my time to my local community, but right now I don't have time to give. I am one of the most optimistic and positive people you will ever meet, but I am also a realist, who experiences problems with where I live. As people move into the community and seek change, will they be bullied and told to accept life how it is, or will they be accepted? Right now, it seems like any time anyone has an idea for change, big or small, it is fought against tooth and nail. I moved here with Peter for us to start our lives together. Why should we stay here, or invest our time here, when it seems like Batavia, along with the rest of New York, is going to lose most of its people because it refuses to accept new people and change?
John Roach
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Chelsea, You mean because we don't have a dog park, that's a problem? 1) Most people don't want to pay taxes for a dog park, especially if they don't own a dog. 2) A private group was offered part of a city park for a dog park a few years ago, but had to raise the money for it. Guess what? After a number of great fund raising efforts, they could not raise enough money. Maybe you would want to try? Farmers markets do OK, but not as well as you might like. People can go if they want, it's called choice. They do have it tough around here because there are also small roadside markets around (I like them better). Community garden, go start one. Nobody is stopping you. Same for compost piles. Now, what about the question asked about which things are not accepted or utilized for young people that you stated?
Chelsea O'Brien
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John, You made my point. Not enough people support these efforts. They don't support the farmers markets, they don't support the dog park efforts. I agree, it's about choice, people vote with their feet. People, the community, do not utilize these things, nor do they want to utilize them. But, in other communities, they are not only an option, they are demanded. Monroe County created a self-funded dog park, where registrations pay for the up-keep. Ithaca, Rochester, and Greece all have thriving farmers markets. The city of Ithaca has community gardens, as many people who live on city plots have little room to garden. I want those things, and I thought living in a city surrounded by agriculture there would be similar things offered. I cannot have a "compost pile" on my property without fear of being fined. I need to have a bin, hidden from street view, that is not considered a "waste pile" that might bring in rats or other vermin.
John Roach
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Chelsea, As for dog parks. If dog owners had wanted it, they would have supported it. Monroe County has just a few more people than Batavia, so sure they can self-fund one-Duh. To compare an area with a few hundred thousand people to an area with maybe 15,000 is not convincing. People do support Farmers Markets. There just are not that many people. And again, roadside markets compete with them. And in Rochester, roadside markets are hard to find. Community garden, when are you starting it? Compost pile, then get a bin. Again, nobody stopping you. Third time, what about the question on young people?
Bea McManis
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There are things that aren't a priority in a small city, like Batavia. A dog park being one of them. When I had dogs, I never felt the need to take them to a park specifically maintained for them. The dogs ran free in our back yard. In larger cities, where apartment living is the norm, I can see the need for a dog park. Batavia isn't one of them. For those who don't have a yard, they can walk their dogs and take care of the waste. I find it ironic that you talk about community spirit, yet this winter you mentioned that you don't feel it is your responsibility to shovel a walk after working all day. How much community spirit was evident in that? John is right. While the farmers' markets are nice, so are the road side stands. I know exactly where to go and the prices are fair. You can't force people to use the farmers' market in order to adhere to your vision of Batavia. As far as compost is concerned, we composted for years and used it on our gardens. It isn't that big a deal to get a bin and maintain it properly. No one is bullying a newcomer. If anything, the newcomer seems to know exactly what this community needs and, by God, they are going to get it. Who is bullying who? We've seen the wane and wax of community living. It happens as neighborhoods change. It will never be perfect, but there are some aspects of small city living that are very close to perfection. One of which is the ability to make choices for fresh produce and home made goods in our area. They are out there. Most of us 'locals' know exactly where to go. Why not ask friends where they get the best deals? Perhaps it is time for you and Peter to look elsewhere for the hometown of your dreams. It is obvious that it isn't Batavia. Wherever you land, I wish you well.
Billie Owens
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I have lived in a metropolitan area almost all of my life. Southern and Central California -- San Diego, Ventura, Bakersfield. Then, in 2007, I moved first to Pittsford for two years, then here. I tend to think I have a fresh sense of things, certainly a different one. I have never lived in seasonal weather. I love seasonal weather. I have my share of sun-damaged skin; I like cold weather. People, I'm tellin' ya, skip the fake tans, they look phony and they aren't good for you. I love, love, love the whole locavore thing. Clor's for meat, farmers' markets, roadside stands for produce and other fresh goods, including meat, wine and cheese. Stop by Kutter's! I appreciate the lack of traffic, the small-town sensibilities, the history, the community involvement, and that connectedness that is missing from metro areas. Here there are beautiful vistas, great potential for green technology, bio-technology, energy technology and other means to bridge the gap from the Industrial Age heyday to present. Yes, there are problems like everywhere else, but trust me, things here seem managable in the broad scheme. The thing that IS killing this place bigger that anything else --- TAXES. I come from an equally desparate state, yet I still am floored by NY's taxation. Buy a house in Bakersfield for $350,000, live in a nice, but not-too-big middle class home with a dinky-but-doable yard. Taxes are payable. Move here, you get a freakin' mansion, but can't pay the taxes. So you grossly downscale, say to $225,000, and you still can't afford the taxes, considering comparable costs of mortgage and taxes between the two states. How do you let people in Albany get away with this? I remain stupified. Meanwhile, we love y'all!
Bea McManis
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Billie, I totally agree that something has to be done about the taxes. New York taxes have always been high. Yet, when I moved to Pennsylvania, I realized what we get for our taxes. The Pennsylvania infrastructure is nowhere near what we enjoy in N.Y. The flat tax was like getting a raise, but the privilege taxes were killers. You get taxed for the privilege of living in one borough but working in another. You get taxed for the privilege of having ambulance service. There is a tax for the privilege of "whatever" you can think of. Those little white envelops just keep coming all January. In the end, those taxes added up to a substantial amount of money added to the flat tax. I guess anywhere one goes, there will be gripes about taxes and the lack of services received in return or the size house one would like to have. I came back from California more in love with this part of New York State than when I left for the many reasons you stated.
Mark Janofsky
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Chelsea back to your first post: Is there any data on if there are fewer trucks on Oak St now that it's 2 lanes? I don’t think so. I can see and hear Rt. 98 from my house. There’s a pretty good flow of trucks that seemed uninterrupted by the change in configuration. I estimate there’s an average of about 500-750 trucks each way (1000-1500 total) going down Rt. 98 each day. Most of them are going to or coming from Rt. 63. Most of these trucks are “cutting the corner”. If you’re not familiar with the term, it means they’re heading for I390 in Mt. Morris via Rt. 63 vs. using the Thruway to I390. Doing this save the truckers about 20 miles and tolls. In the Rt. 63 Corridor Study by the NYSDOT a sample group of truckers were asked, “If the toll was eliminated on the Thruway would you continue using this route?” Most of them answered, “Yes.” The same study identified the pass through trucking in the City of Batavia as being insignificant. I do not agree. Last year Governor Patterson tried to alleviate this issue with trucking regulation. It was shot down by the FHWA and they threatened NYS with litigation. The regulation was geared towards the Finger Lakes Region, and basically said trucks must keep to the interstate system to a point closest to their destination (no short cuts through communities). There was no reason it couldn’t be used here. More information can be found here: https://www.nysdot.gov/programs/truckpolicy. As I see it, the only way to alleviate the pass through trucking issue is to make it unpleasant for them to pass through. Slowing down traffic and reducing lanes could help. Police strictly enforcing existing laws would help even more. Is there any data on if there are fewer accidents? I wouldn’t think significant data would be available. This configuration has been in place for only 8-9 months. I would think 3-5 years of data would be needed for any kind of realistic analysis. However, Beth has noticed a decrease and so have I. I’ve also noticed average speed is definitely decreased. Is there is better access for businesses and homes? I would say yes, but that’s my opinion.
JoAnne Rock
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Chelsea, Here are some suggestions for making your stay in Batavia more pleasant. *Take a camera and go for a drive in the country at various times of the day (sunrise,sunset, etc.)...I think you'll find this area mighty beautiful. *Go for a walk in and around your neighborhood and make a point to say hello to everyone you see...I think you'll find the people mighty friendly. *Keep track on a calendar the number of drive-by shootings, murders, kidnappings, etc. that occur here...I think you'll find it a mighty safe place to live. *This summer, check out the roadside produce stands, but don't expect to see a clerk to take your money because they are run on the honor system...I think you'll find it a mighty trusting place to live. Take note of who is shoveling/mowing/raking an elderly resident's yard; chances are it is a neighbor...I think you'll find Batavian's mighty neighborly. I could go on and on...but the point is that these are all things that money can't buy and government can't provide. It is the PEOPLE of Batavia/Genesee County that are it's greatest asset. Sure, there are a lot of things that Batavia doesn't have that bigger cities do. That's what vacations are for, and after a trip somewhere else, I am always mighty glad to be back home.
Howard B. Owens
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Great comment, JoAnne. I will say, though, to back up Chelsea a bit -- it would be good to see more people frequent the farmers markets, as well as the roadside stands, and places such as Clor's. And you all know how I feel about shopping local, and while there are a lot of supporters for that idea who frequent The Batavian, I think there are a lot of people for whom the message hasn't really been heard yet. And I think what Chelsea is saying is not so much complaining as wishing to see more people get on board with some of these common sense ideas. That's part of what The Batavian is about -- promoting those things that lead to a stronger community. That isn't to say things are bad the way they are -- obviously, we love it here -- but there's so much potential in Batavia and Genesee County and Western New York, we want to do our part to see it realized. I've always felt that WNY had its heyday, had it's big downturn, and is now well poised for an upswing. We'd like to be part of that.
Beth Kinsley
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And Chelsea - make sure you check out the Jackson Square concerts and the Picnic in the Park on July 4th if you haven't already. And then of course there is Christmas in the City, Wing Ding, etc. Batavia has a lot to offer.
Peter O'Brien
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"I find it ironic that you talk about community spirit, yet this winter you mentioned that you don't feel it is your responsibility to shovel a walk after working all day. How much community spirit was evident in that?" Hey Bea, why should I shovel a sidewalk when I know that in a couple of days the plow will finally come by at my expense anyways? If there was no such service (which forces us to rearrange how we plant out front yard) then I would shovel it. "As far as compost is concerned, we composted for years and used it on our gardens. It isn't that big a deal to get a bin and maintain it properly." What's wrong with wanting a return on the inconvenience of dumping our yard waste? "Perhaps it is time for you and Peter to look elsewhere for the hometown of your dreams. It is obvious that it isn't Batavia. Wherever you land, I wish you well." Perhaps its time for you to stop wasting the money of the tax payers and pay for your own apartment far away from here. If you truly wished us well you wouldn't have a condescending attitude in your holier-than-thou-because-I-have-lived-longer-than-you-posts. And for the record, Chelsea does greet others on her walks with Daisy. She does love driving 33 in and out of the city for the view. Sorry if we see room for improvement and it goes against all of your sensibilities. We like the region enough to have our wedding here. We like it enough to make changes to our house that will never raise its property value but change it in a way we enjoy. We house one of the Muckdogs because we love the local team and the sense of community we feel from the other host families at the ballpark. We write our thoughts here because we want this place to be better than it is. You'll notice that for long stretches neither of us post, thats because of the attitudes and ignorance of a lot of you regulars. We see potential that has not been tapped. We knew about the truck traffic before I bought the place. It was not a big deal. None of the issues we raise are enough to make us leave. But the goods aren't enough for us to want to stay should a good opportunity arise. And honestly, some of the attitudes on this site are the reason I have slowly had my enthusiasm diminish for opening a bakery here in Batavia. Why should I risk my wealth to provide this town with a resource when all I can expect in the foreseeable future is more taxes and suffering for those of us trying to earn a living. Sure the state sucks and needs to be changed, but why can't we fix our local issues before we try to tackle Albany and its NYC influence. There is plenty to do here in our back yard to change our lives.
Beth Kinsley
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And you forgot Peter - it's your way or the highway!
Bea McManis
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Posted by Peter O'Brien on April 29, 2010 - 10:47pm "I find it ironic that you talk about community spirit, yet this winter you mentioned that you don't feel it is your responsibility to shovel a walk after working all day. How much community spirit was evident in that?" Hey Bea, why should I shovel a sidewalk when I know that in a couple of days the plow will finally come by at my expense anyways? If there was no such service (which forces us to rearrange how we plant out front yard) then I would shovel it. I thought you said your snow blower was broken and that is why you weren't shoveling. Shoveling snow is a neighborly thing to do to ensure the safety of those who live around you. "As far as compost is concerned, we composted for years and used it on our gardens. It isn't that big a deal to get a bin and maintain it properly." What's wrong with wanting a return on the inconvenience of dumping our yard waste? Why not just compost and not worry about the return on the inconvenience? "Perhaps it is time for you and Peter to look elsewhere for the hometown of your dreams. It is obvious that it isn't Batavia. Wherever you land, I wish you well." Perhaps its time for you to stop wasting the money of the tax payers and pay for your own apartment far away from here. This is my home town, Peter. A place where I paid property taxes for many years. Far away from here? Do you hear me complaining about the state of the city and the wish that it could be a cookie cutter version of much larger cities? If you truly wished us well you wouldn't have a condescending attitude in your holier-than-thou-because-I-have-lived-longer-than-you-posts. I have lived here longer. That is a fact that can't be changed. As far as condescending attitute and holier than thou whatever, that is strictly your take on it. And for the record, Chelsea does greet others on her walks with Daisy. She does love driving 33 in and out of the city for the view. Sorry if we see room for improvement and it goes against all of your sensibilities. We like the region enough to have our wedding here. We like it enough to make changes to our house that will never raise its property value but change it in a way we enjoy. We house one of the Muckdogs because we love the local team and the sense of community we feel from the other host families at the ballpark. We write our thoughts here because we want this place to be better than it is. You'll notice that for long stretches neither of us post, thats because of the attitudes and ignorance of a lot of you regulars. We see potential that has not been tapped. Ignorance of a lot of regulars? Glad I'm not the only one you consider ignorant. I thought, just perhaps, you were silent for a while because you couldn't access your account. We knew about the truck traffic before I bought the place. It was not a big deal. None of the issues we raise are enough to make us leave. But the goods aren't enough for us to want to stay should a good opportunity arise. Which is why I sincerely wished you well wherever you land. Sure the state sucks and needs to be changed, but why can't we fix our local issues before we try to tackle Albany and its NYC influence. There is plenty to do here in our back yard to change our lives. If you stay, run for council. Remember your slogan, "it's my way or the highway!" That should garner a lot of votes and certainly endear you to those with whom you should be working to make the improvements you want to see.
Peter O'Brien
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I'll run if I am here when I finally graduate in 10 years. "I thought you said your snow blower was broken and that is why you weren't shoveling. Shoveling snow is a neighborly thing to do to ensure the safety of those who live around you." When the snow blower was repaired I did do the sidewalk and neighbors driveway. And no one believes you are sincere about your well wishes.
Bea McManis
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Posted by Peter O'Brien on April 30, 2010 - 8:13am I'll run if I am here when I finally graduate in 10 years. I wonder, if in ten years, you will still believe that getting elected into office gives you the right to be a dictator, "my way or the highway"? Is that your idea of less government? "I thought you said your snow blower was broken and that is why you weren't shoveling. Shoveling snow is a neighborly thing to do to ensure the safety of those who live around you." When the snow blower was repaired I did do the sidewalk and neighbors driveway. Well done, Peter. I'm sure your neighbor appreciated the effort. And no one believes you are sincere about your well wishes. Once again, that is your take on it. I do wish you and Chelsea well. You both have a lot to offer. It may not be here
Chelsea O'Brien
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"It may not be here" Please stop telling us that we "might not belong". Simply because you disagree with anything we have to say, doesn't mean we don't belong here. We contribute to the community and have ideas how to improve it. If you continue to disagree with us, keep to the topic and stop making it personal.
Bea McManis
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Chelsea, It wasn't personal, it was in response to comments made by both of you that indicate you really aren't happy with the choices you made. Posted by Chelsea Dobson on April 29, 2010 - 1:10pm "The more I experience Batavia, the more I realize that it is not going to ever be a place young people want to be. Changes are not going to happen. Things I want in a community, and many younger people want in a community, are not accepted or utilized here in Batavia. Part of it is NYS, but part of it is the people and the government here. " Posted by Chelsea Dobson on April 29, 2010 - 2:42pm "Why should we stay here, or invest our time here, when it seems like Batavia, along with the rest of New York, is going to lose most of its people because it refuses to accept new people and change?" etc. If you stay and work to improve this community, no one would support you more than I. I know, in the past, you have commented on the postive side of Batavia and Genesee County. A community garden? I'm there beside you.
Karen Miconi
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We are all proud of our community and all have good intentions. I think Bea responds to Peter the way she does because of his disrespect. I learned long ago to not play into Peters ranting. Now mind you, I do alot of my own ranting too, but I dont disrespect the elderly, and I dont expect them to shovel snow in the winter either. Bea and I dont always see eye to eye, but she deserves respect, as do most of the people that comment. John and I dont agree on most things, but I would never disrespect him either. He's like our DAD on here, offering a wise look at issues in the community, Charlie was my only access to city council, and the distrust I feel for "Some" on council, and the city manager. He was on here and answered questions that knowone else would. Im sorry I gave you a hard time Charlie. You were the only one brave enough to answer to the public. It gets really old to see these posts go on and on. Dont we all have bigger eggs to fry, than Peter tieing Bea to her snowblower, and pushing her out into the snow. Peter, all Im saying, is if you want respect you need to give it. We all are entitled to our opinions, suspicions, and being fed up with NYS Taxes, but we can try to be adult and use respect, can't we?
Dave Olsen
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Karen is correct, in my opinion. If you want to have a personal disagreement with each other, go to a chat venue like facebook. Having an opinion about the community is great, hardly anyone will agree totally with someone else's. Some of us can be "off the wall" or "outside the box" if you prefer. We can discuss the differences and you can provide info to back your position or opinion up if you want, if you don't, don't. I for one appreciate broadening my horizons by seeing another's take on a subject. I don't need any more exposure to personal attacks, been there, done that don't wanna any more. It's going to be more and more difficult to attract new ideas from new people if it winds down to personal pettiness.
Howard B. Owens
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Good comment, Karen and Dave. For the record, I haven't taken action on the comments by some in this thread because they're more personal (taking it personally) disagreements than outright attacks. Dave, you're right, it's the kind of bickering that isn't productive, but there was also legitimate community discussion mixed in, so it's hard to say I should moderate them in anyway (not that anybody has called for that, but I know a lot of the "lurkers" (people who read, but never comment) don't like it when this personal back and forth gets going, so I'm just explaining my view of it). (If that convoluted paragraph makes sense ... )
I love Batavia, I really do. I'm with you, Howard on that I see a ton of potential of what this area could be. I do believe a lot of the reason for our concerns do stem from taxes. The greatest economic lift is reducing taxes. It has been proven time and time again. A new business looks at Batavia and sees a beautiful little community, but they also see an over $10 per $1000 assesed city tax rate, $10 County tax and $24 school tax along with an ever growing water rate, state taxes and fees that are out of control while the federal government continues to lose it's mind. They can look up the road to Erie county and find it for less at least on at least two fronts. There are a lot of opportunities to reduce our costs, but there is a simple answer why we don't. We don't want to. Yes we hate the taxes and the waste, but as soon as we start discussing things that could save real money, we baulk. People in this city like their police and fire departments just fine. They want their trash and recycling picked up evey week and so on and so forth. I met so many people begging for tax relief, but no one shows up to a meeting to come out for it; demand it. This council still has done nothing to open up government, even though every candidate that won said they would, and what has happened? Nothing. No complaints at all. So you know what all of that tells me. People are fine with the way things are. Yeah they don't like the taxes, but eh, whatever. They don't like the fact that they think council doesn't listen, but eh, whatever. Who cares? There were more people at the council meeting for the Memorial Day parade then when the budget was discussed; and look we're having a parade! So there you go.
Peter O'Brien
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Phil you continue to say the thing I mean in way I will never be able to. Mostly because once I find something to grind my ax, I am going to be left with a wooden handle and a useless grinding wheel.
My pleasure. You can just send me your responses from now on and I will translate to the group if you like? :-)

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