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September 30, 2009 - 9:06am

It’s time to continue the conversation and the change that you started

posted by Session Placeholder in election, Phil Ricci, Candidate.

For the better part of two years, I have watched and witnessed the current council as it sits now. I have seen certain members try to push public agendas that would help the greater good and benefit the city as a whole. I’ve also unfortunately, witnessed those pushing private agendas without any care of how detrimental the collateral damage could be. Here’s the truth as I see it.

My wife and I as we were making our departure from Europe decided to return to Batavia. We believe to this day that it is an amazing place to raise our family! We also have an amazing sense of community pride, which is just one of the reasons that I have been involved in many different organizations here. I have not done this for any kind of personal gain, except for the satisfaction that I could make a difference. You see, I was raised by the mantra: “Do something or Shut up” from two very stern parents; one Italian, one Irish. They believed, as I do now, that the only way you’re going to make it in this world, is by putting your hands to the plow and working to get it done. Well that’s why I’m running for office; plain and simple. I don’t like the way things work now. It makes no sense how we prioritize our finances and how afraid we are to change it.


Unfortunately it took a horrific budget gap for us to be willing to consider that change was needed. The council took action behind the leadership of a man, who many have called a radical, Charlie Mallow. Love him or hate him, he did the one thing that so many former and currently sitting members never did; he started the conversation.  He accepted the fact that people would hate him for saying what he felt and that some of his ideas would be smashed to the ground. Yet he said it and did as much as he could in during his time on Council. Now, this isn’t some ringing love note for Mr. Mallow, but a reality check of the past two years. Hard choices were made to right the ship, but now it’s time to fix the hull once and for all. We have to continue the conversation by continuing to move on and act on tough decisions.  


We also have to include you in on the process! That’s right, it’s time to stop just having talks in private rooms behind closed door, but to put them out to the open floor and let government work for the people of Batavia. Charlie Mallow asked me to run and take his place because; he believed I was strong enough to continue this conversation. Now it’s our turn.

You want to create jobs in Batavia? Then you have to cut the waste out off our city budget so that you can lower the cost to actually run a business in our city.  You want to improve neighborhoods? Than we have to sharpen our focus on holding these absentee “business” owners to their commitments while still protecting the personal liberties and freedoms of our citizens. You want a more open government? Then we have to get council over itself and publically print every council agenda before each meeting for every citizen that wants it! We have to put tough decisions to special votes and let us all collectively decide our fate! Most importantly, you have to vote! Speak with that voice as loud as you can.


Lastly, do you want to cut taxes? Then understand that we have to right size our service levels to do that. Notice I didn’t say eliminate! I’m not one of these extremist that buys into the “ALL OR NOTHING!” way of governing. There are practical and pragmatic ways to achieve a balance! I’m not going to sit here and promise you that I can bring about a zero tax rate in Batavia, but we should be able to roll the recent increases back. Give back the money that was ripped from our pockets just to play catch up! Achieving that though is going to take some tough decisions.

Over the next few weeks I will put out a plan to each of these points. They will be collective ideas from me and also those who I have been asking for advice and guidance along the way. You may like some, hate others. That's great! Let the conversation continue! WE CAN DO THIS! I know we can. If I didn’t believe it with my whole heart, I wouldn’t say it.  We can make Batavia better. No, even more, we can make Batavia the kind of place that every city in New York State
dreams of becoming.


Why not? We can do it!

Phil Ricci
Candidate, Councilman-at-Large


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