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Hopefully this ends the "Mallgame"

By Timothy Paine

           Hopefully last night settles the issue of me being removed from the MOC. A thinly veiled attempt to remove me was made at last nights Council meeting. Frank Ferrando tried to come up with several different scenarios that could be used to kick someone off a committee. My favorite was being likened to a "community window decorator that hates windows". In the end after all of Frank, Bob and Bill's arguments for removal, intelligent reason prevailed. Thanks to Charlie, Cathy and Marianne it will remain that you can't throw someone off because they don't agree with you. Bob Bialkowski and Bill Cox tried to orchestrate a scheme that would have me removed. Bob asked Frank to implement this sorry attempt to try and hide him as the ring leader. Anyone present at the last Council meeting was a witness to Bob setting this in motion. Through out our campaign against each other a year ago and even until now I've never bad-mouthed Bob. At some point enough is enough. If no one has told you yet, you won Bob! I guess my biggest suprise is Bill. I worked along side Bill a lot last year and even helped him with his campaign. At the time I took him for an intelligent guy. I also thought Frank was above being used in such a way. We do live and learn.

         A couple of weeks ago Joanne Beck ran an article in The Daily News about this whole Mall thing. A week ago I met with Philip and discussed the same issue. We spoke for over an hour and he asked me to go ahead and submit my own article. I figured I'd wait till after last weeks MOC meeting and see how things went last night. I thought I would give you the e-mail I submitted to Joanne and let you all decide your own views. She asked me four questions, these were my answers:

         1.Q; Why did you start recording the meetings? I started recording meetings when I felt the minutes seemed inaccurate. I found things were being glossed over or omitted. When I would bring up these problems during the approval of the minutes it became apparent that these things were omitted for a reason. Dr. Chess would propose to remove the things before and after the missing statements instead of inserting what was really said. All I was asking for was the truth. When a City Council member would say something that isn't allowed due to ongoing negotiations I felt it should be included. Fortunately, they voted to close the meetings. Council members attending meetings should be less frequent now permitting a much less likely chance a verbal mistake can jeopardize Jason's ongoing negotiations.

         2.)Q; Did it involve a disability, and are you willing to elaborate at all?   As far as my disability, that's now a non-issue. They all voted against me recording meetings. Madeline is the only one who is allowed to record now. All I wanted was to have access to the recording. Dr. Chess asked Jason if they kept recordings of Council meetings and he said they did. The board agreed to keep recordings for 60 days and that I could review them at Madeline's office if I needed to. All I wanted was the
ability to check the minutes if I felt something was wrong, and they granted me that. Had they not let me have access to any type of recording, I would have pursued the disability case against them. Since I have access, all is fine. However, if I'm ever denied access or the recording is "lost" then I will have to get my lawyer involved as well as contact the media.

         3.)Q; Why do you think the Board wants you off the MOC?  The reason they want me off the board is unknown to me. My job is to be on the side of the taxpayer. That's a conflict of what they want. I don't know what past city-appointed members did, and I don't really care. I know what my position is:  it's to keep as much of the people of Batavia's money where they want or  don't want it to go. The people have made it clear to me, (very, very clear to me) that they don't want one more dime spent on the Mall. I've told them that's not going to happen. Whether it's an expensive roof, selling it for a dollar, or ten years worth of tax concessions, it's going to cost us something. The board has told me they want all three. I've told everybody that what ever the cost is, I feel the best thing is to make sure we sever all ties between the City and the Mall. Let's make sure this deal is the last deal. Everybody has agreed with me on that point. The public WILL NOT STAND  for the MOC getting all three requests. My job is to give the MOC as little as possible. Again, my job is to give the Mall as little as possible. I'm standing my ground. I guess we know why they want me gone.

         4.)Q; Do you feel you've been "antagonistic" in any way?  Am I being antagonistic? I'm sure they feel that way. I know they didn't like it when I wrote my opinion in the paper several months back. In the next meeting I was told I was now viewed as a "Hostile" and would be treated as such. I'm fine with that. They have their objective and I have mine. After that article in the paper, we as a board all agreed to keep everything at the meetings and not in the paper. I have kept my word on that. I think they feel I'm being antagonistic because I want the truth all the time, not just when it suits some of them. Whenever Dr. Chess has been less than honest, I point it out. When Bill Cox was caught in a contradiction it upset both of them. Bob Bialkowski must still think we're running against each other. To this day, he likes to try and mess with me when he can. I don't dislike anyone on the board. We're all there for a reason, but not for the same outcome. When opposing views are present there is no way it's all going to be lovey-dovey. I understand that, and that's why I sit there as the lone person on the side of the City taxpayers. I'm fine with that. Whether it's a meeting that's 6 against one, or ten against one, it's no problem for me. Apparently they feel the need to have a "yes man" there too. It's too bad for them that I'm not one. I wonder how Dr. Chess would do in my shoes? I think the answer is obvious, he doesn't like being on a team against one opponent. Wow, how would he handle being in my position?

Richard Gahagan

The mall has been an eye sore since it was built, typical Batavia mentality. The mindless people that decided to knock all the historic buildings down should be in jail along with this group of hack pretend wannabe politicians. Would someone please rent a bulldozer and knock the thing down it'll take about an hour. Then city council can argue about little league football some more.

Nov 25, 2008, 5:12pm Permalink
Brian Hillabush

Mr. Gahagan, nice to see you posting on The Batavian. Hope all is well.
Was there ever a time when the mall actually had stores people wanted to shop at?
Why don't we have an Abercrombie, Old Navy or Banana Republic?

Nov 25, 2008, 6:16pm Permalink

So the mall gets tore down and a stadium gets put in place.Then there would be a place for people to go.just think of the moneys that could be made from selling hot dogs and drinks alone.
Although now that I ponder this some more.The clerks office building looks mighty nice.
Me being born in 1969 can remember the old buildings on main st.And gas being 76 cent a gallon.
What year did the mall project start?
Anyone ever been to warsaw and just think back to the days when Batavia looked like that? Seems I do everytime we ride through there.

Nov 25, 2008, 6:43pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Tim thanks for taking on this ..its people like you who make a difference..Sounds to me that the MOC is the antagonist party in this..I would like to know what do you think should happen with the Mall..Is the Mall being marketed to outside devolopers who like Brian said could attrack an Abercrombie, Old Navy or Banana Republic.Or has the time come to take it down and start over..

what is the name of the mall ,Is it the City Center or the Genesse County Mall..and if the city does own part of it why not sell the naming rights like they did for the ice arena and use that money to fix what ever is wrong..

Nov 25, 2008, 10:34pm Permalink
John Roach

It is not being marketed. There was a developer a few years ago who wanted to buy it up, before City Hall took too much of the property up. The city said if he could get 70% of the owners to sell, they would get him the rest. This did not include Penny's or the theaters. Sure enough, there were some who just did not want to sell and a few who tried to get a little more money than offered. The deal died and the developer went away. And now you have City Hall sitting there.

As for problems with the mall, when Councilman Bob Bialkowski started attending mall meetings and Dr. Chess took over as the MMA president, the trouble started.

By the way, the guy who wants us to put more tax money into the mall is also listed by the City as not having paid his mall property taxes; Dr. Chess. If he did pay them, the city better say sorry. If he did not pay them, Dr. Chess should remove himself as president of the MMA and pay his own taxes before asking me for more of my tax money.

Nov 27, 2008, 7:08am Permalink

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