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Poll: Who should run the government of a consolidated Batavia?

By Philip Anselmo

Yesterday, we ran a post on some of the details of the consolidation proposal. Later today, we'll get more into what has yet to happen if this issue will truly go to a public vote this November. For now, we thought to play a little hypothetical game. One of the lines in the report on consolidation prepared by the Center for Governmental Research reads: "For discussion purposes, we will refer to this new consolidated government as New Batavia."

That's right: New Batavia. It's got a nice ring to it. Now, if we had to vote tomorrow on who should run this new, mega rural-opolis, whom would you vote for?

Who should be the leader of New Batavia?
( polls)

As some of you may already know, the 'Other' responses do not automatically show up here, so we'll do our best to get them added in the comment field throughout the day. Personally, I'm going other and nominating former Main Street Coffee proprietor, Rob Credi, for the post. Either him or Tim Paine.

Philip Anselmo

Four more 'Other' votes have come in over the past hour, and I'm proud to say that I am among them — and it wasn't even me who said so!

1. Philip Anselmo
2. Sheriff Maha
3. JT Hunt
4. Sarah Palin

Jan 9, 2009, 12:19pm Permalink
Timothy Paine

Thanks for the mention Philip. As I said during the campaign last time around, all I want is Batavia to be a place my kids want to make their home. I don't want to have to travel to see my grandchildren someday. I've already stated my thoughts on consolidation on your previous article. I just want people to be patient and keep an open mind. Don't decide until we actually see what's proposed. I would also hope people keep track of who is for or against this on City Council. I would hope members look at this for my kids instead of for themselves or their buddies. I want the voters to look at this with the future in mind. How I look at things is probably quite different then say someone whose kids have already left. I don't look at things as "how will it help me?". I always try to look at things as how will this benefit my kids? Making Batavia better, (both Town and City) is what matters. I like to look at how votes are cast. Is it personally beneficial to that member or are City wide concerns being addressed?

I've said before, I'm a big boy and I will always do what I need to to keep a roof over their heads. The question is, will they be able to do the same thing in this City in the future. I'll do everything I can to see that they want to stay here. It's up to us to see that they can. These choices start here and now. For the first time in a very, very long time our new Council and City Manager are looking further than their noses when they address budget and infrastructure planning. They cut spending instead of deferring it to next years (or further) budget. It is no accident that the debt has been knocked out in a couple of years.

Neither side is going to agree to a one-sided deal. I'll say this though. Carefully take note of those on Council that fight consolidation. Motives must be looked at hard when saving tax money is deemed as a bad thing. Efforts to delay negotiations may also be a tactic. When was the last time our City was debt free? Will there be a better time to negotiate then right now? I doubt it.

Jan 9, 2009, 10:49pm Permalink
Chad Higgins

I wish this vote/poll and every other one ran on this topic could be a two part question with the second part always being "Do you live in the City of Batavia, Town of Batavia or other?".

Just curious who is voting and if all sides feel the same way. It would be great if they are but my gut feeling is they are not.

Jan 10, 2009, 3:56pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Chad, we could fashion a survey on the subject of consolidation and ask that question.

Any other questions people would like asked?

Jan 10, 2009, 6:47pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

These polls don't mean anything till there is a plan. This poll has no value at all since, we don't even have an idea of the type of government the new Batavia would have or who would be interested in being in a leadership position. I am flattered by this but, am very happy with my full time job and would not be in the running. I think it would be more valuable to wait.

The last thing I would want to see if I lived in the town was a poll that showed the people I was most comfortable with not at the top. The city is not looking to take over the town. We are looking for a way to share costs and work together.

Jan 10, 2009, 8:03pm Permalink
Russ Stresing

I think it needs to be said that these are 'polls', not 'surveys'. There's no standard methodology involved that would give a fair picture of overall public opinion. These are just a lark for the people who visit, and nothing at all resembling wide-spread public opinion.

Jan 10, 2009, 8:21pm Permalink
John Roach

Get a grip, you are getting way off center.

That was a poor attempt at humor on my part, I admit that, but you need to chill. I do agree with your statement, but now you are taking yourself a bit too serious.

Jan 10, 2009, 10:19pm Permalink
John Roach

It was a random choice of words. You do take yourself way too serious. You make it sound like your the only authority on any subject. But since you are an authority now on "cool", what word would you have used?

Jan 10, 2009, 11:01pm Permalink
Russ Stresing

Its "you're".

But knowing that doesn't make me an authority. And that's the difference between you and me, John. Whichever room I walk into, I don't assume that I'm the smartest person in that room. Given the odds, that's hugely unlikely. Not because I'm not smart. I'm pretty sharp.

But because there's lots of smart people, and chances are that unless you're Einstein's smarter bruh, you're not the brightest glow in the room. Me, neither.

So let's neither of us try to blow smoke up anybody's butt.

Jan 10, 2009, 11:27pm Permalink
John Roach

You walked off the reservation, let’s get you back.
The point of this was Laz made an issue over a 40 year old study he had not even seen. Then he tried to tie that old study to the current issue of a total merger of the Town and City of Batavia. Then he refused to call, get a copy of the old study, and read it to debate the matter.I want him back up his comments with fact and would not let him off the hook.

When asked if he was in favor of the merger, in theory, he would not say yes or no. He could have said he could care less or didn’t have an opinion, but no, he compared it “global warming”.

Then we went off and stated 30% of all workers got their jobs by lying. How that had anything to do with the subject, or where he got that number is another issue, but that’s Laz.

The current research group looking into a Town/City merger made it clear that a lot more work has to be done before this can be put up for a vote.

But it also said local leaders would have to get out and support at least the concept. If the local leaders do not support the concept or the general principle of one government, then way continue the study. Some leaders have, like Charlie Mallow.

When give a chance, Mr. Post did not. My question was why not? Then people came out and said they know he favors the concept. Well, ok, but can he say it himself? That was all I wanted to know. I think we all have an interest in knowing it the highest elected Town official even supports the idea of a merger.

Then we get you saying elected officials like Mr. Post should not have to state if they support the concept. You end up dodging the issue by asking what I mean by “consolidation” or “merger”, when in Webster’s Dictionary, they can be used interchangeably. While you didn’t know that, who else but you would care? It’s not the issue.

I’ll ask you: Do you support the concept/principle of merger/consolidation? No hiding saying the study is not finished yet. Is the idea (concept) good or bad? If you think the concept is bad, then OK, that’s it as far as I am concerned. If you think the idea is good, then we can debate the details as they come out over the next few months.

Jan 11, 2009, 9:47am Permalink
Lori Ann Santini

Hi Everyone,
Is there any concern about the timeframe for this consolidation? I am all for consolidation of services to try and control spending. I am concerned however that this turns into a shell game that hurts more than it helps. Will the $615,000 that will be earned through AIM benefit the people displaced during the process? Will that money even be there with the financial disaster the state is in? Will the City and Town benefit from the same or better services than before? What benefits will the Town residents gain that they don't already have under the taxation they pay? Will their taxes go up to balance the taxes the city residents pay?
There has been discussion of a combination Fire Service. That would be great if it is actually proven to work. Many departments across the state went to a combi department only to have to revert back to the paid service they left. The City of Dunkirk can be used as an example. The fact is that the volunteer sector is dwindeling. My husband is a Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief so I really do know. Time constraints make it difficult (but not impossible) to be a volunteer. Federal requirements for fire service have increased for safety reasons. The days of employees leaving their jobs to respond to a call have nearly ened. Listen to a pager nowadays. How many times does any department have to be toned out to obtain a full crew? One fire chief on location does not make it possible for an interior fire attack or the rescue of a trapped victim. I live in a volunteer covered area. I am very happy with the coverage/ service I have gotten. I have had to dial 911 a couple times. The service has always been there. I am willing to pay what it takes to provide the fire and EMS service that will save our lives. Not just enough to say we have the service.
Lets talk about the Police then. Will the City residents suddenly lose their Police coverage? Will the burden then fall heavier on the shoulders of the Sheriffs Department to cover that zone more closely. What will be lost in the long? If this merger goes through before the police ever get a new contract, will their jobs even be protected? Will they ever get the retro pay they deserve?
The City has in the past voiced its desire to drop the ambulance service. As it stands now, the Town of Batavia offers no current ambulance service. How would that be addressed? Would the Town of Batavia suddenly enter into an ambulance service that now serves the entire county through the Municipal Aid agreements?
Now lets discuss even muddier waters. I own a home in the Town, live in the East Pembroke Fire District. Under this merger, will it be possible to clear up the muddy lines of taxation we citizens of Pratt Road, Main Road, South Main Street,etc. already deal with? We pay taxes for Fire service to the Town that have to be then paid out to EP Fire District. I may be wrong but I was told that the Town has a higher Fire Tax. Am I taxed at the Town rate or EP's rate?
It was stated it the article that we as citizens might not even get a say in this merger. That it need only go to the State Legislation. What happened to Democracy? The right to vote for what we want.
We have troops dying in foreign countries in order to give those people the same rights we have. Do we need to bring back our troops in order to fight for us now? I think that we deserve the right to vote for the person we want to leads this venture. A person who we feel will do the job whether it is Mr. Molino, Mr Mallow, Mr Post or Maxwell T Chomps. All these people have traits that make them good leaders. Give us the chance to decide our fate.
I have so many other questions and concerns I could address. If this is what we have to do then lets do it. If this is being done to increase the temporary cash flow by 615K then I would like to say hold on a minute. Lets get all the facts and not rush to New Batavia.
By the way, Is the mergered entity really going to be named New Batavia? What kind of financial burden do you think that this is going to pose to every person who has a business or venture that requires Letterhead, electronic stamps etc. Remeber the outcry over the area code change. This will be much more costly. Our economy already has tanked. Don't make us lose the only business we have over a name. What does the Federal Government say about a name/zipcode change?
Good luck to all involved. Keep a clear head about the future. Let the people have a say. We may live I the country but we are not idiots.
Thanks for listening/reading my concerns. I apologize if there are any run-on or improperly structured sentences. This was an off the cuff series of thoughts I had.

Jan 11, 2009, 11:13am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Great thoughts and questions! The name would not change, we would all just be living in "Batavia", not new. We have asked for a plan that does not change anyones taxes or increases or decreases services. Fire districts are seperate entites and would not change. Once we get a hold of the plan we can go through it line by line and see.

Jan 11, 2009, 12:44pm Permalink
Philip Anselmo

Ever more 'Other' votes:

1. Not Charlie Mallow
2. Any person who will fight and get rid of the government unions
3. Mickey Mouse
4. Hillary
5. Elect someone new
6. Tina Fey
7. Brad Rogers
8. Spongebob Squarepants
9. Joe Gerace

Jan 12, 2009, 8:42am Permalink

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