Q&A with City Council candidate Adam Tabelski
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 Adam Tabelski.
If elected, what’s your #1 priority? The #1 priority for next year is to address the expiring sales tax and water agreements with the County. Sales tax sharing from the County is the City’s largest revenue source, even greater than property taxes. A consensus must be reached because the City’s fate is central to the County’s fate. We will also begin to implement Batavia’s new comprehensive plan, which lays out a number of objectives to move our City forward.
There has been great progress in the city toward revitalizing the core downtown business community. What will you do to accelerate the revitalization process? Winning the $10,000,000 Downtown Revitalization Initiative, a historic settlement with the Mall Merchants, substantial commitments of private investment (e.g. Eli Fish Brewing, Ellicott Station), new and growing small businesses, and a dynamic BID is all signs pointing to the fact that Batavia’s downtown is on the right track. Day by day, we are making strides to reverse the physical and economic destruction caused by ‘urban renewal’ and create a true rejuvenation. The immediate task for me and my colleagues on Council is to make sure the $10,000,000 prize is invested wisely in order to trigger additional private sector investment. We also need to maintain our relationship with the Batavia Development Corporation, the GCEDC, and other partners who are poised to make economic development projects happen. The recently created the Pathway to Prosperity is a great example of how we can creatively drive resources to make downtown more ‘development-ready.’
What services currently provided by the city should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the sales tax and water questions, the City is in a strong financial position. I sense no widespread need or desire to put services on the chopping block. Actually, what I hear most from residents is a desire for more services—more street and sidewalk repairs, more park improvements, more policing, more code enforcement, etc. These are the things that contribute to our quality of life. So we try to drive as many financial resources to these services as possible while avoiding overburdening taxpayers. It’s a balance. Still, I am always in favor of exploring new and efficient ways to deliver these services, particularly through leveraging new technologies and focusing on shared services with neighboring municipalities or the County. The County, with the participation of the City and other municipalities, will be developing a shared services plan over the next year to further help identify and implement opportunities for more sharing of 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? Life is the best teacher. I have worked in the public sector, in the office of a state legislator, trying to help constituents and influence public policy. I have served in local government, as a trustee and mayor (in Medina) and as a Councilman (in Batavia), finding common-sense ways to improve a community. I now work in the private sector, helping to grow an established firm. I have served in the military and learned lessons about teamwork, integrity, and sacrifice. These experiences give me a broad frame of reference when considering issues before the City of Batavia.
What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? Walden by Henry David Thoreau; John Adams by David McCullough; Our Town by Thornton Wilder.