Q&A with City Council candidate Deborah Kerr Rosenbeck, Ward 3
Deborah Kerr Rosenbeck is a candidate for City Council in the 3rd Ward. Her opponents are Nicholas Russo and John Canale.
What do you like about the City of Batavia?
Batavia has coined the phrase "the hub of WNY" and to me it truly is. Uniquely situated between two larger urban areas, Batavia affords residents the benefits of a small town with cohesive and friendly neighborhoods. There is much to do right here that meets a variety of tastes and interests with minor league baseball, harness racing, symphony, theatre, concerts in the park and in the square, car racing and a variety of unique dining opportunities. And if that’s not enough, I can easily make my way to Rochester or Buffalo, knowing that my beloved Batavia is home. My whole family lives in the area and until just recently all three of my adult children lived on the block. Batavia is my home.
What is the number one problem facing the City of Batavia and what is your plan to address it?
I’ve walked neighborhoods throughout the city and most recently every street in my ward. It has made me acutely aware of our aging population, aging housing and aging infrastructure (sewers, water, streets and sidewalks). The ratio of owner-occupied to rental properties is of concern. Making the city of Batavia affordable and desirable for individuals to stay and providing incentives for people to buy and improve housing will be a priority.
Describe your vision for Downtown Batavia in 10 years?
I envision a downtown that is conducive to the fair and ethical operation of business without the current practice of government choosing winners and losers. I’d like it to be the center and location of community gatherings and events including theatre and music. Downtown storefronts will be occupied with thriving small businesses and a variety of dining choices. This will begin with the revitalization and transformation of the Batavia City Center as a mixed-use retail, services, and entertainment complex.
Do you support building a new police station?
You don’t need to be an expert on what is required to operate an effective local law enforcement operation to realize that a historic Victorian home is not the ideal location for our police department. That being said, I do worry about saddling our citizens with debt for a police station and a new county jail on our about the same time frame. Decision-makers need to proceed with careful consideration. Genesee County and the City of Batavia work closely on planning and development for our community. These two major initiatives should be no different as our elected officials and administration plan for efficient and cost-effective law enforcement services to ensure public safety.
What book first published in English since the Enlightenment has influenced your outlook on life the most?
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997) instantly came to mind as I read this question. It most influenced my outlook on life as I was not holding true to the first three agreements at all. The fourth agreement, always do your best, has pretty much always been my strong suit as no matter what happens I continually strive to do my best, or at least to do the next right thing. The others are a bit more of a challenge for me.
The first agreement of always being impeccable with your word and this references your comments about others as well as yourself. It’s difficult to hold to this standard, especially when it relates to being kind and impeccable about ourselves. The second agreement advises not to take anything personally. Someone’s response to you is much more about what is going on with them and has little or nothing to do with you. Don’t make assumptions is the third agreement. How easy it is to assume what others are thinking and feeling. Instead of focusing your interactions on being kind, complimentary, aka impeccable while honestly communicating your thoughts and feelings is a script for success and well-being. Fortunately, this book is a quick and easy read, allowing for frequent revisits to the four agreements and abiding by their guidance and the peace it can provide in your daily life.
In conclusion, I would tag on a fifth agreement, and that would be to listen. If elected, I will abide by this and carefully listen to my fellow councilmen, city administration department heads and staff, but most importantly to the public, my constituents, my neighbors.