Q&A with City Council candidate William Fava
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 William Fava.
If elected, what’s your #1 priority? My # 1 priority is to represent ALL the taxpayers in the City of Batavia to ensure that our City government is providing a high level of service in a “Customer Orientated” efficient and effective manner. Whether it is a small problem or a big problem, all concerns from the taxpayers of the City need timely action and response.
There has been great progress in the city toward revitalizing the core downtown business community. What will you do to accelerate the revitalization process? Yes…the City and Downtown representatives have initiated great steps in the revitalization process. But we cannot become satisfied with where we are; we have to keep moving forward and invite more discussion with business and potential business owners. The City needs a more aggressive and innovative approach to incorporate more business into the center of the City. It would be great to not have any vacant storefronts, vacant property for development, or empty parcels in the mall. We have to engage City, County, State, financial/banking institutions, and our Chamber of Commerce to provide a financial process to give potential owners a short period of financial assistance to provide a “startup” period. The assistance could be in lower property rental cost for a period of time or assistance in purchasing a piece of land or building. We have many people who wish they could start a business but have a problem in the initial start-up costs. Historically, if a business can survive the first two or three years of their business plan, the percentage of continued success and growth will be on their side. The process is simple, we all need to work together to improve the core of downtown Batavia. Many people have ideas for improvement. Let’s listen and give them the opportunity to work together.
What services currently provided by the city should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? The Assistant City Manager has announced her departure a few months back. I would not replace. I think the City should either employ two or three part-time experienced individuals with Public Administration backgrounds. We are a City with many qualified citizens being retired; they just might want to be involved. They could be tasked to work on special projects and backfill the City Manager with assistance. Another suggestion would be to open the position to local universities for an internship experience in Public Administration. Either method would eliminate the position cost and provide extra hands for the busy City Manager.
What business, leadership, or economic training and experience do you have that make you more qualified for a job on the City Council over other candidates? I believe that with my educational background (BA degree in Finance/Business and a Masters degree in Health Administration/MHA), I have a solid background supporting my 40 years of business experience in Human Resources, Accounting, and Supervision. My military experience has provided me many opportunities to successfully complete assigned missions and to lead subordinate personnel in peacetime or in a war zone. In addition, I previously held a Batavia City at Large Councilman position from 1991 thru 1994. With my experience from Business, Military, Education and previous experience as a past Councilman, I feel uniquely qualified for a position on City Council.
What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? The first book influencing my thinking is by Robert D. Putnam entitled BOWLING ALONE—THE COLLAPSE AND REVIVAL OF AMERICAN COMMUNITY. The book explains the civic engagement decline in the United States in political, civic, religious, and connections in the workplace participation providing a suggestive path toward change and not forgetting our usage of technology and mass media in a modern society. The next book is by W. Edwards Deming entitled OUT OF THE CRISIS. The book explains the needed transformation of various business sectors in the United States to once again compete in the global business world through drastic “Quality and Productivity” improvements. The transformation includes improvement in government operations and a warning about politicians concerned with the next election and not doing the right thing for the people they represent for the sake of a successful future election. Finally, the book that had a large impact on my thinking was written by John F. Kennedy entitled PROFILES IN COURAGE. Kennedy provided a collection of actions represented by people that disregarded negative consequences to their public and private lives to do the one thing that seemed right in itself. The decision made was not always the most popular or demanded by a superior, but it was the right thing to do. All these books have provided something to my thinking and personality in dealing with today’s society.