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November 1, 2017 - 10:24am

Q&A with the candidates for District 9 Legislature

posted by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, news, batavia.

There will be local elections Nov. 7. 

The one contested race for County Legislature is in District 9 where retired Sheriff Gary Maha is challenging incumbent Ed DeJaneiro. We asked each candidate to answer five questions. Below are their verbatim responses.

Q&A with Ed DeJaneiro

If elected, what’s your #1 priority? To insist on maintaining the County Sharing of Sales Tax with the City of Batavia as agreed 16 years ago with the Water Agreement. Also if and when the County is faced with the decision to alter or build a County Jail that we explore all possible cost alternatives to include a joint jail facility with another county. State consolidation incentives may be available. We must continue to improve infrastructure roads and bridges and provide public water to county residents and businesses. We need to maintain a level property tax (stay under the 2% tax cap) and use proceeds from the sale of the nursing home if needed.

What can you do if elected to help improve the business climate
in Genesee County?
Continue to support GCEDC efforts and promote our shovel-ready industrial sites for business to move here and create jobs. Maintain a friendly governmental approach with businesses and take advantage of State and Federal incentives.

What services currently provided by the County should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? We need to aggressively investigate consolidation of services where ever possible and provide the current county services in a more efficient matter.

What business, leadership, or economic training and experience to you have that make you more qualified for a job on the Legislature over your opponent? I have served as a City Councilperson for 10 years, Legislator for 16 years. I have worked in private business for 38 years of which as a manager of a savings and loan for five years and as an account manager in the supply distribution industry for 33 years. I manage the accounts for over 100 small businesses in Western New York. I also have a graduate degree in Public Administration.

What one, two, or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? Miracle at St. Anna, Rediscover Catholicism, The Seventh Step, My Shadow Ran Fast.

Q&A with Gary Maha:

If elected, what’s your # 1 priority? My # 1 priority is keeping taxes low and improving the quality of life in the City of Batavia and Genesee County. I would also like feedback from the residents of Wards 4 & 5 as what they perceive as priorities.

What can you do, if elected, to help improve the business climate in Genesee County? Improvement of the business climate in Genesee County must be a collaborative effort among all involved agencies, organizations, governments and the community. Including, but not limited to: Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), Batavia Business Improvement District (BID), Genesee County Legislature, Batavia City Council, County Manager, City Manager and members of the community. As a County Legislator, I would encourage such collaboration and/or facilitate such collaboration. Keeping property taxes under control is essential to improving the business climate in Genesee County and as Legislator; this would be my primary goal.

What services currently provided by the County should be cut or eliminated, if any? How and why? At this time I am not recommending any services currently provided by the County be cut or eliminated. If elected, I intend to meet with every department head to get an in-depth review of the programs and services offered and then formulate a position to determine greater efficiencies.  County departments and their programs and services need to be reviewed and evaluated annually for effectiveness and if they are cost-effective.

What business, leadership, or economic training and experience do you have that make you more qualified for a job on the Legislature over your opponent? I am in a unique position as a candidate for the County Legislature as I have served this community as their Sheriff for 29 years, overseeing a total of approximately 130 employees and an approximate 13 million dollar budget. I am familiar with County government and its operations. If elected to the County Legislature, my experience as a department head would be an asset to the residents of Wards 4 & 5 and the Genesee County Legislature. I have held leadership roles locally, in New York State and nationally. I was Past Chair of the Genesee County Traffic Safety Board; Past Chair of the Genesee County Criminal Justice Advisory Council; Past President of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association; Past Chair of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association’s Executive Committee, Past Vice-chair of the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Criminal Justice Information Systems/Technology Committee, and Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia. I am a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy, Quantico, VA where I received training in leadership, decision making, and management. I have also attended numerous courses and training seminars related to personnel management, homeland security, counterterrorism, incident command system, media relations, and law enforcement liability. This training and experience is an asset to my qualifications as a candidate for the Genesee County Legislature.

I am a lifelong resident of Genesee County and have been a resident of Vernon Avenue in the City of Batavia for almost 50 years. I have been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia for 29 years, serving the children of our community. I am a U.S. Army Veteran and have received numerous awards and accolades while serving as Sheriff of Genesee County. My wife, Susan, and I have raised our two daughters in Batavia and we care deeply for this community.

I serve as a member of Genesee Community College’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board and previously served as a member of Genesee Community College’s Housing and Ventures Committee. I also served as a member of the New York State Executive Committee on Counterterrorism, the New York State Local Law Enforcement Accreditation Council (Governor’s appointment), the New York State Interoperable & Emergency Communications Board (Governor’s appointment), and the National Sheriffs’ Association Homeland Security Committee. 

I feel my vast experience and training over the years makes me more qualified for the position of County Legislator than my opponent. I have served the people of Genesee County for my entire career and hope to continue that service as your County Legislator.

What one, two or three books first published within the past 250 years has most influenced your thinking about society and government? I recently read the book entitled “The Swamp” by Eric Bolling which discusses corruption and cronyism in Washington, DC. It was stated that cronyism involving sex, bribery, blackmail and backroom deals contradict public policies and cost taxpayers millions and billions of dollars. Personally, this is very disturbing to me being a taxpayer and the fact that I taught ethics for several years to new Sheriffs at the New Sheriffs School sponsored by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association.

I have also read several books pertaining to corruption over the years within the NYPD and books pertaining to leadership including “Leadership Under Fire” by Brigadier General Nick Halley and “Vigilance” by former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

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