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History in the making? City Council to vote on resolution to compensate chronologist Larry Barnes

By Mike Pettinella
Mar 28, 2022, 9:22pm

If all goes according to the plan laid out by City Manager Rachael Tabelski, the date April 11, 2022 will be one for the record books.

That’s when the Batavia City Council will vote on a resolution introduced by Tabelski to compensate Larry Barnes for his work as the city historian – a job that he has performed with zest on a volunteer basis since 2008.

Speaking at Council’s Conference Meeting tonight at the City Centre Council Board Room, Tabelski acknowledged the fine work by Barnes, a retired educator who has written several books about local history. If passed at the next Business Meeting on April 11, Barnes would receive an annual stipend of $5,000 for his efforts.

“(Barnes) is an author who is working on a book now about Batavia during the (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Tabelski, noting in a memo to Council that Barnes recently was reappointed to a four-year term.

Council member Robert Bialkowski threw his support behind Barnes, noting that he is “a very conscientious person, and we’re lucky to have him.”

Barnes has been or currently is involved with several history groups, including the Landmark Society of Genesee County, Batavia Historic Preservation Committee, Genesee County Historians Association, Government Appointed Historians of Western New York and the Association of Public Historians of New York State.

In other developments, Council moved the following resolutions to the April 11 meeting:

  • An extension of the School Resource Officer contract with the Batavia City School District for two more years, through June 30, 2024, with Officer Miah Stevens expected to continue in that role. Provisions of the agreement call for the school district to pay 100 percent of the officer’s salary and benefits, including overtime.

“I believe the program has gone exceptionally well,” said Tabelski, referring to the communication with school officials over parking and traffic issues. “The officer (also) provides services to the students, administration and faculty.”

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said that Stevens “loves her job … and they love having her. It’s a win-win on both sides.”

  • Creation of a temporary full-time detective position to keep the police department fully staffed when a current detective retires, likely this summer.  The temporary post carries an increase in pay of $15,000 to cover the promotion, Tabelski said.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. applauded the idea, stating that “it will save us time, effort and money” while the new detective works along side the current one to learn the ins-and-outs of the job and create a smooth transition.

Another resolution – awarding a contract with Pace Analytical for analysis of potable water and wastewater -- was approved during a Special Business Meeting tonight.

Pace, the lone bidder, will receive $9,414 for laboratory services at the Water Treatment Facility and $10,010 for similar services at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

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