City Council at Large Candidate Questions for Eugene Jankowski Jr - Republican
There's a lot of concern from city residents about activities on Jackson and State Street. Do you consider those streets problem areas and if so, what should be done about them?
The majority of Jackson and State streets contain well-kept homes, businesses and Law abiding residents. However, there are a few areas that need to be addressed. When these types of problems have occurred in the past the Police Department would take the lead and coordinate the response As a Police Lieutenant I've participated in a multiple agency response to this type of problem on many occasions, coordinating with, State Police, Sheriff, Code Enforcement, HUD, Social Services, Probation, Parole, and landlords etc. to resolve the problem. Something similar should be happening now to remedy the problem. I can personally attest to its effectiveness. As a member of City Council I will use my experience to help City departments obtain the resources and cooperation they need to continue to protect the residents of Batavia at the level they expect.
What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?
My experience as a Police Lieutenant has taught me that code enforcement works best when it's part of a multi-faceted team approach. Code enforcement is also more effective when consistent and fair for all properties in the City and not just used on a "seemingly problem property". This method can prevent these problems from springing up in the first place. Those responsible for managing the Batavia code enforcement should be held to this standard by City Council.
How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?
I have heard complaints from residents who live on streets that have multiple days of garbage pickup during the week. In response I think the garbage pickup cycle should be discussed and possibly limited to certain streets on certain days only. It was that way in the past when the ARC handled the garbage pickup and I believe it will be better for the neighborhoods.
On another note, a downtown merchant complained that approximately half the City garbage cans on Main St. were ordered removed because the ARC is no longer contracted by the City to empty them. This duty was passed on to the already understaffed public works dept. so it appears the garbage cans may have been removed to make the extra workload more manageable. The concern is that the absence of garbage cans may contribute to more litter in the downtown area. One merchant told me that he already found a pile of debris on the sidewalk where a garbage can once stood. This should be monitored and addressed if need be.
What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?
There is a finite amount of land available for big industry in the City and the majority of Batavia’s economy is generated by small businesses. The activity generated when industry is brought into the Genesee County area translates into more opportunities for the small businesses. I believe this is where our focus should be.
I have noticed that there appears to be an overlap between duties performed by BID, Genesee County EDC, City Staff and Vibrant Batavia. I've been requested to have this discussed and streamlined. I agree. If the County EDC and BID can handle the workload I see an opportunity to save resources and or tax dollars.
On another note, why is taxpayer money being used to fund Vibrant Batavia in the first place? Is this appropriate use of taxpayer monies? How and who appointed the members of the Vibrant Batavia Committee? As a member of City Council I'd like to look into this and find the answers to these questions. I could be wrong but my instinct tells me something isn't right with this.
If the choice came down to either A) raising taxes and maintaining the city's own police department and/or fire department; or, B) consolidating police protection with the city or going to some form of volunteer fire department, which option would you choose?
My choice would be “A” if necessary. The many people I've talked with during my campaign have made it very clear to me that public safety is a number one priority. I will represent them as promised and do everything possible to provide a valued service in proportion to the money spent. I agree that these are important services. Taxpayers want their Police Department to remain intact and centrally located, preferably downtown. In certain areas of Batavia there is the potential for fire to spread quickly from building to building. I've personally witnessed the quick response of the Fire Department minimize damage and save lives. Both are valuable resources and should be maintained at the proper levels to remain effective.
Are you satisfied with how the city is run? Are there changes you would like to make? If you were going to change one thing about how the city operates, what would it be?
The City is functioning but I think there can be improvement. Taxpayers want City council to take the lead role and be more involved in managing the City. I agree. The voters have elected City Council to represent them with that expectation and want Council to do their job.
Why have you decided to run for City Council and why should people vote for you?
I will bring leadership and valuable resources to the City Council. I have a vast knowledge of the people, as well as the unique neighborhoods that make up this City. These resources will help City Council be more informed before making important decisions. Working together with other members of City Council I believe we can get Batavia back on track to the success we've enjoyed in the past.
While I personally thank the Lieutenant for his service to our community [my son is a police officer in NC], I have strong reservations about his platform here. I get too much of a sense of his favoring more/bigger government, which generally means more taxes and less personal liberties. IMO we have WAY TOO MUCH OF ALL 3 ALREADY.
Unfortunately, ex-cops don't usually make for good political representatives, because they have worked "for the government" for a long time previously, and have too many internal connections.