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?
When there have been shots fired, then you have to consider them problem areas. But as you know, they are not the only neighborhoods with problems. Our police force is not really all that large, about 35 people. Some of them are administrative such as the Chief, so I would be willing to allow overtime to add additional coverage until we apprehend whoever fired the shots.
I have also personally gone to and asked Council to look into having the Genesee County Sheriff provide some patrol time to the City. We pay County taxes and should get something for them.
What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?
I think the level of code enforcement we have now is sufficient. The City is trying to be fair with landlords, homeowners and renters. They are trying to not be too heavy-handed or too lenient, which is not easy.
The City is also looking for grants to help property owners make repairs and improvements. In addition, there is a program to help turn multiple unit homes back into single family, owner occupied homes which in the long run will make a significant difference. This could be done faster, however, that would mean hiring more City employees. That is something I do not want to do.
How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?
I kept ARC for my trash provider because I like the service, the cost meets my needs and I like their mission. But I do not feel I have the right to tell you or anyone else who you have to hire or how much you have to pay. The only way to legally return to ARC would be to put trash pickup out to bid. If ARC lost the bid, they would be out of the trash business in the City and I do not want that to happen.
What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?
We should continue to do what we are doing now, which is to provide assistance to businesses trying to come into the City or to stay in the City, be the information clearing house and provide any advice we can. We should look for grants from the State and Federal government that are out there (it is our money after all) to help develop infrastructure such as sewers, water lines, street paving and sidewalk repair.
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?
I would support keeping our own police and fire departments. With the recent crime problems in some parts of the City, this is no time to rely on only the Sheriff. Who knows what may happen in the future, but right now, today I want to keep our own.
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?
No, I am not happy with the way things have been run, not at all. If elected, there will be a change. Too often it has seemed that not all the information Council has needed or wanted was provided. In one recent case, it was not provided until just before a Council meeting. Too often the public is not given all the details of recommended spending. This is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Why have you decided to run for City Council and why should people vote for you?
I have been involved with City government for a few years now and want to do more. I had been regularly attending Council meetings for years and then was selected to serve on the 2010 City Charter Commission. I currently serve on the Batavia City Planning Board. I thought it was time for me to step up and do more. I now have the time, experience and ideas to help move the City of Batavia forward.