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Chad Zambito

September 14, 2012 - 9:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito.

Chad Zambito picked 197 votes in the Town of Batavia GOP primary for a seat on the town board, beating John Gerace, who had 89 votes.

September 11, 2012 - 1:33pm

An Open Letter to Town of Batavia Residents:

As you probably know, there is a primary for a position on the Batavia Town Board on Thursday and the polls are open from noon-9 p.m.  This position was left open when my opponent, John Gerace, resigned after a now infamous incident that occurred at the Town of Batavia Fireman’s Installation Dinner.  I was not at this event and have heard several accounts of what happened but will take Mr. Gerace at his word that the incident has been blown out of proportion and was actually a “hiccup” and not characteristic behavior.

I certainly appreciate John’s service, he and I served together beginning in 2003 and he had spent a few years on the planning board prior to his election.   I am, however, disappointed with his efforts to exploit my failing business for his political gain.  I was forced to close Grammy’s Laundromat in July and the subsequent auction raised far less than I expected.   I am currently working to resolve the issues that have stemmed from the closing. Like most of you, I have been knocked down from time to time but have consistently stood back up and dusted myself off and I will continue to do so. 

The people of the Town of Batavia deserve better than muckraking politics.  This type of campaign hurts the system and discourages good people from running for public office.  I have attempted to run a clean campaign and not engage in dirty politics.  I do, however, feel I need to set the record straight on some level.

I take issue with several statements made by Mr. Gerace.  In a recent interview, he stated that the consolidation charter effort, which he supported every step of the way, wasted $100,000 of tax-payer money to produce a document that he says has never seen.  This is simply not the case.  A $54,000 state grant was awarded to the City of Batavia for the study and the work only came to a halt when the Town Board failed to act on a home rule legislation request that simply would have allowed the process to continue.  In addition, the document is easily available online and for someone who claims to “do his homework,” it strikes me as peculiar that my opponent has not bothered to read that document.  My sense is that he realizes consolidation is an unpopular issue in the town and he hopes to connect me to that effort regardless of the fact that he has supported it at several junctures. 

Upon my appointment, Mr Gerace went to great lengths to have the appointment nullified claiming that the process used was invalid.  That claim was quickly dismissed by the town’s attorney as unfounded.  I also take issue with a political postcard Mr. Gerace has issued.  He claims a “Zero Tax” rate for in town as one of his top accomplishments but the town has enjoyed a zero tax rate for decades.  He has asked voters to “Re-elect” him and also labeled himself “Councilman John Gerace” in his postcard.   That statement is inaccurate and misleading.

I have always felt that I was the best candidate for this position.  I am a dedicated professional that has three years of economic development experience and I have had a direct hand it the town’s growth.  I worked diligently to resolve issues related to Gateway II while serving on the board, paving the way for Ashely Furniture to open its doors and provide nearly 80 jobs.  I wrote the grant that led to the design of the Med-Tech Center Building and negotiated an easement that brought much needed sewer capacity to the Ag Park.  I have generously volunteered my time to Chamber of Commerce, an Advisory Committee for GCC’s BEST Center, the GLOW Region’s Workforce Investment Board and numerous career days and community events.  I currently work for Paragon Advertising in Buffalo and also serve as the Director of Advancement for St. Joseph School of Batavia. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have supported me every step of the way, including my wife Jennifer.  My one regret is that the issues brought forward in this election have caused her undue stress and frustration. 

I encourage you to head to the polls from noon-9 p.m. on Thursday and hope you will give me your support when you do.  Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments at [email protected].  Thank you.

September 5, 2012 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, bdc, Chad Zambito.

Chad Zambito, an appointed Town of Batavia board member and candidate for the GOP nomination for that seat, expected the assets of his former laundromat to sell for somewhere close to $30,000.

The actual highest bid on Tuesday, in an auction conducted by the Bank of Castile, was $3,500.

That's enough to cover Zambito's debt to the bank, but he still owes more than $14,000 to the Batavia Development Corporation, which provided Zambito with a low-interest loan in 2010 to finance upgrades to the laundromat.

This morning, Zambito issued the following statement:

I continue to work towards resolving the issues related to the closing of my business and intend to meet with the BDC board to resolve any outstanding issues. I have started the Chapter 13 process which in the short term will provide me 60-90 days to get my finances in order. If I complete the process, the result would be a court ordered and monitored five-year repayment plan. 

Grammy's Laundry closed earlier this year and Zambito said much of the business's difficulties stemmed from a plumbing problem in the mall where Grammy's was located. He said the business never recovered from the set back.

A former laundromat owner who observed Tuesday's auction said just one of the high capacity dryers at Grammy's retails new for about $3,500. There was some 40 or so washers and dryers, some in apparent disrepair, in the facility. The buyer is an out-of-county laundry owner who reportedly plans to remove all the machines and take them to another of his laundromats.

Zambito's GOP primary opponent is John Gerace, who held the office for nearly a decade before resigning in April after a Town of Batavia Fire Department awards and installation dinner where Gerace reportedly had some sort of confrontation with Supervisor Greg Post.

August 30, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

The Batavian received a reply from the City of Batavia today on its FOIL request regarding the loan that Chad Zambito received through the Batavia Development Corp. for his business, Grammy's Laundry, which is set for an asset auction Sept. 4.

Answers to key questions:

  • Date loan approved: Conditional approval, May 2010
  • Amount of initial loan: $20,000
  • Purpose of the loan: working capital/equipment
  • Amount still owed on the loan: The pay off is $14,532.15
  • Date of last payment: July 3

Zambito also owes money to the Bank of Castile. He said previously that his total debt is less than $20,000 and he expects the asset auction to raise enough money to satisfy both debts.

Previously: Business owned by Chad Zambito closed, assets up for auction to pay debts

August 29, 2012 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

Grammy's Laundry, a business located on West Main Street and owned by Chad Zambito, a candidate in the GOP primary for Batavia Town Board, has been closed and its assets are being sold at auction.

The auction is set for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the order of the Bank of Castile.

Besides owning money to the Bank of Castile, Zambito also borrowed money from the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) to help upgrade and modernize the laundry.

In total, Zambito said, he owes less than $20,000 against the business's assets, which he said he expects to fetch close to $30,000 in the auction.

Zambito said today his business got into trouble in January when a plumbing problem forced him to close the laundry for two months. Even after the doors were open again, customers did not return with the same frequency as before.

He believes another business caused the blockage in the plumbing system, but it wasn't resolved in time between the other business and the landlord to get his doors reopened in a timely manner.

"It wasn't my responsibility to fix it, but yet I'm left to deal with the consequences," Zambito said.

The failure of Zambito's business was brought to the attention of The Batavian by his GOP primary opponent John Gerace. Gerace didn't accuse Zambito of stirring the pot on Gerace's own personal issues, but said if others are going drag the campaign into personal issues rather than real issues, people should know about the auction proceedings.

Zambito was appointed earlier this month to fill the vacant spot left on the Town Board by Gerace's resignation from the board in April. Zambito is also the endorsed candidate by the town's GOP committee in the Sept. 13 primary race.

While the notice on the door of Grammy's Laundry confirms the auction, The Batavian has not been able to confirm the amount of debt Zambito incurred and has not repaid. A FOIL request to the City of Batavia for related BDC documents has not yet been answered.

Zambito is a former BDC board member, but said he left that position when he was no longer employed by Genesee County Economic Development Committee, and didn't request the loan until after he was no longer a BDC member.

Grammy's Laundry, Zambito said, went through three or four years of ups and downs as he tried to get the business going and in time, prior to the plumbing problem, the laundry was not much more than a break-even proposition.

"I worked with both lending institutions in an attempt to stay on track, but it got to be too much," Zambito said.

August 28, 2012 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, John Gerace, Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board.

The signs say "Re-Elect John Gerace, Town Board," but it's not that simple.

Gerace is not the incumbent in Batavia.

Chad Zambito is. He was appointed earlier this month to the seat vacated by Gerace in the spring.

Gerace has been trying to get the seat back ever since his letter of resignation, which he says was written in a "knee-jerk reaction," was accepted by Supervisor Greg Post.

As for Zambito, he's not overly concerned about Gerace posting "re-elect" signs.

"I don't think he's necessarily trying to confuse the issue," Zambito said. "I just think they're from a prior election."

Gerace said he figures he can run for reelection because he's been elected before.

Of course, so has Zambito.

Both were first elected to the town board in 2003, and then Zambito resigned in 2007 when he became VP of marketing for Genesse County Economic Development Center, causing a possible conflict of interest.

Now they face each other in a GOP primary Sept. 13 that is the result of Gerace's resignation in April.

At the time, Gerace wouldn't discuss his resignation. Now he acknowledges it was spurred by events at the awards and installation dinner for the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department.

Gerace was intoxicated at the event and was observed being loud and boisterous.

What happened later in the evening isn't clear, but Gerace said that contrary to various rumors, he was not involved in a physical altercation with Supervisor  Post.

He said he and Post had words outside of the fire hall about his behavior, and some people followed them out to see what was going on, but that was it.

"I held myself up to a higher standard than most people being an elected representative," Gerace said. "(My resignation) was a knee-jerk reaction. The next day I spoke with the supervisor about it and he asked me what I should do and I said I would fire myself. It was a knee-jerk reaction."

Even though he acknowledges that he wrote a letter of resignation, it was never intended to go through or be made public.

It was supposed to be held in abeyance until and unless he had any similar problems in the future.

Once word got out about the letter, however, Gerace said, Post had no choice but to accept it.

Gerace said he also went to the next board meeting for the fire department and personally apologized to every member for his behavior at their event.

Earlier this month, Zambito, who was endorsed by the town GOP as Gerace's replacement, was selected by the town board to complete Gerace's term.

Gerace believes the process for selecting Zambito violated parliamentary procedures under Roberts Rules of Order. But Zambito said the town's attorney looked into it and the process was fine.

Besides the fire department event and resignation, the other issue that may dog Gerace in the primary is a question about unpaid taxes.

In June, NYS Taxation and Finance issued a tax warrant against Gerace $571.26.

When asked about it, Gerace said, "I know what that's about. It's taken care of."

The Batavian learned of the tax warrant after an unknown person attached a copy of it to our office door.

Even with all these issues, Gerace said he's confident he's the right man for the job and that voters should check off his name on their ballots.

"I have a proven track record serving the Town of Batavia," Gerace said. "I'm a lifelong resident of this area. It's very near and dear to me and the issues that effect this area effect myself. I don't vote to approve or disapprove motions for myself. I look at how they effect every member of the community."

Gerace added that he also has a near-perfect attendance record for town meetings over the past decade.

Zambito said he would bring experience and professionalism to the position.

He noted that besides being a previous town board member and serving on the Genesee Chamber of Commerce Board, his three years with GCEDC is just the kind of experience the board needs right now with all the planned and anticipated growth in the town.

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