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Charlie Mallow

July 13, 2009 - 11:36pm

rose mary Christian.jpgWe need to check -- Has Adam Miller started selling backpedals?  It seems so. A few were put in use at tonight's Batavia City Council meeting.

Suddenly, the idea of taking a good hard look at converting the Batavia Fire Department to an all volunteer force doesn't seem as attractive to as many council members as it did May 26, when City Council President Charlie Mallow raised the issue in a fiery speech about the high cost of the current paid-professional service.

At that meeting, council members Marianne Clattenburg, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski and Rose Mary Christian all expressed support for looking more closely at the idea, with Clattenburg endorsing Mallow's call to arms with a hearty, "here, here."

Tonight, only Mallow kept the flame lit.

"I could foresee a problem with volunteers because of all the tall structures we have in the city," said Clattenburg. "I have real concerns if something disastrous happens."

clattenburg.jpgClattenburg said what she really meant at the previous meeting is that there should be some study on how the city can save money on fire service, such as looking at what cities of similar size as Batavia, with similar structures, do for fire service and how they keep costs down.

Christian, who wasn't quite as vocal in her support of Mallow's proposal in May, was more adamant in her opposition tonight to the idea of switching to an all volunteer force.

Christian made the repeated point -- disputed by Mallow -- that only paid professional fire fighters are trained in how to clear a building in an emergency, that volunteers are not allowed to get evacuation training.

"400 Towers is in my ward, and we have hospitals in the other wards," Christian said. "When you can prove to me that they have the training, then I can agree with it. Until then, I can't."

Christian also raised concerns about how quickly volunteers would respond, noting that current fire personnel can respond to an emergency anywhere in the city within three minutes.

When Bialkowski suggested that the City Council set some goals for what it hopes to accomplish with a reconsideration of the fire service, Christian interjected, "Goals are about money, and my goals are safety.  Money isn't always an issue."

And the theme was set for the discussion: This isn't all about money. We need to consider the safety issues as well.

"When we had that fire at Christina's, if not for the immediate response of the fire department, that whole block could have gone down," said Councilman Frank Ferrando.

Mallow reminded council members that terms of the current union agreement doesn't necessarily put safety first. Before any volunteer firefighter can be dispatched to a fire in the City of Batavia, all paid personnel must be called in, even if it means overtime.

"If we're going to talk about safety, let's really talk about safety," Mallow said. "Let's talk about these restrictions."

Mallow also said that there are bigger cities in New York, with bigger structures, that have all-volunteer fire departments.

"Just because we've always done it this way in Batavia doesn't make it right," Mallow said.

Council members are going to form a subcommittee to further study cost saving measures, including potentially coming up with a scheme to include volunteers with paid staff in a single department.

Christian (pictured top in file photo) is a candidate for a seat on the County Legislature and Clattenburg (file photo) is looking to move up from her Ward 2 council seat to a Council At Large seat.

April 29, 2009 - 12:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, Charlie Mallow.

cmallow.jpgCity Council President Charlie Mallow, who was rumored a few weeks ago to be a candidate for County Legislature, issued a statement moments ago saying that he's withdrawing from elective politics.

He won't seek re-election nor a seat on the County Legislature. Mallow expresses no intention to run for any other office in the future.

He will finish his current term.

Here's his statement:

I appreciate the faith that people placed in me by electing me to a term on City Council and it has been a real honor to serve the last four years. It should not come to a shock to anyone I have ever spoken to but, I will not seek another term. It was never my intention to run  for more than one term and I have no desire to be a politician. My time on City Council has been a life changing experience and I wanted  to thank each and every one of you that gave me the opportunity to represent you. After spending my time on Council, I have a new perspective on small town politics. Batavia is a great place to live and I hope other people will decide to step up and serve our city. I don't believe the public is served well by career politicians and I support term limits. I did consider running for Legislature but, I have withdrawn my name from consideration. I will serve out my current term on Council as promised.

September 9, 2008 - 8:12am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, city council, Democrats, Charlie Mallow.

Batavia's City Council met for a brief session last ight in City Hall and in that time unofficially decided to nix the city's ethics board and rely on the county's one if needed—though I imagine any formal vote on it would come at the next meeting, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. Council also decided to switch the meeting schedule so that council will only meet once a month on alternating Mondays. Council will continue to meet twice a month, but its meetings will be split. That means one Monday will be a business meeting and another will be the conference meeting.

In other news, City Council President Charlie Mallow has decided to step down as chairman of the Genesee County Democratic Party. Mallow will give up the post on September 17, though he plans to remain active in the group. He was chairman for a year and a half.

August 19, 2008 - 9:52am
posted by Jim Hink in Charlie Mallow.

Hello,,

 

   I would like too know if genesee county is ever gonna adopt the cold war tax relief too cold war veterans who qualify???

August 17, 2008 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Daily News, Charlie Mallow, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski, mall, Scott DeSmit.

The Saturday/Sunday edition of the Daily News contains a rather odd, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy narrative by Scott DeSmit in which he puts himself in a benighted Batavia. How far hence, we are not told.

A man is peering out from behind his door. I see the glistening barrel of his gun and I keep walking, keeping tight to what is left of the sidewalk.

A newspaper. Almost intact.

I reach down and scoop it up. A rat skitters away.

"Last of City Council Disbands" the headline reads.

Ahhh. I remember that. Three of them, as I recall. Mallow, Bialkowski and Cox.

Ahhh. So lurking within the vitriol and sniping that is what passes for dialogue between these three men is a Batavia of buckled sidewalks, parks gone to seed, creek water that will melt skin and a Sheriff who has barricaded the city's borders.

A little over the top, don't you think, Scott?

While the animosity and bitter words over what amount to rather trivial issues (when compared to the big question of the final resolution of the mall) might impede progress. It's takes a pretty active imagination -- which Scott clearly has -- to expect their bickering to lead to walled off Batavia.

That said, point taken, Scott -- and one we don't disagree with: These men need to stop arguing and get down to business. The mall has got to go, and they should busy themselves generating a plan and public support to make it happen.

 

May 28, 2008 - 12:02am

Over the past few months, I have seen the actions that this Council has taken, and unfortunately, that some council members have tried to overturn, the actions being consolidation and its relation to Batavia's long term fiscal health, the preserving of our great cultural heritage and who an increased tax burden would hurt the most. Unfortunately, Bill Cox, Bob Bialkowski and Sam Barone have been obstructionists to the general progress that this Council is trying to create Batavia.

Firstly, I am a very proud Batavian, I have lived here for almost 20 years now, which is almost my entire life. I have been blessed to live in this area, an area rich with educational opportunities due to excellent schools, great youth programs and, most importantly, people of compassion and responsibility, thats what I believe Batavia's greatest asset is, its people. However, I believe that all of that has come under attack by an overriding objection to change, this objection being irrational and irresponsible at its core, the change being consolidation. Although it is true I was originally opposed to consolidation, I believe that Batavia would not be able to survive if we didn't make large scale to changes to the way that we operate our government, unfortunately that meant making tough choices. Those tough choices lead to the accepting of a grant that would consolidate our dispatch services. I still don't believe in a perfect world that we would have to consolidate those services, however, the very fabric of our fiscal health and the maintenance of our cultural heritage was at risk. So we did what needed to be done in order to make sure that we can continue to operate in the short term and not have a large amount of debt in the long term.

On the same note, the council worked hard to make other tough budgetary decisions this year, these decisions reduced an increase in the tax levy from roughly 24 percent to roughly 8 percent. Those may be just numbers to some, to others its the difference between paying for their medicine or for their groceries. In the end, its the struggling middle and lower-middle class that ends up stomaching such a large tax burden. In the long run, the consolation is the difference between having years of saddled debt upon the City for future generations or having a fiscally clear future.

Unfortunately, some, such as Mr. Barone, Mr. Cox and Mr. Bialkowski have taken it upon themselves to reverse those decisions to create a culture of political mudslinging to overtake council, as was seen tonight by the attempt to remove the City Attorney from proceedings of meetings (which costs roughly 1600 dollars per year), it has also been seen by the attempts to cut out small and already agreed upon expenditures, such as the cutting out of 500 dollars in order to cancel parades and other events. It appears that it is the goal of certain councilmen to simply grandstand and make a large issue out of very small expenditures for their own political benefit, instead of working hard to make the lives of Batavians better and preserve our great cultural heritage.

My question to Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone is simple, what offends you about us?

Why do you, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone find working people so offensive? As to not leave us, the middle and lower class, a bit of relief on our tax or rent bill in the short run and fiscal health in the long run.

Why do you, Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone find young people so offensive? As to not leave us a city that is in good fiscal health, wanting us to pay off the debts of your proposed recklessness 20 years from now.

This Council worked very well and hard and across party lines to make a budget that addresses the needs of the hard working middle class people of Batavia and by consolidating provided a better long term fiscal situation for the young. I give all due credit to those council members, Mr. Mallow, Ms. Briggs, Ms. Clattenberg, Ms. Christian, Mr. Buckley and Mr. Ferrando, they are making Batavia a better place to live for all.

Perhaps some other council members, such as Mr. Cox, Mr. Bialkowski and Mr. Barone should stop paying lip service to the taxpayers and renters they swear to protect and start actually working for them instead of making a political show out of the City Council.

May 19, 2008 - 6:43pm

On Saturday Jon Powers, the endorsed Congressional Candidate in the 26th Congressional District (which includes all of Genesee County) came out to Batavia to rally supporters and meet voters to help spread his positive message of change and real leadership.

He arrived at Main Street Coffee to meet an enthusiastic and fired up group of supporters.  Jon and his field director, Sara Gordon, gave us a quick rundown on canvassing (door-knocking) and on how to engage voters and sent us out into the field.

Powers and Field Director Sara Gordon Firing Up Supporters At Main Street Coffee

(Powers and Field Director Sara Gordon at Main Street Coffee)

Powers, an Iraq war veteran, didn't just campaign though.  With his combat boots laced up he entered a neighborhood where he met up with Council President Charlie Mallow and Councilpeople Rosemary Christian and Sam Barone along with other community volunteers that were helping clean up a portion of the city and began helping out.  In his clean white polo shirt he grabbed a rake and began raking branches and helping move bags.  Many who came out were impressed with the young veteran and teacher.  Many were impressed with his style and attitude.  I had the pleasure of spending this time with Jon, it was remarkable to see how people seemed to swarm around him, listening to him talk about his plans and his vision for our district and our country.

Powers and Councilwoman Rosemarie Christian at the Neighborhood Clean-up

(Powers chats with Councilwoman Rosemary Christian at a Neighborhood clean-up)

After that he was off to Warsaw to fire up more supporters to canvass for him in Wyoming County and then was back at Batavia for a night at the American Legion.

One thing's for sure, Jon Powers isn't afraid to do the hard work of making a difference for our district. 

Thats what's going to win him this race.

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