Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Lisa Whitehead

November 2, 2013 - 12:28pm

On January 21st of this year, a small group of concerned, like minded citizens, set to the task of creating an alternative to the existing political parties. We didn’t know how to do it really, and we most certainly had no idea if it would work, but we felt strongly enough about our core principles, and even stronger about the lack of real choice, to give it a go. It has been a great success!

As of June 8th, that little ragtag group of four people grew into a solid core group of committed individuals whose numbers were reaching one hundred fifty, and we’ve grown even more since then. On that same evening, we were not only officially formed as a chapter of the New York Libertarian Party (Fastest ever to do so), but we also nominated our series of candidates, Jim Rosenbeck, Lisa Whitehead, and a few weeks later, Robert Brown. It’s these wonderful people, we would like just a moment of your time to discuss.

 Jim is one the finest men we know. He’s caring and compassionate, just ask the hundreds of students that he impacted in his twenty seven year career as a school counselor at Pembroke Schools. He is giving with his time, willing to listen to any and all opinions, and respecting everyone who brings it. He is honest, transparent, and most of all, incredibly thoughtful. Jim doesn’t react first, then ask questions like we have seen too much in recent years. Jim asks questions, gathers facts, seeks input from those it will affect, and then makes a non-emotional decision based on a long term vision. He believes in not just impacting today, but tomorrow as well.

Lisa is the perfect example of a powerful woman! She is a no nonsense individual that knows how to get things done, negotiate to find the best solution for all sides, and has the foresight to understand that all perspectives can lead you to the correct path if you just listen. Yet, she is also “Mrs. Whitehead” to hundreds of our kids at John Kennedy, guiding them with care and compassion. Lisa knows how important a good plan is, which is why she is always seeking to understand the full vision in everything she does. She is kind, creative, honest and open to any and all that need her.

Robert, or Bob to us, is sincerely all of the good qualities of A Beautiful Mind. He is without a doubt one of the most analytical minds that we have ever met. He doesn’t just understand things, he is able to dissect them into fundamental pieces, then show anyone how they’re interacting with everything else. What you end up getting from that, is one of the most thoughtful, prepared and fact driven individuals in this area! Bob cares so deeply for his neighbors, and is always willing to listen to anyone that approaches him. He is honest, open, and brave.

Yes, we really like these people, and yes we are the people who endorsed them, so we should, right? True, but as two individuals, we also wanted to share with you how excited we are to actually have people we want to represent us! It has been a rare thing these past years to have that, and now we do! So with that, we like to humbly ask you to consider voting for Jim Rosenbeck and Lisa Whitehead for Batavia City Council at Large, and Bob Brown for Genesee County Legislature District 8 on November 5th!

Thank you,

Phil Ricci and Dave Olsen

Chair and Vice Chair,

Genesee County Libertarian Party

October 29, 2013 - 4:40pm
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in city council, libertarian, Lisa Whitehead.

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?

I’m sure that the dedicated officers of the Batavia Police Department are aware of problems in these areas and are doing all that can be legally done. As a council person, I would support an increased police presence (city and county) and any other efforts as long as they are good for the community at large.

What level of code enforcement do you favor to deal with seemingly problem properties?

I don’t see it as a code issue but more of a pride issue. If the resident is owner of the property, we need to find out why they are not keeping up with their property. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that need to be addressed. Educating them on programs that are available through the city, county and state that would help them financially or through volunteerism to upgrade their residence is the answer. If the problem property is a rental, it needs to be considered a business and as such must comply with public safety codes. If the owner refuses to bring their property up the appropriate safety codes, that business must be closed. No business should put its customers needlessly in harm’s way. As far as non-safety codes, we need to find a way to enforce these evenly throughout the city. For example, we should not cite one landlord for long grass and completely ignore others with the same issue.

How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?

I have always said that I was okay with Batavia getting out of the trash business and as far as I can tell trash collection is being handled efficiently and effectively. What I was not happy with was the way that the trash collection issue was presented to our community. It was as if city government was trying to force us to accept their solution without giving us the opportunity to examine it. Then there was all the talk of mass piles of garbage in the city – obviously just scare tactics. These are the same tactics used by State and Federal lawmakers when they want to pass legislation that may not be well thought out.

What should be the city's role in economic and job development be in Batavia?

The city’s role should be to lower property taxes to make city structures appealing to potential new businesses and look for ways to reduce other impediments to business. One area where we may be able to make improvements would be in the building code. There may be items in those codes that are outdated and may be removed.

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?

Consolidating government resources is a proven way to reduce taxes and improve services. As a Council person, I would have to carefully consider any consolidation proposal to ensure that it is in the best interests of the community at large.

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?

I think we can always do better. We strive to make every aspect of our lives better for ourselves and our children. Why not city government? The one thing I would change in city government is I would make it a requirement that each ward representative have a "Town Hall" type meeting twice a year within their wards to see what their constituents are really concerned about. Also, have the At-Large representatives be required to attend one meeting in each ward. Residents need to know that the vote they cast in November elected someone who will listen to what they have to say, not just for someone who assumes to know what they believe.

Why have you decided to run for City Council and why should people vote for you?

I have decided to run for City Council at Large for a couple of reasons. First, I have never liked it when someone complains about something and isn’t willing to speak up for the issues that bother them. I have grumbled about things going on in the city for a while and now I am willing to say that I think I can help this city. Second, I think we need people on council that will ask the questions needed to find out if there are other ways to solve our issues. I don’t want to cast a no vote for the sake of saying no. We really need to think about how to help our residents and the city itself. I have lived in Batavia for 15 years and even though I didn’t grow up here, Batavia is my children’s home and my home.

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