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Rose Mary Christian

December 3, 2014 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Rose Mary Christian.

Via The Batavian's news partner, WBTA:

That proposed rally behind police everywhere announced by Ward Six Batavia Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian for Saturday night in Downtown Batavia has been called off. Christian told WBTA news this morning she had talked with some law enforcement officials who said it was the right idea but the wrong time. Councilwoman Christian says as a politician and a citizen she supports all law enforcement officers. Earlier she had said she is disgusted by the disregard for law enforcement that became evident in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere in recent weeks.

December 2, 2014 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Rose Mary Christian.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian sees all the protests on TV from around the country of people with hands up and thinks the protesters are being unfair to cops.

"The police risk their lives every day," Christian said. "It's not an easy job and we all know that, that's why I'm standing up for them."

Christian is calling on those in the community who support law enforcement to join her at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for a march down Main Street.

"I'm looking to support our law enforcement," Christian said. "I think it's tragic what's happened all over the United States. I think they need our support and to know that we're behind them."

She thinks the Ferguson, Mo., protests are misguided in their complaints about police officers.

"It's not about race, number one," Christian said. "They're using it for a civil (rights) movement and it's not. The fact is you protest, you protest in an orderly fashion. What did they accomplish by burning down business and having all the destruction they've had? Looting stores, what did that accomplish? What did that accomplish? Nothing! OK."

October 29, 2013 - 5:31pm
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in city council, Rose Mary Christian, For The People.

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?

Yes those two streets have problems. The landlords should have the powers to evict tenants that are causing the problems. The neighborhood should be vigilant to what is happening and contact our police department right away. People do not need to give a name if, they do it can stay confidential.

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

I believe our inspection department handles complaints all the time and do a great job by enforcement with these properties. I believe the tenant and the landlord should have to appear in court if the situation does not change.

How should garbage collection be handled in Batavia?

I think the garbage deal is totally over and people should move on. I have received but two complaints and that is because, the collector has not covered the back of the truck.

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

I feel as if our city has applied for many grants and economic development has done a great job. I look forward to the Carr’s building being renovated; it’s been long over do. We certainly need more industry and business in the downtown area.

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?

This is really a tough question because; many factors are to be considered. Safety and cost, location are the major factors. I don’t want an increase in taxes and location would be another factor, cost to the property owners would possibly be another burden on them. Consolidating the police and fire department with volunteer could be an option but safety factors would really have to be considered. What would the cost savings really be?

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?

All city employees should live in the city. (Other cities make their employees live in the city that pay their salaries, give them benefits, pensions and retirement). City taxes, school and county would decrease if all employees live in the city.

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

I have had many people call me for assistance but I could only give the name of the person from that ward to help them. If elected I would be able to help them right away. I serve the sixth ward now and love it. I tell it the way it is and, not sugar coat it. May God bless America.

March 29, 2012 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Rose Mary Christian.

Rose Mary Christian thought she would be retired these days, but she can't quite get away from the restaurant business.

She admits, she loves it.

In 1956, her father -- with the help of Carl Dilcher and George Jacobs -- built a diner on Ellicott Street Road near Shepard and Christian. Along with her eight brothers and sisters, she worked there for much of her young life.

The diner closed in 1965, but Christian opened it again -- with her four children -- in 1983.

"We used to have good times and you hear people reminisce about the old days," Christian said. "Hot dogs were 25 cents when my dad started and milk shakes were 50 cents. Now what’s a hot dog and what’s a milk shake? There’s a big difference."

Christian closed the diner in 2003, and then new owners took it over for a time more than a year ago, but eight months ago, that diner closed.

On Monday, the diner opens again as "Rosie's."

"I hope people drive out and see the restaurant and taste what we have to offer," Christian said. "I hope they just have a good day and a good experience coming here. Like I said, this is where good people meet."

The diner's menu, among regular diner fare, will include Italian and Polish dishes and homemade soup.

“We’re going to have a quarter-pound hot dog, like they have in New York City, that I love," Christian said. "It’s going to have mustard and sauerkraut on it. It’s delicious. You’ll have to try it."

Christian noted there aren't many dining establishments on the southeast side of town, plus there will likely be a road connecting the new ag park to Cedar Street, making it easier for workers there to get onto Ellicott Street. That could be the opening in the market she needs to be successful.

Asked if not just her history in the restaurant business, but her career in city politics would help attract customers to Rosie's, Christian laughed.

"The politics part of it," she said, "no, not at all."

March 4, 2011 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in consolidation, Rose Mary Christian.

Rose Mary ChristianCouncilwoman Rose Mary Christian believes she has new evidence to feed her opposition to consolidation between the town and the city.

Christian and colleague Patti Pacino recently attended New York Conference of Mayors' Winter Legislative Meeting in Albany.

She says she heard horror stories about how consolidation is going in other municipal jurisdictions.

She said lawsuits and fees are skyrocketing.

From WBTA:

"One of the areas is with the fire department: volunteer versus paid. And now the volunteers want to get paid," Christian says. "The other one was the (village) police department, and where their jurisdiction is going to stop. Are they going into the town?"

Christian says Seneca Falls was one of the only approved consolidations in New York State. Municipalities almost everywhere else have voted it down. Christian says those votes have been very lopsided, and she believes it would be the same way here -- based on what she's heard about the town.

"So obviously they have to work everything out in our area," she says, "before they even consider putting this forth."

Christian says there’s a much better alternative.

"You can have shared services, without doing any of this," she says.

March 8, 2010 - 10:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Rose Mary Christian.

Rose Mary Christian is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore, at least not if she has anything to say about allowing registered sex offenders to live a block away from an elementary school, and just a few doors down from a church.

At the end of tonight's 25-minute session of the Batavia City Council, she announced there would be a public forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 16 to discuss the issue of registered sex offenders in the city. It will be a question-and-answer with Police Chief Randy Baker and Det. Rich Schauf, held at the police station.

She says she's received a number of calls and an anonymous letter regarding Charles H. Wroten, who lives at 214 S. Swan St., upper. Some nearby residents want him gone and they want to know what can and can't be done in this regard.

Christian asked the city attorney to look into the zoning laws concerning registered sex offenders.

"As far as I know there's not much we can do about it," Christian said, adding that she spoke with the landlady about her tenant and the woman did not seem amenable to kicking Wroten out without cause.

Can they put up lawn signs saying "Charlie Wroten must go"? or how about a banner that says "A convicted rapist lives here and he needs to get out ASAP"? And on and on.

"Landlords should have it on the contract...ask whether they've ever been arrested," Christian said, at least they'd know whether the person lied and broke the contract.

She claims there are 161 "sick" registered sex offenders countywide and 150,000 in the state.

As for Wroten, he couldn't be reached for comment. The lights were on in his nondescript white, two-story duplex unit. The door was open, but the glass outer door was locked. No one answered the loud knock at 8:45 p.m.

His crime is public record, easily available online. He is described as a bald, black male, 245 pounds, 6 feet tall, born Feb. 16, 1961. He was convicted, at age 38, on May 17, 2000 of rape in the 3rd degree of a 15-year-old girl. It is a Level 3 offense, the highest level for such a felony. He was sentenced to 18 months to three years and Christian said he served 18 months.

Christian brought up the highly publicized California case of high school senior Chelsea King who was raped, murdered and found March 2 buried in a shallow grave along Lake Hodges in North San Diego County. The DNA of convicted rapist John Albert Gardner III was found in her underwear and he is in jail after pleading not guilty in the case. He lives in the vicinity of the crime. In a nearby community, Amber Dubois disappeared early last year after last seen walking to Escondido High School. Her remains were found this week 25 miles east of the school. Law enforcement is working to determine if the cases are linked.

In any event, the specter of having sex offenders living near children is upsetting to many residents.

"We have small kids around here, and I have five grandkids," said Wroten's next door neighbor, John Butler, who lives in a house with his wife, Mary, and rents from Rose Mary Christian.

"If he even looks at one of my grandkids, I'm going to jail because I'm going to bury him," John Butler said matter-of-factly.

The couple is openly nosy about Wroten and keep an eagle eye on him. They note there are three children living just downstairs from him. They claim a woman dropped off a little boy at Wroten's house this afternoon at about 4:20 and they wondered if that's legal (even if it's the rapist's child).

But living on the other side of Wroten, Carissa and Chad Helsdon take a more cautious, don't-tread-on-me approach. They have three small children.

"I was uncomfortable at first, but he hasn't come down over here and we haven't had any problems with him," Carissa Helsdon said. "He keeps to himself."

October 22, 2009 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Rose Mary Christian.

In a decision that allowed Batavia City Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian to receive unemployment benefits after her termination from Wal-Mart, an administrative law judge in Buffalo found that Christian's supervisor previously let employees eat damaged food items.

Mark Sokolowski said he found the testimony of Christian about the matter more credible than the testimony of the Wal-Mart representative, who is not named in Sokolowski's ruling.

Rose Mary Christian, who is a candidate for District 7 County Legislature, dropped a copy of the ruling off at The Batavian's office this afternoon. Christian's termination from Wal-Mart became a public issue when former Democrat Tim Paine provide an e-mail to local media where Christian admits to fellow council members that Wal-Mart let her go.  Paine is admittedly disgruntled over what he sees as Christian blocking his plan to run for City Council this year.

The ruling states:

"Although the claimant acknowledged that she was aware that she was supposed to scan a damaged item and throw it out, since the claimant's supervisor allowed deli associates to eat damaged food items as samples, I am not persuaded that the claimant was aware that she placed her job in jeopardy when she ate a piece of cake on January 26, 2008," Sokolowski wrote. "It is also significant that the claimant was not the first associate to eat a piece of cake, reinforcing to the claimant that it would be okay to eat the cake. At worst the claimant used poor judgment when she ate a piece of cake on January 26, 2008, however her poor judgment in this instance does not rise to the level of misconduct within the meaning of the Unemployment Insurance Law."

"Accordingly," he adds, "I conclude that he claimant was separated from her employment under non-disqualifying circumstances."

Sokolowski overturned a prior Department of Labor finding that Christian was not qualified for unemployment benefits because of her termination.

October 21, 2009 - 8:55am

Local Republicans want nothing to do with Tim Paine's release of a Rose Mary Christian e-mail in which Christian tells fellow council members about her termination from Wal-Mart 20 months ago.

Joe Gerace, chairman of the City Republicans, called this morning and was adamant that The Batavian publish a statement from him saying that neither City nor County Republicans had anything to do with Paine's decision to release the e-mail.

"It's personal," Gerace said. "This is between Rose Mary and Tim Paine and we have nothing to do with it."

"I don't like her philosophy, but Rose Mary and I are good friends," Gerace said. "Why would I get involved in a thing like this?"

Gerace said he doesn't like mudslinging and doesn't like to see local Republicans involved with such tactics.

"I don't condone dirty politics, dirty tricks," Gerace said.

When contacted this morning, Christian's Republican opponent Bob Radley was unaware yet of the issue. He said he had heard rumors, but it really wasn't something he was interested in pursuing.

"I'm not into talking about people's personal lives," Radley said. "That's not the way I want win an election. I want to win an election on the issues, not based on what my opponent has done."

October 20, 2009 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Tim Paine, Rose Mary Christian.

Tim Paine, who lost a Ward 4 council race to Bob Bialkowski two years ago, thinks Rose Mary Christian is personally responsible for him not being part of the Democratic slate this year.

He blames Christian for bringing candidate Julie Wallace into the fold and promoting her to other committee members, thereby costing him a chance to win a council seat. He believes he would've gotten more votes than Wallace, and more than the Republican with the fewest votes, too.

"I honestly feel I might have been the top of the ticket," Paine said, "and as hard as I work, I think I could have grabbed that third spot."

So tonight, he made no bones about seeking some payback and released to The Batavian and the Daily News a 20-month-old e-mail written by Christian and sent to her fellow City Council members. The Feb. 16, 2008 missive explained why she was fired from Wal-Mart.

The gist of it is that she and two other workers ate pieces of coffee cake from a damaged box that was going to wind up in the trash.

Christian was accused of violating store policy by opening the coffee cake package for another employee and then eating a small portion of it along with that employee and another worker.

When confronted by a store manager, Christian refused to give up the names of the other employees involved and she was terminated on the spot.

Here's the e-mail Rose Mary sent to all eight of her council colleagues, as well as City Attorney George Van Nest:

I want you to know that I was terminated by Wal-Mart for the following reason. I with two other girls ate a piece of coffee cake that was damaged. I opened the side of it and pulled it out. The girl who also ate some of it told on me. Almost a week later, my boss was told about it. When confronted, I would not tell who the other girls were. I was guilty of eating a piece of it, and was terminated. In case you hear it from someone else, I did it. Ro

(This e-mail was edited for typos only.)

For his part, Paine says flatly, releasing the e-mail "is personal. This is strictly a personal thing."

He takes umbrage with those who might minimize the importance of the issue.

"I can't tell you how much it pisses me off when people say, 'it was just a piece of coffee cake,'" Paine said. "How much will it be next time? Well, it was big enough that Wal-Mart fired her."

Large national retailers routinely terminate employees for even the most petty of infractions. There's no opportunity for appeal and no explanation will suffice. It's simply a zero-tolerance policy.

As the e-mail above indicates, Christian has no problem admitting she broke a rule -- though she says she was unaware of the policy at the time.

She said a girl who worked at the store came in to start her shift and said she was hungry, and Christian told her, "there's a damaged coffee cake over there." The girl started to stick her finger into the package and Christian said, "Don't do it like that. You don't know who's fingers have been in there." Christian then opened the package for her. At that point, they each took a small piece of the coffee cake as did a third employee.

Christian (electronically) scanned the package so the coffee cake would be reported as damaged inventory before it was thrown away.

Christian is the Democratic candidate for the District 7 County Legislature seat, running against Republican Bob Radley. She has represented Ward 6 for 18 years, and remains -- by all accounts very popular in her ward. We are told her nickname in that neighborhood is "Mayor of Ward 6."

Political observers we've spoken to suspect that in Ward 6, her unwillingness to "rat out" her co-workers will play well with voters. But in the more conservative Ward 1, the idea that she stole anything whatsoever may be all voters remember at the polls.

Christian said she doesn't want to be seen as a hero for not telling managers the names of the two other employees. She broke policy and was terminated. That's that.

She did say, however, that when Wal-Mart tried to fight her eligibility for unemployment, a judge ruled that she had been unfairly terminated and awarded her unemployment benefits, which she did receive for a time. She plans to make a letter confirming that decision public as soon as she obtains a copy.

Christian was taken aback to learn that Paine had a personal issue with her. She said she had no idea until this came up today that Paine was mad at her. She said although she introduced Wallace to the Democrat Committee, she had nothing to do with Wallace getting the nod over Paine.

"This is a figment of his imagination," Christian said.

She also noted that Paine dropped out of contention on his own, which Paine confirms.

Two weeks ago, Paine re-registered as a Republican.

Christian accused City Council President Charlie Mallow and Paine of conspiring to leak her old e-mail to the media -- even though she admits she had no expectation that it would remain private when she sent it. She said Paine must have gotten the e-mail from Mallow.

It's unclear how Paine obtained the e-mail. He initially said he got it from Mallow, but later denied it and said -- and Mallow concurs -- that the e-mail was shared with all City Democrat Committee members and discussed extensively at the time by the committee.

"We were trying to decide what we should do about it," Mallow said.

He said earlier that he wants nothing to do with the spat between Paine and Christian, calling them both friends.

"It's personal and it's why I don't want to have anything to do with politics," Mallow said. "It's one person against another person and they both happen to be my friends. It's like watching two friends fight in a schoolyard. What are you supposed to do?"

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 - 6:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Masse Gateway Project, Rose Mary Christian.

Rose Mary Christian's call to RestoreNY about the Masse Gateway Project caused a bit of a stir at the last City Council meeting, but it also helped uncover a mistake in the grant application, Joanne Beck reports.

It turns out, the property in question doesn't carry an assessed value of $825,000, but $278,000.

Both City Manager Jason Molino and City Council President Charlie Mallow said the change in the grant application will actually improve the city's chances of winning funding.

"I think it adds to the application," he (Molino) said Tuesday. "Unfortunately we didn't have a unanimous vote. Overall, it's still a great project; it's got a decent chance of getting funding."

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