Batavia GOP Gears Up for City Council Election
Written by Dan Fischer on October 1, 2019
With election season here, Batavia’s Republicans are gearing up for five City Council races this fall. Stressing their ability to work together in promoting the City’s interests while keeping local taxes in check, Batavia’s Republican City Council members are all seeking re-election to provide much needed continuity in City Government, especially as new City Manager Martin Moore, has settled into his position and is working with Council to set priorities and programs in place to continue to improve the City’s finances and development for the benefit of local residents.
Educator and 5th Ward Councilperson Kathy Briggs has had a valuable long term presence on City Council during her 5 terms as councilperson. Her knowledge about the City’s ongoing needs and her commitment to Fifth Ward residents have helped accomplish many positive developments throughout the 5th Ward and the City. “I’ve fought hard for the people living in the 5th Ward. My recent success in getting additional cameras placed in this Ward and my work along with Councilperson Al McGinnis to bring the residents of the 4th and 5th Wards together with our City leaders to listen to their concerns at our regular “town hall” meetings at the Holland Land Office are recent examples of my commitment to the residents…I also plan to continue my efforts to improve the sidewalks, water lines and sewer lines throughout the 5th Ward. I look forward to sharing concerns with the residents of my ward this election season and seek their support in my effort to continue to work for them as their elected representative.”
Businessman, local music instructor and 3rd Ward Councilperson John Canale is seeking a third term on Council. “Being on City Council for the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to be part of a group of city leaders that have accomplished monumental achievements. We have worked to increase our bond rating to A1, secured more than $20-million in grants to improve existing industrial areas, upgrade infrastructure, improve our downtown area, including settling the Mall issue and moving forward with re-development, and studying ways to improve our longtime stagnant community. Most importantly, we’ve turned a multi-million dollar deficit into a balanced budget with capital reserves for future city improvements. All this and more has been accomplished, while keeping the city property tax rate level, over the past seven years. My plans are to continue moving the city forward in redevelopment and revitalization, in order to create a ‘Better Batavia’”
First Ward Councilperson, local developer and businessman, Paul Viele said his focus in his upcoming term, if re-elected, will be to work with City Administration and his fellow Council members to continue their efforts to reduce crime in the City, revamp infrastructure throughout the City, focus on our local youth and continue to keep taxes down. “I encourage all the residents of the 1st Ward to continue to reach out to me with their concerns. I’m firmly committed to make the 1st Ward and the entire City of Batavia a better place for all of us to live, work and raise our families. Mr. Viele is seeking a second 4-year term this November.
2nd Ward Councilperson Patti Pacino, who is retired and an active volunteer with local organizations, including being a Past President and current Director of the local Zonta Club; stresses several ongoing issues that she will be focusing on if elected to a third full term on Council, having been a member since 2010. “Safety is my first concern for City residents. We have had some real trouble (stabbing, etc.) which needs to continue to be addressed. Happily, the Police Department and the City are working together to get a handle on how to best deal with this. I am aware of two neighborhoods that are in the process of organizing groups similar to the Summit Street Neighbors who work together to keep police and each other in the know about trouble on their streets and what they can do about it. I will continue to support these efforts. Second, we need to continue to work on the ‘Zombie House” problem in the City, (caused by absentee landlords), to ensure our neighborhoods are not on a downfall. We have proportionately too many rentals compared to homeowner held houses, often by landlords not willing to take responsibility for their properties. Third, I will continue to work with the BID organization to upgrade the business district, organizing community activities and work with business owners to upgrade our downtown area, hopefully bringing in more businesses to fill those empty buildings and make downtown a more welcoming and prosperous area. Fourth I will continue to promote fiscal responsibility throughout City government. All these ideas that we’ll continue working on require financial support; my hope is to improve our area without burdening the area taxpayers.”
Retired Military Veteran and 4th Ward Councilperson Al McGinnis is seeking a second four year term. If re-elected, Councilman McGinnis has expressed his commitment to continued efforts to enhance the quality of life for Batavia’s residents. “We need to continue our efforts to make Batavia’s streets safe for our residents, to do all we can to increase and encourage home ownership, to renew our efforts to enforce our local codes and to continue our sidewalk and street replacement programs. I will also continue to work with Councilperson Kathy Briggs to bring the residents of the 4th and 5th Wards together with City Administration on a regular basis at the Holland Land Office to give our local residents an enhanced opportunity to be heard and to air their concerns to local officials.”
Election Day is Tuesday November 5th. All eligible residents are encouraged to vote.