Thursday, March 21, 2013

Time for a change

We continue to receive excellent response to our recent letter. In case you missed it, here it is:


My name is Steve Vasilion, and I am a candidate for alderman here in Batavia’s Fifth Ward. I am writing to tell you about my campaign to represent the Fifth Ward and to ask for your support.

Who am I?

I have lived in Batavia for more than 16 years. My wife Laura and I currently live on Illinois Avenue and our blended family includes five adult children. I am an architect, and have more than 30 years of experience, operating my own practice for 22 years, 13 of those here in Batavia. I have designed a variety of structures in the area, including the Peg Bond Center bandshell at the Batavia Riverwalk. I know what it takes to compete and succeed in a challenging marketplace. I also serve on Batavia’s Historical Preservation Commission.

My vision for Batavia

I imagine a Batavia that embraces its past and looks forward to its future. I believe Batavia must work to welcome new business and be receptive to creative ideas. I am committed to a city that boasts an efficient, transparent government that works to build a better Batavia for all of us.

Transparency in government:

I will bring a fresh perspective to City Hall and a commitment to government transparency. It is time for Batavia to move beyond the old-boys network and business as usual. The incumbent has represented the Fifth Ward for 32 years and has stated now is “not a good time for change.” I believe Batavia cannot wait four more years for change and we can do better.

From its 30-year, $246 million obligation in the Prairie State Energy campus in southern Illinois to its excessive spending of TIF funds on a single street-scape project, I believe the City must do more to inform residents and business owners of the long-term impact of these commitments, including tax hikes and higher utility bills for every ratepayer. It’s time for a change.

I believe there is much the City can do to enhance the downtown business district, and it must start with improving the review process for proposed business projects. The City took more than half a decade to approve McDonald’s building renovation and Walgreens already has committed two years to a review process that many municipalities can complete in one year. My opponent blames these lengthy delays on the businesses themselves. If the City wants to improve its downtown, it must improve its operations. It’s time for a change.

I believe the City should make needed improvements — better lighting, more parking, safer sidewalks — to the area around Water Street Studios. This area attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Batavia and creates a distinct image for the City. I also believe we can do more to protect and enhance our riverfront.

I want to be your alderman for Batavia’s Fifth Ward, and I need your help to secure that privilege. Election Day is Tuesday, April 9, but early voting begins on Monday, March 25. Early voting can be completed at Batavia City Hall, 100 N. Island Ave. Please vote in the upcoming election, and please cast your ballot for me.


Steve Vasilion

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