The 5th Ward encompasses most of Batavia’s downtown. Batavia’s downtown is beautiful, with many amenities to attract restaurants, stores, and businesses. However, I know from first-hand experience that City Hall is difficult to work with on projects.  For example: it took more than half a decade for McDonald's to obtain approval to replace their existing downtown location. Similarly, Walgreens is already two years into an effort to gain approval to build a new store to replace their antiquated downtown location.  Both of these businesses have been good neighbors and contributed significantly to the economic health of our downtown.

I can help address the obstacles that stand in the way of successful downtown development:
The City Council and administrative staff often do not work cooperatively.  As Alderman, I will work to create a culture of collaboration between these two bodies, with a goal of establishing a policy that encourages economic opportunity. 

I have seen that City Council members are often not involved early enough in the dialogue about prospective projects.  Frequently, they do not see the details of a project until it comes to them for a vote.  I want to see the Council have the opportunity to become involved earlier in the planning process. 

A healthy downtown requires a shared vision that permeates all levels of city government.  It then requires an attitude of cooperation that actively engages business owners to create win-win scenarios. 

With vision and collaboration, we can do better.

Batavia is home to a growing fine arts community. Water Street Studio has quickly grown in popularity and become an attraction that draws visitors from throughout the Midwest.  However, the area around the Studio lacks adequate parking, safe sidewalks, and sufficient lighting. 

The Fifth Ward includes the arts district.  Water Street Studios, Kiss the Sky Music Store, and the summer farmer’s market are businesses located here.  Other businesses, such as restaurants and retailers, could be attracted to this location if amenities such as adequate parking, safe sidewalks, and sufficient lighting are provided.  As your alderman, I will secure support for these amenities.

By supporting our local entrepreneurs, we can do better.

Batavia has invested in a downstate coal plant to provide for the city’s electrical needs.  The investment will cost Batavia taxpayers an estimated $246 million over the life of the agreement… the largest single investment in the city’s history.  Yet, most citizens know nothing of the agreement, nor anything about the terms, many of which appear to be detrimental to the city.  The city has not done enough to make this information public, to educate the citizens, and engage in a public discourse.  Finally, businesses considering relocating to Batavia need to know their potential operating costs. 

The citizens of Batavia deserve to know what issues are being addressed by their civic leaders.  They need to be allowed to provide input into the important decisions that may affect their lives (and pocketbooks) for years to come. 

I believe in full disclosure and transparency.  For example, the details about the utility contract and the coal plant’s operation are difficult to obtain.  I believe the city should share as much of this information as possible: post it on the city’s website, put it in simple language, and educate the customer.  

Further, when considering difficult issues (or issues beyond an alderman’s experience), we should tap into the expertise of our citizens.  As alderman, I will utilize the rich resources available within our community. 

By utilizing all our community resources and making decisions in the light of the public eye, we can do better.


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  3. Where does Mr. Vasilion stand in regards to establishing "Quiet Zones" for Batavia in order to reduce the impact of train horns on the quality of life in our community?

  4. Dear Anonymous:
    I am familiar with this topic. Some residents living near the train crossing have been very vocal about wanting to establish a Quiet Zone. The city recently hired an engineering firm to study the feasibility and estimate the cost. Here is a link to the Batavia’s city engineer’s summary of the study prepared by Rempe-Sharpe Consulting Engineers:

    In order to make an informed decision I want to see the engineer’s actual report and meet with the engineers so that I could ask questions in order to better understand the implications of the gates, horns, potential driveway closings, etc. that would come into play for this quiet zone to become a reality. I would also want to see any sketches or drawings that may have been prepared. I would want to meet with the affected citizens to make sure they fully understood the implications of the proposed changes. Lastly, with a $4 million price tag I would have to study how to responsibility fit this expenditure into the city budget.

    I would support the creation of the quiet zone if the following conditions were met:

    · The changes are supported by a significant number of residents

    · The physical modifications to the crossings would not result in driveway closings, blockades, etc. that would negatively outweigh the value of the quiet zone

    · The cost could be responsibly fit into the city budget and be supported by the taxpayers