More candidates discuss Batavia City Council run

Updated 12/28/2012 3:49 PM
  • Batavia 4th Ward Alderman Jim Volk

    Batavia 4th Ward Alderman Jim Volk

  • Batavia 6th Ward Alderman Robert Liva

    Batavia 6th Ward Alderman Robert Liva

  • Jamie Saam, candidate for Batavia 4th Ward alderman

    Jamie Saam, candidate for Batavia 4th Ward alderman

Batavia Alderman Robert Liva wants a crack at a third term, believing experience gained during the first two will be valuable in several ways.

The 6th Ward alderman said he thinks experience will be "more important, as the county, federal and state governments tighten their belts and shift responsibility t local governments," he said Friday.

Topics especially important to Liva include continuing the effort to revitalize the downtown ("We need to continue the same level of intensity and excitement" that went into building Phase I of the streetscape project this year); working with the county to improve the safety of Kirk Road.

Liva is being challenged by Nick Cerone and Ron Rechenmacher. Cerone was interviewed in a Dec. 28 article; Rechenmacher could not be reached for comment.

4th Ward

Jamie Saam is taking a second run at becoming a 4th-Ward alderman, having lost in 2011 to Susan Stark.

"It is going to be an interesting run," she said Friday. Saam faces 18-year Alderman Jim Volk. "It's time for some new people," Saam said.

Saam said the council has been conducting city business "the same way that things have been done for years and years," and that that may not be a good thing. Especially when it comes to encouraging businesses to relocate or open in Batavia, particularly in the downtown.

"The biggest thing kind of going right now is the council's approach to welcoming business," she said, saying people have told her "it is kind of a battle" to open, and to learn about potential assistance from the city.

"We love the pain," quipped Volk, when asked why he is running; he noted the time involved in learning about issues, including the many meetings he attends of committees he isn't even on. But seriously, "There's lots of things still going on I'd like to see through," he said. Volk mentioned the streetscape project; the expansion of the sewage treatment plant; determining what to do about several areas of town that have combined sanitary and storm sewers; and improving water flow in the near southwest side.

Evaluating the city's crime-free-housing law, which was instituted in 2010, is also dear to Volk, whose ward includes the largest apartment complex in Batavia, as well as many rental houses. "I would like to see it expand to smaller rentals," he said; it currently only applies to properties that have 10 or more units.

Volk has never faced an opponent. "I'm very glad there are people in the town and in the 4th Ward that are interested" and want to serve, he said.

5th Ward

Steve Vasilion is challenging Alderman Eldon Frydendall. Vasilion could not be reached for comment. Frydendall was interviewed in a Dec. 28 article.

Nobody is running in the 7th Ward. Alderman Dawn Tenuta did not seek re-election.

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