Tony Malay: Candidate profile
Name: Tony Malay
Office sought: 4th Ward Alderperson (2-year unexpired term)
Family: Wife and three children
Occupation: UniServ Director, Illinois Education Association
Education: Illinois State University B.A. Political Science, Roosevelt University M.A. Education
Civic involvement: Peace Corps Volunteer Ghana 92-94, Volunteer for various campaigns and referendums, Congregational Church Justice and Witness Committee, Volunteer leader with Fox River Valley Initiative.
Previous elected offices held: Current 4th Ward Alderperson, President of the Batavia Education Association
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? I was appointed to fill vacant seat in September 2017
Facebook: Tony Malay
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Revitalizing our downtown is a key issue to moving Batavia forward. The City Council has been focused on this for several years now and we are starting to see results. This combined with ongoing efforts to invite more businesses and residential development is making are town stronger as this is increasing our revenue without overburdening residents. Another issue is our required level of electricity purchase from the Prairie State plant. This has driven our rates up but I am pleased to see that we are making progress as we now have less vacant industrial buildings as more businesses have settled here in Batavia and there has been an increase in commercial and industrial construction with more on the horizon. Another issue is walkability and bicycle friendliness of our town. Efforts are being made to continue addressing this and I am in full support of these efforts. In short, I think Batavia is on the right path and I believe we need to stay the course.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I have lived in the 4th Ward of Batavia for 16 years now and I taught at the Rotolo MS and Batavia HS for 17 years. Building relationships with fellow Batavians and participating in this community has been extremely rewarding. Batavia has so much to offer, from excellent schools, to a great park district, to highly effective city services makes Batavia a great place to raise a family and enjoy life. I am so proud to say I live in Batavia and I truly want to do my part so Batavia remains the exceptional community that it is.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
I believe that strong leaders need to be good listeners. It is vital that leaders stay informed through listening to all sides of an issue and reading the necessary information. When making decisions I need to be able to explain those decisions based on facts and the advancement of the common good of our community. As a leader I have learned that everyone is not always going to agree but when I have put the effort into being fully informed and able to explain my decisions I feel I have been respected as a leader. I feel this enables me to be an effective Council member.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
I think we are in significantly better shape financially from a decade ago. With the growth in residential, commercial, and industrial construction we are seeing combined with the filling of vacant buildings and the upcoming project at Fermilab, we are becoming more financially stable. I believe we need to continue on the path we are heading so we can continue the level of services we are fortunate to have.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
We could create a City of Batavia Youth Advisory Council and invite students to meet periodically with the City Council so we can learn by listening to their interests and issues. This would also be a good forum to educate our youth about local government and create leadership opportunities them.