Community Agreement candidates – What makes us different


In this year’s Village Trustee campaigns, you may have seen “platforms” from us as well as the FABGC candidates. While the general topics might be similar (who doesn’t want clean water or traffic safety) our platform is different in many important ways. As you think about your voting decision, we thought highlighting these differences would be helpful.

Water Management – Clear regular communication is what we all need. In addition, we recommend hiring a water expert as the Village Water Superintendent. This position existed previously, but when the incumbent left he was not replaced. Village expertise in this area is critical now and in the future.

St. Paul’s – We all agree that a referendum is needed. Although we have yet to hear or see anything from the Mayor’s Committee, we believe the referendum should include two detailed choices. Said choices must include a fully developed “save the building/proposed usage” option (with detailed financing requirements) and a fully thought out “demolish” option, including costs and a recommendation about what we should do with the new open space. Additionally, we believe the Village should hire a professional survey company to design and conduct the referendum. This will ensure there is no bias or confusion in the referendum and provide us with a fair and actionable result. If this is going to be a $100 million dollar or more decision, we need to get it right.

Fire Safety – We believe it is premature to recommend the implementation of the Fire Safety Committee Report, as stated in the FABGC platform. While there was an initial presentation from the Committee, much more detail is needed. The recommendations create a very significant cost to the Village, including redesign of all three firehouses, purchasing of new trucks and building of a GC Fire Training facility. All in, these recommendations will total in the millions of dollars. Much more analysis, communication and discussion are needed.

Business Community – The Board needs to present a “business-friendly” face to our entire business community. We should help our businesses find ways to succeed.  We recommend appointing a Trustee as a Business Liaison to the GC Business Community to enhance the relationship.

Communications – Our communication plan offers several specifics. We should re-establish the practice of Trustees attending their respective POA meetings to provide updates and answer resident questions. FABGC Trustees have been inconsistent in attending POA resident meetings, with some attending intermittently and others refusing to attend. The mayor should provide a monthly update on the various Committees that have been appointed. While there may be work going on, no one is aware of the discussions. We would appoint a Trustee to be responsible for Communication, ensuring a much more proactive and strategic approach to how and what information is shared with all residents.

Operations Improvements – Understanding our Village staff resources, how they are used and what we really need, is a key component to providing residents with the level of service they expect. We would support the creation of a Resident Committee to review our operations and make recommendations for improvement.

GC Moving Forward – Being proactive about the future of the Village is vital to our success. This includes continued development of the business community, use of green space, facilities management, etc. We need to stop being reactive and develop an exciting vision of what the future can hold.

Finally, we support the continued evolution of the Community Agreement, with an emphasis on collaboration, volunteerism, and support. Keep intact our unique 100+ year old system of government that has kept politics out of village elections, while continuing to evolve and change based on resident needs.  A government that answers to all village residents is our platform.

We encourage all residents to visit our website at gardencitycap.org that has information on ways that you can support us by volunteering and donating.  Please also visit our Facebook Page at @gardencitycap and be sure to Like and Follow to stay abreast of the campaign. Most importantly, remember to vote for the Community Agreement Team – Judy Courtney, Tracey Williams and Michael Daab – on March 15th (12:00PM-9:00PM at St Paul’s Field House) or by absentee ballot (information can be found on our website gardencitycap.org/how-to-vote.

One response to “Community Agreement candidates – What makes us different”

  1. Bruce Torino says:

    On behalf of the members of the Fire Safety Committee who invested hundreds of hours in this task I strenuously object to your “Platform Position”. The intro to your position and statement that more is needed you neither set forth nor infer you read any of the hundreds of pages contained in the Fire Safety Report. It has been 3 months since the Report was posted on the Village website. What questions do you have? What suggestions do you have? Please advise the basis or personal experience you possess to make the statements you make. In support of your critique and candidacy for trustee I see any relevant experience in this area. None of the comments you make were shared with me. Nor have you ever since the presentation on November 18, 2021 provided any feedback to myself nor the Fire Safety Committee on the “Much more analysis, communication and discussion. .” which you contend is needed. Where were you in November when the presentation was given? Candidly, you owe a debt of gratitude, and apology to the members for the Fire Safety Committee and GCFD for impugning their work. Yes, fire trucks are expensive – did you know there is a 3+ year lead time from when you place an order for a new apparatus to when it is delivered. Hence the efforts to presently address this issue and not delay as you would suggest is counter to good practices. You cannot dispatch a fire truck you do not have. Lastly, while the expenditure of money on this issue will be significant, it is substantially less than the hundreds of thousands authorized by the prior CAP/BOT on a Purchase Order without a needs assessment nor competitive billing or RFP that advocated a new $10Mil. Station 2 firehouse. Please tell us – where were you when those issues confronted the Village? Where you on the front lines opposing those costs telling the BOT to slow down and provide to the resident the “much more detail” you contend is needed? May I offer you the observation “Those that can do, those that can’t criticize”. The members of the Fire Safety Committee answer the call and did. You did not.

    I look forward to you response and specific constructive comments. If you have none, please be honest and confirm you have none and apologize to the member of the Fire Safety Committee whose hard work you have failed to recognize.

    Bruce A. Torino

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