Candidates running for Batavia Council

October 30th, 2009    Author: Art Hunter    Filed Under: News

There are five candidates running for four seats on Batavia Village Council.

Incumbents Kathy Turner and Robert Handra are running for re-election, and Michael Kinner, Earl Carter, and Steve Staton are running for two open seats.

Kathy Turner has been elected to four terms on the Batavia Council.

She says that the village's financial situation is the biggest challenge facing council in the coming years.

"If our income tax passes, then that will help us with the general fund," Turner said. "We're hoping for that, but we need to get businesses to stay, and new businesses to come into the village."

She said that there are also several opportunities for annexing property into the village that may be worth pursuing.

"I have a lot of experience with what's going on," Turner said. "I volunteer with the farmers' market, which has been a success for 10 years now, and I've served on almost every committee."

Turner says that in the past several years, the council has made great strides in improving communication and cooperation with the administrator, mayor, and public, and that there is more work to be done in that regard.

Robert Handra has served two previous terms on council, and served five years as mayor. He, along with his family, operates Batavia Electric, their family business which has operated in Batavia for 44 years.

Handra also feels that the village's financial condition is the most pressing issue at this time.

"The biggest issue right now is financial. Just like the country as a whole, our revenues are suffering and we need to focus on that," he said. "We're at a crucial time, and with my business background, I think I can be of assistance."

Handra says that the village can help itself by making use of zoning laws and beautification efforts to make the village attractive for people to come back into the village.

"I think this will also attract more businesses into the village," he said.

Steve Staton is an accountant and has been a member of the Batavia Board of Education for six years. He has also served on the Great Oaks board for four years and the Southwest Region Executive Committee of the Ohio School Boards Association for two years.

Staton says that dealing with the village budget must be the first priority of the new council.

"The village budget must be first and foremost. We need to know how much we have, and be willing to make tough decisions to stay within the budget," he said.

Staton said that that village needs to develop a multi-year budget forecast, as the school district does.

"There needs to be a planning process," he said.

He also says that the council needs to reach out and be more accessible, and create partnerships with residents and business leaders.

Michael Kinner served as the village's zoning administrator for seven years. He has served on the planning and zoning board for the last five years. Kinner is in the insurance business, and in that capacity he has insured villages and other government entities for the past 11 years.

He says that the economic situation the village finds itself in is its most pressing problem.

"I'm running because I believe I can make a difference and a contribution to the village of Batavia and help bring the village through these current financial problems," Kinner said.

Kinner says that he is not running for himself, but to serve the residents of the village.

"I look at this as community service - I believe I can make a contribution," Kinner said. "I'm listening to the voters. They tell me what they want."

Earl Carter could not be reached for comment.
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