Fran Majewski is the Republican candidate for Town of Vestal supervisor. He currently serves as a member of the Vestal Council and as chairman of the Vestal Recreation Committee.
Why are you running for your position? What experiences and perspectives do you bring to the table that will help make Vestal a better town?
“Town government differs from that of a city. Vestal town government has four board members and a supervisor, with each member having an equal vote or say regarding any spending of money outside of the budget. Vestal needs transparency in all transactions. I am the only candidate on the town board that has been active throughout all three major floods. While others went off to Las Vegas and Florida, I spent hundreds of hours assisting the residents, police, fire department and emergency services. Sometimes helping for over 30 hours at a time, going home for a three or four-hour nap and getting back into the disaster.”
In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue in Vestal and why?
“Flooding is the highest priority issue in Vestal, as it was in July 2006, November 2006 and 2010. We need to work with federal, state and county officials to assist our residents from major and flash flooding to creek erosion. Holding ponds built by the National Guard Army Corp of Engineers can be used to defray costs. We need to address the local creek flooding that harms residents storm after storm. Too many times, creeks have run through residents’ backyards and at some point eaten away the banks, taking trees and sheds in their path. [For] funding [these] services, I would like to establish a task force to have the University and the town look at possible funding solutions. The University, while paying zero town tax, has a larger, denser population than most of the town and therefore requires these costly services.”
How do you envision engaging with the community and addressing the concerns they may have? More specifically, what would you do to engage Binghamton University students in these community issues?
“I believe that the Town of Vestal does a wonderful job notifying the public of any up-and-coming meetings, public hearings and volunteer board meetings. These meetings and public hearings are open to the public and welcome participation. We also post online for all to see what will be discussed and the outcome of these meetings. My phone number and email address is posted on the website for all to see. And if they wish, they may contact me by these means. I urge people to contact me. I have asked our human relations department to reach out to the BU community along with [the] Broome County Community College community to engage interns to help us with some of our problems and concerns, although with our tight budget, we can only afford to pay a few right now. We also had our volunteer boards reach out to the same, which we did receive help in a few issues we have had. As town supervisor, I will address long-term planning and how best to utilize taxpayer expenditures.”