Candidates ready for 2012 village board elections

Four candidates – republicans John Fox and Thomas LaGrou and democrats Benjamin Gajewski and Bob Wilcox – have been finalized for the 2012 village board election which will take place on March 20 for two trustee seats.

Both Fox and LaGrou currently hold positions on the village board and are seeking reelection. The elected trustees will hold their positions for the next four years.

Fox said he believes that he has brought a “willingness to work with residents as well as other board members and the mayor” to the board during his term as a village trustee. He cited the board’s recent revitalization of Highland Park as an example of one of the current board’s successful village projects.

“I think we work very well together,” Fox said.

Fox also emphasized the importance of infrastructure in the village, citing the new construction on Court Street, University Place and Wadsworth Street as examples of successful projects.

“That’s something that I’m passionate about and I want to continue that effort,” he said.

Class of 2008 Geneseo graduate and current Genesee Valley Conservancy Stewardship Director Benjamin Gajewski is also running for one of the two positions. Last year, he served as the conservancy’s interim executive director for five months. He is a board trustee for the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo, a member of the Geneseo Farmers’ Market Committee and a small business owner.

Gajewski credited his experience as a former student and current village resident and landlord with giving him an “understanding of the benefits and concerns of students, of landlords, of residents.”

“It’s a good way to make good decisions for the community seeing all sides of the issues,” he said.

Among his goals for the village, Gajewski emphasized the need “to continue the financial responsibility and taxation and budgeting.”

“These are tight financial times for everyone,” he said. “I understand the importance of putting together a good budget, trying to keep taxes low but then also making sure we continue to provide services for village residents.”

Gajewski also discussed the importance of continued collaboration between the village and the college, particularly to take advantage of the resources each offers and to share costs. He also expressed concern for improved traffic control to increase the safety of pedestrians and motorists in the village.

Although both Gajewski and Wilcox will run as Democrats, the pair has also filed a petition to be put on the ballot as the Geneseo Together Party.

Wilcox, who is a 35-year resident of the village, is a former village trustee and served as deputy mayor for two years. He is a founding and continuing member of the tourism, Art Stroll and Farmers’ Market committees. He is also a village liaison to the fire and police departments, a substitute teacher at Geneseo Central School and a retired business owner.

LaGrou was unavailable for comment.

Polls will be open from noon until 9 p.m. on March 20. District One will vote at St. Mary’s Paris Center on North Street, District Two at the Interfaith Center on Franklin Street, Districts Three and Four at the Geneseo United Methodist Church on Route 63 and District Five at the Town Office Building on Millennium Drive.