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John Watras: I am Running on My Record

Mayoral candidate said he finds the innuendos about him with regard to St. Paul's disconcerting.

John Watras, WPOA nominee for mayor
John Watras, WPOA nominee for mayor
Deputy mayor John Watras, a mayoral candidate in today's run-off election against trustee Laurence Quinn in the village's western section, said he finds it "disconcerting" that some are misrepresenting his past service on the village board and spreading innuendos about him with regard to St. Paul's.

He addresses his fellow residents in a statement he released to Garden City Patch:

Dear fellow residents of the West,

I am proud that I have been running a campaign on my record and my accomplishments. I find it disconcerting that others have chosen to misrepresent my past service on the board of trustees and have been spreading innuendos about me with regard to St. Paul’s.

While some feel that a state-of-the-art community center can be accomplished, let me say that any such plan would need to be vetted and shown to be viable and evaluated by a developer who could attest to a completion timeline. Most of all, a determination would have to be made and communicated to the public as to how much a state-of-the-art community center would cost each of you as taxpayers.

I acknowledge and respect that you, the community, voted 3-1 in April 2011 not to demolish this village icon. As your trustee and if I am given the opportunity as your mayor, I recognize and will continue to take seriously my fiduciary obligation to the community to economically and expeditiously explore and vet out reasonable and feasible options to serve the community's best interests.

I believe our village is in a unique situation and has a certain responsibility to the region with regard to St. Paul’s. Let me tell you, too, that the many volunteer residents who have spent extraordinary hours trying to find a solution have not even been given the courtesy of a sit-down, face-to-face meeting by the majority of our current board of trustees.

In addition, you should know that along with Mayor Gerry Lundquist, I proposed the idea of a Citizens Budget Review Committee, made up of citizen volunteers. It has become a tremendous asset in budget preparation and development of new revenue sources. I have been instrumental, too, in working with senior citizens to assure some long-overdue attention, especially in their desire to expand their available space.

While I have been involved in helping develop budgets from year-to-year, I have not been shy to vote “NO” if the budget that was finally proposed by the majority did not meet my standards for fiscal responsibility and lowest cost to the taxpayers—even if I went against the flow. I’m an independent thinker, and I’m proud of that, too.

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Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Once again the CSSP-types are making stuff up. The vote was to float a bond to pay for the demolition, that was all. Stop making stuff up! (http://gardencity.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/ev--st-pauls-bond-referendum) Let's talk about your record, you know the one where you vote for anything that has to do with St. Paul's. Let's talk about the backroom deal with Mayor Barbara Miller and some other trustees (some of whom came back from vacation early to vote then leave again) to designate St. Paul's as parkland and took off the table a ton of possible options to save the building or at least do something useful. You have stood in the way of progress every chance you had. But hey, you've lasted 10 years and gosh golly it's your turn to be mayor. I'm sorry, I'm not impressed.
GCBob January 29, 2013 at 09:52 AM
State-of-the-art community center at what cost and who will use it if completed? The taxpayers are now paying for a $36 million plus renovation of our schools so that our children have a nice place to go for their activities, while we are planning to spend another $600k to expand the senior center and we have St. Paul's nursery school for the very young. The working members of this community spend ,on average, about 10 hours plus a day at work in order to afford to live here. Whose left to use this costly community center? I have great respect for you Mr. Watras and all your years of service but I hope that cooler and wiser heads can prevail going forward.
Betsy January 29, 2013 at 05:23 PM
John Watras is a good guy with a solid track record - when we had problems recently with illegal housing (dorm-style housing, international "frat" houses) in the Estates it was John Watras who jumped to help our neighborhood and spearheaded an investigation! John Watras is a level-headed guy; he really loves Garden City, and yes, that does mean something. John is not in this for ego, he will fight tooth and nail so our village can remain the special place that it is. Betsy Andromidas

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