Letter to Editor: I Support John Watras for Mayor

John Watras (photo by Suzie Alvey)
John Watras (photo by Suzie Alvey)
I urge all qualified residents of Garden City to vote in the upcoming property owners' association "primaries" Jan. 29 and come back and vote during the village election.
I try to stay out of politics and instead devote my energy to the protection of human health and the environment for the benefit of all. Many people know me and of my work and volunteer efforts. My home is in the "West" and my wife's original home was in the "East."

I am writing this letter to support current deputy mayor John Watras in the upcoming elections for the position of mayor. I have known and liked both John and his opponent, Larry Quinn, for many years as neighbors. I appreciate the dedication both have towards our community, and have observed both of them during WPOA and trustees meetings.

Regardless of what a few people want you to believe, this election is not a one-issue vote. It is, however, an opportunity to finally put a halt to much of the personal negativity within the board.

There is no question in my mind that John Watras has served the community well and I am fully confident of his demonstrated abilities to be a leader as mayor for our village.

I have been saddened to observe Larry use his position to quickly and loudly attack others on the board and at the WPOA who dare to even question him.  His frustration is evident and it is certainly time for him to step down. I'm sure John is also frustrated, as are we all, but he has a better ability to listen and appropriately offer thanks to the many people that provide services and assistance in the village.

Larry is correct in one respect. It is time for additional changes to the board of trustees. From the East, I endorse Francine Ryan over current trustee Dennis Donnelly. I cringe when hearing some of the reports and comments that the current trustee from the "East" expounds.

I know Mrs. Ryan and her family. Francine has lived in Garden City for almost as long as my own family, and has been a continually positive and upbeat force in the community. She has the ability to listen, understand and works to accomplish goals of the community rather than simply block others if they disagree. I believe it's time to have another lady on the board. It may help remind the men on the board to be a bit more respectful of each other and to the public that attends the meetings.   

Submitted and written by Robert Alvey
Betsy January 18, 2013 at 08:56 AM
PS - I think some of the true identities of some of those who post comments on the Patch should be looked into - some posters could be using pseudonyms so they can post malarky in order to control elections.
Jack O'Niel January 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM
John is the head crony and the reason he got so much experience this past year is because the current Mayor had a bit of a toddler moment and threw a fit when the rest of the Trustees dared to go against what he wanted. After that Brudie put Watras on every committee. Silly things like that and Watras going along with it are enough to consider maybe he's not the right guy. The whole mayoral election is a joke really and it's just Watras's turn at this point because that's how it works. As far as full names, why it's the Internet and it allows people to post without fear of retribution that would surely be coming from the old-school CSSP people. Speaking of St. Paul's - that's exactly what this election and the past one were about and that's not going to change any time soon until something happens.
GCRes1 January 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM
It would be useful if Mr. Watras made a public statement, or wrote a letter, expressing ANY CONCRETE VIEWS AT ALL. Close observers of the Board of Trustees have for years noted that he is an unprepared, unhelpful occupant of a trustee's chair who does little more than rubber stamp Mayor Brudie's positions . . . which are themselves the views of the small handful of people running the Committee to Save St. Paul's. He simply not engaged in any issue the Village faces (other than pursuing the public funding of the restoration of the St. Paul's building). The mayor's position requires establishing a direction for the Village, appointing trustees to committees, working with paid Village staff, running Board meetings efficiently and being a voice for the entire board who works to build consensus on key issues. Mr. Watras is entirely inadequate for the task.
Reed Marcus January 18, 2013 at 07:12 PM
From seeing both of these Trustees (Watras and Quinn) in action at Board meetings, I think Mr Quinn is usually more prepared, and his comments show more insight. I think he is experienced and also brings his experience from being involved in POA and Board of Education. I think he is a better candidate. I know that Mr Watras has been involved for a very long time, but for those who have attended BOT meetings it is clear that he always seems very flippant even with important issues. Also he tends to look to others as a means of his own vote. He definitely appears to be ill-prepared at many meetings as well. Maybe he needs to focus (but not while sitting in the Mayor's chair). Good luck Mr. Quinn.
john ertle January 18, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Betsy Is the John Watras that you refer to the same person that shows up un prepared for meetings, speaks out of turn, curses in public to other board members when frustrated, gave an obscene gesture to more than one other Trustee and sighs when at 10pm he is asked to go into an executive session for legal or compensation issues? As for leadership, i'm sorry but i have not seen that from him. I do not see him as working cooperatively or caring about the image he portrays to those in the audience about this Village. He has done this at meetings when students as well as citizens from other towns have been at meetings for various agenda items. I do not think this is a person worthy of the position of Mayor. Trustee Quinn is a hard working trustee who takes the time to review and prepare for discussion on agenda items, is open to opinions and has provided many hours of dedication to issues such as the budget, excessive airplane traffic over Garden City as well as many other environmental issues and would never display that kind of unprofessional behavior. It is unfortunate that his POA's nominating committee did not support him but I think we all know why considering he does not share the same opinion on the biggest issue that is dividing this Village.


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