Jan Regan, a small business owner, former president and interim executive director at the Smith Center for Arts takes center stage by running for City Council on behalf of Ward 3 under the Democratic Party.
Regan does not shy away sharing her love for Geneva after claiming the city as her home in 1978.
Since then, she has served the community through her presence on nonprofit boards with the Smith Opera House and Boys and Girls Club of Geneva.
But now Regan believes that it is her time to help lead the city that she cherishes.
“The timing is good for me to really devote myself to something like this. I feel my experience here and my life here has been my education for it, Regan said.
Calling the Smith Opera House, a “jewel” and an “economic driver,” Regan recognizes that this towering cultural institution characterizes the city, especially downtown.
Regan explained her rise to the board of directors and elaborated on how she ended-up becoming the interim director of the Smith Opera House for what was supposed to be a four-month-long position, which actually amounted to her staying for an entire year until a suitable replacement was found.
As for the current status of Geneva, Regan revels in the city’s ceaseless transformations and triumphs.
“It just feels that the city is on a good path and I’d like to see that continue,” Regan said.
Admitting that plenty of work is still left to be done, Regan still feels positive and optimistic about the future of Geneva.
A major issue of concern for Regan rests along the lakefront.
She expressed content with the “pedestrian friendly” lakefront development that has already transpired surrounding the Finger Lakes Welcome Center and Regan seeks to continue protecting Seneca Lake’s waterfront for the people from corporate interests, if elected.
“I would like to see the lakefront continue to develop in ways that increase public enjoyment and not private enjoyment of that beautiful space that we have that is open now. So, that’s a priority for me,” Regan stated.
Regan is also interested in creating solutions to expand the city’s tax-base and remains avidly vocal about promoting environmentalism practices.
“I think we have to watch what goes into the lake,” she stated.
If elected, Regan intends on creating more opportunities for the city to compost and recycle by partnering with Hobart and William Smith Colleges to expand the process, making composting easier and more affordable for the rest of the community.
The Smith Opera House has helped guide downtown Geneva through its revitalization alongside famed restaurants and popular small businesses, as shown in the common and sometimes daily struggle to find parking.
“You can complain about not being able to find a parking spot, but at the same time that’s kind of a good thing. When there’s so much happening, the streets are full,” Regan said.
For her, the closing of Linden Street, stringing of lights and outpouring of live music boosts the vibrancy of the community.
As a fellow small business owner of Jan Regan Photography, she witnesses first-hand from her shop window how the vibrancy of downtown incentivizes visitors to various storefronts along Seneca Street and its adjoining roads.
“You can just see my neighbors thriving when there’s more people coming in to visit,” she stated.
But her greatest goal for Geneva lies in unifying the community beyond Ward 3, something that she learned while campaigning for office.
“Working with other members on our slate, I have gotten better informed about the city as a whole and we need embrace all of our citizens and celebrate all that we have here with all of us,” Regan said.
Despite running against an experienced candidate in the Republican Party’s Don Cass, a former mayor and city councilor, Regan remains motivated and inspired to represent her residents through “fresh-eyes.”
“I also feel experience does not have to mean that you sat in the same seat that you’re trying to fill again. Rather, it means experience in lots of different areas of the city, knowledge of the city; I feel like I have that,” Regan stated.
“I kind of done deep-dives into little pockets and I would love to put that experience together with the fresh-eyes and enthusiasm that I definitely have for this position,” she added.
Describing herself as “someone who listens and engages fully,” Regan firmly believes that her experiences as a parent, homeowner and businessowner reinforce her qualifications to serve.
“I would work hard to serve the people of my ward and all of Geneva,” she concluded.
Listen to the full conversation with Regan below:
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to WEOS and WHWS Station Manager Greg Cotterill for sharing Geneva Candidate Snapshots with FingerLakes1.com.
More from ‘Candidate Snapshot’ series exclusively on FingerLakes1.com:
– Valentino brings experience from City Council to Mayor’s race (Mayor)
– Pitifer takes life journey onto Geneva mayoral campaign trail (Mayor)
– Gomez vows to fight for residents as campaign continues (Ward 1)
– Bill Pealer Jr. takes life of experiences on campaign trail (Ward 2)
– Regan brings non-profit experience to the campaign trail (Ward 3)
– Camera focuses on bringing creativity, experience to Geneva City Council (Ward 4)
– Evelyn Buisch looks to return City to former glory (Ward 4)
– Salamendra targets change through more than activism (Ward 5)
– Bryan Housel brings public safety background to campaign for Geneva City Council (Ward 5)
– Pruett takes independent approach to Geneva City Council race (Ward 6)
– Juanita Aikens looks to bring better representation to Geneva City Hall (Ward 6)
– Anthony Noone looks to bring experience, energy to Geneva City Council (At-Large)
– By Gabriel Pietrorazio
An undergraduate student at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Pietrorazio has written for the Town Times of Watertown, Connecticut and Finger Lakes Times in Geneva, New York. He’s currently a reporter for FL1 News, and can be reached at [email protected].