A former city councilor and mayor in Don Cass seeks a return to his previously-held seat on City Council by representing the Republican Party in Ward 3.
Cass, the faith formation coordinator at Our Lady of Peace Parish and a board member at Finger Lakes Community College was concerned with as the vice chair of the Republican Committee in not finding a suitable candidate during their search to prop-up for Ward 3.
“But I was concerned that I wanted to make sure that there was at least a couple of people on council that had some experience of how the whole operation works,” he said.
Running for Ward 3 was as simple as Cass raising his hand to become the ward’s candidate.
Being in this position before helps Cass feel comfortable about guiding the new mayor and fresh councilors who shall “tread through the mucky.”
“I’ve been there. I’ve seen how it works,” Cass said.
The two-term consecutive mayor held pride and enjoyment throughout his position.
Amid the recent white supremacist acts of vandalism, the former law enforcement officer has placed his full-support behind the Geneva Police Department.
“Certainly, what’s going on the is bad, all of this graffiti and race issue but I personally believe that the police department is doing a great job. It’s not easy and it’s harder now than when I was a police officer,” Cass stated.
Although everyone makes mistakes, he believes that the department “takes care of their own mistakes.”
“We got to find a way to bring in more money somewhere,” Cass said.
Despite an already thinning city budget, Cass thinks that there still might be a few ways to make additional cuts, but he ultimately seeks to increase the tax-base.
Aside from exploring possible cuts, Cass calls for a “very proactive” economic development department, especially since the city currently does not have one.
Although he wants to remove the railroad storage area, Cass is not sure how it can be achieved and acknowledged the realities of moving the tracks.
Cass also added that lakefront development should not transpire along Seneca Lake, but his greatest goal for Geneva seeks to “keep our citizens here, keep our children here.”
As a father of two sons and a daughter, both of his sons moved out of the city and he sees that there are not simply enough jobs in Geneva and Cass hopes to bring jobs back.
In contrast to his opponent this November in Democratic Party Ward 3 candidate Jan Regan, Cass distinguishes himself from her with one word: experience.
“Really its one word: experience. I do have the experience. I know how to work with councils, work with the city manager. I’ve done it before, done it for 12-years and I want to continue doing it,” Cass said.
In his final call-to-action, Cass alongside the rest of the Republican Committee wishes to place the public comment section “back to the beginning of the meeting” as a gesture to those who avidly attend city government meetings.
“We work for them; they don’t work for us and I think it’s important that we as councilors and the mayor sit and listen to the public talk,” he concluded.
Listen to the full-conversation below:
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)
– Cass brings past council, mayoral experience to campaign (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)
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to WEOS and WHWS Station Manager Greg Cotterill for sharing Geneva Candidate Snapshots with FingerLakes1.com.
– 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].