Geneva Housing Authority occupancy supervisor Valerie Mallard vies to serve as Ward 2 on behalf of the Democratic Party.
Mallard, the Geneva Housing Authority occupancy supervisor and site manager of the Geneva Courtyard Apartments property believes that all candidates are ready to serve the city, regardless of party affiliation.
“I believe that these slates of candidates on either side will do what’s best for Geneva,” Mallard said.
Mallard says that she is passionate about the city and aims to “move things forward” and continue “the legwork that has already been done” by the preceding term of city councilors.
Born and raised in Geneva, Mallard is passionate and motivated to advocate on behalf of the city.
“Like I’ve said, this is a place that I’ve called home for my entire life. I’ve seen good, bad and everything in-between,” she stated.
Mallard shared that GHA housing communities throughout Geneva are undergoing “extensive renovations” while adding that the housing authority “take pride in our properties.”
With her professional background in public housing, Mallard assesses the city’s current housing situation.
“We do believe that it’s getting there but it might not be where it needs to be as far as the need, but I believe that we are working towards that goal,” Mallard stated.
As for code enforcement, Mallard stands beside tenants, believing that landlords should be held accountable for the state of their properties but takes a step further by advocating for the city to hire someone to be placed in-charge of managing this process.
“I believe that the city should support a specific position to have someone in-charge of that code enforcement,” she added.
As a member of Geneva’s chapter of the NAACP for 30-years, Mallard has been personally impacted by the recent rise of racist sentiments within the city through acts of vandalism and graffiti that depicts white supremacist iconography.
Mallard sees increasing diversity efforts throughout the city as one response to reducing racism.
“One thing if I’m elected, I would advocate for more diversity in our city’s institutions, in particular the policing as well as the school system. I believe that we should have people of color on those, you know the front lines in those organizations,” Mallard said.
Focusing on police officers, school teachers and administrators, Mallard wishes to hire more diverse candidates that can offer support to young people of color within the community.
“I consider the situation with the graffiti to be a serious matter. We do believe that, you know, the police could do more to kind of investigate things of that nature,” Mallard added.
“If we want to move Geneva forward, I think that we should definitely try to bridge the gap between the policing and the citizens of Geneva,” she continued.
If elected, Mallard not only wishes to become a part of the recruiting process for new police officers who join the Geneva Police Department, but also introduce new-hires to all six wards.
“And once we get new officers, I think that they should be introduced to each ward because right now we just happen to see that there’s a new officer and we don’t know any of them. They haven’t been in our neighborhoods; they haven’t spoken to our people,” Mallard added.
For Mallard, creating community trust comes to a head with Geneva Chief of Police Michael Passalacqua; and she trusts him to do what is best for the city and all of its residents.
“I do believe in Chief Passalacqua and I believe that he is capable of moving that forward, so I do support him,” she said.
While suffering from an illness, Mallard has heavily weighed-on her family and friends to campaign on her behalf, but if elected she prepares to connect with her Ward 2 neighbors on a frequent basis.
“As I get back on my feet, if elected, I would like to, you know, have the neighborhood meetings to get to know the people of the ward,” Mallard stated.
Mallard who has been a resident of Ward 2 since 2009 recalls growing-up in Ward 6, remembering the memory and legacy of the late John Greco and his beloved career in public service.
“His name was present in our household and the people in Ward 6 could rely on him; he was there for the people and I would like to kind of follow in that type of a vein,” Mallard said.
Lucile Mallard, her mother who has left a long-lasting legacy in her own right has inspired Mallard to run for office.
“My brothers and I often say what people see in Lucile Mallard is what she is at home. She means so much to so many people in this community and we’ve had to pretty much share her our whole lives; and as much as she advocates for the people, she’s the same with her family,” she stated.
As someone who was raised by a strong role model in her mother, Mallard desires to serve as a role model to others in the community.
“And so, I would like to be that person some other young people who may not have that,” Mallard said.
Her greatest goal for Geneva seeks to bridge the gap between all wards, particularly Wards 2 and 6.
Mallard believes that she is the best candidate for Ward 2 because she has the time and skills to serve her ward and constituents.
“Vote for who you think can best serve you and the needs of this community; and I believe that I possess that quality,” she concluded.
Listen to the full-conversation with Mallard 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)
– Burrall for focuses on rebuilding in city council campaign (Ward 1)
– Bill Pealer Jr. takes life of experiences on campaign trail (Ward 2)
– Mallard takes experience in Geneva to city council race (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)
– Cataldo contends for seat on Geneva City Council (At-Large)
– Vasquez looks to bring public service to next level in Geneva (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].