Massa Construction superintendent project manager Frank L. Gaglianese III contends for the title of Councilor At-Large in Geneva on behalf of the Republican Party.
Gaglianese, a coach of Geneva youth football and lacrosse, the head of the Western Gardens Neighborhood Association and a member on the City of Geneva Planning Board sees the people of Geneva as what makes this gem of a community gleam.
“I believe our greatest asset: and that is the people of Geneva. Some will say different and say it’s the lakefront, but I believe it’s the people,” Gaglianese said.
If elected, Gaglianese aims to “utilize these people to move Geneva forward,” characterizing the city’s residents as “bright and charismatic.”
Gaglianese’s experience on the city’s planning board has prepared him to take the next step of public service by becoming councilor at-large, especially when it comes to asking questions.
“We basically ask questions and asking questions is a great thing because you get to find-out the things that are important to them as well as they ask questions to us,” Gaglianese stated.
Despite recalling many positive experiences while on the planning board, he mentions that it also came with its own challenges, most memorably during the Trinity Church situation.
“It was very hard to be sitting on that side of my table knowing that my hands were pretty much tied,” he said.
Once the status of Trinity Church has been resolved, Gaglianese is still concerned with the parking situation and how this shall play-out for residents in Ward 1.
Gaglianese believes that coming together with the new city council can lead to “making a pathway to greatness” by coming up with great solutions.
With a new cast of characters elected to City Council, Gaglianese claims that this fresh slate of representatives can help rebuild credibility that was lost in the community.
“I think we can rebuild the credibility; I think that may have been lost with the foundry situation and with some other things that have happened,” Gaglianese said.
As a Republican, he looks to cooperate with Democrats and virtually anyone regardless of party affiliation for the betterment of the city.
“I don’t look at party lines. I look at solutions. I look at ideas,” Gaglianese stated.
But before addressing the issues, Gaglianese notes that the City of Geneva is in a good place, one where no one should be shunned for partaking in public service.
“Well, I think that Geneva: the council, the city manager and previous councils have really done a good job. I don’t think that it’s a time or place to bad-mouth anyone that does public service. It’s a lot of work; it’s a lot of time. You know, you’re going to make mistakes along the way and people aren’t always going to agree with every decision,” Gaglianese said.
Most of all, he shared that there is “one thing that I’d really like to see-through” and acknowledged that some may think it’s funny but for Gaglianese, he’s all business.
“But last week I was driving on Thursday through downtown and I seen the farmer’s market. It was windy, rainy and there were vendors out there sticking it out. I would like to see us find a piece of property in the city and build a year-round green building, all windows, where, you know maybe solar-powered, where 365-days a year we can have a farmer’s market,” Gaglianese stated.
Despite cosmetically fixing downtown and living in a great part of even the world, these facts do not stop Gaglianese from promoting change from the inside-out by “looking at the wants and needs of the community.”
Gaglianese claims that the current tax situation has disincentivized big businesses from coming to the city, but he wishes to review new pathways forward that might have been overlooked in the past.
“We have all of the tools to attract people to attract people, but we just need them to come here and stay and open-up some businesses to get the people here opportunity cause I think that once that happens we’ll thrive,” Gaglianese said.
Gaglianese believes that Hobart and William Smith Colleges as well as Cornell AgriTech are “two big hitters that can help us out” with the tax-base problem.
He seeks to “buckle down” on greater business and economic development, citing areas throughout the city that can benefit from possible improvements.
As for the environment, dealing with the Geneva Foundry clean-up was a crucial component in making the city conscious of its own actions and how they hurt residents, particularly in Ward 5.
“I think we have learned our lesson from this foundry situation,” Gaglianese stated.
Gaglianese believes that the consequences of contamination in the foundry area were unintentional.
“But listen, we live in an area where great industry at one-time and, you know, it’s not uncommon for the soil to be contaminated around you, you just don’t know it,” he said.
But overall, Gaglianese seems content with how the city is handling the region’s rehabilitation, but beyond the initial foundry situation, its impacts resonate into the future for regulations and land management.
“What scares me is being on the low-end of two landfills, but when elected I will work with supervisors in Ontario County as well as in Seneca County to make sure that each of them landfills are complaint with all of the safety standards and regulations that are put upon them,” Gaglianese stated.
“I wanna take tours up to the landfills and see what’s going on up there and understand it a lot better because its potentially a threat to us; and I wanna know everything that I can,” he added.
Gaglianese has got 1,000 questions to ask and he wants to hear answers for them directly by those who manage the landfills.
Gaglianese also mentioned that Geneva Police Chief Michael Passalacqua “handled the situation, I think the best way that they could with what they had” in response to recent racist acts of vandalism.
“I know Mike Passalacqua personally. I know his family and I think he’s a stand-up guy and I know that he wants to do what’s best for the City of Geneva and for that police department,” Gaglianese said.
He also added that Chief Passalacqua wishes to work with others in finding a solution but notes that there still are processes in place.
“Everyone makes mistakes. It’s tough when you’re running an agency like the police department. You want all good cops just like how you want all good employees, but you don’t,” he stated.
“I know for a fact that Mike is trying to do his best to clean that police department up to make it prestigious cause his family I believe in Geneva is prestigious,” Gaglianese added.
As for Gaglianese, his greatest goal for Geneva rests in telling his constituents that he candidly cares about them and their concerns.
“I want to be somebody that my constituents know that I have their back. This isn’t about me and what I want. It’s about what we all want,” he said.
Gaglianese proclaims that he has new ideas and visions for Geneva and considers the host of new the faces sitting on the next city council as “a huge success” for the city and its residents.
Calling the city’s seniors and elderly as “the backbone of our community,” Gaglianese seeks to secure affordable housing opportunities to this demographic and prioritize their needs in the future.
Aside from advocating for the city’s elderly population, Gaglianese aims to be on the same page with his fellow city councilors, if elected.
“So, if we can all be on the same-page and work together, I think that we’re going to be an awesome team and that’s what I’m planning on, that’s what I’m hoping on and that’s what I’m working for; and like I said, the three biggest things is that I want to be accountable, accessible and transparent to everybody. I think it’s important,” he concluded.
Listen to Gaglianese discuss his campaign 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)
– Gaglianese looks to bring organizational experience to Geneva (At-Large)
– Reporting & Photos 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].