Interview with Chad Majewski, candidate for third ward alderman

“Leadership, organization, negotiation, compromise, and communication. Those are all five traits that really sum up what my job has done for me in the last sixteen years and what I can bring to the council,” said Chad Majewski, candidate for third ward alderman during an interview at his Guy Park Ave home.

Majewski has worked for Noteworthy for eight years as Vice President of Sales. Before that he worked for eight years at Amsterdam Printing and Litho Co. in sales and marketing

“I have experience doing budgets, not only just planning them, but executing them,” said Majewski. “It also requires me to think on the spur of the moment and come up with a logical solution.”

Majewski said he wants to put his business experience to good use for the city government. In the area of economic development, he said he would like to see continued improvement to the city’s marketing efforts as well as cooperation with Montgomery County.

On the city level, he would like to see the city’s web site re-worked to focus on attracting people and businesses to the city, as well as to feature more events and information. He also believes that each council person can take a personal initiative to promote the city’s positive attributes.

“I think that we also need to look to our fellow county people. And possibly open up our economic development, working with them as a group. We have [Community and Economic Development Director Rob von Hasseln], who’s doing it for us here, he’s doing a wonderful job. But that doesn’t mean that five or six or eight more people doing the job isn’t going to help out more.”

“I think [von Hasseln] is definitely more focused on bringing business into Amsterdam. Whereas the economic team from the county would be focused on county-level. So I think there is an importance for both positions,” said Majewski.

Majewski said that he thinks the proposed recreation center project could help the city’s economy, but wants to see the business plan for it first.

“I’d love to see it right in the middle of the city so that people are spending money, people are coming, they’re staying at the hotels, they’re eating at the restaurants, they’re buying gas at the gas station,” said Majewski.

“I have a lot of friends who have kids who are on travel soccer, travel football, all these teams, and they are traveling to all other parts of the state. If we can bring that draw here, bring that business here, it’s only going to benefit Amsterdam.”

Majewski said his support is dependent on securing enough grant money for the project, as well as seeing a detailed plan. .

“I’m for that, but we also need to do a study on it, how much is it going to cost us, how much of our money is it going to be, do we have to put money up, is it something that’s going to be fully granted? What’s our commitment?”

About the proposed city-run ambulance service, Majewski said, “I think it’s a great opportunity. I think it was sprung upon the common council a little too quickly. I think [Fire Chief Michael Whitty] did a great job looking into it. But I think before we can fully support a city run ambulance service, which could bring in revenue for sure, it needs to be audited by a third-party. We have to have somebody who is independent who is not working for the city to go in there and to look at it and say yes this is going to work, it’s going to cost us this each year.”

In regards to the city budget, Majewski said overtime pay for city employees was a big concern to him. He said that he would consider hiring more police or firefighters to avoid paying higher overtime costs.

“We need to look at the department heads and hold them accountable for some of the budgeting as well,” added Majewski. “Every budget has fat on it. Can the dept heads take off 2%, 3%, 5% off each of their lines and continue to offer the same service to their city?”

“It’s not always possible, but there’s always something that can be cut,” said Majewski, “That’s were communications come in, where compromise comes in…we need to look at what’s best for the city and what’s best for it’s people.”

Makewski said that the proposed idea to move the train station to downtown was not on his priority list.

“I’m a frequent user of the train station,” said Majewski. “I’ve never driven by and seen the parking lot full of cars to the capacity.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with the train station now, so why fix something that’s not broken,” said Majewksi.

About the city’s financial situation, Majewski said he would be very cautious about spending or borrowing, given the lack of an updated fund balance for the city’s general fund and would only consider borrowing if it had to do with public safety or public health.

Asked if he believes the current council should have moved sooner to approve borrowing for capital projects this year, he said, “It’s a difficult situation to say because we don’t know what our fund balance is…I think that we should have. On something like that where it’s taking care of our appearance and making our roads more functional and safe for our public safety vehicles, safe for our families. I think when it comes to be a safety issue then, yes that’s something they needed to move forward on.”

Majewski said that while out campaigning, many residents told him they were concerned about door-to-door solicitors. One idea he heard from several residents is to establish some sort of identification badge to be issued when a permit for soliciting is issued by the city, and to list businesses with permits to solicit on the web site.

Manjewski said he is in favor of continuing support for city-sponsored programs such as Neighborhood Watch, the community garden, the Creative Connections arts center, and the youth recreation program, as well as supporting other community organizations like Wishful Thinking.

“I have no other agenda but to help the public,” said Majewski. “I think that I have a good business background and I think that I can help bring that into the city government.”

“Being an alderman would give me the platform to continue to do good work for the city of Amsterdam. I think I’m the right candidate at the right time.”

Majewski said he has received public endorsements by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and former Third Ward Alderwoman Gina DeRossi. He is also endorsed by the CSEA.

Majewski is will appear on the Democratic and Rebuilding Amsterdam party lines on November’s ballot. He faces incumbent candidate Ron Barone on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.