Stephen Gomula is running as a challenger to incumbent candidate Dave Dybas for the fourth ward common council position. Gomula will appear on the Republican and Conservative party lines on fourth ward ballots on election day, November 5, 2019.
Gomula has worked as an EMT for 14 years now and is currently employed as an administrative office assistant at REMO (Regional Emergency Medical Organization), and at St. Mary’s Hospital as a patient care technician in the Emergency Department. He also fills in as a dispatcher at GAVAC. In addition to his EMT experience, he has served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a medic for ten years. He has three children and is currently engaged to be married.
On the issues
The candidate’s answers to five questions are listed below. The answers are in their own words, with minor edits for clarity.
- Question: What specific steps must the city take to correct the problem of over-estimation of revenues and under-estimation of expenses?
Answer: Now that we have a firm grasp of our finances and the actual amounts of debt and income we have, I don’t believe we will have the problem of over estimation of revenue. We know exactly what we owe and what we have coming in. We need to continue to monitor our spending.
- Question: What are the next steps the city needs to take to correct the fund balance deficit problem?
Answer: As I stated before, we have a firm grasp of our finances. And while the outlook isn’t very good, we know the areas to address. We need to attract new businesses to the city in order to increase our tax base and lower the burden our residents currently face.
- Question: Where do you currently stand on moving forward (or not) on the KCG Development residential project?
Answer: I think the KCG project is an exciting opportunity. The Southside is exploding with development and I feel this project will keep the momentum moving forward and will continue to attract new businesses and help the current ventures to expand as well as attract new residents.
- Question: What are your top 3 qualifications from previous positions/experiences?
Answer: My experiences as both a member of several emergency medical services organizations and a member of the U.S Army Reserves have given me an ability to adapt to any situation. I have learned to work under the constraint of strict budgets as well as working together with multiple agencies to accomplish missions and goals. I have often worked shorthanded and with limited resources which led to the ability to adapt and be creative to achieve goals. I feel this will be paramount in the administration of city business and working together with many agencies and departments to keep spending down while providing adequate services. This will also be useful in finding new businesses to attract to our city.
- Question: What are your top 3 goals if elected to the position?
Answer: My top 3 goals are to attract new businesses in order to increase the tax base, control blight by assisting residents in finding services and resources to purchase vacant houses and give them a sense of ownership in their neighborhoods rather than leaving it to absentee landlords. I also will continue to support the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and help it to spread not only to the downtown area but throughout the city by attracting new business, helping current businesses to expand and to continue to make Amsterdam into a recreation destination.