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Longtime Batavia alderman Frydendall gets challenger

BataviAlderman EldFrydendall now 74 has been BataviCity Council for 32 years.

Batavia Alderman Eldon Frydendall, now 74, has been on the Batavia City Council for 32 years.

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Updated: December 19, 2012 9:07PM

The longest serving alderman on the City Council, Eldon Frydendall, will have a challenger in the April municipal election.

Steve Vasilion, 57, filed his petitions Monday for Alderman in the 5th Ward – a post held by Frydendall for 35 years.

“His years of service are remarkable and I certainly do not want to diminish the value and importance of what he has done over the years,” Vasilion said.

But Vasilion said Frydendall “seems content to have Batavia be a sleepy bedroom community.” Vasilion said he likes the idea of having a charming and quaint community, it also has to be balanced with a “healthy downtown.”

“I think his effective time may have come and passed,” Vasilion said. “We need someone who is pro-growth and pro-support for the Water Street arts community.”

“The whole arts concept downtown is something that is giving Batavia a unique identity,” Vasilion said. “I don’t sense the city has been completely behind that in terms of providing needed parking and utility improvements in the southwest quadrant of the downtown. The area is ripe for development.”

Vasilion noted specifically needed support for zoning variations for the proposed new Walgreens store.

Vasilion, an architect by profession, said he recently relocated his offices from Batavia to St. Charles. He acknowledged that he has provided architectural services for the Walgreens project and if elected he would have to recuse himself from voting on that.

Frydendall said he has “never committed to anything” on the Walgreens project until it comes to the City Council for a vote and he’s heard comments about his so-called position on the project that were not true. He said his opponent “would not be able to vote on one of the biggest issues in the 5th Ward.”

Frydendall said he has been part of pivotal improvements in the city during his years on the Council and he has had challengers in the past.

“I have had a lot of money spent against me in the past and managed to survive,” Frydendall said. “I think the voters will come through for me.”

Another long-term alderman, 4th Ward Alderman Jim Volk, who has served for 19 years, will be challenged by Jamie Saam.

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