Leaders discuss their New Year’s resolutions for Utica, Shelby Township

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 13, 2021

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — After one long and strange year, the final farewell to 2020 is in the past and a fresh new year lies ahead. Local officials, including the Utica mayor and the Shelby Township supervisor, are gathering their goals and resolutions for their communities to implement over the next 12 months.

In Utica, Gus Calandrino, the newly elected mayor of Utica, said that the main focus in his first year will include working to get Utica back to where it was before the COVID-19 outbreak happened and to resume work in the community that was put on pause.

Calandrino previously has served on the Utica City Council and Downtown Development Authority. He said he looks forward to working hard to see Utica succeed in 2021 and overcome the new challenges that have arisen.

“I look forward to the new year and the challenges it brings. As vaccinations become available, hopefully we can finally see an end to the devastating effects of COVID-19. Utica’s small businesses will need community support to help them recover,” he said in an email.

Over the past year, many projects had to be put on hold due to safety reasons, and meetings couldn’t be held due to the stay-at-home order.

“There are projects throughout the city that have been impacted or delayed due to the pandemic. I look forward to getting the city back to normalcy and rebooting the work that was in progress,” he said.

Calandrino said he looks forward to working with the residents to further improve Utica, and they should reach out with their concerns and ideas.

“As we begin 2021, I also begin my term as the new mayor of Utica. I look forward to meeting with residents and business owners to discuss ways to improve our city. Until we’re able to open city hall and meet in person, I hope residents will contact me by phone or email. Happy new year to everyone!” said Calandrino.

In Shelby Township, Rick Stathakis, the township supervisor, said there will be more road projects and expansion of services on the way for 2021.

“Our Board of Trustees and township employees will continue to dedicate ourselves to delivering services to our citizens in the most productive manner, by paying cash for all infrastructure improvements … no bonding and no borrowing,” he said.

Stathakis said the township will also continue to keep the budget balanced and work on road improvements. Each year, the township focuses on accomplishing its top 10 priorities, which it establishes the previous year as a list of projects to complete during the following year. This year, the list includes items that work on enhancing the quality of life while living and visiting Shelby Township.

“We will continue to accomplish this by maintaining a balanced budget without increasing tax millage; working to achieve our top ten priorities (including more road improvements); further expanding our fire, EMS and police services; and maintaining and enhancing new quality of life initiatives,” said Stathakis.

Stathakis said he is wishing everyone “a blessed and happy new year.”

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