Batavia Alderman Dan Chanzit resigns from Third Ward seat

Batavia Third Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit

Batavia Third Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit sat on the council for his final City Council meeting July 1 after serving as alderman for 14 years.

Chanzit, whose term does not expire until 2027, announced his plans to resign in May in order to focus on his business, The Where House, which sells items on consignment, conducts estate sales and stages houses for sale.

At his last meeting as an alderman, Chanzit gave an impromptu farewell address, reading publicly from his resignation letter.

“Serving on the council has been a remarkable journey of personal growth and fulfillment that I am always going to cherish,” Chanzit said. “It is with great sadness that I have to announce my departure at the end of this meeting.”

He asked that if the city were to pay him for the final meeting that the money be donated to the food pantry.

“It’s been an honor to contribute to the well-being of this community and I have enjoyed serving my neighbors, representing their interests and lobbying on their behalf,” Chanzit said. “I am proud of the things that we accomplished during the last 14 years and I appreciate your appointment back in May of 2010.”

As is customary when a council vacancy occurs, Mayor Jeffery Schielke said that at the next City Council meeting July 15, he will invite any residents of the Third Ward interested in serving to come and meet with the other 13 aldermen, who will then vote on which resident to appoint.

Chanzit spoke about his respect and admiration for Schielke, thanking him for appointing him to the council, his mentorship, helping him find his voice and allowing him to contribute to the council’s decision-making over the past 14 years.

“Your creative interpretation of advice and consent that puts the decision in the hands of the council for the vetting of potential appointees has produced a long history of committed individuals who have contributed to the diverse makeup of this organization,” Chanzit said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside you and whether you recognize it or not, being the 11th-longest serving mayor is kind of a big deal and makes you kind of a big deal. The mentorship that you’ve shown and the tools that you’ve provided have given me court-side seats to view this intricate machine that you operate.”

Chanzit said he appreciated that Schielke never pressured aldermen to legislate or govern and that it always has been an open process to participate in the decision-making that shapes the future of the city despite describing the decision-making process in recent years as navigating a minefield of controversy and calling some of the council’s decisions “politically murky.”

Chanzit also mentioned several initiatives that he contributed to during his tenure including the raising of the unity flag at the City Council, which he called a beacon of hope for kids in the community and encouraged Schielke to make a permanent installment. Chanzit also mentioned his role in killing the redevelopment plans for the former Campana Factory by delaying the vote.

Schielke thanked Chanzit for his “watchful eye” and “thought-provoking observations.”

“I’m sorry to lose you,” Schielke said. “You were always one that wasn’t afraid to speak their mind and tell us what they thought. Fourteen years of you has been a very blessed situation for the community of Batavia, to have somebody like yourself who has always been here, always wanting to do what was in the best interest for Batavia. Thank you for everything you’ve done and you have made a difference for the better in this town.”

Alderman Sarah Vogelsinger also noted the impact Chanzit made and thanked him for all he has done.

City Administrator Laura Newman extended an invitation to Chanzit to come to the next City Council meeting to celebrate his service to the community.