In March, two trustee seats will open up in the village of Camillus, and Mike Montero wants one.
Montero, who opened two businesses in the village and became a resident within the last year and half, is one of a handful of familiar faces at village board meetings, and it's no secret he wants to do more than sit in the audience: he's been going door-to-door in the village for two weeks, meeting residents and bringing their concerns to the board for them, clipboard in hand.
When the board accepted Mayor Tom Grant's resignation letter last week, Montero said he contacted Deputy Mayor Kurt Brunger to express his interest in any seat that may open temporarily before the elections, knowing he would have to run again for the seat even if he was temporarily appointed.
The Staten Island native last week discussed his first run for public office and what he plans to do for the village, if elected.
What is your motivation to run?
It's something I wanted to do after going to a couple of meetings. They were the inspiration to help out on the board and help things happen in the village.
What are some things you plan to tackle as a member of the board?
I'm very interested in updating the look of this village and making it people accessible ... people-friendly. Put streetscape plans on a more realistic level to start; things that could get started tomorrow if we really wanted to, not long-term things. I guess also more of saying and doing instead of saying, 'this is a great idea.' If you talk about it, finish the business, then move on to the next topic.
I'd like to help bring about more community-sponsored events. I think if you want to revitalize the village and to attract other people to come in to the village and do business here, you first have to have residents on board and if they don't care about what's going on, what makes us think outside people are going to care what's going on? Feb Fest is a great idea... I don't know why we don't have a pumpkin fest.