Jaleski qualifies for Commission race

Staff Columnist

I took a short time out last week.  That included a trip to Boston.

While I was up there I kept up with the local LBK happenings via my iPhone.  (Good but the print is very small.)  On my return I read the in-

Print version of our Paper.  I learned there of the qualification for the at-large seat in the LBK March 2017 election.  I knew Gene was planning this run, but was surprised at the speed demonstrated. I  also read a piece in  the latest in-print edition by  our Editor on the subject of slim participation in local politics.  I share Steve’s concern, but am not sure I completely agree with his editorial.  That’s ok,  I suppose.

I suspect that Gene needs little introduction to our Town.

For those who don’t know him (there must be some) I’ll rerun an interview I did on Gene just a bit over three years ago.  We’ll offer it again here this week.

I wish my friend Fair Winds and a Following Sea.


 GENE JALESKI (From our Archives)

Back in July of 2010, a long time ago on Longboat Key I wrote a piece on Gene and one of his favorite subjects, cell towers.  It’s interesting that little has changed since then.

Now I find my friend and fellow ex-commissioner running to return to that organization, the governing body of our Town.

I think I captured the guy back then.

I’ve edited out the specifics of telecommunications here on our Key.

I offer the piece again as I think it can be useful again.

“Recent interest in an old subject around here prompts my discussion one hot afternoon at my place in The Bayou.  Gene tells me our subject is far more that just cell towers.  He has brought some basic literature to help bring me up to speed.  But first I ask some questions to gain background on this ex-Commissioner.  Going in I had mentally  labeled Jaleski as a 21st century guy operating in our 20th century island home.  He certainly is that, as we are.

Gene is originally from Larchmont, New York.  That qualifies him as a seashore type – from the shore of Long Island Sound.  He was educated there in local schools before going a bit east to Hotchkiss in Lakeville, Connecticut for prep school.  College followed at Brown, with a Master’s at the University of Washington.  He tells me he is a sailor, once coming in 3rd nationally in racing 110 class boats.  He likes travel, claims no time at tennis or golf.  He’s been here on Longboat Key since 1985.  Living in the Village, he’s been a member of the Village Association since then.

He describes himself as a “participating resident” here.  He has concentrated on beach nourishment and reclaimed water issues, with the study of reverse osmosis vs. reclaimed water as a special interest.  Like so many educated in the Great Northwest, Gene worked for a time for Boeing.  He was production manager for Helen Reddy, then moved to Lake Tahoe in 1975.

Gene  built on his UW (University of Washington) training and Boeing experience to design some of the first point-of-sale terminals for KENO in Casinos.  He recalls this Nevada experience as “cutting edge”.

Jaleski plans to stay active in this, his community.  He plans on doing some consulting – he’s involved in Early Intervention Education.  He’s off to New York soon on a project for schools in the City.  He developed  a website used in teacher recruiting and employment 12 years ago.  He’ll visit that system’s home in Yorktown Heights this summer.  Gene says his field is Business Engineering – the application of technology to business, for example casinos.  Sounds like a solid definition of engineering to me.

I called Jaleski a 21st century guy trying hard to operate in a 20th century environment.  That environment might just be us.

This might be the reason Gene left the Commission; I’m not sure.

‘Tis time for some forward thinking.  There is work to be done.”

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