Tonawanda News

Local News

October 23, 2013

Ken-Ton candidates present platforms ahead of election day


Tonawanda News — Vishion, a Navy veteran, alluded to what he called problems of integrity on the current board.

“It’s about right versus wrong,” he said. “It’s about serving the whole of the community, and not just the few.”

Republican Gigi Grizanti spoke to her 30 years of experience specializing in human resources and employee benefits, most notably her work at Catholic Health reducing the cost of health care. 

She also noted her experience with the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes. 

“The town is facing problems,” she said. “It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. If health care costs are going up $1 million, but taxes are going down, what is going to happen to our services?”

Highway superintendent candidates also presented their platforms. Democratic incumbent William Swanson spoke to his 30 years of work with the town.

He noted a $540,000 reduction in the highway department’s budget, his effort to share services with the county, Kenmore and Buffalo and the recent purchase of a milling and paving machine that’s led to a dramatic mileage increase in the town’s reconstruction work. 

His Republican challenger, Russell Riggio Jr., is employed Erie County Highway Department and previously worked at a family construction business. 

He spoke to his work as a union grievance chairman, and his work at Russell Construction managing and budgeting. He noted a possible initiative to bring recycling totes to the town. 

Candidates for the third and fourth legislative districts of the Erie County Legislature also took part in the event. Republican incumbent Kevin Hardwick, a professor at Canisius College, spoke to his experience making tough decisions to keep taxes low. Taxes have not been raised during his watch, he said. 

His challenger, William Conrad III, is a teacher and coach in Ken-Ton. He pointed to his upbringing in a family that managed a small business. He said he will concentrate on the county’s service of youth programs and the managing of the budget, as well as infrastructure problems. 

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